Tsunami uncovers ancient sculptures in Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu

Tsunami uncovers ancient sculptures in Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu The December 2004 tsunami, which battered much of the south Indian coast, has helped unearth priceless relics in the ancient port city of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. The killer waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to uncover granite sculptures which archaeologists claim, are remnants of a seventh-century civilisation. The sculptures include an elaborately carved lion, a half-completed elephant and a stallion in flight.

"As the tsunami waves receded, they scoured away sand deposits that had covered these sculptures for centuries,' says Alok Tripathi, an underwater archaeologist. Tripathi, who led the Archaeological Survey of India (asi) team that excavated Mahabalipuram, says the discoveries throw new light on this ancient port city, south of Chennai.

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Ways of the sea Mahabalipuram was an important centre of the Pallava dynasty, which held sway over much of south India between the fourth and the ninth century.Known for its Shore Temple, the city has been designated by the unesco as a World Heritage Site. Legend has it that Mahabalipuram had six other temples

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