Heritage, Beaches


12 m

STD Code


Best Season

Oct - Mar




Tamil and English


Mamallapuram Travel Guide

Mahabalipuram is an evergreen town of Chengalpattu district in Tamilnadu. Located in the southeastern part of the Coromandel Coast of India, it is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. It was also one of the two major port cities in the Pallava Kingdom as a famous tourist site. The city got the name because of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman, who was known as Mahabali. The city is under a group of royal monuments.

The sculptures carved out of the living rocks fully occupy the temples of this place. The town’s name has two different meanings: Locally called city of Great power and the mariners since Marco Polo’s time call it as Seven Pagodas. The city has forty ancient monuments and Hindu temples. It was separated into different categories as ratha temples, mandapa viharas, stone roofs, rock reliefs, stone cut temples, archaeological excavations with inscriptions, cave temples and monolithic temples, which belong to the period between the sixth and eighth century. It comprises primarily Hindu religious temples and monuments. Here are a few for an introduction.

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Best Tourists Places In Mamallapuram

  • Shore Temple
  • Pancha Rathas
  • Descent of the Ganges
  • Krishna’s Butterball
  • Group of Monuments

Shore Temple

Shore temple is one of the oldest temples built during the eighth century that represent the ancient designs, carving art and constructions. It was mentioned as part of Seven Pagodas by the legends. The intriguing sculptures and carvings add charming beauty to the top of the temple. The temple’s strength is the supporting stone under the temple that resists it from corrosion and damage from natural disasters. As its name suggests, the temple is standing on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It offers a picturesque view of the vast blue ocean. It holds three statues, out of which two are for Lord Shiva and one for Lord Vishnu. The foreign tourist admires looking at the temple built exclusively for the seashore.

Pancha Rathas

The word Pancha refers to five, which means five Rathas built using rocks. It exhibits the rise and evolution of Dravidian architecture. The temple represents the shades of Buddhists and their historical reign. But the Rathas are coupled with the great epic, Mahabharat. To prove this, Draupadi’s rath was placed on the entrance on the right side. The next is Arjuna’s Rath, where Nakula, Sahadev and Bhima’s Rath occupy the front space. Amidst this, Yudhistar’s one is the largest. Tourists can experience the culture of the King by visiting here. As it houses the Rathas of the Pandavas, it is Pancha Rathas.

Descent of the Ganges

It is one of the giant open-air sculptures of Mamallapuram. The statues were carved on two stiff rock boulders. Here is a great site to understand the history of Hindu culture. It is a good picnic spot to visit with family as children would explore more than their books. Beautiful sculptures and carvings compete to welcome here. This incredible rock boulder has several sensitive and realistic carvings to observe and preserve for the next generation. King Narsimhavaraman of the Pallava dynasty built the monument. It exhibits the incredible imagination of him which stimulated the workers to carve unique sculptures out of rock.

Krishna’s Butterball

The mysterious scene becomes a familiar tourist place in Mahabalipuram. Here is a strange rock of two hundred and fifty tons. The stone is standing and resting on an inclined slope. It is also known as the stone of the sky god. It is still unanswered that this ball does not come under the concept of gravity. This place gives a perfect-picture ambience to the tourists. Most visitors love to click photographs posing at different angles around the rock. When you visit a site with aged people, their heart sticks in this place to sit and chat. The surrounding ground is apt for kids to play and have fun.

Group of Monuments

It was built during the reign period of the Pandavas between the seventh and eighth century. It is one of the most significant open-air rock relief in the world. The place houses many antique temples at one stop. Historical enthusiasts see this as a perfect destination. It is a group of monuments because the site has spread over a large area, and take a guide to help you explore the stories behind each temple. It requires a day to see the whole place to get a closer view of all the temples. Carvings and sculptures compete with each other in exposing their unique beauty. This beauty lasts longer due to the well maintained and perfectly preserved culture.
Other than the famous places, there are majestic sites like Varaha cave -the rock-cut temple, Mahabalipuram beach, Thirukadalmallai, Krishna Mandapam, India Seashell Museum, Mahishasura Mardini temple, Mahabalipuram Lighthouse, Ganesha Ratha, Sculpture Museum, Arjuna’ penance, Tiger cave, Dharmaraja Ratha, Olakannaesevara Temple, Crocodile bank trust, Raya gopuram, Dharmaraja cave temple, Karukathamman temple and Mahishasura rock to explore. What makes us stunning is that all the temples situated here were carved out of stone, and the statues, sculptures are rock outcroppings. It requires more than one day to view and hear the history behind it. So plan your trip with suitable accommodation, and undoubtedly the food of Tamilians tempts your tongue!!