Posted by Vishva News Reporter on February 20, 2005

Sumatra December 26, 2004 Tsunami
uncovers ancient city in India
Receding waters revealed
animal carvings, temple

From MSNBC: The Associated Press: Updated: 9:56 a.m. ET Feb. 18, 2005: MAHABALIPURAM, India

Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off the coast of a centuries-old pilgrimage town.

Three rocky structures with elaborate carvings of animals have emerged near the coastal town of Mahabalipuram, which was battered by the December 26, 2004 Sumatra tsunami.

As the waves receded, the force of the water removed sand deposits that had covered the structures, which appear to belong to a port city built in the seventh century, said T. Satyamurthy, a senior archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India.

Mahabalipuram is already well known for its ancient, intricately carved shore temples that have been declared a World Heritage site and are visited each year by thousands of Hindu pilgrims and tourists. According to descriptions by early British travel writers, the area was also home to seven pagodas, six of which were submerged by the sea.

(Please continue reading on the next page)


M. Lakshman / AP

Local visitors look at a lion head monument which was uncovered by the December 26, 2004 Sumatra tsunami near the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, 45 miles south of Madras, India.

This news item was brought to the attention of PVAF by SRii Jasvant Mehta of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who is a regular news contributor to PVAF web site.


At PVAF it is a primary DHARm to distribute free of charge any knowledge that would empower humanity to understand this creation and life on this planet earth and in the universe known to current humanity...

And with this knowledge based understanding the humanity can learn to co-exist harmoniously on this little planet earth amid the last known 5000 years of war and war and war to primary motive to possess directly or indirectly what others have without paying for it...

This tendency to possess what others have without paying for it is a kARm (any action done by a creation from birthing to breathing to dying) which is called paapi kARm meaning not based on the rules and regulations of DHARm....

DHARm is the universal operating system which empowers all creations to sustain itself and also co-exist harmoniously with other creations.......

This news item reveals to the humanity that far more complex and highly evolved civilizations existed prior to the current times...and those are gone why be so possessive with the life right now because we will be gone some time too just like the civilizations that we know gone....The only thing that survives as per veD texts (= Sciences of Creation and Life) is the knowledge of veD and what is done with this veD knowledge and according to the rules and regulations of DHARm.....And rules and regulations of DHARm requires that:



(Non-news knowledge shared by SRii Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry from his veD library)


Please click on the next line to read the rest of the news item......and also to learn about the ancient history and heritage of MAHABALIPURAM near Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu State, India...the ancient history of veDik culutre and lifestyle dating back to 6000 BC - which means even older than the Egyptian pyramids or Sumerian culture in present day Iraq-Iran area.....


MSNBC NEWS item continued:

The government-run archaeological society and navy divers began underwater excavations of the area on Thursday.

"The tsunami has exposed a bas relief which appears to be part of a temple wall or a portion of the ancient port city. Our excavations will throw more light on these," Satyamurthy told The Associated Press by telephone from Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.

The six-foot rocky structures that have emerged in Mahabalipuram, 30 miles south of Madras, include an elaborately carved head of an elephant and a horse in flight. Above the elephant's head is a small square-shaped niche with a carved statue of a deity. Another structure uncovered by the tsunami has a reclining lion sculpted on it.

According to archaeologists, lions, elephants and peacocks were commonly used to decorate walls and temples during the Pallava period in the seventh and eighth centuries.

"These structures could be part of the legendary seven pagodas. With the waters receding and the coastline changing, we expect some more edifices to be exposed," Satyamurthy said.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This material from MSNBC may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.















































Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. (From UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE web site)


Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, was the chief seaport of the Pallavas who ruled over much of South India from as early as the first century B.C to the eighth century A.D., and it is now recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India. Under the reign of Narasimha Varman (c. 630), this seaport began to grow as a great artistic center. The beautiful cave temples and gigantic open air reliefs carved from blocks of granite date to the seventh century.

The descent to earth of the sacred river Ganges is the subject of the most prominent relief. The relief depicts the auspicious moment when the river flows down to the earth after the intervention of the lord Shiva. About 20 feet high and 80 feet long, it contains over a hundred figures of gods, men and beasts. A cistern was provided at the top which released water on special occasions to add a touch of reality to the tableau.

At the southern edge of Mahabalipuram is a group of five free-standing temples. Four of them were carved out of a single long granite boulder. These temples are actually detailed replicas of ancient wooden structures. These temples represent the rathas (chariots) of Arjuna, Bhima, Dharmaraja, Nakula-Sahadeva -- the five Pandava princes of the epic Mahabharata -- and their common wife, Draupadi. Work on these five temples was stopped after the death of Narasimha Varman in 668.

