Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shore Temple is the oldest, free-standing temple in the vicinity of Mamallapuram. Belonging to the latter half of the 7th century, it is a perfect exhibit of Dravidian and Pallava architecture, built under the king Narasimhavarman II (695-722), with granite. Under the same king, the temple acted as an extremely busy port for a long duration. Within the temple, are three sanctums with shrines, two of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva and one dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Standing at the coast of the Bay of Bengal, the Shore Temple is only one of a complex of seven that survived the Tsunami in 2004. Even though many of the carvings in the temple have eroded over time, the quality of the exquisite carvings can still be made out. The Shore Temple, two-towered, stands magnificently in rock-cut elegance and is surrounded by gardens and ruined courts. There are several other smaller shrines in the vicinity complementing this huge building.

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