Arjuna's Penance


14.4/5(11 Ratings)

Arjuna's Penance Overview

Ranked 5 of 22 sightseeing in Mahabalipuram

Arjuna's Penance is approximately 30 m long and 9 m high relief that is made on two massive boulders. It is one of the most popular popular 7th and 8th century stone carvings at Mahabalipuram. The carving has figures of Gods, semi divine creatures, beasts, birds and animals like elephants and monkeys. The figures engraved on the rock depict the artistic skills of the sculptors.

This relief is named after Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata. Two notions are attached behind the theme of constructing Arjuna's penance. It is believed that here Arjuna performed penance to attain lord Shiva's weapon. The other notion states the story of King Bhagiratha bringing the river Ganges down to earth.

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nice location

nice location  Video Review

Arjuna's Penance

Life's a Journey
1st Oct 17

nice location

nice location  Video Review

Arjuna's Penance

Musafir forever
1st Oct 17

What travellers are saying about Arjuna's Penance

Experience scale
  • Excellent 4
  • Good 1
  • Very Good 1
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Average 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: Below 1hr
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Sunrise
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/StorageLockers/Storage

Timing, fees and more


Operating hours

Monday - Friday:
7:00 AM -7:00 PM
7:00 AM -7:00 PM
7:00 AM -7:00 PM
Public Holidays:
7:00 AM -7:00 PM

Other Details

Famous for:
Heritage Sites
Not Allowed:
99% voted as clean

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Reviews and Ratings



4 reviews

Best place to take snaps

Nice place to get rid of tension and stress. Symbol of peace. Best place to take snaps. They will not allow us to touch the wall. Near beach it will be better place for couples to enjoy. Have many resorts, food and accommodation. Blowing of sea wind will blow off your stress.

Arun Rajan

Arun Rajan4.3/5

140 reviews

Great carvings

In this place you can find great carvings on the rock and this place is believed to be carved out of a single huge roc. They have built an enormous cave with many carvings on the walls of the cave.

Rizwanuddin Rafiq

Rizwanuddin Rafiq5.0/5

3023 reviews

Depicts the great story

Arjuna's Penance or the Descent of the Ganges, carved on the rock with the natural vertical cleft, symbolizing the Ganges, the panel depicts in great details the story of the sacred river's descent from the sky. This divine act, made possible by the penance of the sage Bhagiratha, is witnessed on the panel by celestial and semi celestial beings, ascetics and animals. This is also known as Bhagiratha Penance. Great artistic heritage and great attraction for the tourists.

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Basab Chakrabarty

Basab Chakrabarty4.3/5

14 reviews

Awesome monolith stone carving

Arjuna's Penance is a beautiful bas relief. Carved as a monolithic series of temples, wall carvings over an area. Whatever remains of the almost 1000 year-old monument. Inspires awe at the unknown artists who had painstakingly carved such poetry in stone. The central portion depicts the descent of the river Ganges from heaven. The huge balancing rock generates curiosity.

Sanjay Puri

Sanjay Puri5.0/5

1 review

Incredible architect on single stone, must see

When you see it first time you won't believe how someone can carve this incredible art piece on single stone. This is world biggest stone carving and I'm glad that I saw this whole architecture of Mahabalipuram is incredible like incredible INDIA.

Abhijit Pal

Abhijit Pal4.6/5

56 reviews

Spectacular experience

This is one of the most photographed sculptures - we all have seen this in our history books. However, seeing it in front of you keeps you spellbound. The details are awesome. The only problem is the guides, who is a disturbance all around.
  • Spectacular experience

Abhijit Pal

Abhijit Pal3.9/5

9 reviews

A must see for all Indians

Just by standing in front of this masterpiece brings a feeling of respect to the artists, who created this and respect to the king, who thought about this. Everybody must have seen this in their history books, but seeing that in front of you - fabulous.
  • A must see for all Indians

Vishnu Kumar

Vishnu Kumar5.0/5

6 reviews

Inscriptions are beautiful

This is masterpiece stonework in Mahabalipuram. The different scenes of Hindu mythology are inscribed beautifully on this giant boulder. A visit to this destination will definitely complete your trip. You can also visit this easily by staying in hotels near Mahabalipuram as it is easily accessible.
  • Inscriptions are beautiful

Rajanikanth Bottu

Rajanikanth Bottu5.0/5

7 reviews

Heritage place

Seeing Arjuna's Penance at Mahabalipuram is nothing short of a spectacle. Its myriad statutes ranging from mythical figures to deities makes you spellbound. Its one of its kind in the world with a huge base relief work.

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Photos of Arjuna's Penance

Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Vishnu Kumar

Elephant carvings
Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Samik Duttagupta

Visit to Mahabalipuram
Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Abhijit Pal

Arjuna\'s Penance
Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Abhijit Pal

Arjuna Penance

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