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“Monolith Indian rock-cut architecture...”
Review of Pancha Rathas

Pancha Rathas
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Historical Walking Tour in Mamallapuram
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
498 reviews
303 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 417 helpful votes
“Monolith Indian rock-cut architecture...”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

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.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Aaqarsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kurukshetra, India
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223 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 450 helpful votes
“Majestic Masterpieces - Wheelless Chariots”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Astonished to see Pallava's art ,complex of five Rathas on Pandavas name but no history associated with them. You enter from north side after checking of entry ticket, same ticket applies both for rathas & seashore temple. Beautiful 7th century monolithic rathas.From north to south rathas are in following order with small description, Guide helps a lot

1- Draupadi Ratha- small temple dedicated to Goddess Durga,roof is like thatched hut,inside cell four armed standing Durga,two devotees kneeling at her feet,dwarfganas flying above.
On enrerance two dwarpalikas. Infront of temple is a lion sculpture

2-Arjuna Ratha- dedicated to God Shiva.This is small version of Dharmaraja Ratha.carvings on all sides of ascetics,guards & royal couples,Shiva on nandi,Indra on airavta elephent, vishnu on garuda.Behind temple is semifinished Nandi

3 Bhima Ratha-- dedicated to Lord Vishnu,rectangular base supported by four lion pillars.outer wall has no sculptures, Vishnu is in lying posture

4 Dharamaraja Ratha--biggest & majestic of all five ,southernmost tallest,square base.Outer wall has many carved panels of Lords Brahma,Vishnu ,Shiva in many forms. Best is Ardhanaareeswara sculpture of Shiva-Parvati. Shiva has been carved in many forms

5- Nakula-Sahadeva Ratha- smallest of five,small porch infront having lion pillars. A large elephant sculpture stands nearby.roof of this ratha looks like back of elephant.In its cell sound echos .

Best is to visit early morning as in evening huge rush of tourists

Visited December 2012
2 Thank AnilAggarwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
80 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Awesome monolithic structures”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

The craft long lost in the history, we could get a glimpse of the glorious past here. The best thing is that since this place wasn't visited by Mughals the structures and sculptures are all intact (unlike Ellora or Ajanta in where most sculptures are damaged), though i wonder why all of them are incomplete.

Visited December 2012
Thank shamarasal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Oldest Monument of Mahabalipuram, India”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

mahabalipuram is the finest tourist place to visit In India. Very Old temple. It was known that there was 7 temples, and all the six temples were washed away by Sea
If you happened to visit India, Please visit Mahabalipuram

Visited October 2012
1 Thank savinbnt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
55 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Single stone marvel”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

The designs are unbelievable, huge and clear. It has been carved from single stone, which makes it even more magnificent. They are almost 15 century old, but still standing tall. Take a local guide to understand the history.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank kpsing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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