April 3, 2012

Mamallapuram Valaiyankuttai Ratha

Site Name: Valaiyankuttai Rathas
Site Type: Pallava architecture, sculpture, Ratha
Location:  3 kms from bus stand, Mamallapuram, near Chennai (55 kms from Chennai), Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A little known beautiful ratha from Pallava kings

Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Mamallapuram and East Coast Road outside the town
Restaurants: Many options and varieties across the town

Mamallapuram is a beautiful coastal town located near Chennai in South India. The town is full of Pallava period monuments of various types such as bas reliefs, structural temples, monolithic rathas and rock cut temples. Some of the monuments are internationally popular; thousands of tourists visit them daily. There are some commonly known monuments but not frequently visited by tourists. There are few monuments in the town which remain unknown to the tourists. Valaiyankuttai Ratha is one such place in the town which is not known even to the local people of the town.

Valaiyankuttai Ratha is located at the other side of the town - in a very remote location. The access to the site is not very easy. It is slightly rocky and bushy. Pidari Rathas monument is in a remote place. You need to pass Pidari Ratha and travel for another 300 m - 400 m to reach Valaiyankuttai Ratha. You can hardly find anyone in this place. If you are visiting this site, beware of snakes, stray dogs and even mentally retarded people sometimes who have made the surroundings as their home.

The wondeful monument, neglected by tourists as well ASI, resembles Arjuna's Ratha (of Five Rathas) in its architectural style. The two storey small but beautiful monument remains slightly unfinished at the lower portion. The small mandapa supported by two pillars and pilasters do not have any deity or idol. The cornice is seen with shoe shaped window. The miniature shrines are found above the cornice in regular intervals. The three sides of outer walls have the bas reliefs of miniature shrines.

It is definitely a worth visiting spot. Don't miss this.

Happy travelling.

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