Descent of the Ganges

  • This monument is a giant open-air rock relief carved into two monolithic rock boulders.

  • It measures 93 by 43 feet and has over a hundred figures of people, gods, half-humans and animals.

  • The carvings depict the story of the descent of the sacred river Ganges from the heavens to earth, where Ganga takes the course led by Bhagiratha.

  • It also depicts the story of Arjuna’s penance.

  • The bas-relief is located in the centre of Mahabalipuram, facing the sea.

  • It dates back to the 7th century, the period of Narasimhavarman’s reign.

  • A water tank was once located on top of the boulders to release water – denoting Ganges river.

  • This scene was usually created during festive occasions.


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