In early eighth century, work was begun on the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. This temple was built to honour Lord Shiva. Unlike the temples described above, the Shore Temple was built with granite blocks. The design of the Shore Temple is significant because it is the earliest known example of a stone-built temple in South India. The Shore Temple also influenced the architecture of the Cholas, who succeeded the Pallavas as the dominant dynasty in the area now covered by Tamil Nadu. (From web site MANAS: CULUTURE & ARCHITECTURE OF INDIA Please visit this web site by clicking on the preceding hilite to learn more)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mahabalipuram (after the demon king Mahabali) or Mamallapuram (after the Pallava king Mamalla) is a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The monuments are mostly rock cut and monolithic and constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. They are constituted by cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. The pillars are of the Dravidian order. The sculptures are excellent examples of Pallava art.

Some important structures

  • Arjuna's Penance- relief sculpture on a massive scale extolling stories from Hindu mythology.
  • The Shore Temple- a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the Western side away from the sea. Recent excavations have revealed new structures here. The temple was reconstructed stone by stone from the sea after being washed away in a cyclone.
  • Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula & Sahadeva) and Draupadi.

Recently a major find was made of a large number of underwater ruins, thought to date back to 6000 BC, older than Harappa.


External links

Tsunami Victims No Stranger to Disaster  At Mahabalipuram:

From GUARDIAN UNLIMITED: Tuesday December 28, 2004 7:16 PM: By CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press Writer

MAHABALIPURAM, India (AP) - When the tsunami wave struck this ancient pilgrimage town, the sea water broke around a 1,200-year-old temple on the shore and destroyed the 80 tourist shops lined up next to it.

Sundary Munnaswamy lost her two shops Sunday morning, but her family survived the deluge that killed 15 townspeople. Now, she says, they'll do the same thing they and their ancestors have done every time disaster strikes: Get a loan, buy new inventory and get back to work.

``Willpower is what keeps you going,'' she said Tuesday, standing in the broken cement frame where she sold seashells, stone carvings and textiles.

Ninety-nine deaths had been counted in Mahabalipuram and surrounding villages, but S.R. Kumar, the 70-year-old senior priest at the town's main temple, said the area's people will persevere the same as Munnaswamy because most are devout in their Hinduism.

``God is all the survivors need,'' he said, standing in front of the blue and white Sthalasayanapermal Temple, which was built 700 years ago to replace another shoreside temple. ``They just need to pray every day.''

The crash of surf echoed as Munnaswamy scraped sand from one of her wrecked shops, just yards from the 8th century Shore Temple, the earliest existing example of a stone-built temple in southern India.

This was not her first brush with disaster.

Perhaps the worst before Sunday was when a cyclone, as typhoons are known in India, swept through in 1968. The shops then weren't so close to the temple, which sits just 30 feet from the ocean, but the storm surge seriously damaged the town nonetheless.

``We have cyclones every year, but some years are worse than others,'' said Munnaswamy, who also has twice lost shops to fire.

India can be a hard place, no matter the location. Earthquakes strike northwestern and western parts of the country, drought and flash floods are common in the central regions, and cyclones rake the coasts. But tsunami waves are rare and none have been recorded that equaled the one that struck Sunday.

Munnaswamy, 52, said she was away from her shops hawking wares in town at a dance festival when three huge waves hit Mahabalipuram, a town of 13,000 people that dates back to the 2nd century and is visited each year by thousands of Hindu pilgrims and tourists.

The Shore Temple, listed by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site, is adorned with elaborate carvings representing characters from Hindu scriptures in scenes of everyday life, a contrast to other temples in the region that depict only gods and goddesses.

It survived Sunday's onslaught because during a visit in 1978, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi saw erosion was threatening the temple and ordered that huge boulders be piled around the structure to protect it from the sea.

The barrier worked when the tsunami waves hit Sunday, though most of the sand between the huge boulders was washed away, creating perilous gaps in the protective wall.

Munnaswamy said she wished the rocks had been placed all the way around the town, because that might have saved two of her friends who were washed out to sea.

But she counts her blessings that no one in her family was killed in this, or any other of the town's disasters. She said she will rebuild her shops, and arrange loans from friends to get them running again.

``I am from this town. I don't ever want to go anywhere else,'' she said. ``My children are in this business and I don't know any other profession.''

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