Arjuna's Penance is a massive open-air bas-relief monolith, which dates back to the 7th century. It is situated in the town of Mahabalipuram, at a distance of 58 km from Chennai, and 60km from pondicherry the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Standing tall at a height of 43 feet, the Mamallapuram monolith was carved on the face of two huge adjoining boulders, somewhere around the mid-7th century. The length of Arjuna's Penance is around 96 feet and the monolith is also known by the name of 'The Descent of Ganga'. Arjuna's Penance is known by two names, as experts disagree on the stories depicted by it. As per one view, the massive rock sculpture has been named after one of the heroes of the great Indian Epic, MahabharataRead
The liveliness and naturalism of the sculpted figures stand as proofs of the outstanding skill of their sculptors. Arjunas Penance showcases more than 100 figures of gods and flying celestial creatures, birds and animals, including giant elephants, along with human beings and saints. A natural cleft between the two rocks separates the monolith into two separate halves. It is this cleft that is believed to represent the descent of the Ganges to earth.