Mahabalipuram , Tamil Nadu


 Mahabalipuram is a town in Kanchipuram district  in Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.

 By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas.  It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries:  rathas, mandapas, giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Places to visit

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Sea Shore Temple

Shore temple is a complex of three temples, one large and two small, located right on the shores of the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal  in Mahabalipuram, which was earlier known as Mamallapuram. It was built by the Pallava Dynasty when it was the trading port of the dynasty.


The temple is 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.

Varaha Cave Temple

It is a small rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century.

Pancha Rathas

It is a  five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas andDraupadi.  An interesting aspect of the rathas is that, despite their sizes they are not assembled – each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone.

Descent of the Ganges

 The waters of the Ganges are believed to possess supernatural powers. The descent of the Ganges and Arjuna's  Penance are portrayed in stone at the Pallava heritage site.The bas-relief is more of a canvas of Indian rock cut sculpture at its best not seen anywhere in India.

Tiger Cave

The Tiger Cave  gets its name from the carvings of tiger heads on the mouth of a cave which forms a part of the complex. The Tiger Cave is considered to be one of the Mahabalipuram rock-cut temples constructed by the Pallavas  in the 8th century AD. 

Light House

The first light was commissioned here in 1887. The lighthouse with a circular masonry tower made of natural stone became fully functional in 1904. India's oldest lighthouse, built around 640 AD byPallava king Mahendra Pallava stands next to this modern structure. The Pallava era lighthouse is a protected monument.

Mahabalipuram Beach

Mahabalipuram beach also has some ancient historical monuments in its close proximity and this is the main reason of attraction of this beach. Located 58km from Chennai on the  Mahabalipuram road, the golden sandy beach is a picturesque place bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills.

Hotels in Mahabalipuram

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Holidays related to Mahabalipuram

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