Mahabalipuram which is also known as Mamallapuram is known for its monuments and temples built during Pallava Dynasty. This beautiful location is located at a distance of 50 Kms from Chennai. One can either take OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) or ECR (East Coast Road) to reach Mahabalipuram. This place is famous for Shore Temple, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Light House and various other Monuments and Temples.
The place can be covered within a day however a guided tour would be beneficial as each of the sculpture and carving has a story to tell.
Below are some of must visit places with their brief description.
- Shore Temple & Group of Monuments
- Shore temple is a beautiful temple complex located on shore of Bay of Bengal and is a survivor from Tsunami as well. It is believed that some of the temples built on shores here are submerged in water. One needs to take a brief walk towards temple and is best visited during winters, early morning or evenings. The Shore Temple is a two spire temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and is made of granite stones and has various animal sculpture and statues inscribed on the temple walls. This temple is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and is a must visit place.
- There are other monuments in and around the temple which can be visited during the visit.
- Arjuna’s Penance
- Arjuna’s penance is close to Shore Temple and one can take a walk from the Shore Temple. Stories of Indian Mythology are hand carved on the vertical face of a large rock. It is said that Arjuna came to this place for penance (Sit in Silence). Beautifully carved Gods, Goddess, Kings, Animals etc can be seen here.
- Tiger Caves
- This is a beautiful cave with tiger carving sculpture around the cave. This cave also has a hidden beach which happens to be extension of Mahabalipuram beach. This place is located 10-15 Minutes drive from Mahabalipuram and is a good picnic spot and is not as crowded as Mahabalipuram.
- Light House Museum
- This is a museum besides Mahabalipuram light house and has a decent collection for enthusiasts.
- Krishna’s Butter Ball
- Krishna’s butter ball is a huge circular shaped rock which stands with minimal contact with the surface. It is said that Lord Krishna made the stolen butter into a huge ball and left here.This rock is said to be in the same place for over 1200 years. In 1908, the then-governor of this city Arthur Havelock made an attempt to use seven elephants to move this rock from its position due to safety concerns, but with no success. This place is is a must visit when you visit Mahabalipuram
- Seashell Museum
- Seashell Museum is located in Mahabalipuram and has a collection of over 40000+ sea shells. There is also an Aquarium which has few species of aquatic animals.
- Sculpture Museum
- This museum contains 3000+ sculptures of historic importances.
- Yudhishthir, Draupadi, Bhim, Arjun & other Chariots
- Pancha Rathas are monolithic temples which resemble wooden chariots (Rathas). This place has 5 rathas for pandavas. It is said that Pallava King made sculptors to drink rain-water and eat fruits to complete these rathas.
- Mukunda Nayanar Temple, Olakkannesvara Temple
- These are two of many beautiful temples maintained by A.S.I and can be visited during your visit to Mahabalipuram.
Not many are aware of amazing beach side shacks, watersport activities & street shopping of Mahabalipuram. There are few beach shacks present on the shores who not only serve delicious cuisine but also have beach facing rooms as well. These places are heaven on earth! One can take a late evening or early morning walk on the beach and enjoy the beauty of mother nature. Restaurants like Sea Shore INN and Moon Rakers are famous among tourists. There is also opportunity of undertaking watersport activities such as surfing and speed boat rides.
Please note that the tickets purchased at one of the monument is sufficient and accepted at all of the monuments in Mahabalipuram. Ticketing charges are approximately Rs.30 for Indians and Rs 500 for Non Indians.
**I have lost few of my old pictures.. Will be uploading more pictures soon.