Ancient Temple you have NEVER heard of: ‘Jalashayana’ Temple, Mahabalipuram – Highlights

Hey guys, today let us take a look at this brilliant ancient temple in Mahabalipuram, known today as the Shore temple. It is at least 1300 years old and has a lot of mysterious features. Who is the main God of this temple? Is it dedicated to Shiva or Vishnu? Let us go inside one of the main chambers and see what’s inside. Here you can see a spectacular carving in a sleeping position, this is Lord Vishnu and he is resting on a gigantic serpent, using the snake as a bed. This carving was done 13 centuries ago and you can see, one of his hands is completely gone. A part of his foot is also missing. Almost none of his facial features are even recognizable. Even in this condition, the statue looks quite beautiful, imagine how fantastic it would have looked 1300 years ago. Even better, locals remember that this Vishnu would get submerged underwater, because it is so close to the sea and they would come and visit him with water level up to their knees. This is why this temple was originally called Jalashayana Temple, because it means ‘Resting in Water’. So, is this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu? Let us go into another chamber nearby. This east facing chamber, has a gigantic Lingam, which is a symbol of Shiva. It has been partially destroyed, but you can still see it has 16 facets and it is made of advanced technology. I have explained about this lingam in a different video, but if you go into another chamber which is facing west, we see there is just a circular hole on the ground. There used to be a lingam in this place, but it was destroyed. On the wall, you can see Shiva and his wife sitting with a baby. Now, this is strange, because Shiva has 2 kids. Who does this carving show? Tell me in the comments section.

Historians tell us that followers of Shiva and followers of Vishnu were always fighting against each other in ancient times, but this temple disproves all these theories, because we can see how both deities were carved and worshipped in the same temple.

The Shore temple complex has 2 towers, which look like stepped pyramids and the towers stand about 60 feet tall and rest on a 50 feet square platform. This is chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage site, because of its fantastic location and amazing architecture. The shore temple is made almost entirely out of Granite, although you can see brick and mortar in supporting monuments. Mahabalipuram is an ancient city and there are various types of constructions found here. This model you see is called ‘structural’ or ‘built-on’ architecture, where rocks are placed on top of one another, to build a structure. In Mahabalipuram, you can also see cave temples,  Bas relief structures which are 2 dimensional panels, and even monolithic temples, resembling models of Kailasa Temple.

The shore temple is one of the very few structural architectures in Mahabalipuram, and is made of thousands of granite blocks.  The entire complex is decorated with bulls known as Nandis. Originally the site had 108 Nandis,  but many of them have become damaged and have been removed now.

Here is a very strange carving, it is unique and I have never seen anything like this. It is an animal and its head has been cut off. Not really cut off, it has been carved specifically to indicate that the animal has been decapitated ,and  its head has fallen to the ground. Many people are shocked by this carving and a lot of visitors think this shows that ancient Indians performed animal sacrifices.

But does this carving really show animal sacrifice? no! it shows a scene from ancient texts. Right next to this, you can see this statue of a Lion, and inside this square, there is a deity called Mahishasuramardini. In ancient texts, this Goddess fights a demon who is in the form of a buffalo, and she eventually kills him. Depictions of this Goddess killing the demon is carved in many ancient sites, you can see the demon completely in form of a buffalo, and in some other sites of Mahabalipuram, you can see the demon with just the head of a buffalo, but the shore temple is the only place where you can see the demon with a completely severed head. The MahishasuraMardhini must have been a favorite deity in Mahabalipuram, because it is carved in a lot of different places, including places like the Tiger Caves.

Mainstream experts believe that this temple was built around 700 A.D, but other scholars have claimed that this temple goes back much much earlier in time, before a time where a great flood struck the earth and submerged the rest of the temples around this.

Perhaps this carving could explain the timeline of the construction, this is a strange animal carved in the temple tank. People think of it as a pig or boar but this animal does not have a protruding snout like pigs and boars have. If this is not a pig or a boar, what animal does it show? We do not have any animal which looks like this in our current times, but surprisingly there is an extinct animal  called Daeodon . The daeodon looks like a pig but does not have a snout and its physical features match the carving. But experts claim this animal became extinct millions of years ago, so how is it carved in this temple?

Some people will blame the sculptor and claim that he attempted to carve a boar but it accidentally ended up looking like this, but while exploring Mahabalipuram, I saw another carving which looks identical to the carving in Shore temple. So this is not an accident or coincidence, but these carvings do show this extinct animal. But how is this possible? Was this temple built millions of years ago? Or were the sculptors capable of Time Travel, just like Panchavarnaswamy Temple, which also shows extinct animals like the saber toothed cat?

The shore temple is considered a very mysterious site, thousands of devotees come from all over India as it is said to emit strange energy. The very first rays of sunlight will fall on this 16 faceted lingam, as it is perfectly positioned to the east. Even though most of the structure is made of granite, the lingam , and the top most stone on the tower are made of a different type stone. This, which looks almost like a machined metal piece is actually made of black basalt stone. Even more interesting, black basalt is not a locally available stone, so they had to transport it from a very long distance.

Why did they design the temple in this way? Why did they go through so much pain to place Black Basalt structures on the top and bottom of the chamber? Does this set up, really emit some kind of energy, which needs to be analyzed?

The entire site of Mahabalipuram is known for many strange monuments, it has evidences of ancient machining technology, it has unexplained carvings and is known for its extraordinary stone monuments. Were these structures built 1300 years ago? Or were they built much earlier in time?

Praveen Mohan

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