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Tsunami uncovers ancient temple relics

Ancient structures dating back to
the Pallava period era have
been unearthed after the tsunami at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.

      Chennai: The impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami may has been devastating but the fury of the waves has also exposed some ancient relics on the coast close to India's famous beachfront Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu. Archaeologists believe that the findings belong to the ancient port of Mahabalipuram, part of the Pallava dynasty. Carved out of single rock, the exposed stone remains have engravings depicting animal figures and characters from Hindu scriptures.

      Six-foot high lion statues, each hewn from a single piece of granite, are breathtakingly lifelike. One great stone cat sits up alert while the other is poised to pounce. Two foundation walls also remain visible beneath the murky waters. The tsunami also desilted a large bas-relief stone panel close to the Shore Temple. The half-completed sculpted elephant scoured clean by the waves now attracts mobs of visitors who touch its eroded trunk as a good luck talisman.

      T.Sathiyamurthy, Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, said that the forceful waves washed away the top soil uncovering the buried sculptures. "When water was receding, it has taken away some of the monuments and de-silted the entire area. As a result we have found three more bas-reliefs belonging to Pallava period, dated about 700 A.D. They are all bas-reliefs cut by the Pallava kings," said Sathiyamurthy.

     The new discoveries near Chennai have piqued the curiosity of historians and archaeologists who are now keen to scout for more such relics by enlisting the support of the marine department. Famous as a pilgrimage destination the shore temple is also listed by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site. According to legends there were originally seven temples at the site out of which only one can be seen now. The rest are said to have been submerged under water around 6th century A.D.
- Feb 16, 2005

References: Tsunami-hit Tamil Nadu organizes marathon, ancient temple relics, Posh Aguilera strip for charity, houses before monsoon, Nagapattinam fishermen apathy, cricket treat orphans, fishermen awaiting catch, Travel News, India Travel Times, Travel, Tourism, Tour, Tourist, India, Times, News, Indian Hotels, Airlines, Ayurveda, Yoga, Hindu, Taj Mahal, Cuisine, Festival, Temple, Trekking, Hindu, Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Odissi, Shimla, Varanasi, Kullu, Manali, Dehra Dun, Mussourie, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Delhi, Goa, Kovalam, Darjeeling, Bodh Gaya, Kancheepuram, Thekkady, Mussoorie, Badrinath, Amar Nath, Vaishno Devi, Tirupati, Sabarimala, Guruvayoor, Kanyakumari, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Chennai,

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