#1 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 2 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, The Shore Temple (700-728 CE) is so named because it over looks the Bay of Bengal. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. The site is famous for the rock-cut caves and the sculptured rock that line a granite hill. The temple was built by Pallavas during the reign of Narasimhavarman.
The Shore Temple is a five-storeyed structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site. It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 ft square platform. There is a small temple in front which was the original porch. It is made out of finely cut local granite.
The Shore Temples has two Shiva shrines .....
#2 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (on Mada Koil Street), Arjuna's Penance or Bhagiratha's Penace is the name of a massive open air bas-relief monolith dating from the 7th century CE. Measuring 96 feet long by 43 feet high, the bas-relief is also known as The Descent of Ganga. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
In one interpretation, a figure in the bas-relief who is standing on one leg is said to be Arjuna performing an austerity Tapas to receive a boon from Shiva as an aid in fighting the Mahabharata war.
The bas relief is situated on a rock with a cleft. Figures within the cleft are said to represent the River Ganges and Shiva. This provides the basis for an alternative interpretation, rather than Arjuna, the figure performing austerities is said to be Bhagiratha.
#3 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 0.5 Kms around Mahabalipuram Bus Station, there are 14 rock-cut carves and Mandapams in and around Mamallapuram. Mythological scenes are depicted on these architectures. These caves have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
Following three are important Mandapams:
1) Krishna Mandapam - This is the biggest among the Mandapams and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The sculptures inside this Mandapam beautifully picturize the myth of Lord Krishna during his brave and energetic adulthood.
2) Mahishasuramardhini Mandapam - The battle between goddess Durga and the buffalo headed demon, Mahishasura is beautifully inscribed.
3) Varaha Mandapam - the side walls have large sculptured panels depicting Vishnu as Varaha, the boar, holding up Bhudevi, the earth goddess.
#4 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 1.5 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
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.
The Pancha Rathas shrines were carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. Each temple is a monolith, carved whole from a rock outcropping of pink granite.
#5 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 2 Kms from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (near The Shore Temple), the golden sandy Mamallapuram Beach is a picturesque place bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills. Identified as the most pristine beaches of Tamil Nadu, the beach attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year. This is another popular attraction in Mahabalipuram to visit as part of Chennai tour packages.
On request, the local fisher folk can arrange sea cruises in the country crafts. Angling can also be done with the help of the fishermen. The deep-sea angling is also famous here. There is a wide choice of resorts along the beach. Fisherman's Cove, a private beach resort offers water sports apart from its magnificent beach area. Some resorts are also having beachfront restaurants.
Sunrise and sun set watching cruises are another attraction. The sea is rough and swimming is not .....
#6 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (on Mada Koil Street), Krishna's Butter Ball is a huge boulder near the Ganesha Ratha. It rests precariously on a narrow rock base. Legend has it that several Pallava Kings attempted to move it, but all the kings and their elephants could not shift the boulder even by an inch.
#7 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of nearly 0.5 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station, Ganesh Ratha Temple is located towards the north of the Arjuna's Penance. It is a temple carved out from a rock to resemble a chariot and is built in Dravidian style of temple architecture. It was once dedicated to Lord Shiva. But when the original lingam was removed, the temple came to be known as the temple of Lord Ganesh.
It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of 'Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram'.
#8 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 1 Km from Mahabalipuram Bus Station (situated in East Raja Street), the Sculpture Museum is famous for its elaborate collection of sculptures and images of god and goddesses of Hindu mythology. There are more than 3,000 sculptures can be found in this museum. All the sculptures bear the historic significance and the tales of the by-gone days. In the display of the museum there are sculptures made of wood, metal, brass and cement. There are creations of ancient artists to the contemporary ones.
Not only Hindu mythology but the Buddhists sculptures and images too, exist in the temple town. The monolithic statues, the Rathas (chariots), sculptured relief and their miniature can be seen in the museum.
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM on all days
#9 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 5 Kms from Mahabalipuram (on Chennai - Mahabalipuram Road), Tiger Caves are situated in a coastal village on the Kovalam Road.
This is a magnificent mandapa which contains a shrine dedicated to goddess Durga which has big beautiful figures in front. The deposition here is on the battle of Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. There are number of charges in this Mandapam from that of the Mahishasura Mardini Mandapam. The figure of somaskanda is found in Athiranachanda Mandapa to the south of Tiger care.
