As a tourist, if you enjoy something, chances are Mahabalipuram will be able to provide you with them. Enjoy the warmth of the sun on the golden sands while you make your taste buds come alive with the local spiced seafood.
The nomenclature is quite interesting. According to legends, King Mahabali was killed in the spot. He was a very arrogant king who was not only unkind but extremely discourteous even to the gods. On his death, the people rejoiced and named the place after him to celebrate the death. Either way, the place is quite fascinating.
The incredible place was once a capital of the Pallava Empire. You will easily be able to locate the amazing arts and architecture that they have left behind. Mahabalipuram contains many buildings which showcase this stunningly innovative architecture style. You are going to love the glorious temples and the nearby caves.
How to Get There
By Air :
Chennai is the nearest airport which is located at 54 km away from Mahabalipuram.
By Rail :
The nearest rail head is Chengalpattu, which is 29 km away from Mahabalipuram city.Chennai is the major railway station nearby which is connected to all major cities in India by rail.
By Road :
Mahabalipuram is connected by a number of interconnecting roadways to Chennai,Chengalpattu, Pondicherry and Kanchipuram.
Prepare beforehand to let your jaw drop in amazement at the vista that awaits you at Arjuna’s Penance. It is a masterpiece and the crowning glory of all the stonework you can find at Mahabalipuram. The gigantic carving is easily one of the greatest artistic works to have been produced in ancient India. Arjuna’s Penance has been inscribed on a giant boulder. The boulder seems to burst forth in life with vignettes from Hindu mythology. You will also notice scenes depicting the everyday life of the people. The carvings are so incredibly detailed that they seem to be alive
The Varaha Cave lies surrounded by the beauties of nature. This splendid sight is ancient in origins having been built in the 7th century. It just goes on to how skillful the people were having been able to cut the charming place out of rock. Now considered in the World Heritages Sites list from UNESCO, the Varaha Cave offers you some enthralling carvings. There is even a shrine inside dedicated to Lord Vishnu, in his Varaha avatar.
The Krishna Temple
The Krishna Temple is another fascinating temple carved out inside a cave. The caves around the area contain some fine pieces of sculptures. These cave temples are called mandapams in the native tongue and they are very interesting. The Krishna Mandapam is one of the oldest among them. The architecture is striking but your attention is going to be taken up by the incredible carvings on the world. A pastoral scene is depicted here which shows Lord Krishna lifting up the legendary Govardhana Mountain with his little finger to protect his village from being destroyed by the anger of Lord Indra.