Ranked 4 among Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
The Arjuna's Penance is an enormous rock-cut relief, one of the largest in the whole world, situated in Mahabalipuram of Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. It is also known by the name 'Descent of the Ganges' because the structure depicts either or both of these two significant and symbolic events of Hindu mythology; thus making this attraction spot a favourite among historians, scholars, academics as well as tourists who are enthusiastic about the cultural past of India.
Not just historically, the structure is a fine specimen of this unique form of art of carving and sculpting on rock forms, that has roots way back in the 7th century South India. Most of these rock forms, including Arjuna's Penance, owe its existence to the Pallava dynasty that ruled over the region south of Vindhyas from 4th to 9th century. Till date these sites bear the legacy of the Pallava art, now being protected by ASI and UNESCO.
People gather here throughout the year, not only to experience the unimaginable efficiency of the craftsman of that era that made such a creation possible only with basic tools like hammer and chisel; but also to learn about the interesting stories that hide behind its interpretation. It is a crowd favourite in Mahabalipuram and represent one of those attraction sites in South India where culture meets history to create a great opportunity for explorers.
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