Feb 27, 2017: Shore temple is a water shrine where canals bring sea water to the temple, is nestled in the small village of Mahabalipuram 60 kms from Chennai, facing the Bay of Bengal.
Shore temple is a fine example of Dravidian architecture and Buddhist architectural influences, a 60 feet, 5-storied Hindu temple with shikhara, gopuram, and carvings of animals, made out of local granite, whereas other temples of that period are made out of rocks.
The main shrine has remnants of Shiv and Vishnu, the temple is believed to have been built as a site of art rather than a site of worship.
Built during the 7th-8th century during the reign of the Pallava king Rajasimha and later continued by the Chola dynasty, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984.
In 2004 when the tsunami struck Southern India, parts of the temple were affected. Wind and seawater have also corroded some parts. Recently a stonewall has been constructed to protect it from seawater.
This picturesque site also hosts the International Dance Festival, a month-long festival showcasing diverse forms of classical dance and art, promoted by the Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu, held every year during January-December.