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Top 10 Beautiful Places To Visit In Mahabalipuram



Top 10 Beautiful Places To Visit In Mahabalipuram

If everything historical captivates you, then plan a trip to one of the oldest cities of Tamil Nadu – Mahabalipuram. It is also better known as Mamallapuram and is situated around 50km south of Chennai. A splendid town with different tourist attractions listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it will fascinate every history buff. One can know so much about Medieval India throughout their travel to Mahabalipuram, which was once the Pallava Kingdom.

From the 1st Century to 140 AD, Mahabalipuram was a well-known port town, which was under the rule of the Pallava dynasty. Most of the monuments in this historic town were commissioned by the Pallava kings Mahendravarman I and Narsimhavarman I throughout the 7th and 8th century AD. It is these groups of shrines that are a part of the world heritage site.

Along with the different archaeological wonders, this coastal town is better known for its beaches, coastal cuisine, and rising surf scenes. It comes in the Kanchipuram district, and yes, the same one which is world-famed for its silk sarees. There is an excess of things to see and try in this old, coastal town. Whether you are visiting the city for its history or a beach vacation, these are some of the places to see in Mahabalipuram, that you should not miss. The below list entails 

Table of Contents

Best Places To Visit In Mahabalipuram 

Mahabalipuram Beach

Mahabalipuram Beach

Also better known as Mamallapuram by the locals, the well-known Mahabalipuram Beach is situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and is one of the best tourist places in Mahabalipuram. It features plenty of protruding rock-cut sculptures that are sure to melt your heart!

There are spectacular caves, massive rathas, chariots, and temples on this beach that fascinate hundreds of pilgrims, architecture fans, and history nerds to these shores every month, and leaves them enticed! Other than discovering these unique Mahabalipuram temples and caves, this beach is a great location to relax and spend quality time with your treasured ones.

Shore Temple

Shore Temple

There is a group of temples in Mahabalipuram that one must go to. A couple of temples are deep inside the water and you can pick to cruise in the ocean and determine those underwater temples. These temples hold countless historical worth to the locals here. When the water levels are low, the concealed temples come to the surface.

Since they are situated in the Bay of Bengal, it is coined as Shore temples. It fitted to the 8th century AD and was built by the Pallava dynasty. These temples in Mahabalipuram are the best places to visit in Mahabalipuram.

Mahabalipuram Light House

Mahabalipuram Light House

A trip to Mahabalipuram is unfinished without a visit to the Mamallapuram Lighthouse. With the sights of the city and the waters, it makes for fairly an experience. The high point of the lighthouse is how you are enabled to hike up the stairs and get to the top of the tower and soak in the bird’s-eye view. You should add this to your list of tourist places to visit in Mahabalipuram.

Pancha Rathas

Pancha Rathas

The Five Rathas, also better known as Panch Rathas, is an archetypal set of rock temples. They are outstanding examples of the progression of Dravidian-style architecture. These temples are constructed in the same shape as pagodas, and significantly be similar to Buddhist shrines and monasteries. The rathas are linked with the great heroic Mahabharata.

The first ratha that is situated right by the entrance gate is Draupadi’s Ratha. It is molded like a hut and is enthusiastic to the goddess Durga. Next comes Arjuna’s Rath. This one has a small portico and carved pillar stones and is enthusiastic to Lord Shiva. There are no carvings inside this temple, but several are on the outside. Straight in front of Arjuna’s Rath is the Nakula Sahadev Rath.

This ratha has some enormous elephant sculptures involved that are an enormous draw for the Five Rathas. It is enthusiastic to the God of Rain, Lord Indra. The Bhima Rath is vast. It measures 24ft in width, 42 ft in length, and 25ft in height. The pillars there do comprise the lion statuettes even though the ratha as a whole is incomplete. The greatest of the Five Rathas is the Dharamraja Yudhistar’s Rath. This rath is also enthusiastic to Lord Shiva. 