#10 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 13 kms from Mahabalipuram (towards South) and 68 Kms from Chennai, Sadras is an outstanding beach resort that takes advantage of the beautiful landscape. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit around Chennai.
The beaches that surround Mahabalipuram are encompassed by beautiful, green casuarinas groves. The contrast of the vibrant green with the sparkling white beaches is breathtaking, and a sight that numerous tourists want to experience.
There is an old ruined Dutch Fort and a Dutch cemetery with finely carved headstones at Sadras as well.
#11 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 23 Kms from Mahabalipuram and 35 Kms from Chennai (on Chennai - Mahabalipuram Road) Covelong/Kovalam is a famous beach resort and one of the popular tourist places to visit near Chennai.
It was originally just a small fishing village, but now also expanded to become one of the most famous beach resorts in South India. You can still explore the old sea port that used to exist there. Numerous quality beach resorts can be found at Kovalam. The beaches at that location are absolutely exquisite, and are greatly enjoyed by all that visit there. It is also to these beaches that the well-known Olive Ridley Turtles travel to every year to hatch their eggs.
Swimmimg and wind surfing are popular activities at this beach.
#12 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 18 Kms from Mahabalipuram (on Chennai - Mahabalipuram Road) and 40 Kms from Chennai, The Crocodile Bank was established by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker in 1976.
It houses several different species of Indian and African alligators and crocodiles. They are kept in open pools that are made to resemble their natural habitat. This Crocodile Conservation Center is the most popular site to visit at Crocodile Bank.
A snake farm is also located at this site. Anti-venom is produced here. The process of extracting the snake venom is a popular tourist attraction, and it allows the Irulas, the snake catcher's tribe, to make a living.
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM. Entry Fee is Rs 30.
#13 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 14 kms from Mahabalipuram, Thirukkalukundram is famous for Vedagirishvara Temple, a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva situated on a 160 meter hill.
The priest in the temple feeds a pair of white eagles, which are said to be saints. The eagles travel from Varanasi and Rameswaram while traveling they nest in this hill temple during a particular time in the noon. No other eagles and birds attend this feast.
There is a larger shiva temple in the village located below the hill. One can take a view of the countryside from the hill tops which attract the devotees.
#14 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 16 kms from Mahabalipuram, this holy shrine is one among the 100 temples called Tirupathy.
Lord Narayana came here as a Brahmachaari, answering the prayers of Kalava Rishi and married 360 young daughters of the Rishi in one year. On the last day, he is said to have merged them into one and given darshan with Goddess on his left. Having married one girl a day here at this temple, the Lord is called 'Nithya Kalyana Perumal'.
At this temple, one finds the Lord in a unique standing posture facing East. While one leg is on the ground, the other is on Adhisheshan and his wife. And he is seen balancing Goddess Agila Valli on his left thigh. This place is called Thiru- Idanthai (Thiru-Goddess, Idanthai-left side), which in course of time became ThiruVidanthai.
Garuda Sevai during the Tamil month of Aani, Pooram during the month of Aadi, Spring festival during the month of Vaigasi are the important events.
Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 8 PM.
#15 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 36 Kms from Mahabalipuram, Mudaliar Kuppam is an emerging backwater destination. Speedboats, pedal boats and motorboats are available for hire, and kayak & banana boating are introduced recently.
There is an island approximately 4 km from the Raindrop Boat House and tourists are allowed to spend time in the island (tents are also available on rent). There is no good place to eat in Mudaliarkuppam. It is recommended to carry food.
This place attracts lot of crowd on weekends. Houseboat Timing: 10 AM to 6 PM.
#16 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 53 kms from Mahabalipuram and 89 Kms from Chennai, Vedanthangal has the reputation of being one of the oldest water bird sanctuaries in India. It is said that almost 100,000 avian species visit this sanctuary between October and March. This is one of the popular tourist places near Chennai.
Records reveal that this sanctuary has been in existence for more than 200 years. This area was the favorite hunting spot for the local landlords some 300 years ago. This region seems to have attracted birds because it has a number of small lakes that became convenient feeding grounds for the birds.
Two watch towers are available here that provide a clear view of the birds from the binoculars stationed there. There is also a viewing platform that provides a vantage point.
