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Mahabalipuram

Location 58 km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Significance Highly frequented for the Shore Temple and beaches
Must Visit Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penace, Pancha Pandava Rathas
Best Time To Visit Throughout the year
Climate Pleasant climate with some humidity. Temperature varies between 35°C to 19°C. Winters have pleasant days and cool nights. Monsoon receives heavy rainfall.
Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Almost all the travellers and explorers wish to visit the sites famous for magnificent monolithic structures. In this category, Mahabalipuram (formerly known as Mamallapuram) is one of the most frequented tourism destinations in Tamil Nadu. This 7th century port city flourished under the rule of the Pallavas. This Dravidic dynasty is known to be one of the strongest rulers of the peninsular India. Named after the demon King Mahabali, the city still retains its historic monuments built mostly between the 7th and the 9th century.


Architectural Pattern
People in huge numbers flock to this coastal town to see the majestic rock-cut and monolithic monuments. These monuments and temples not only represent the early phases of Dravidian architecture but also offer a contrast amidst the high raised 'Gopurams' that are so typical in the south Indian temples. Buddhist elements of design can also be seen in a few of them.


Popular Attractions
The city is a masterpiece in architectural beauty and it also has a heritage value attached to it. Therefore, the UNESCO has crowned it as a 'World Heritage Site'. The most famous and magnificent monument in Mahabalipuram is the Shore Temple, which looks stunning in moonlight. Arjuna's Penace, Cave Temples, Monolithic Rathas (chariots), Sculpted Relief and Structural Temples, Krishna Mandapa etc. are also important from historical point of view.


Excursions
A few renowned destinations are located nearby the town and can be explored on day long excursions. Mahabalipuram along with Chennai and Kanchipuram forms the famous 'Golden Tourism Triangle'. Kanchipuram, Vedanthangal, Covelong, Crocodile Bank and Muttukadu are also worth paying a visit near Mahabalipuram.


Shopping
The city provides a fantastic shopping experience. The local artisans here are known for the best of handicrafts, which are readily available in the local shops. The market in Mahabalipuram is loaded with articles like stone and wooden artifacts, soapstones, granite sculptures, seashell jewellery etc.


Accommodation
One can find a wide range of decent accommodations in the city. The best option while spending remarkable holidays in Mahabalipuram is to stay in beach resorts. These beach resorts in Mahabalipuram are specially designed to provide the guests with peaceful ambiance.

The city has produced many great poets, dramatists, artists, artisans and saints during the rule of the Pallavas, and has still maintained its age-old charm.


How To Reach

By Air: Chennai (with both domestic and international airports) is the nearest airport at 60 km and is well connected to all the major cities of the country.

By Rail: Chengalpattu, 29 km, is the nearest railway station and it connects Mahabalipuram to almost all the cities in south India.

By Road: Buses are operated frequently between Mahabalipuram and Chennai, Tirukkalikundram or Pakshithirtham, Kanchipuram, etc.

 

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