Q. Consider the following statements about Shore temples of Pallavas at Mamallapuram:
1. The temples are dedicated to Shiva only.
2. The complex had the famous monolithic rathas known as Panchapandava Rathas.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

The iconic Shore Temple of Pallavas at Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) was constructed during the reign of Rajasimha (700-728).  

  • The temple comprises three shrines, where the prominent ones are dedicated to Siva and Vishnu.  
  • The exterior wall of the shrine, dedicated to Vishnu, and the interior of the boundary wall are elaborately carved and sculpted. 
  • In southern India, this is one amongst the earliest and most important structural temples. Unlike other structures of the region, the Shore Temple is a five-storeyed rock-cut monolith.  
  • The monolithic vimanas are peculiar to Mamallapuram. The Rathas there are known as the Panchapandava Rathas.  
  • The Arjuna Ratha contains artistically carved sculptures of Siva, Vishnu, mithuna and dwarapala. 

Source: Tamil Nadu state board.