Pancha Rathas – the perfect model of monolith Indian rock-cut style of? architecture. Situated in the temple town Mahabalipuram, its history dates back to the late 7th century. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pancha Rathas are the cave temples built by the Pallava Ruler Narsimha during his rein. During that era, rock-cut style of architecture was very famous in South India and several other structures were also built in this style. The literal meaning of Pancha is five. The name of the five Rathas Temples are named after the five Pandavas of Mahabharata. The five Rathas are Dharmaraja Ratha, Bhima Ratha, Arjun Ratha, Draupadi Ratha and Nakul Sahadev Ratha.
The carving of these Pancha Rathas undoubtedly demanded a great deal of hard work and creativity. Thes sculptors dig out the scarp of the hill from front to back to create such magnificent architectural marvels. Each of the temple had been carved out from a single piece of huge rock and are based on the Buddhist Viharas and Chaityas. The Dharmaraja Ratha is a three-storied structure and is also the largest amongst all. The smallest is the Draupadi Ratha.
A visit to the Pancha Rathas will take you to the epitome of architectural Heritage.