Varaha Cave Temple

Varaha Cave Temple

Varaha Cave Temple is a rock-cut Hindu temple that is carved attractively revealing the primeval South Indian architecture. It is one of the must-visit places to visit in Mahabalipuram, located behind Arjuna’s Penance. It is made of a massive piece of granite and has some premium pieces of sculptures.

At the entrance of the temple, a primitive veranda can be seen with two sovereign pillars and two pillars committed to the side walls. All 4 pillars are designed to reflect welcoming for entrance and horned lions. The carvings are tremendously protruding even today and this place is still so attractive and underrated at the same time. Varaha Cave Temple seems to be one of the concealed gems of Mahabalipuram.

Krishna Mandapam

Krishna Mandapam

Krishna Mandapam is prevalent among travelers for its caves and remarkable rock carvings which indicate some of the wonderful past of the region. It is also the greatest among the rock-cut caves situated across Mahabalipuram. The temple was built during the mid-seventh century and is keen to Lord Krishna.

It is the oldest and one among the ten cave temples of Mahabalipuram. The architecture of this cave is remarkable and simple with nine releases carved on the surface of the cave which portrays dissimilar events from Indian mythology. The most attractive incident carved here is Lord Krishna lifting the whole of Govardhana Mountain to save the people from heavy rainfall.

Descent Of The Ganges

Descent Of The Ganges

Descent of the Ganges is one of the massive open-air sculptures which was inscribed on two stiff rock boulders and it is one of the noteworthy places to visit in Mahabalipuram. This is an inordinate place to discover history for some time with your family as it has some good-looking sculptures and carvings.

This stimulating rock reprieve has very sensitive and realistic carvings to discover and remember for a lifetime. This monument was generated by King Narsimhavarman of the Pallava dynasty and it portrays his inordinate imagination which was used by the workers to carve such an astounding and appealing rock-cut sculpture.

Sculpture Musem

Sculpture Musem

Situated near the Mahabalipuram Bus Station, the Sculpture Museum is one of the best places to visit in Mahabalipuram. It houses more than 3,000 sculptures of Hindu mythology characters which have ironic historical importance and also the tales of the early days. Walk across this museum and feel the significance and enormity of the sculptures and paintings which were generated by ancient artists.

They utilized a variability of materials which involves metal, cement, wood, and brass. This place is an astounding escape amidst the history, art, and culture of both Hindu and Buddhist chronicles. If you are someone, who loves art and history, spend a day here and appreciate the lasting experience forever.

Krishna’s Butterball

Krishna’s Butterball

The Krishna’s Butterball is a bizarre 250-ton rock boulder, which is standing or resting persuaded on a slope. It is better known as the Stone of Sky God. This is one of the most exhilarating tourist places in Mahabalipuram owing to the secretive scene it presents. It seems that this massive boulder, better known as Krishna’s butterball refuses to provide into gravity, no one is quite sure why.

This location is an accurate destination to spend some great time with family and children. Tourists love to capture images while posing at dissimilar angles across the rock. Krishna’s Butterball is the perfect place for aged individuals to sit and chat. Also, this place proposes an enormous ground where the kids end up celebrating a lot.

Tiger Cave

Tiger Cave

Located by the shore of the Bay of Bengal, Tigers Caves has been a regeneration spot for ages where locals relax after their five-kilometer trek from Mahabalipuram to this tranquil location out of the town. The name of the caves has nothing to do with the existence of any real tigers. The caves got this name from the crown of 11 tigeresque heads which were all carved across the entrance. It is believed that these pictures resemble an animal named ‘yeli’ which is a cross between a lion and a tiger. One of the most beautiful features of the caves is a carving of the Goddess Durga on top of these tigers.

There are several secrets linked with the Tiger Caves just as the one in 2005 when an inscription was found in the rocks which led to the unearthing followed by the excavation of the Subramanya Temple neighboring. The grounds of the park are well-preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India thereby making the Tiger Caves a public space.

