Shore Temple

Mamallapuram


The Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, built during the reign of the Pallava King Rajasimha (c. 700 - 728), is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its three sanctuaries are dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Prominent in this photo are the temple walls, topped by large sculptures of Nandi, and its two steep pyramidal towers capped by octagonal domes.

As its name suggests, the Shore Temple overlooks the Bay of Bengal (Mamallapuram was the port city of Kanchipuram, the Pallava capital). Its location, so near the sea, has resulted in considerable erosion of the temple's superstructure.