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Category Archives: Tamil Nadu Heritage Sites

Information about Heritage Sites, Monuments, Tour Attractions, Travel Destinations and sightseeing Places of Tamilnadu in India

Padmanabhapuram Palace – An Ancient Architectural Magic of South India

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace is India Heritage site and it is also listed on tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.Padmanabhapuram Palace is a miraculous 16 Century wood palace of former Maharajas of Travancore (1550 to 1750).It is located in the Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu, India. Padmanabhapuram was the old capital of former Travancore state. It is administrated by the Kerala. Padmanabhapuram is a wonderful example of craftsmanship of wood. It is the largest, oldest and well maintained ancient example of traditional wooden architecture .This palace is a real fusion of wonderful craftsmanship, archaeology and high level example of material science.

Craftwork In Padmanabhapuram

Craftswork In Padmanabhapuram

Carvings On  Padmanabhapuram

Carvings On Padmanabhapuram

Padmanabhapuram fort spread over the 200 acres. The foundation of this palace is made by the fine red stones and granite. The walls of the fort are heightening around the 30ft.The main palace lies at the center of the fort. The ultimate interior of the palace is full with the incredible rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. It is also full with the pictures and sculpture of 17th and 18th century murals. There are several beautiful parts of this palace.Like Durbar hall and Thaikkottaram. The Queen Mother’s palace or Thaikkottaram has a spectacular painted ceilings, teak and rose wood carved ceiling with 90 unique floral designs.

A  Carved Horse rider

A Carved Horse Rider

Bed Of Maharaja(King)

Bed Of Maharaja (King)

Wonderful Design On Ceiling

Wonderful Design On Ceiling

Metal Lamp

Metal Lamp

Temple Entrance In Padmanabhapuram

Temple Entrance In Padmanabhapuram Palace

Black Polished Floor In Padmanabhapuram

Black Polished Floor In Padmanabhapuram Palace

View Of Natakshala In Padmanabhapuram Place

View Of Natakshala In Padmanabhapuram Place

Durbar Hall has a shiny black floor, which is specially made from a jaggery lime, a combination of egg white, charcoal, burnt coconut, and river sand, granite tubs to buttermilk and cool curd . The bedroom of king is decorated by the beautiful carved bed and wonderful carved ceiling. The polished floor of palace is looks like a fresh polished floor but in reality it is 500 years old. Saraswathi temple, worship rooms, large earthen urns, rooms for meeting are full with jackfruit tree columns, carved lamps, wonderful fish carvings on the ceilings, cyclopean stone and Belgian mirrors. Granite dance hall and large swimming pool are also very wonderful.

It is really very amazing that it is completely made of natural things woods, mud, leaves and flowers. It is really a magical place with amazing wooden archaeology.

 

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The Outlandish Grace of the Brihadeeswarar Temple

Brihadeeswarar Temple is located in the Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu state, India. It is a Hindu temple which is a part of Great Living Chola Temples that are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It was built during the 9th century and completely dedicated to the Shiva. The linga of the temple was brought from the river Narmada and said by many that when it was brought, the water of the river kept increasing day by day and so the name Brihadeeswarar was given to this temple. It is one of the largest temple in India and also most prized one only due to its architectural designs.

Brihadeeswara_temple_Thanjavur

Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu

The temple majestically stands amidst the fortified walls that were added in the 16th century. It has the tower or Vimana of the gopuram which is 216 ft high. This Vimana is among the tallest of its kind in the entire world. The Kalasha of the temple is intricately carved out of a single stone and weighs around 80 tons. A big statue of Nandi is amazingly carved out of a single rock and measures about 16 feet long and 13 feet high. This shows that it is a distinctive example of architecture inside the temple.

Nandi-Brihadeeswarar_Temple

Nandi(Bull)
Image by ashok_sridhar on flickr.com

This glamorous temple is the world’s first fully granite temple. Most of the inscriptions on the walls depict the Bharatanatyam which is a popular classical dance of southern India. One of the interesting parts of this temple is the shadow of the gopuram (pyramidal tower which usually stands over the gateway of the temple) never falls on the ground at noon. This served as a great example of the South Asian style of architecture.

Inscriptions-Brihadeeswarar_Temple

Inscriptions on the wall
Image by ashok_sridhar on flickr.com

The square sanctuary of the temple is surrounded by a narrow passageway and adjoins an antechamber. The double storey plastered walls of the sanctuary are located on a raised basement. Projections of the wall have niches that occupied by fully model images of Shiva. Some finest figures that intricately carved on the walls of the temple include Bikshatanamurti, dancing Shiva, Harihara and Ardhanarishvara.

