Mahabalipuram Tourism

Mahabalipuram Tourism

Rank 11
Ranked 11 of 79
Tamil Nadu Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.6 / 7
3662 Ratings & 3890 Reviews

Mahabalipuram Info

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

History of Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a historic coastal town located 56 kilometres from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The town was said to have been named after the king Mahabali who was defeated by Lord Vishnu. It was a seaport, which was used for flourishing trade with the South-east Asian Countries. It was a part of the Pallava dynasty from the 3rd century to 9th century CE. Some of India’s oldest stone temples were built during this time and they depict the legend of Mahabharatha. Some of the archaeological findings in this town were uncovered after the destructive Tsunami hit India. The monolithic rathas are some of the famous places in Mahabalipuram.

People and Culture of Mahabalipuram

Tourism is the mainstay of the residents of Mahabalipuram. Aside from this, the town is a major exporter of stone carvings. The handicrafts made from stone, wood and wicker are unique to this area. Tamil is the major language spoken here. The cultural dances include Bharatanatyam. The Indian Dance Festival-Mamallapuram is held every year where many dance forms including Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi are performed. The major festivals celebrated are Dassara, Diwali and Navratri. The stone carvings depict the descent of the Ganges and are of major historic significance.

Things to Do in Mahabalipuram

There are a host of Mahabalipuram attractions. The town sees a wide array of tourists from around the globe. One of the major things to do in Mahabalipuram is a visit to the Shore temple. The carvings depict the legends of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. More places to visit in Mahabalipuram are the Tiger’s cave and Mahishamardini Cave. The lighthouse is also among the major Mahabalipuram tourist places.

The list of Mahabalipuram places to visit is long. Pancha Rathas are one of the top places to see in Mahabalipuram. Arjuna’s Penance is 30 metre long stone carvings depicting the story of Arjuna penance to get a weapon from Lord Shiva. It is one of the best places to visit in Mahabalipuram and (along with the other stone temples) is a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

Food and Shopping in Mahabalipuram

While on a trip to Mahabalipuram, one must try the delicious Tamil cuisine. Being a coastal town, Mahabalipuram is famous for its seafood. Masala curries made from Red Snapper, prawns and crab are a must try. The fried calamari and fish fry are also highly recommended.

After a day of sightseeing in Mahabalipuram, shopping is a great option. Items carved from stone are a speciality of the town. Monolithic statues or replicas of the ancient carvings are a delight to buy. For those looking for something smaller, showpieces and pendants carved from granite are also available.

Accommodation in Mahabalipuram

For travellers wanting to know how to reach Mahabalipuram, the town is well connected by road through National and State Highways. The nearest airport and train station are in Chennai where one may hire a taxi or travel by buses to Mahabalipuram. End the Mahabalipuram tour at one of the town’s many great hotels and resorts. Some of the top resorts in Mahabalipuram include Ideal Beach Resort, Confluence Banquets and Resorts and Chariot Beach Resort. Unwind after you are done with Mahabalipuram sightseeing at a great hotel.

Most preferred by...

Travellers from Bangalore, Chennai

Best time to visit Mahabalipuram in the next six months

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Mahabalipuram Traveller Reviews

Read 101 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.6/7,
out of 3890 Mahabalipuram reviews
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Vikram Kumar

  • Tourist
  • Vikram Kumar
  • Lives in Patna
  • 134 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  4798 readers

"Good place for couple"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Very nice place for couple it's really good place where couple can spend good quality if time with each other ... It's heritage site and magabalipuram Beach is clean and good ... Five Rath and cave is totally time pass ... It's paid and normal price lot of tourist came here to see the .. Beauty of Mahabalipuram ... One should sure visit
Here with love one ... To spend some good time
Together. Here one feel very relax and cool ... It's really amazing place ..
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  • 1 vote

A mohan

  • Tourist
  • A mohan
  • 2 Reviews
  •  84 readers

"Worthy experience- suggest 1 or 2 days can be spent"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Mahabalipuram is an old heritage place.
More than the sight seeing places, it gives a refreshing feeling relieving your accumulated work stress.
Not much to see in shore temple, but the 5 Rathas and other rock places are place, where on can stroll ca sully and enjoy the sightseeing and the time.
Traffic in town is litlle congested.
Choices available for vegertarians, golden Mamalla, Motel Mammaala, A2B etc.
For the amount of crowd, the town is reasonably neat.
We can keep Mahabalipuram as a stay hub and visit surrounding places like Thirukalukundram temple (15 km), Vedanthangal bird sanctuary (60 km), crocadile farm (20 km), etc.
Yes worth a 2 to 3 days visit with family.
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Rohit pathak

  • Tourist
  • Rohit pathak
  • 3 photos
  • 6 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  1932 readers

"Mahabalipuram meeting past in present."

