Elroy Christenson
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Mamallapuram, India
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"The Descent of the Ganges" 2001 photo Elroy Christenson

    Mahabalipuram is the new name of the old village of Mamallapuram, meaning "the Great Wrestler." The relief here is variously titled but historically is the story of an ascetic monk who tried to convince the gods to restore the flow of the Ganges river to the earth. He succeeds after months of fasting convinces Shiva to take the force of the returning Ganges on his hair. "The Descent of the Ganges" is the largest bas-relief in India and an important monument to the Pallava Empire of south India.


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updated by Elroy Christenson 9/01/12