The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) is a historic temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu which has also, been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage; has now, achieved a significant milestone by becoming 'India's first-ever eco-friendly energy archaeological site.' It is one of the oldest stone temples in South India, dating back to the 7th century CE.
This impressive accomplishment has been made possible through the successful implementation of the Green Heritage Project, a collaborative initiative carried out by Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre India (Renault Nissan Tech) in partnership with Hand in Hand India (HiH).
The Shore Temple in Tamil Nadu will now be illuminated using clean and sustainable solar energy. Three solar plants, each with a 10-kilowatt capacity, have been strategically placed to tap into the abundant solar resources in the area. Importantly, any surplus energy generated by these solar plants will be fed back into the grid, ensuring it contributes to future energy needs while minimizing its impact on the environment.
Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram | The Golden Chariot
In addition to adopting solar energy for illuminating the Shore Temple, the project also aims to enhance the overall visitor experience and reduce the ecological impact of tourism in the region.
As part of this initiative, various essential facilities have been installed that operate on renewable energy sources. One such facility is a solar-powered reverse osmosis (RO) plant, which provides clean drinking water for tourists. This innovative water purification system is complemented by three water kiosks, making it easy for visitors to access potable water.
Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram | TripSavvy
Furthermore, the Green Heritage Project seeks to empower the local community by creating job opportunities. Women from the local area have been employed to operate electric buggies, which serve as a sustainable mode of transportation, particularly benefiting pregnant women, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. This not only promotes inclusivity but also reduces the carbon emissions associated with traditional forms of transportation.
In alignment with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), the project has taken steps to support the adoption of clean transportation. A dedicated parking area equipped with three charging units has been established to facilitate the recharging of electric vehicles.
The transformation of the Shore Temple into India's first 'green energy archaeological site' not only preserves its historical and cultural significance but also serves as a remarkable example of sustainable heritage preservation.
It is a must-visit place to learn about our country's history, culture, & heritage and for witnessing beautiful architecture, sculptures and coastal seashore.