Mahabalipuram Tourism

Mahabalipuram Tourism

Rank 14
Ranked 14 of 75
Tamil Nadu Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
826 Ratings & 483 Reviews

It has been my wish since a graduate student in Fine Arts and then a Doctoral Research Scholar in Art History, to be able to see in person, the sculptures I had so far learnt about from photographic reproductions in books. Mahabalipuram is a quaint place and we reached easily over road from our earlier destination, Pondicherry. A small town huddling close to the historic sites, one only wonders why its tourist status isn't more brighter, in terms of a more pronounced and active engagement from official authorities, including the Government as well as NGOs.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The so-called Shore temple, the Five Rathas, teh magnificent relief panels of the Descent of Ganges (both the finished and the unfinished ones), the numerous cave-temples. Do not miss the opportunity to request the purohit of the Sthalashayan Perumal Temple to grant you access to the Adi Varaha Cave , he is also the purohit for that cave-temple, perhaps the only active cave-temple of Mamallapuram. Do not miss the fried fish freshly caught off the shore and sold at shanties along the pathway leading to the beach following the fencing of the Shore Temple! Shop till you drop for carved stone sculptures at the workshops of the local craftsmen - you cannot miss these.

Activities & things to do: Delve into history, the past reflected in the stone carvings and the temple complexes. If you are lucky enough to be in a hotel that does have facilities, jump into the pool to laze around for a day --- the sea at Mamallapuram is too choppy and stone ridden to venture in. Very few do. In fact there is a statutory warning on a faded sign post on the beach against attempting to sea-swim.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Easily accessible from Chennai.
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Travellers from Chennai, Bangalore

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Mahabalipuram Traveller Reviews

Read 43 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.6/7, 1
out of 483 Mahabalipuram reviews 483
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Mr. sairaman
  • Mr. sairaman
  • 2 Reviews

"Good place for history lovers" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Take your children to this place and let them now about the Pallavas and their interest in sculpture's, there are lot of caves and mountains with good art work on the stone, the Pancha pandava Rath, light house, and sea shore in the important....... More
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  • Varma
  • 4 Reviews

"Masti at Mahabalipuram"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Mahabalipuram is one of my best places to visit ever, I always prefer to go there whenever I get chance to visit Chennai. Lovely beach and ancient art on rocks. We can see awesome view of Mahabalipuram from light house and can feel relaxed by....... More
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  • Mani
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews

"Best place to witness history"

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
The best place for a family trip. You can find Ancient Tamil kingdom sculptures in Mahabhalipuram. It was one of the oldest carvings. You need to have a day to take trip at this place. More
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Sandeep dwivedi
  • Sandeep dwivedi
  • 1 photo
  • 4 Reviews

"You will be amazed!!"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 6 months ago
It one of the best beaches in India and beach is just one part of it. If you look at the stone sculptures, you will be amazed. They supply these all over the world. Places to visit are, beach, Five Rathas, Crocodile Park Krishnas Butter Ball,....... More
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Sivashankaran Harikrishnan
  • Sivashankaran Harikrishnan
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews

"Ancient Tamil kingdom sculptures"

  • Posted 10 months ago
You can find Ancient Tamil kingdom sculptures in Mahabhalipuram. It was one of the oldest carvings and modern one. You need to have a day to take trip at this place. Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Vasantha bhavan Activities & things to....... More
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V anandaraj Suresh Bala Rajagopal V anandaraj, Suresh, Bala and 817 other people have been to Mahabalipuram.
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Mahabalipuram Info

  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • Famous for/as: Heritage
  • Altitude: 12 m
  • Pincode: 603104
  • District: Kanchipuram
  • Language: Tamil
  • STD code: 044
  • Weather: Summer 21 to 41°C, Winter 17 to 33°C

Mahabalipuram is a tourist destination situated in Tamil Nadu, which has many beautiful places. It is known for its historical monuments, sculptures, scenic beauty, culture and tradition. Mahabalipuram is placed along the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal. It is an attractive tourist spot. 

History of Mahabalipuram

The name ‘Mahabalipuram’ is derived from a myth. The place was ruled by a very arrogant and cruel king named Mahabali who was later killed by Lord Vishnu and this place is named after that King Mahabali. 

The Gupta dynasty declined and Pallavas rose to power in south India and ruled for quite some time. The period between 650 AD and 750 AD was called as the golden age of Pallavas and they were powerful and intelligent thinkers. During their rule, great poets, saints, artisans, scholars, artists and dramatists emerged in the region. 

Mahabalipuram has unique and beautiful sculptures and paintings, which reflect the talent and skill artisans from the era possessed. Their creativity and innovation can be seen in the best possible form as they explored new styles and innovations eliciting the best in art and architecture. Mahabalipuram is not only known for its architecture, but also known for its casuarinas trees and silver sand beach. These attractions are an integral part of Mahabalipuram tourism. 

Things to do in Mahabalipuram

The Pallavas did not expose their creations, as they were not exposed to the outer world and were kept hidden until the late 185th century. Mahabalipuram has temples made out of a single rock, temples of different structures and artistic bas-reliefs, which is the largest in the world. The great architecture is a delight to the visitors even today and attracts devotees from far off places. Mahabalipuram has two low hills whose either sides have excavates temples called Mandapas. It has unique architecture with different sculptures (Nandi, Lion and Elephant), rathas (cut out temples) and a palace.        

One of the prominent festivals celebrated here is the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, which is organised by the Department of Tourism every year at the ancient 7th century Centre for Pallava Culture and Arts. As part of the festival, various dance forms are showcased including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi. There is a lot more to Mahabalipuram tourism and travellers can explore history by opting for Mahabalipuram holiday packages

Travelling to Mahabalipuram

To reach Mahabalipuram, tourists can take flights, trains or travel by road. The nearest airport to Mahabalipuram is in Chennai, located close to 60 km away. The nearest railhead is in Chengalpattu, close to 30 km from Mahabalipuram. Tourists can also drive down from nearby cities such as Bangalore. The best time to visit Mahabalipuram is between October and March. 

Accommodation options in Mahabalipuram

Hotels in Mahabalipuram range from beach resorts, luxury hotels to guesthouses, lodges and budget hotels. 

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Mahabalipuram Hotels ranked by Traveller

Mahabalipuram Sightseeing

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