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Monuments of Tamilnadu reflect the unique cultural heritage of the state. Know more about the monuments in Tamilnadu.

Monuments of Tamil Nadu

Arjuna's Penance, MahabalipuramThe monuments of Tamil Nadu are architectural gems in themselves. The Dravidian architecture at its zenith can be seen here while the delicate and elaborate sculptures adorning the walls and ceilings of these monuments lend their own unique charm to them. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu itself possesses a large number of ancient monuments that are worth visiting such as Bharathiyar Illam, Kamaraj Memorial House, Madras War Cemetery, Senate House, Rippon Building, Vivekananda Illam and the Valluvar Kottam. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal at Madurai is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic style while the guided tour of the maze of 108 rooms of the Padmanabhampuram Palace leaves one dazed and breathless. Each of these rooms is an artistic expression in itself and the sheer opulence of these rooms makes one almost wish to get lost in them forever. The Rock Fort temple at Tiruchirappalli is also a famous monument that one must visit.

Arjuna's Penance:
An enormous open-air bas-relief made on two huge boulders at Mahabalipuram, Arjuna's Penance is a sculptural marvel. It is 31 m long and 9 m high and its surface has detailed carvings depicting animals, as they would appear in their natural surroundings. There is a controversy as to the origins of this bas-relief. While some believe that it shows Arjuna undertaking a penance to obtain a rare weapon against his enemies, others believe that it depicts Bhagiratha in penance to bring River Ganges to earth. According to the latter, cleft appeared in the rock dividing the canvas in two, symbolizing the Shiva's response to Bhagiratha's penance. According to Ferguson and Burgess, the sculptured 'Nagas' on the cleft suggests that this bas-relief represents 'Serpent Worship' prevalent in ancient India.

Rock Fort Temple:
The Rock Fort temple at Tiruchirappalli or Trichy is said to have three main temples that include the Manikka Vinayaka temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanava Koyil or Shivastalam on the hill. However, the Shivastalam is most prominent of all. This rock-cut temple can be reached by a flight of steps and is on the way to the famous Ucchi Pillaya temple at the top. It enshrines Kangaala Moorthy, one of the 64 manifestations of Shiva. The 83 m high Rock Fort is perched atop the only outcrop in city that rises abruptly towering over the city. It is said that the rock is about 3,800 million years old and is one of the oldest in the world. It is said to be made up of quartz and felspar.

Valluvar Kottam:
The Valluvar Kottam at Chennai is a standing memorial to the great Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar. This massive auditorium was built in the year 1976 and is said to be the largest in Asia. It has a capacity of holding about 4000 people. The epic Thirukkural written by the poet has 1330 verses in all, which have been inscribed on the granite pillars surrounding the auditorium. The auditorium itself has no pillars for support. The other highlight of this place is the 101-feet high temple chariot enshrining a life-size image of the poet in it. Over 3,000 blocks of stone were used to create this memorial dedicated to Tamil culture.


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