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The Kings Pallava contributed to rich art and architectures

Updated on February 24, 2016

King Pallava


Pallava kingdom


The shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman

The Pallavas

The pallavas rose to supermacy after the fall of the Satavahanas in the fifth century AD. They had rivalry with the Chalukyas, the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas. Their greatest rulers were Mahendravarman AD 600 – 630 and his son Narasimhavarman AD 630 – 668.

The Pallavas power began to decine after their defeat by the Chalukyas in AD 691. among the later Pallavas, the region of Raja Simhavarman is noteworthy. He ruled during the period, AD 680 – 720. There was peace and prosperity in the kingdom. A number of temples were built by him, chief among them as the Kailasanath Temple at Kanchipuram. The last Pallava ruler was defeated by Aditya Chola, a local chieftain. Hiuen Tsang visited the Pallava capital at Kanchipuram, during the time of of Narasimhavarman. The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim described that the city had Buddhist monasteries and Jain temples. This indicates that the Pallava rulers, who were Hindus were also tolerant towards other religions.

The Pallavas worshipped Shiva and Vishnu. The great scholar Sankaracharya lived at this time and preached in the Pallava kingdom. Tamil was used for popular composition of devotional poetry by saints. The rulers also encouraged Tamil literature. As for example, Perundevanar wrote Bharatham in Tamil.

Art and Architecture

The Pallavas contributed to art and architecture. The famous Ratha Temples at Mahabalipuram were built by Narasimhavarman in the seventh century AD. They are monolithic shrine, shaped in the form of a chariot. Each of the Rathas, cut out of a single piece of rock, are devoted to the Pandava brothers of the Mahabarata. The last Ratha, devoted to Draupadi is the smallest, while the Dharmaraj Ratha is the largest. The shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman. It is built with brick and mortar. The temple was carved from two boulders and is an example of structural temple. The temples became centers for worship,music, education and festivals.

excellent examples of Pallava art


History of the Pallavas of Kanchipuram


Pallavas sculpture art |


Pallavas king great patrons of architecture and sculpture

The Pallavas were the first well – known dynasty in the history of southern India after the fall of the Satavahanas. Their rule extended over a vast region, including the modern territories of Tiruchchirappalli, Arcot, Tanjore (Thanjavur) and Madras (Chennai). For about two centres from the middle of the sixth to the middle of the eighth century, the Pallavas were the dominant power in the far south. They constructed remarkable buildings and rock – cut temples. Their political history is a story constant struggle with the Chalukyas in the north and the Pandyan in the south.

Mahendravarman was defeated by the Chalukya king Pulakesin II. He was a great pattern of art and literature. He was also famous for his many public works. He built a town and a great water reservoir and constructed many rock – cut temples and caves at Dalavanur, Pallavaram and other places.

Narasimhavarman died in AD. 645 and his proved to be weak and efficient. The Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas and the Pandyas waged wars against them annexed much of their territory. The Pallava power was completely wiped out in about AD 895 and was superseded by the Cholas.

State of religion under the Pallavas

The Pallava kings were Hindus. Some of them were worshipped of Vishnu while others were devoted to the cut of Shiva. Jains occupied an influential position in the Pallava country. The kings were tolerant of all religions and various sects lived together in peace in their kingdom as testified by Hiuen Tsang.

Pallava art

The Pallavas king were great patrons of architecture and sculpture. The numerous splendid temples at Kanchi still bear testimony to their achievements in the domain of art. The wonderful Rathas of seven Pagodas at Mamallapuram, each of which is cut from a great rock boulder and a structural temple on the sea – shore, known as the shore – temple, built during same period are among the earliest examples of the Dravidian style of temple architecture.

Shore temple



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