Shore temple, overlooking the bay of Bengal was built in the 7th centuary AD. It is built with granite blocks and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple is beleived to be the last of a series of temples existed in the area and the fact is supported by the appearance of its sister temples off the cost during the 2004 tsunami which stuck the coastline. The tsunami exposed an old collapsed temple built entirely of granite blocks. This renewed speculation that Mahablaipuram was a part of the Seven Pagodas described in the diaries of early European seafarers, of which six temples remain submerged in the sea.
The temple complex consists of three temples, two dedicated to Shiva and one to Vishnu. The main, large temple is facing the east and while we were there, construction works were going on around. The smaller one facing the west was open to the public and it was possible to visit the sanctum inside. The third temple too was unaccessible due to ongoing works. The entire complex lies extremely near to the beach and the ground is filled with sand. Since Mahabalipuram in general is extremely popular, expect huge crowd all the time. While we were there, atleast 500 people were inside the temple compound.
Visited on Jun 2018