Hero Stones Belonging to Pallava Era Found Near Tirupattur

VELLORE: Five hero-stones believed to have belonged to the Pallava period, dating back nearly 1,400 years, were discovered in Puliyanur village (bordering Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Krishnagiri districts) by Professor Appasamy Murugaiyan of Paris University and R Poongundran, a retired assistant director of State Department of Archeology.

Two of the five stones discovered were damaged while three had inscriptions and pictorial depictions.

Over 1,000 hero-stones have been discovered in the Thenpennai river basin so far, especially in Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri belt. Tamil literature cites worship of these hero-stones by the villagers of the time and this practice has waned over time, he added. Read more.

Shore Temple

Shore Temple, Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

It had been a long time since I visited India during monsoon season. Last year, during the monsoon I was in Chennai and decided to visit Mamallapuram.  I love this town. In recent years, it has grown as a tacky little beach resort. One of the benefits of this growth is you get some of the best food in this town. Of course, its main attraction is not really the beach, but some of the most beautiful architecture of India. I was looking for a different view of the often photographed Shore Temple. Stormy weather, dramatic skies, and the colors provided an excellent opportunity to shoot this interesting place. This picture was taken at 5:45 PM, looking directly west. I did not know what time the sunset was at on that day, but I did know they would be closing the temple at 6:00 PM. The time was magical, and there was just enough break in the clouds at the horizon to let the blazing tropical sun through. The monsoon clouds were very thick and created a beautiful contrast of blue and red in the sky. The Shore Temple was glowing red from the last rays of the day. I have never seen anything like this. It was simply the best break in light I have ever seen! They don’t allow tripods inside the temple compound. But I still decided to bracket 3 shots handheld at 2EV interval. This final image is a composite of a HDR for the sky and a normal exposure for the foreground and the temple.

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The Pandava Rathas or Pancha Rathas (Pandavas’ Chariots or Five Chariots) of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu. This is a set of five unfinished monolithic temples, named after the Pandava heroes of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The nomenclature is misleading, as these are neither chariots nor do they have anything to do with the Mahabharata! Each of the temples is distinct and unique, probably built during the rule of the Pallava rulere Mamalla I (630-670 AD).

Photo by bratboy76 under Creative Commons (