The Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, a UNESCO world heritage site, has earned the distinction of being the first Green Energy Archaeological Site in India. A world-renowned tourist attraction, the temple at Mahabalipuram – also referred to as Mamallapuram – achieved the latest distinction under a green heritage project implemented by the authorities jointly with Renault Nissan Technology, Business Centre India (Renault Nissan Tech) and Hand in Hand India.
Power for the entire illumination at the temple would be sourced from solar energy under the project. Three solar power plants having a capacity of 10 kilowatts have been installed to meet the energy needs. Excess power generated by the plants would be supplied to the grid. This arrangement will conserve energy and reduce environmental damage, said authorities.
The solar plants would not only illuminate every lamp on the Shore Temple premises but also power a newly installed reverse osmosis plant. This would ensure the supply of clean drinking water to visitors. Three water kiosks have also been set up for the purpose. A large number of elderly people, disabled persons and pregnant women are among the daily visitors at the Shore Temple. Electric buggies will be arranged to enable such visitors to enjoy the sights. The buggies would be operated by women residing in the locality and this would help provide more jobs. Moreover, by using electric buggies instead of fuel-based vehicles, carbon emissions could be reduced.
Another new facility at the Shore Facility is a charging station for electric vehicles. There are three charging units at the station which have been installed considering the growing popularity of electric vehicles. Authorities said that by implementing these measures, the Shore Temple has set an example for all tourism destinations around the world. Visiting time at the temple, situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, is 6 am to 6 pm.