Built during the reigns of Mahendra varman 1 and the great Narashimma Varman 1, the Pancha Pandava Rathas or the Five Rathas have weathered so many storms and tsunamis to survive about 16 centuries. Their survival is attributed to the sturdiness of the material of construction. No body is aware of the purpose of this construction and each of these rathas are named after the five pancha pandavas and their only wife viz., Yudhistra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva (1 Chariot named after two) and Draupadi. The details of the art depicted inside and outside chambers of these chariots are amazing. It's too photogenic and the colour changes from time to time depending on the movement of sun. The five rathas are classic examples of the early dravidian architecture and the look and feel of the site has improved ever since they've been classied as UNESCO world heritage site. (I've been here 11 times and I've witnessed how this has evolved). Apart from the five rathas are the carving of animal structures such as the bull, elephant and the pallava's own symbol, the lion. The only disappointing thing is the dual entry fee system (INR 10 for Indian citizens for both the Five Rathas and the Sea Shore Temple but INR 250 for foreign nationals for the same) The shopping complex near the five rathas offer plenty of art and craft items and you can buy a lot of innovative products if you are really good at bargaining. Don't miss Five Rathas.
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