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Part of the local legend, the story of submerged offshore temples was first recorded by William Chambers, a British traveler, in the Asiatic Research Journal in 1788. He quoted older people having seen the ‘‘tops of several pagodas far out in sea’’, covered with copper. By the time Chambers visited the place ‘‘the effect was no longer the same as the copper had been incrusted with mould and verdigris.’’
The Archaeological Survey of India’s Underwater Archeology Wing (UAW) has discovered three walls and a number of carved architectural members of ancient temples running north to south and east to west. Also found are seven big submerged rocks 500 metres off shore.
According to UAW in-charge Alok Tripathi, who undertook the diving 500 metres east and north of the Shore temple in November 2001 and March this year, ‘‘the walls are made of thick slabs of granite. Two long stone slabs, eachwith two vertical slits to receive two other stone slabs, were kept upright. Several such blocks arranged in a row formed a wall.’’