There is a beautiful memorial complex called Pancha Rath or Pancha Pandavas Rath which is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu, Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. The locals also call the Five Rathas Mahabalipuram as Panch Rathas, a temple built entirely in the Indian style by cutting stones. This temple was built in about the 7th century. Like the Shore Temple, Panch Rath has also been declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. This temple was built during the reign of King Mahendra Varman I, in the joy of his successor. But some structures of this temple are still incomplete. This temple has been constructed from granite. This temple is so strong that despite the severe storms of the 13th century, it stood still. The complex of this temple has five monolithic temples built in the name of the five Pandavas and their wives. This temple is considered to be a marvelous place of architecture, during the Dravidian literature, this place is still an attraction for tourists visiting here.
The Pancha Rathas Mahabalipuram was built by Mahendra Varman I and son Narasimha Varman I in the 7th century. The five monuments of the Panch Rath are completely built like the chariots, which are all carved out of granite stone. It is built towards north-south direction. These chariots look like temples. It also has artwork depicting the story of Mahabharata. All these nights are in this way from the biggest to the smallest size - Dharmaraja Rath, Bhima Rath, Arjuna Rath, Nakula Sahadeva Rath, and Draupadi Rath.
The architecture of the Five Rathas is done in the Dravidian style. Pancha Rathas are also called as Pandava Rathas. These Rathas are the most brilliant architectural constructions. The five constructions are each carved into Rathas or chariots from a huge stone or monolith. The rocks that are cut in the shape of Rathas are from the 7th century. The name of the five Rathas is ‘Dharmaraja Ratha’, ‘Bhima Ratha’, ‘Arjuna Ratha’, ‘Nakula Sahadeva Ratha’, and ‘Draupadi Ratha’. These Rathas are named after the five Pandava brothers and Draupadi who was married to the Pandavas. The Pancha Rathas take care of by the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ (ASI) and are one of the most sought after tourist destinations in south India.
How to Reach Five Rathas Mahabalipuram
The nearest railway station from Mahabalipuram is the Chengalpattu station which is about 29 km. Chennai is around 48 km and has good connectivity to all the major Indian cities. The Chennai airport also has domestic as well as international flights. The bus services are also connected to all the cities of Tamil Nadu and South India including Chennai and Chengalpattu to reach Mahabalipuram.
Best time to visit Pancha Rathas Mamallapuram
Five Rathas are situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal and are the coastal region, this place has got the tropical temperature throughout the year. While the best time to visit here is during the winter season when the climatic conditions remain pleasant. The monsoon season brings the heavy rains sometimes which makes the sightseeing difficult and during the summer season the excursion during the day time is challenging due to the heat wave.
Places to visit nearby Pancha Rathas
Mahabalipuram is a paradise for the history buffs and this place is drenched in the architectural marvels. The famous nearby attractions of the Five Rathas in Mahabalipuram are Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram Beach, Sthalasayana Perumal Temple, group of monuments at mahabalipuram, etc.
Five Rathas Mahabalipuram, Timings: 6:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M
Five Rathas Mahabalipuram, Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indian nationals and INR 250 for foreign nationals (It includes the entry fees of Shore Temple as well)