Amidst nature’s greenery and fresh air, this architectural loveliness is an accurate place to hang out at. There are vendors proposing light refreshments along with tender coconut to the tired visitors as well. It is a delightful place to visit if you love determining new facts and figures about the history of several places in a scenic beauty away from the hectic life of the city.

Best Time To Visit Mahabalipuram 

Because of its geographical position (along the coast), Mahabalipuram relishes a humid and tropical climate almost during the year. Summers can get sweltering hot and humid, thus making it somewhat problematic for tourists to discover around. Monsoons are humid and the moderate rainfall also makes them somewhat sore for tourists. Winters are the best time to visit Mahabalipuram as the weather is agreeable with humidity in the air decreasing considerably.

Summer: Mahabalipuram practices very hot and humid summers. Average temperature varieties anywhere between 25°C to 37°C. At times, the temperature even crosses 40 making it remarkably exhausting for tourists to roam around and discover the town. Hence, a very less number of travelers flock to this prominent tourist destination throughout the summer months.

Monsoon: Monsoons in Mahabalipuram span from July to mid-September. Due to its geographical location, the coastal town experiences somewhat revealing rainfalls with infrequent heavy showers. However, the humidity level goes up significantly making it quite problematic for the tourists to go around the town or even pamper in travelers’ activities.

Winter: Winters are the best time to immerse into the attractiveness of Mahabalipuram. The town relishes winters from November end to mid-February. Weather throughout this time is tremendously pleasant as temperature ranges from 21°C to 27°C. Humidity in the air is considerably reduced, and travelers can enjoy discovering the town and indulge in a lot of tourist activities as well.

How To Reach Mahabalipuram? 

Mamallapuram lies nearly 57 km to the south of the capital city of Chennai, 66 km from Kanchipuram, and 95 km from Pondicherry. It is one of Tamil Nadu’s foremost tourist centers and is well-linked to Chennai and the tourist and touristy towns of Kanchipuram and Pondicherry.

The town lies nearby Chengalpattu, the gateway to travelers who visit Kanchipuram, Mamallapuram, and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. The easiest manner to reach Mamallapuram would be by road from Chennai.

By Air

Chennai’s Domestic and International Airports are the airports neighboring Mamallapuram. Chennai attends flights to most cities within the region and international flights to Mauritius, Frankfurt, Colombo, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lampur, et al.

You could take a flight to Chennai and rent a taxi from the airport to Mamallapuram. Otherwise, you could take a local train to Chengalpattu Junction from the Tirusoolam station which is different from the Chennai airport. From Chengalpattu Junction you could get a taxi to Mamallapuram. Mamallapuram is nearly 54 km from the airport of Chennai.

By Rail

If you are traveling to Mamallapuram by train, then the adjacent foremost railhead is Chennai. The capital city is well-linked to the foremost cities of India by rail. You have the option of taking a train to Chennai’s Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M. G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station or Egmore Railway Station.

From either of these places, you can take a local MRTS or EMU train to Chengalpattu Junction. Chengalpattu is nearly 27 km from Mamallapuram and Chengalpattu Junction, you could rent a cab to cover the distance to Mamallapuram.

By Road

Mamallapuram is well linked to Chennai by road and there are unvarying buses to Mamallapuram from Chennai, Chengalpattu, and Kanchipuram. There are also buses from Pondicherry to Chennai via East Coast Road that pause at Mamallapuram bypass. Deboard and get an auto to Mamallapuram. Another finest option would be driving your attractive car to Mamallapuram or renting a cab for the same.


Mahabalipuram is a beautiful place where you can enjoy nature and visit several places of historical importance. There are also different museums where you learn about Hindu mythology. Overall, it is an accurate place to discover with friends and family.


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Ruchika is a “hodophile” who is always on the road. The wanderlust in her often pours out in brilliantly written features and travelogs. When she’s not writing for People Places, you’ll find her in the most obscure of travel destinations, exploring unknown vistas and clicking images in her mind for her next write-up.

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