Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) – Best Places to Visit, Things to Do & How to reach

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Mamallapuram, commonly known as Mahabalipuram or Seven Pagodas, is a historic town in the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 37 miles (60 km) south of Chennai along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal (Madras).

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The main seaport of the ancient Pallava empire, situated at Kanchipuram, was Mamallapuram, located 31 miles (50 km) south of Chennai. The town’s stunning World Heritage-listed temples and carvings are inspiring to explore, particularly at dusk.

History of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

The Pallava dynasty founded the commercial city known today as Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram. It developed into a significant port and a thriving, active hub of activity. The magnificent monoliths and rock temples, as well as the sculptures made in honor of the Gods, that the Pallavas left behind are a veritable treasure mine of history, architecture, and culture. The Pallava dynasty and the seventh and eighth centuries are only a small part of this town’s history; settlements from the pre-Sangam period and artefacts from before the birth of Christ have also been discovered here. As a result, there is a sense of mystery around the history of Mahabalipuram because historians are unsure of the precise causes and causes of this well-known tourist site.

Best Places to visit Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

1. Pandava Rathas or Five Rathas Or Monolithic Temple

Pancha Pandava Rathas is another name for the five Rathas. There are five Pandava Raths, or Monolithic Shrines, of which four are carved from a single rock and one is excavated from a smaller rock. A skilled sculptor sculpted the most beautiful and graceful sculptures of gods and mortals into the exterior walls of Arjuna’s rath, as well as doorkeepers on the hut-like Draupadi Rath and Durga with a worshipper cutting and sacrificing her neck. A massive Monolithic elephant that belongs to Nakula-Sahadeva Rath is in front of him. Two floors and lion-based pillars may be found in Bhima’s rath. The largest and including 8 panels of magnificent sculptures is Dharmaraja’s rath. They have wall panels that are intricately carved with artistic designs and pictures of several Hindu deities as well as royal portraits.


2. Arjuna’s Penance

It is the largest in the world at 27m x 9m. It contains more than 100 sculptures of saints, birds, animals, and gods. It is commonly referred to as “Arjunan Penance” because it is thought that this bas-relief depicts a scene from the Mahabharata in which Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, underwent strict penance in order to ask Lord Shiva for the Great and Divine Bow. The tradition of King “Bhagiratha” practicing penance and pleading with Lord Shiva to bring the River Ganges to Earth in order to save his forefathers is referenced in the other name for this bas-relief, “Descent of the Ganges.”


3. Crocodile Bank

44 kilometers from Chennai and 16 km from Mamallapuram separate Crocodile Bank. Views of reptiles in open pools and the surrounding environment are possible. There is also a tribal society here. It operates a facility for removing snake venom. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


4. Dakshina Chitra

MGM and Dhakshina Chitra are close by. The Chennai Craft Foundation is in charge of this complex. Here, we can view replicas of traditional houses from Tamil Nadu as well as other artefacts. remaining South India.


5. Krishna Temple or Krishna Mandapam

There is a sculpture on the rock face of one wall of Lord Krishna as the protector of all living beings, presenting man, bird, and beast.A stunningly beautiful bas-relief showing Krishna lifting the Govardhana mountain in order to protect the cows and the cowherd from the wrath of Indra, the god of rain, is the highlight of this cave temple. Krishna Mandapam epitomizes real bliss and presents activities that have changed little with time.


6. Mahishasuramardini Cave

The Mahishasuramardhini Cave is divided into three sanctuaries, each with a bass relief of Anantasayana Vishnu lying on a snake bed with Shesha draping over him in the back. Awe-inspiringly, Mahishasuramardhini is brought into sharp focus on the battlefield by the viewer’s thrill. Another superb bas-relief, this one showing goddess Durga combating demon king Mahishasura and Lord Vishnu dozing on the coils of serpent king Adisesha. Scooped cave is extremely impressive.


7. Panchaapandava Mandapa

A substantial cave temple that only has six completed lion pillars and identical pilasters on either end. These pillars’ brackets above the capitals are embellished with lions and gryphons that are ridden by humans.


8. Shore Temple

One of the earliest temples in southern India, it was constructed out of granite stones in the later half of the seventh century AD. It is known as the Shore Temples because it is located on the shoreline with a view of the Bay of Bengal. It is a good example of the first phase of structural temples built in the Dravidian style of architecture and is thought to have been built by King Rajasimha. During the time of Narasimhavarman II, this port was active. It has two Vishnu and Shiva shrines that face east and west, respectively. The Cholas, who replaced the Pallavas as the dominating dynasty in the region currently occupied by Tamil Nadu, were influenced by the architecture of this temple.


9. Snake Park & Children’s Park

The park was created in 1972 with the goal of protecting the subcontinent’s endangered reptile species. The Snake Park, which is close to the Guindy National Park, is a well-liked destination. A variety of snakes, including the king cobra, pythons, vipers, and other reptiles, are kept there. There is also information about many snake species, and frequent myths about them are dispelled. Playgrounds are located in the nearby Children’s Park.

10. Trimurthi Cave

A Triple celled temple with superstructure is believed to be dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the three gods of the Hindu pantheon


11. Varaha Cave

The cell is defended by two dwarapalas beyond the front mandapa, which features two lion pillars and two pilasters. The four murals on the front mandapa’s walls depict Varaha ejecting the goddess Earth from the sea.



  • Mandapams
  • Ganesh Ratha
  • Krishna’s Butterball
  • College of Sculpture
  • Open Air Museum
  • Dakshina Chitra
  • Thirukkalikundram
  • Alamparai
  • Muttukadu Boat house

Things To Do In Mamallapuram

  1. Mamallapuram beach
  2. Open-air museum

How to Reach Mamallapuram ( Mahabalipuram ):

By Air

The closest airport to Mahabalipuram is Chennai Airport (52 km), which has good connections to all of India’s major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Kolkata. From the airport, buses and taxis are available to take you to Mahabalipuram.

By Train

The closest railway station is in Chengalpattu, which is 22 kilometres away. However, the closest significant station with trains to Mahabalipuram from important Indian cities including Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata is Chennai railhead, 60 miles away. From these stations, buses and taxis are available to take you to Mahabalipuram.

By Road

Numerous buses, including both private tourist buses and those operated by Tamil Nadu Public Transport Services, go to and from the region’s cities to Mahabalipuram (operating from Chennai Central). Through East Coast Road (ECR) and the historic Mahabalipuram Road, the city and Chennai are well connected.

Destinations Near Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

  2. Chennai
  3. vellore
  4. tiruvannamalai

Frequently Asked Questions About Mamallapuram

1. Mamallapuram is in which district ?

Mamallapuram | Chengalpattu District,Government of Tamil Nadu | India.

2. Chennai to Mamallapuram Distance ?

Distance between Chennai to Mamallapuram by Road is, 56 Kms

3. Why is mamallapuram Famous?

It is located on the Bay of Bengal’s Coromandel Coast, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The area is home to 40 historic structures, including Hindu temples and the largest open-air rock relief in the world, Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna’s Penance.

4. What is the best time to visit Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram is a place of heritage. The months of October, November, December, January, and February are the ideal times to visit Mahabalipuram. Since this is the busiest time of year, expect some crowds.

5. Who should visit Mahabalipuram?

Ideal for trips from adjacent cities to schools or colleges. Ideal for those with a passion for local history and architecture.

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