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Mahabalipuram called as Mamallapuram in ancient days is a town and ancient seaport in Kancheepuram district in the Tamil Nadu. It is an ancient historic town and was a busy seaport during the time of Periplus of 1st century CE and Ptolemy of 140 CE.
Pallavas, a South Indian dynasty made it a port city during 7th century. Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. The modern city was established by the British Raj in 1827 and it has an average elevation of 12 metres.
It has a group of sanctuaries, which was engraved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries which include temples in the form of chariots locally known as rathas, cave sanctuaries renowned as mandapas, giant open-air reliefs such as the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. The group of monuments here has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.