Saturday, July 3, 2010

Arjuna's Penance(Mahabalipuram)-Biggest open-air rock canvases in the world,Location & Introduction,History,Theme,How to reach

Location & Introduction:

Location: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Carved In: Mid-7th century
Significance: One of the largest bas-reliefs in the world
Other Nearby Attractions: Shore Temple, Pancha Pandava Rathas, Krishna Mandapa, Varaha Cave and Krishna's Butterball
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

Arjuna's Penance or Bhagiratha's Penance is the name of a massive open air bas-relief monolith dating from the 7th century CE located in the town of Mahabalipuram in Southern India. Measuring 96 feet long by 43 feet high, the bas-relief is also known as The Descent of Ganga. The bas-relief has two names, because there is not full agreement regarding which stories the mural depicts.

Mamallapuram, popularly known as Mahabalipuram is famous for its splendid 7th and 8th century art and architecture, especially the stone carvings. The monolithic rock sculptures, shore temple, carvings and wonderful beaches make Mahabalipuram a beautiful tourist destination. The Arjuna's penance is one of the most famous stone carvings at Mahabalipuram. It is an enormous relief made on two massive boulders. One of the biggest open-air rock canvases in the world, the Arjuna's penance is 31m long and 9m high. The surface of the rock has detailed carvings, showing the most endearing and natural renditions of animals especially the elephants and monkeys.

Theme of Arjuna's penance:

There are many schools of thoughts over the theme of Arjuna's penance. One school believes that the sculpture shows Arjuna undertaking a penance to obtain a rare weapon against his enemies. The other School believes that it portrays the legend of the River Ganges's descent to earth. Whatever the reasons, Arjuna penance remains one of the most beautifully carved structures at Mamallapuram. Arjuna's Penance has over 100 figures of gods and semi divine creatures, birds and beasts, man and saint.

How to Reach Mahabalipuram/ Mammalapuram

Chennai is the nearest airport from Mahabalipuram, located around 60-km away. You can get flights for almost all major destinations in India and abroad.

The nearest railway station is Chengalpattu, around 29-km away from Mahabalipuram. You can easily get trains for Chennai and several other major cities in South India.

Mahabalipuram is well connected by road to Chennai, Kanchipuram (65-km), Pondicherry and other towns and cities of Tamilnadu.

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