#17 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 31 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station and 27 Kms from Mahabalipuram (on East Coast Road between Chennai and Mahabalipuram), Muttukadu is a backwater destination and excellent picnic spot.
Muttukadu offers wide range of water sports options like Boating, wind surfing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, etc. The windsurfing regatta held every February attracts worldwide watersports lovers. TTDC (Tamilnadu tourism Development Corporation) has introduced boathouses in Muttukadu.
Training programs are available in windsurfing and other water sports activities.
Dakshina Chitra, located at a distance of 2 Kms from Muthukadu is a famous heritage centre. The architectural and cultural heritages of the South Indian states are showcased here. The architectural features of each state, the typical homes of each region of South India are built here.
Timings: 10 .....
Distance (From Mahabalipuram): 27 Kms
Trip Duration (From Mahabalipuram - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day
#18 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 21 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station and 40 Kms from Mahabalipuram (situated on East Coast Road between Chennai and Mahabalipuram), VGP Golden Beach is the only resort in Chennai city limits. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Chennai.
This Beach cum Amusement Park is developed by The Tourism and Entertainment Corridor of Tamil Nadu, and offers wide range of entertainment options like Gokarting, Dashing Cars, Water Chute, Giant Wheel, Break-dance, Dragons belly, Super trooper and many more. Kids can enjoy the special sight seeing of Jurassic Park and Aquarium. There is an Art Centre which sells handicrafts and articles made out of sea shells.
The sea facing Swimming pool is an extra attraction. The beach is clean and ideal for sun-bathing. The Resort has a Multi-cuisine restaurant .....
Distance (From Mahabalipuram): 40 Kms
Trip Duration (From Mahabalipuram - Including Travel): Full Day
Heritage | Pilgrimage
#19 of 19 Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram
At a distance of 75 km from Chennai, 68 km from Vellore, 65 km from Mahabalipuram, 108 km from Tirupati & 127 km from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram or Kanchi is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district. Kanchipuram is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Chennai and one of the major Places to visit in Tamilnadu.
Kanchipuram has rich history and it's one of the oldest cities in India. The temples of Kanchipuram are known for their grandeur and great architecture. The architecture of Kanchi monuments were trendsetting with great sculpture work and unique style and became a benchmark for South Indian architecture. This is another popular attraction to .....
Distance (From Mahabalipuram): 66 Kms
Trip Duration (From Mahabalipuram - Including Travel): Full Day
Most Asked Questions on Mahabalipuram
Winter from October to March is the best time to visit Mahabalipuram. December is also the busiest season and hotels are usually very expensive in this season. Summer would be quite hot and humid but the evenings are pleasant with cool breeze.
Mahabalipuram usually requires one full day to visit the most important attractions. Several tourists usually prefer visiting Mahabalipuram along with Kanchipuram or Pondicherry which requires an additional one day for Kanchipuram and 1-2 days for Pondicherry. There are several wonderful places near Mahabalipuram like Chidambaram, Vellore & Tiruvannamalai that can be visited with additional day for each place.
Budget of Mahabalipuram trip depends on the trip duration and category of hotel you choose for your stay along with the kind of vehicle you prefer. Mahabalipuram tour packages offered by Trawell.in start from as low as INR 5350 per person for a 2D/1N trip and from INR 7500 per person for 3D/2N vacation.
Ensure to cover most important places to visit in Mahabalipuram like Mahabalipuram Beach, Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penance, Mandapams / Caves, Pancha Rathas and Krishna's Butter Ball. Pondicherry which is around 95 km from Mahabalipuram and can be visited along with Mahabalipuram.
Mahabalipuram is famous for wooden artifacts and also granite sculptures which are made up of sandstone and granite stone. One can also buy decorative items and jewellery made of seashells. You can also take sea shell for a memory.
Top 5 Mahabalipuram Packages
|Kanchipuram & Mahabalipuram in 2 days||2D/1N||₹ 5350||View Details|
|Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry From Chennai||3D/2N||₹ 7500||View Details|
|Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry From Bangalore||3D/2N||₹ 9500||View Details|
|Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry in 4 days||4D/3N||₹ 10750||View Details|
|Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Kanchipuram in 5 days||5D/4N||₹ 13200||View Details|
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