These are the Pancha Rathas, "five chariots", a monument complex in the small town of Mahabalipuram in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Mahabalipuran is one of the wonders of Indian cultural heritage, classified by the UNESCO as a world heritage site for its abundance of temples and monuments from the 7th and 8th centuries AD.
The Pancha Rathas may look like temples, but they should rather be described as sculptures, carved out of solid granite rocks. They were created during the late 7th century and were the first of their kind in India. After the death of King Narasimhavarman I in 680 they were not finished and were never consecrated, according to Wikipedia.
Mahabalipuram, also frequently known as Mamallapuram, is located 58 km south of Chennai (Madras) by the Bay of Bengal. I remember it as one of the nicest and most interesting places in India.
I have scanned this photo from 1987 from a Kodachrome slide. Here is a larger version.
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lousat (85018) 2014-04-22 7:21
Hi Gert,these kind of architechtures remind me what i seen in Sri Lanka 20 years ago during one of my first trips,a magnificent capture with very special detail and birght warm colors,great work in a scannering process too,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
photographer_sg (4412) 2014-04-22 7:24
this is yet another magnificent picture from your archives with masterful framing and exposure. The rock cut sculpture is displayed with superb clarity and details. The tree in the foreground along with the three people provide excellent contrast and naturalness to the photograph.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day.
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-04-22 8:05
Another one from your fantastic collection of old slides.
This is super seeing these monuments, Five Chariots, and these local people around it and one even a sleep.
Wonderful, Tfs, such an insight from the past before a lot of these places were viewed by hundreds.
saxo042 (37730) 2014-04-22 8:11
En intressant bild med ett överflöd av detaljer. Här är det människorna som ger färger i bilden. Templet och monumenten har ju bara det solida bergets färg. Trädet, som hänger ner, ger också färg och djup åt bilden.
pajaran (56578) 2014-04-22 8:13
Dobar dan, popodne.
Danas smo komsije sa fotografijama na TE.
Interesantan tekst o mestu i hramovima, sa istorijom i opisom ...
Dobar rad skeniranjem slajda, lepo pokazano mesto i stara arhitektura.
Lepo popodne i sve najbolje.
Good afternoon, this afternoon.
Today, we are neighbors with photos on TE.
An interesting article about the place and temples, with a history and description of ...
Good work by scanning the slide, nice place and shown the old architecture.
Nice afternoon and all the best.
Nicou (133392) 2014-04-22 8:15
avec un éléphant quelle vue de ce temple sueprbe image les personnage l’architecture du temple quel ensemble et vue sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
ourania (38928) 2014-04-22 8:28
this is a magnificent architectural landscape, the sculpted temples are fascinating, the wider context promises exotism as well. You made the most of your point of view and created a very consistent and interesting composition, there's interest in the rich foreground but also in the remotest background too. You handled the light in a magical way and produced a most delightful and atmospheric palette of warm tones. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
mohammad_H (9804) 2014-04-22 8:47
Beautiful temple with amazing architecture,
Although these images are recorded seventeen years ago, but the quality is very good
View full details
Kamilutka (8105) 2014-04-22 9:02
it is hard to believe that the temple like buildings have been carved out of the solid rocks. The human possibilities never fail to surprise me. I am truly astonished by the fine details of the art work in here as well as the lack of tourists ready to admire the place. In fact it looks quite abandoned and the local men do not show that much interest in the sculptures - one is obviously asleep :-)
Very interesting picture and of nice quality.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your evening
mesutilgim (90686) 2014-04-22 9:46
Hello dear Gert,
You do not post an entry to TE as often as I do, but every single one is real "gem" !
This one is also wonderfull. Specially that all are been carved from solid blocks insitu makes it quite special.
Learning the world through TE !
TFS and best regards
COSTANTINO (61407) 2014-04-22 10:47
Hello dear master
another worthseeing shot giving a
different atmosphere from a different
place nice pov
you collection is really great
again I suggest you to publish
all them into a book
many wishes for this issue
to be reality
Fis2 (92139) 2014-04-22 10:53
Wow, a very interesting object!
I like frame and colors.
Very well done.
Silvio1953 (133736) 2014-04-22 11:23
Ciao Gert, great view of fantastic architectuires, beutiful composition with lovely people, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
SnapRJW (31629) 2014-04-22 12:55
Hello Gert - Isn't it amazing how men carve out significant places of worship from solid rock! Granite is dense and hard and to work with any sort of precision must have been a huge challenge. It is rather sad that the complex was never completed..... man proposes and god disposes I guess.
What is really special in this shot is that we see large, untouched granite boulders, the same material from which the temple sprang.
Royaldevon (34699) 2014-04-22 14:45
You obviously have warm memories of this place. This is the benefit of photography, you have the details preserved forever, to set your memory in motion and bring to the surface, your buried emotions.
The sculptures are amazing! the raw materials are so different from the completed items! I particularly like the details of the animal based columns and the life-size elephant!
Obviously it was all too much for one individual, who has taken complete relaxation on a stone bench!
Another fine scan!
