Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
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Tamil Nadu

Art, Out Of The Blue

The tsunami 'backwash' unravels fragments of Pallava-era shrines, fuelling Mamallapuram's 'seven pagodas' folklore

Art, Out Of The Blue
Pallava Bagla
Art, Out Of The Blue
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

As the waters calmed and receded, three rock shrines stood revealed on the beach close to the township's famous Shore Temple. This came about due to what is called 'backwash', a phenomenon in which retreating waters suck off huge amounts of debris and sand. The shrines thus delivered to light have given credence to the theory that Mamallapuram was once a Pallava dynasty stronghold, characterised by several distinct granite temples.

The carved rocks exposed by the tsunami stand several feet high, showing sculptures of a lion with five faces; a figure of Narasimha; a large elephant; a horse and many carvings of celestial couples. There is also a carving of the Hindu god Indra. After this unexpected good turn of the tsunami, Indian archaeologists have been busy, painstakingly carrying out more excavation work.

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