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Mahabalipuram Tour Package Get Free Travel Plan from Experts before you plan your trip to mahabalipuram. we will provide details on things to do hotels vacation rental and all details for you to have a trip to Mahabalipuram Get Discount Tour Itinerary to Mahabalipuram. Mamallapuram , also known as Mahabalipuram, is a tourist town 60 km south of Chennai famous for its stone carvings.
Mahabalipuram temple tour south india
Mamallapuram is purely a tourist town and one of the major attractions around Chennai. The East Coast Road has made it easily accessible – just about an hour from the city. Unfortunately, the entire strip is now a mess of restaurants, resorts, amusement parks, people, discarded plastic and chaotic traffic. At one time you could see the Bay of Bengal almost all the way to M’puram, but, there is so much development that the ocean is glimpsed only as you get close to M’puram. Mamallapuram itself was getting run down over the last decade with very patchy efforts at keeping the monuments preserved. This has changed in the last few years with the Shore Temple being included in the UNESCO heritage project.

Sightseeing Tourist Places in Mahabalipuram

  • Shore Temple. The oldest structure in the area, build c. 700 AD, this temple has been here for more than 1400 years. However, unlike Mamallapuram’s other monuments, the Shore Temple is a building (not carved from rock) and the bulk of the current structure is a reconstruction after it was struck by a cyclone. It’s not particularly large, and the carvings have been badly eroded by the wind and the sea, but this adds to the sense of antiquity. The area around the temple is now a landscaped park, with guards keeping the hordes of souvenir hawkers at bay. A Shiva lingam is enshrined in the central building and the site can get very crowded on weekends.
  • Five Rathas (Pancha Pandava Rathas). This site contains five rathas, literally chariots, dating from the 7th century. The sculptures are complemented by some enormous stone animals, including a large elephant.
  • Thirukadalmallai, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was also built by Pallava King in order to safeguard the sculptures from the ocean. It is told that after building this temple, the remaining architecture was preserved and was not corroded by sea.
  • Sculpture Museum, East Raja Street has hundreds of sculptures in stone, wood etc.It is well worth a visit. Rs. 2 entrance fee.

The following structures are all carved straight out of rock in the central hillside area, so you can travel between them on foot. The scenery within the hills is also quite unusual, with smooth rock rising out of the forest and carved stairways leading between the mandapas (pavilions), caves and carvings.

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  • Arjuna’s Penance, also known as the Descent of the Ganges. A giant bas-relief filled with detailed carvings, including a family of elephants and monkeys. Archaeologists still squabble over what, exactly, the bas relief depicts; the central figure may actually depict Bhagiratha, not Arjuna.
  • Krishna’s Butterball is a giant natural rock perched on a hillside, seemingly in defiance of all laws of physics—it’s a common sight to see visitors placing hands under the stone posing for pics, which looks as though they are holding it! The rock provides welcome shade if you dare to sit underneath it, and local kids have discovered that the slippery nearby hillside also makes a great natural slide.
  • Mahishamardini Cave. The central carving is of Shiva and Parvati and Murugan
  • Varaha Cave has four impressive carvings of Vishnu, Gakalakshmi, Trivikama and Durga.
  • Old and new light houses provide views across the area to the sea. There are several unfinished temples nearby, and the December 2004 tsunami exposed more previously submerged temples.


Mahabalipuram is a temple town situated along the shores of the Bay of Bengal about 60 kms from the south Indian city of Chennai. Monolithic rock carved temples are refreshingly uncluttered, unlike later grandiose Dravidian architecture and tower over the waves behind a protective breakwater. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It dates back to the 7th century when it was a thriving port of the Pallava Empire. There are eight rathas at Mahabalipuram, out of which five are named after the ‘Pandavas’ (five brothers) of Mahabharata and one after Draupadi. This site is also called Mamallapuram, named after the great wrestler Mamalla, the title of Pallava king Narasimha Varman I.

Things To Do & Attractions In Mahabalipuram

  • Adivaraha Cave Temple
  • Crocodile Bank
  • Descent of the Ganges and Arjuna’s Penance
  • Krishna Mandapam
  • Krishna’s Butterball
  • Mahabalipuram Beach
  • Mahishsuramardini Mandapam
  • Pancha Pandava Rathas
  • Sadras
  • Sculpture Museum
  • Shore Temple
  • Thirukadalmallai
  • Tiger Caves
  • Trimurti Cave Temple
  • Varaha Cave Temple
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