Architecture-Brihadeeswarar_Temple

Brihadeeswarar Temple Entrance

Another interesting thing to see is an Archaeological Museum which showcases the ancient ruins. It surely gives you the chance to look back into the history of the Chola Empire. 107 paragraphs long inscription can also found on the walls of the Vimana which reads the contribution of the Chola King Rajaraja and his sister Kundavai.

Rajarajesvaram_Temple

Murals and Shiva Lingams in the temple

This popular temple turned 1000 years old on September 2010 and the day was celebrated with great pomp and show. State government celebrated this birthday of the temple with great excitement. Many cultural events were held there during this wonderful occasion. People travel to this place in a large number only to glare or participate in the cultural activities.

On 26th September 2010, which was the fifth day of the millennium celebrations, Indian post released 5 special postage stamps featuring the 216-ft tall giant Raja Gopuram. Also, the Reserve Bank of India commemorated this special event by releasing the 5 coins embossed with the model of the big temple. A 1000 rupee coin was also released to commemorate the same picture as on the Rs. 5 coins. The temple is visited by a large number of pilgrims and tourists from across the globe. It is one of the important heritage sites in Tamil Nadu.

 

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The Graceful Art in the Monuments at Mahabalipuram

The Graceful Art in the Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, located in Tamil Nadu, India, is basically famous all across the globe for its famous group of monuments. The monuments and its architecture are so elegant that they are listed in the UNESCO World heritage sites. These monuments were founded by the Pallava Kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. They are popular mainly for their exotic rathas, mandapas, giant open-air reliefs and many more things. These temples are excellent examples of Pallava art.

Mahabalipuram

Panoramic view of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

The monuments of Mahabalipuram are popularly known for its rock carvings and monolithic sculptures. These monuments illustrate the intricate sculptures and carvings which are true evidence to the artisans creativity and craftsmanship. Most of the monuments at Mahabalipuram are very popular like the rock-cut rathas, sculptured scenes of open rocks like Arjuna’s penance, the caves of Govardhanadhari and Ahishasuramardini, and the Jala-Sayana Perumal temple.

Mahabalipuram2

Rock-cut Cave in Mahabalipuram

Of the popular nine monolithic temples, the most important are the Five Rathas. It was named after the famous five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata fame. Draupadi ratha is a simple and beautiful hut like kutagara shrine while the Arjuna ratha is a dvitala vimana. Similarly, other rathas are there and each has its own significance. Ratha temples in the form of cavalcade chariots, monolithic constructions appear as if they are delightfully emerging from the sand. Other notable landmarks are Varaha Mandapa, Mahisamardini Mandapa, Paramesvara Mahavaraha Vishnugriha, etc.

Varaha-Cave-Mahabalipuram

Varaha Cave Temple

Mandapa, or rock sanctuaries modeled as rooms covered with bas-reliefs. Arjuna’s Penance which is the world’s largest bas-relief panel with over a hundred figures of men, gods and beasts are visited by a large number of people.

Arjuna's Penance

Panoramic view of Arjuna’s Penance

Rock reliefs in the open air modeled a popular story in the iconography of Siva, that of the Descent of the Ganges. Temples built from cutting the stoned, like the Temple of Rivage, which was constructed under the reign of King Rajasimha Narasimavarman II, popular for its high-stepped pyramidal tower and thousands of sculptures which are dedicated to the glory of Siva.

Pancha Rathas at Mamallapuram

Pancha Rathas at Mamallapuram

The colossal attraction of this place is the spectacular Shore Temple that is worth to be visited. It is surrounded from all sides by rows of Nandi bulls that are looking out to the sea. This temple was re-built as it was washed away by the cyclone emerged from the sea. This temple is also referred as the Seven Pagodas but out of the seven pagodas, six are submerged in the sea and only one remains now.

Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

It is believed by many people that this area was once surely served as a school for young sculptors. The different sculptures, some of them are half finished, are giving the examples of different styles of architecture, probably demonstrated by instructions and practices by young students of that time. This can also be seen in the Pancha Rathas where each Ratha is engraved in a different style.

The glamour of Mahabalipuram lies not only in its monumental architecture but also in its pristine sandy beach, unique architecture, handicrafts and stone carved sculptures. While exploring the different cities of Tamil Nadu, one must add this place in the itinerary of the Southern region as it is a must visit place.

 

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