Shore Temple of Mamallapuram

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This card came as a surprise from Amit. 🙂

The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

As the Shore Temple was initially identified as part of the Seven Pagodas at Mahabalipuram, an ancient Hindu legend referred to the origin of these pagodas in mythical terms. Prince Hiranyakasipu refused to worship the god Vishnu. The prince’s son, Prahlada, loved and was devoted to Vishnu greatly and criticized his father’s lack of faith. Hiranyakasipu banished Prahlada but then relented and allowed him to come home. Father and son quickly began to argue about Vishnu’s nature. When Prahlada stated that Vishnu was present everywhere, including in the walls of their home, his father kicked a pillar. Vishnu emerged from the pillar in the form of a man with a lion’s head, and killed Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada eventually became the king, and had a son named Bali. Bali founded Mahabalipuram on this site.
Myths also mention that Gods were jealous of the architectural elegance of the monuments of Mahablipuram, and as a result they caused floods to occur, which submerged most parts of the city, except for a few structures that are seen now.

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