My warm regards,
rychem (30319) 2014-04-22 21:32
It is a valuable photo from your archive, impressive architecture of the temple/pavilion, excellent quality and composition
carlo62 (41231) 2014-04-23 0:03
bellissime le architetture e molto piacevole la scena, con gli abiti delle persono a creare punti colorati in contrasto con le rocce.
kato (11630) 2014-04-23 0:04
You're capturing well this old monuments and sculpture by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the elaborate architetures curved solid granite rocks. It seems to the symbol of the dignity of princes of those days and the important ruin of Indian culture.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-04-23 1:36
mi è dispiaciuto leggere nella tua mail che avevi deciso di ritirare la tua precedente fotografia a causa della qualità non proprio eccellenmte, anche se, a mio parere, a di là di questo specifico motivo resta sempre un documento eccezionale.
Questa tua ultima è stata oggetto di una ottima scannerizzazione che ha conservato tutta la brillantezza della luce e dei colorisenza peraltro variare in maniera percettibile il contrasto.
Una bella ripresa che conferma ancora una volta, qualora ce ne fosse bisogno, la bonta del tuo lavoro come documentarista e come fotografo.
Complimenti anche per questa bella fotografia
Ciao e buona giornata
dkmurphys (54465) 2014-04-23 7:46
Spectacular architecture of that old temple. Amazing place, I guess back then was not very common to the tourists.
Have a fine evening.
samson (1355) 2014-04-23 9:01
This is what TE is about. Photos that are informative and teaches us about planet Earth. Beautiful shot too. TFS.
emka (89347) 2014-04-23 9:03
Another photo from Mahabalipuram :). I remember that I was looking for these five rathas and couldn't find them, I do not know why. But I saw many other things, first of all the shore temple and Descending the Ganges. It is indeed the fantastic place rich in monuments. And as very often, the interesting life scene as well. The man has no special comfort sleeping on the stone bench. magnificent shot, excellently composed and with splendid colours after all these years.
I noticed that you have the most photos from India and your map has few white patches. Have you been to Ellora and Ajanta? It was my dream to see in India and I went there first and I was not disappointed :).
Warm regrads Malgo
nikkitta (17066) 2014-04-23 12:20
Very interesting note, quite agree with you, besides of being so old , well carved it seems there are few tourist, one of the mayor atractions from my point of view
Never see this kind of architecture, like your composition, well framed, people to add scale and life
Great work and scan
Hope to see more about this interesting place, ruins
elenimavrandoni (0) 2014-04-23 17:05
Gert, amazing view to this ancient monument that it is presented beautifully with your note and your unique point of view...I like the color and the composition!!
abmdsudi (48759) 2014-04-23 22:43
An excellent record shot putting the emphasis on the ancient monument complex which is perfectly placed at the third forcing the eye to its features. Love the clarity and tone exposing the details throughout really well, while the colourful workers bring a vibrant spot breaking the muddy tones and regularity of the surroundings. Well done, Tfs
macjake (63166) 2014-04-24 1:51
I have to say, this is absolutely incredible that they carve these straight out of solid granite rock.
at first glance i thought the elephant was real :)
love the funny scene with the person taking a break on the bench! looks so funny for some reason.
that is an amazing temple! very impressed.
excellent TE post
Graal (101108) 2014-04-24 11:01
another interesting presentation and slide from your archive. Good note and quality of scan. Image is well composed. I like it.
Have a nice evening.
dip (23888) 2014-04-24 13:57
an interesting image with amazing architectural details,
I also like the quality of the scanned Kodachrome slide,
thanks for sharing,
eldancer1 (33885) 2014-04-25 6:35
Wow! I can't imagine all those artisans working their magic on those solid rock to create those beautiful sculptures. Those are true works of art. Nicely captured with good details. Nice to have the people for scale. Well done, tfs.
fanni (14381) 2014-04-26 8:26
Hello again, Gert,
now, that's a beautiful view, an excellent composition! it's a pity that the sky is cloudy and looks a bit washed-out, but at least we can concentrate more on this interesting architecture; the people help us to see the real scale of the complex, let alone they add much to the whole composition - it's sometimes very nice to see people walking about ancient buildings - thus these buildings don't look so "dead" ..
I bet that man on the left is sleeping...
siudzi (34141) 2014-04-26 12:14
Wow! What a fantastic place as well as the moment you have captured! Really like it due to the brilliant composition and superb execution. Good note submitted too. TFS!
imageme (1790) 2014-04-26 15:25
Hi Gert, Whoever carved this temple from a solid rock are geniuses in Art Work. The craftsmanship is in such details and its brilliant shown with glory even in rock materials. Super POV which covers all the important elements of the story of this post. Lovely composition that brings so much warm and live to the frame. I can feel the same relaxation like those people if I were shaded from the hot sun by that tree.
Thank for sharing
ricardomattos (5757) 2014-04-26 18:46
Impressive and beautiful architecture. Very nice colors and good contrast with the clothes of those boys.
A very exotic place.
kasianowak (7723) 2014-04-28 13:58
What a place! Pretty and mysterious at the same time. I've never seen photos from there before, didn't even know of its existence. Well captured with people providing scale and context.
All the best
jmdias (59976) 2014-07-23 3:11
another fascinating image from your archive. despite the image could be done now with the same visual effect because the personages are using the traditional clothes. nice details of this amazing temple. very nice job and scanner job.