Saturday, October 10, 2015

Valayankuttai Ratha, Mamallapuram

Valayankuttai Ratha, Mamallapuram
It is one of the off the beaten track monuments in Mahabalipuram. The Valayankuttai Ratha is on the 'other side' of the hill where most of the rock-cut cave temples are located.
If you climb a top that large boulder, where the lighthouse is located, you can see the Mahabalipuram backwaters. This is locally called the Valayankuttai, literally the fisherman’s pond in the local parlance. Since this particular temple is located by the side of this lake, locals called it the Valayankuttai Ratha.
The temple is carved out of an isolated freestanding boulder. It is unfinished, though almost at the verge of completion. The reason why it was abandoned at this stage of completion will remain as a mystery, like many unanswered questions on Mahabalipuram. So is the patron of this temple, though some like to attribute it to Rajasimha (695 CE-728 CE) who also built the more famous Shore Temple.

From the town square take the Thirukalukundram road towards west. It's a 10minutes walk. You can also reach Valayankuttai Ratha from the Mahishamardini Cave, again a 10-15 minutes walk. Other attractions near to this are the twin rathas called Pidari Rathas.
Located near the Buckingham Canal at Mahabalipuram is the Valayankuttai ratha and is a shrine resembles that of Arjuna ratha. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram stands as an outstanding example of Pallava art. Mahabalipuram or Mammallapuram, UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal to the south of Chennai, the capital city of the Tamil Nadu state, India.