The monolithic temples @ the Mahabalipuram are known as rathas as they resemble wooden chariot. It is an innovation of Pallava King Narasimhavarman-I (Mamalla) [AD 630-668]. A Huge rock sloping from south to north was utilized judiciously to cutout different forms of temple, besides few animal sculptures.
Though these monolithic temples are termed as panchapandava rathas, they have nothing to do with Mahabharatha. These rathas with their ekatala to tritala, vimanas and different in plan and elevation, exhibit splendid forms of south Indian art and architecture. The nakula-sahadeva ratha has apsidal vimana, a relief sculpture of ardhanariswara on the wall of Dharmaraja ratha, with perfect balancing of the masculine and feminine features. It is considered to be one of the finest specimen of the early Pallava art. The ratha also contains Pallava-Grantha, inscription recording the titles of Narasimavarman-I.
The group of the five rathas were executed as models of South Indian temples and were not consecrated as their stupas are still attached with the bed rock.
|Buy Print||Flickr Page||
Pancha Pandava Rathas, Mahabalipuram