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Mahabalipuram is a great place to spend your weekend. I traveled to Mahabalipuram with my friends from Chennai. From Chennai Directly buses go and it takes 2 hrs from central.
Firstly Mahabalipuram is a place where you can click great photos. Please don't forget to take with you.
I wondered how cholas dynasty people made Mahabalipuram temple so beautiful in those days.
You are charged 30rs for entering temple premises which is justified for archaeological departments to maintain its premises.
Foreigners are charged 500 rs for the same.
You can easily navigate places to see near the temple which are at walkable distance.
There are many shops from which you can buy lots of stuff for your home.
Don't carry much food as its easily available.
Try to visit before sunset as its get dark and no photos can be taken.
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Siva Prasad

  • Tourist
  • Siva Prasad
  • Lives in Kakinada
  • 1 Review
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  215 readers

"Place to visit"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Nice place to hang out with friends. There are many more spots to visit while travelling to Mahabalipuram. The cost of travelling is also good when traveled with friends. We can learn a lot more about ancient temple and we can enjoy the nice scenic beauties in and around the place.
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  • 2 votes


  • Tourist
  • Manikandan
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  277 readers

"Superb site ..."

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Dec 12, 2016
Superb place. Nice climate. Photographic place was so good ... Entire place was like amazing ... No words to say. And the sea breeze looking is so good. And morning sun light was like awesome. €Wow unforgettable experience ... Good to stay here again and again ..
Thanks for the caring.
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Mahidhar mahi

  • Tourist
  • Mahidhar mahi
  • 1 Review
  •  361 readers


  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Nov 21, 2016
Happy to be at temple with cool breeze from beach. And good environment. We all enjoyed at beach, the sculptures in the temple are more attractive and lord vishnu was the god. I can say this is one the best place in my life. Enjoy the place.
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Millo Ankha

  • Tourist
  • Millo Ankha
  • 9 Reviews
  •  11 helpful votes
  •  7727 readers

"Wandering through the rocks"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Oct 5, 2016
If you are a lover of architecture, art and love time travelling Mahabalipuram is a place to be. Its also a great place for learners and young minds, hence you will find a lot of college students on their educational tour.
Almost all the main parts to see in Mahabalipuram are placed really close to each other. Its easy to say you can literally walk through the town and see it in a day.
Shore temple, arjunas penance, the 5 rathas and the light house are really close to each other.
There are two light houses which is a must do things to get a great view of the town. Interesting space for photographers of all sort.
Local place Moon rakers is quite an interesting place to wind up your day with a cold beer and huge crabs. In and around the main bus stop of mahabs, you will find little shops of tea and south indian snacks, also many shops selling you the famous sculptures of mahabalipuram's famous skilled art.
Heritage walks, long beach walks, Photowalks and interacting with the sculptors for good long hours kept us pretty much engaged in our time and mind.
We traveled by road and ECR is quite a visual to drive and see. Drop all your excess baggage of clothes and enjoy this town of sun, sand, sea and stone.
Millo Ankha
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Vijay Potluri

  • Connoisseur
  • Vijay Potluri
  • Lives in Vijayawada
  • 242 photos
  • 95 Reviews
  •  47 helpful votes
  •  32514 readers

"Heritage town"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jul 10, 2016
Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is one hour drive from Chennai through East Coast Road. It's a nice very economical place to stay and enjoy heritage place. It's tourism based small town, moderate clean beaches, nice food, garments, shopping museum rock chariot and many more. Nice place to stay heritage, holiday or romantic holidays.
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Rishi Narayanan

  • Tourist
  • Rishi Narayanan
  • Lives in Perinthalmanna
  • 103 photos
  • 25 Reviews
  •  12 helpful votes
  •  56598 readers

"A pride of Tamil Nadu"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Jun 30, 2016
Mahabalipuram monuments are a pride and trade mark of Tamil Nadu. The complex consists of lots of temples carved on rocks. The works on these temples will make our jaw drop. The place also has got a lot to tell about the history of Pallava kingdom too. The main attractions there are the Shore temple, Arjuna's penance, Panch Rathas and the light house. It's a marvellous sight to enjoy the sunrise from Mahabalipuram for which one should reach there at around 5:15am
It is situated at about 50km from Chennai town through the ECR road and is well connected from different parts of town like Thiruvanmiyur, Adyar etc. There are many good hotels there. One can bring their own food and have it on the rocks.
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Mansi Patil

  • Scout
  • Mansi Patil
  • Lives in Pune
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  902 readers

"Heritage town - Mahabalipuram"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jun 14, 2016
A wonderful place to visit. We had pre booked a resort. Jade resort- 10 km short of Mahabalipuram town. Great place to stay in. Nice food.

We went to Mahabalipuram from the resort by taking a sharing rickshaw which charges only Rs. 10-20 per trip.

The town itself is very quaint, peaceful.

At the bus stop, you have rickshaws who will take you sightseeing - 8 places in all. At a cost of 350/-. You can take as much time as you want at each site. It's worth a visit, especially the 5 rathas, lighthouse, butter rock and the shore temple.

Next day, we hired a bike for a day and drove down to Pondicherry, 100 km from Mahabalipuram. Awesome drive, everyone should try going.

If not a bike, you can go to Pondicherry by buses as well - state transport and luxury both.

Mahabalipuram is 60 km from airport, we took a taxi in 1500/-.
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Gopi Mommhedh Glen Glen Gopi, Mommhedh, Glen and 3558 other people have been to Mahabalipuram.
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Mahabalipuram Sightseeing

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