Mahabalipuram – a poetry in stone …

by Purnendu Singh


Oct 7, 2010


Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is an ancient port town located around 50 Km from Chennai off the East Coast Road. Established by the Pallavas around 7th Century AD, the town with its various monuments finds a place among UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The town is famous for mostly Rock cut monolithic temples and sculpture, the most prominent landmarks being the Shore Temple, Arjuna’s penance, Descent of the Ganges, Varaha cave temple and the Panchrathas. The monuments are built in different styles and depict the art of different periods. The town also has a Lighhouse overlooking the Bay of Bengal which remains open for visitors till 4 PM.


The Light House overlooking Bay of Bengal

Mahabalipuram is not directly connected by railways, the nearest railway stations being Chennai and Chengalpet. It is reachable from Chennai via ECR and OMR and from Pondicherry via the ECR. The distance to Pondicherry is 85 Km.

The Bay of Bengal

Mahabalipuram, for its size, has surprisingly large number of places to stay, from budget to splurge. There are many resorts built along the sea with most modern amenities for lodging. The resaurents in the town serve all kinds of food, from Indian to continental. For vegetarians, Anand Bhavan, Golden Palate and A2B are recommended, for those who love continental, Sea Breeze, Nautilas, Moonrakers are the places to be. Le Yogi is another famous restaurant, but it has not allowed Indians sometimes in the past and hence is not recommended based on ethical principles.
Our college was situated 10 Km from Mahabalipuram and so it happened to be the favorite hangout for us for one year. Any queries are welcome.

Mahabalipuram, a set on Flickr.

The famous elephants of MahabalipuramArjuna's penance Stone relief work The giant "Krishna's butterball"Lighthouse Mahishasurmardini
Vishnu carved in stone The Light House overlooking Bay of BengalStone steps ...Waves and CloudsDifferent shadesA failed attempt at silhouette
The Bay of BengalThe MadariSea

Mahabalipuram - a poetry in stone ... 1
Mahabalipuram - a poetry in stone ... 1
Mahabalipuram - a poetry in stone ... 1



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  1. hridyanubhuti

    very interesting post with a beautiful picture…

  2. KP

    Its a lovely place.. the beauty of man made and nature's wonder blend well in there..!

  3. Deguide

    How long does it take to discover the entire monuments ? 2 hours or more

  4. Shadows Galore

    @Hridayanbhuti and KP: Its a wonderful nice little place tucked in the lap of the Bay of Bengal. Welcome anytime! 🙂

    @Deguide: Since Mahabalipuram is a small place, it should not take more than 2 hours on foot to cover the whole area frequented by tourists. However, since the Five Rathas and the other stone monuments close by about 5:30 PM, make sure you make it early.

  5. Chris

    Four score and seven minutes ago, I read a sweet artlcie. Lol thanks

  6. Sejal

    Any stay options that you can recommend here ? Is it possible to stay at Dakshina Chitra and explore Mahabalipuram ? Thanks

    • Puru

      Hi Sejal,

      There are some good places to stay in Mahabalipuram. I will recommend Sea Breeze, which has a good restaurant too.

      Dakshin Chitra is a great option too, though it is 25 KM away from Mahabalipuram. However since the places are on ECR, you can reach Mahabalipuram in about 45 minutes. Dakshin Chitra is a very interesting place in itself. 🙂


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