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Eastern Ghat, the coastline of Bay of Bengal and the valley nestled in between create an interesting motif throughout the state of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of Indian Peninsula. Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a golden thread of this geographical, historical and cultural tapestry that Tamil Nadu weaves.


Mahabalipuram lies 60 km south of Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, and gateway to southern India. The town is spread across Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, in Kancheepuram district. Owing to its coastal location the place remains humid throughout the year making the winter months (October – February) the ideal time for visiting with a sharp drop in both temperature and humidity.


Once a thriving port city, Mahabalipuram rose into prominence artistically and architecturally under the rule of Pallava dynasty at about 7th century AD.

Shore Temple – The sole surviving sanctuary of famous ‘Seven Pagodas’ battling against the inevitability of time, its other six counterparts long submerged into the depth of ravaging sea.

Shore Temple2
The Pancha Ratha or Five Chariots, carved out of a single piece of granite in situ, shows profound effects of Dravidian and Buddhist architectural elements.

Pancha Ratha
Thirukadalmallai temple still houses and protects the precious sculptures from the corrosion of sea.

Varaha Cave Temple has a remarkable likeness to 7th century Greco-Roman architecture.

Cave Temple
Descent of the Ganges is giant open air bas – relief the likes of which can no longer be seen.

Bas Relief3
And, the sea beaches, as the shore of Mahabalipuram is kissed gently by the waves of Bay of Bangal.

Mamallapuram Beach

One must obtain a memento of stone sculptures lovingly carved by local artisans to date.
Mahabalipuram is full of pocket – friendly ($40 – $100 per day per person) hotels and restaurants serving local, North Indian or continental delicacies that are sure to allure the visitors.

Krishna's Butter Ball
Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it not only intrigues the students of art, architecture and history but also manages wooing casual travellers looking forward to spend a few peaceful days in a coastal city.