|Another piece of
architectural beauty deserving study and close observation is the "Shore temple"
standing against the background of the deep blue waters of the ocean. It belongs to a
period when the constructional style of the Pallavas was at its peak in its decorative
beauty and intrinsic quality. This building has become worn out by the corrosive action of
the saline seawater and air and the sculptures have become indistinct.
There are a number of carved rocks and a small excavation with the figures of
Durga, around the temple.There are also some monuments at Mahabalipuram like Ganesa Ratha,
Dharmaraja Mandapam, Kodigal Mandapam, etc., which merit cursery survey.Thus the group of
monuments at Mahabalipuram, as observed by Heinrich Zinna, "developed an ideal of the
human form that was unique, something quite its own, when compared with the works of the
rest of the Indian mainland." It is the reputed birthplace of Bhutattalwar, an early
Vaishnava Saint. There was a reputed Vaishnava shrine, which has been praised by
Tirumangai Alwar in his hymns.