Mahabalipuram Tourism

Mahabalipuram is famous for

Video Reviews

Watch videos of Mahabalipuram shot by our travellers

Descent of the Ganges

Descent of the Ganges  Video Review

Descent Of The Ganges

Pankaj Agarwal
30th Dec 17

Pancha Rathas make by Pallava

Pancha Rathas make by Pallava  Video Review

Pancha Rathas

Nithya Aravind
27th Aug 17

Rock monuments built in form of Chariots

Rock monuments built in form of Chariots  Video Review

Pancha Rathas

Megha G krishna
24th Jul 17

Pancha Rathas of the pandavas

Pancha Rathas of the pandavas  Video Review

Pancha Rathas

Pankaj Agarwal
30th Dec 17

Puzzle for science

Puzzle for science  Video Review

Krishna's Butterball

Destination Unlimited
1st Oct 17

An incomplete Gopuram, complete with History

An incomplete Gopuram, complete with History  Video Review

Rayar Gopuram

Vipul jain
1st Oct 17

Beautiful architecture; must visit

Beautiful architecture; must visit  Video Review

Trimurti Cave Temple

Destination Unlimited
1st Oct 17

Dedicated to God's Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva

Dedicated to God's Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva  Video Review

Trimurti Cave Temple

Musafir forever
1st Oct 17

An ode to the three gods

An ode to the three gods  Video Review

Trimurti Cave Temple

Life's a Journey
1st Oct 17

The rock that defies gravity

The rock that defies gravity  Video Review

Krishna's Butterball

Life's a Journey
1st Oct 17

I am heading to Mahabalipuram

Planning Mahabalipuram trip?

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Reasons to go to Mahabalipuram

1The Shore Temple
The Shore Temple

The town of Mahabalipuram is beyond surreal. The golden coloured temple against the brilliant blue skies is a striking scene. It is the only surviving remnant of 7 such temples and a UNESCO world heritage site. Others are submerged under the sea. Kids would love climbing up the rocks and explore the cave temples, all in the vicinity. 

HolidayIQ reviewer Mani says, "The best place for a family trip. You can find Ancient Tamil kingdom sculptures in Mahabalipuram. It was one of the oldest carvings." HolidayIQ reviewer Subha says, "The beach was very clean and kids will enjoy."


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2For the love of ancient wonders
For the love of ancient wonders

"This is a seaside small town near to Chennai with historical monuments," HolidayIQ reviewer Prasad introduces Mahabalipuram. 

HolidayIQ reviewer Syed gives a detailed account, "I had been to Mahabalipuram with my family. I liked the ancient temples which were a delight to see. Arjunas penance, the five rathas and the shore temple are very well maintained. We had been to the top of the lighthouse and the view from the top was awesome. We had fun at the beach too. Really worth visiting this wonderful place."


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3Perfect for some beach football or volleyball
Perfect for some beach football or volleyball

HolidayIQ Reviewer tilak shares, “ This place is good for friends, families and couples.

HolidayIQ Reviewer Siva Prasad shares, “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 travelled with friends. We can learn a lot more about the ancient temple and we can enjoy the nice scenic beauties in and around the ocean and played some water sports.” 


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4To purchase accessories and jewelry made out of seashells
To purchase accessories and jewelry made out of seashells

HolidayIQ Reviewer Mohan Babu adds, “Perfect place for a weekend; A place to enjoy the complete weekend. There are numerous Rock Temples which would need at least one day to cover all these sculptures. There is an entry fee for car and tourist vehicles. As well as entry fees for certain Rock Temples. A lot of shops where one can buy articles, accessories, and goodies made out of seashells. There are many resorts at a nominal price to enjoy. The seafood is awesome.”


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5To collect souvenirs and some fun music
To collect souvenirs and some fun music

HolidayIQ Reviewer Mohamed Hasan shares, “Good for visit before sunset Plus points: Pleasant beachside, freshly fried fish, seashell crafts, wooden crafts and horse rides. Rocks at the shore and music show in open gardens during December. Food festival and art festival are conducted nearby.”

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Reviews (107)

Sanjay Kapila

Sanjay Kapila4.6/5

4 reviews

Serene & Peaceful Weather & Sea with High Tides

If you love sea beach and still want to enjoy in your customized bikni then this is the place for you If you are staying in resort then you would enjoy FISH in many varieties Its easy to reach, on the Highway. 40 KMS from Chennai



9 reviews

Relax and enjoyed the town.

Visited Mahabalipuram during our visit to Kanchipuram. Drive is around 2 hours from Kanchipuram (car). Take the Chengalpattu route. Roads are very good and quite empty as it was a weekday. Stayed at Hotel Tamil nadu (4 km away from town). Has own private beach and location is good but rooms are poorly maintained and pathetic service. Stayed overnight. Check-in and checkout is 12 pm. We had a 24 hour visit to Mahabalipuram before returning back to Kanchi the next day.

One can keep 4 hours to visit all the places here if having own vehicle. Visited Shore temple which will need an hour max. Parking nearby. They charged Rs 30. On the same stretch is other places to visit like Krishna butterball, Arjuna's penance, Varaha temple, Maisasura's cave. Lighthouse. All of them are on the same road, a few meters apart. Except for Maisasura cave and Lighthouse, rest can be covered in 15 min each. Maisasura cave and Lighthouse need an hour as there is lot of climbing but the view from top is spectacular. Five rathas is a few distance away and would need 45 min to 1 hour to explore. Parking fees charged was Rs 30. Tiger cave is around 4 km from Hotel tamil nadu (towards Chennai). Nothing spectacular as it can covered in 10 min as there is only a cave. Can be avoided.

Note that entry into town is toll of Rs 40. So if you stay outside town like we did, every time you enter you need to pay Rs 40. So plan out where you want to stay. Hot and humid weather so lot of drinks and ice cream shops around. Shore temple and Five rathas do not look like Hindu temples as their structures are very different and there is a belief that there could some alien hand in building them. Check a few youtube videos on Mahabalipuram to get some information before going there, so you can compare and be more knowledgeable of the place.

Prefer to cover all the above between 11 am and 5 pm with a break for lunch. All the temples and caves close by 6 pm so plan your visit. One day visit is enough to visit all the above mentioned. If you want to take a day off to relax then keep 2 day visit.

We had lunch at Delhi Dhaba (open Hotel Tamil nadu). Food was very good but very expensive. Overall a good pleasure trip to relax and wonder why, who and how were these structures built 1200 years back during the Pallava dynasty.

Hope the review helps.

Read More

Recommended Duration in Mahabalipuram

Number of days to spend in Mahabalipuram as recommended by our travellers.

1 day


2 days


Mahabalipuram Overview

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.

Photos of Mahabalipuram

Krishna's Butterball, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Ronit Gaikwad

Krishna's Butterball, Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Vikram Kumar

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Vikram Kumar

Mahabalipuram Beach, Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

Photo by

Vikram Kumar

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

There is so much to see in Mahabalipuram.

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