About Mamallapuram / Mahabalipuram
Mamallapuram : is located to about 58 kms south of Chennai, nestling on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, was once a port of the Pallavas. The Pallavas have created many marvellous monuments with Sculptural Panels, Caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples.
Places of interest
Arjuna's Penance : This skilfully carved rock is the largest bas - relief sculpture in the world. It gets its name from the figure of an ascetic who is believed to be Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata, doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Siva. However, there are others who think that the figure is actually Bhagiratha who entreated Siva to let the river Ganges flow over the earth.
Five Rathas : There are five monolithic temples, each created in different style. They are also know as Pancha Pandava Rathas, and four of the Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation.
Tiger's Cave : It is 4 kms north of the main monument complex. It was an open air theatre, where cultural programmes are held. Though it is very near the sea, the place is serene and calm.
The Shore Temple : This is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD and is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The monuments are flood lit at night and so it is possible to enjoy their beauty after sunset.
How to Reach Mahabalipuram:
By Air : Nearest Airport is Chennai about 53 kms.
By Rail : Nearest Railhead is Chennai Central about 55 Kms
By Road : Mahabalipuram is well connected from chennai city with Tamilnadu Road Transport Corporation