Mahabalipuram

Constructed with formidable finesse by the Great Pallavas in 7th century BC, Mahabalipuram symbolises the confluence of Indian history, geography and ancient Indian economy. Historical relevance of Mahabalipuram dates back to the ancient days of Sangam literature and Bhakti movement that flourished here, eventually contributing to the development of Dravidian architecture in Tamil Nadu.

History shows that traders and communities such as the Chettiars from down south travelled to parts of South East Asia, from the ancient port of Mamallapuram (as Mahabalipuram is also known). In fact, it is known to have been an important (erstwhile) gateway fostering Indian trade and cultural links with eastern countries.

Because of these facets, it contributes to the further research in the field of architecture, sculpture, and showcases the scientific prowess of masonry of ancient times. For instance, most of the eastern coast of India is dotted with scared structures. Experts believe temples like Jagannath Puri, Konark, and others were scientifically designed to receive the first rays of the sun. The shore temple at Mahabalipuram was designed just for this purpose. Modern-day planner, with respect to the ambitious smart city project (for example), may take important lessons in sustainable architecture, scientific planning and aesthetic acumen, from this repository of Indian Heritage.