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History of Mamallapuram

Situated in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, Mamallapuram is renowned for its historical significance. The city is an abode of ancient Hindu religious temples, which allure the attention of many visitors. Therefore, a large number of tourists embark on to this beautiful city and take away some unforgettable memories with themselves.

The city of Mamallapuram lies on the Coromandel Coast in front of the Bay of Bengal. It has been blessed with many sun-kissed beaches that ensure the natural grandeur of this place. The city has a long history of ancient temples and monuments, each one having a unique story to narrate.

History of Mamallapuram


The Past of Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram was initially known as Mahabalipuram because it is believed that King Mahabali was killed by Lord Vishnu at this place. Between the period of 7th and 10th century, the city became the seaport of Pallava dynasty, which was led by a great warrior - the King of Pallava Narasimha Varman. He changed the city’s name from Mahabalipuram to Mamallapuram when he got the title of Mamalla, which means the great wrestler.

Mamallapuram was the second capital of the Pallavas who once administered Kanchipuram. The rise of Pallavas in South India came into the picture after the decline of Gupta dynasty. They ruled this part of the country from the 3rd century to the conclusion of the 9th century. 

The Pallavas led this place impressively with a perfect mélange of mind and power particularly from 650 to 750 AD. Therefore, this period has been famous as the Golden Age of the Pallavas. The importance of Pallava dynasty is also valued into the history of India because it was the time when great saints, artists, poets, dramatists, artisans and scholars came into existence. The Pallava emperors led the way in bringing the new charms in the field of art and architecture. Majority of the temples, especially the five Rathas, in Mamallapuram were constructed during the reign of Rajasimha. He initiated new inventions and architectural perceptions into the creation of temples in Mamallapuram as well as in Kancheepuram.

However, the architectural glory of Mamallapuram could not be flourished all over the world largely because the Pallavas did not spread their art and architecture in other parts of the world. Consequently, the aestheticism within the city remains unknown till the 18th century. It was during the year 1827 when the British Rule transformed Mamallapuram into the modern city but keeping the ancient glory of aesthetic qualities possessed by the great Pallava Kings Narasimhavarma I and Rajasimha.

The Present Scenario of Mamallapuram

The elegance of Mamallapuram, is largely determined by the ancient temples, man-made caves, sculptures and rathas. These creations have now become wonderful attractions of Mahabalipuram, which are now explored by worldwide tpurists. The beauty of historical monuments in the city can be explored even after the sunset.

Even though, Mamallapuram is no longer a port but it has retained its prominence in stone essentially due to the contribution of Pallava artisans. So, just pack your travel bags to arrive at this historical city, which has been silently holding the glory of great temple art for many years.

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