Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu is one of a oldest towns in India. This beautiful town was ruled by the Pallava dynasty. It has some of the most exquisite UNESCO monuments, as old as the 7th Century. If you are a history lover, Mahabalipuram is your paradise!
How To Get There
Car/Bus – Mahabalipuram is about an hour away from Chennai. The best way is to either drive down if you have a valid license or take a local bus.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit would be between October to March
Commute In Mahabalipuram
Most of the monuments in Mahabalipuram are at a close proximity to each other, walking distance. You can also take a local rickshaw to take you around but make sure to fix a price in advance to avoid getting scammed.
Two days are enough to cover everything in Mahabalipuram. If you have time restraint, you can reach Mahabalipuram early morning and cover all the main sites in one day.
Places To Visit In Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram has some exquisite monolithic structures, rock carvings, temples and beaches. You are bound to get astonished by marvel of the age old architecture. It is almost impossible to achieve that kind of intricate finesse even with modern equipment.
As you walk around in this beautiful temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal, you can hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, making it an even more zen experience.
Named rightfully so, The Shore temple is a UNESCO heritage site built during the Pallava reign. The best time to visit here is during the sunset when you can catch this temple looking absolutely magical!
Krishna’s Butter Ball
A wonder in itself, this massive boulder has managed to balance itself on a small gravitational point, on a steep slope since centuries. Various unsuccessful attempts have been made by powerful men to budge the boulder with elephants and a lot of man power. It has withstood storms, earthquakes, massive cyclones. This place is a must visit.
P.S – There are a lot of monuments around the Butterball, you can also visit Draupadi’s Bath, Lighthouse, Raya Gopuram and Trimurti Cave.
Pancha Rathas, named after the story of Mahabharata are 5 intricately carved monolithic structures. This is the classic example of the Indian rock-cut architecture. Visit during the first hour to catch this place less crowded.
Descendant Of The Ganges
These are two monolithic huge rock carvings that depict the mythological story of the Ganges.
Mahabalipuram beach is pristine, well maintained and absolutely beautiful. It also has beach shacks where you can dine with a view.
Olakkannesvara Temple and Mahishasuramardini Mandapa
This 7th Century Cave Temple has many interesting architectural features. It has three exquisitely carved reliefs on the cave walls of three sanctums are prominent.
Other Places To Visit (Optional)
Tiger Caves and Sea shell Museum
PS – Wear comfortable footwear and carry a water bottle as you will have to walk quite a bit if you want to cover all the monuments.
Places To Eat
Mahabalipuram has beach shacks with amazing views. Here are a few of my recommendations – Bob Marley Cafe, Le Yogi, Moon Rakers, Santana
Places To Stay
Mahabalipuram has both Budget and Luxury Accomodations. Here are a few of my recommendations – Sheraton Grand, Intercontinental, Welcome Hotel Palm Beach, Four Points By Sheraton, Raddison Blue, Fisherman’s Cove.