Mahabalipuram Temples  

The monuments of Mahabalipuram are picturesquely situated close to the sea about 55 km south of Madras. Most of the magnificent monuments of this ancient sea port were built during the reign of Narasimhavarman I & II(630-728 A.D.) of the Pallava dynasty. The monuments at mahabalipuram can be grouped as: (i) Monolithic temples constructed in the style of rathas or chariots, (ii) caves by excavating the hills for temples called mandapa, (iii) the masonry temples, and (iv) sculptured scenes or carved hill edge.

The five monolithic rathas are square or oblong in plan, pyramidal in elevation and varying in their overall dimensions. the Dharmaraja ratha constructed in Pallava style is the largest of all, having huge pillars in the portico with statute of lions, pyramidal tower and turret roof. The Arjuna ratha is the most elegant of the group having beautiful makartorana on its three sides. The other three rathas named Bhima, Ganesh and Nakula Sahadeva have Buddhist type of architecture with an oblong base on which two or three storey structures with a small gopuram stand.

The ten mandapas are hewn out of huge rock mass. Their heights vary between 4.5 and 6 m. They are famous for the shape and design of the pillars and roll, cornices and sculptures. Of all the mandapas, the Varaha cave and the Mahishamardini cave are the finest architectural works of Pallavas in the rock-cut temples. Of the different carvings in addition to the Hindu deities, there are the monkeys, lions, elephants, deer and ascetics exhibiting vigour and charm.

Of the temples made of stone masonry, there is the shore temple charecterised by the statues of rampant lions at intervals dividing the carved panels of the outer walls of the temple of which may are almost obliterated by the destructive action of the sea water. The stone temple has withstood the pitiless onslaught of the beach sand and still preserves its originality with beautiful carvings. A semi-circular massive wall has recently been constructed to protect the temple from the direct dashing of the sea waves.  

Some of the Monuments of India are
Taj Mahal (Agra)
Konark Sun Temple (Orissa)  
Mahabalipuram Temples (Chennai)
Jaislmer Fort (Rajasthan)
Hemis Gompa (Ladakha)
Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur)
Victoria Memorial (Calcutta)
Sarnath (Varanasi U.P)
Qutab minar (Delhi)
Meenakshi Temple (Tamil Nadu)  
Jama- Masjid (Delhi) 
Ajanta Ellora (Maharshtra) 
Red Fort (Delhi) 
Udaipur Palace (Udaipur) 
Golden Temple (Amrtisar) 
Khajuraho Temple 
Sanchi Stupa (Bhopal) 
Charminar (Hyderabad) 
Nalanda (Bihar)