Underwater investigations off Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
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Mahabalipuram, the famous centre of Pallava art and architecture, is situated on the coast of Tamil Nadu, India. The local traditions and the foreign accounts vividly refer to the submergence of six temples out of seven that existed here. Recent underwater archaeological explorations in the area have revealed many structural remains including fallen walls, scattered dressed stone blocks, a few steps leading to a platform and many other structural remains. The structures were badly damaged and scattered owing to strong underwater currents and swells. Dug to thick biological growth, engravings on the stone blocks, if any, could not be noticed. Based on its alignment and form, they are considered to be of man-made in origin. Based on the archaeological evidences on land, the earliest possible date of these structures is estimated to be around 1500 years BP. The major cause of the submergence of these structures is severe coastal erosion prevailing in the region.
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