The best guide to Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

I love to find out about amazing places! Mahabalipuram is a small town – but a true gem, as Neha from A Revolving Compass demonstrates in the guide below. With several UNESCO World Heritage sites and without being crowded not even during the peak season, this town should definitely be on your list when traveling to India. Here is the best guide to Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India, written by a traveler. The guide includes famous places and useful tips, all to help you plan the perfect trip here!

Mahabalipuram is a small town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is also called Mamallapuram. It is a hub of UNESCO World Heritage sites that date back to the Pallava Dynasty which ruled in the area around 700AD. There are temples and other architectural wonders in this town devoted to Hindu God Shiva. The sculptures and carvings on these temples are mind blowing.

Top 5 landmarks to see here

Shore Temple: The Shore Temple is the most important site in Mahabalipuram to behold. This temple way to ancient, built in 700AD. And, as the name suggests, it is located right on the shore of Bay of Bengal, with a rocky beach on one side and a sandy beach on the other. It is an excellent place to watch sunrise and sunset.

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Pancha Ratha
A very fine example of monolith rock cut architecture is what defines the Pancha Rathas. These consist of 5 different monuments, each one with excellent carving on it. And then there is an elephant and a lion that stand in the center of the ground, both cut out of monolith stones.

Bheems Ratha-min - Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Bheems Ratha-min – Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Krishna’s Butterball
It is a uniquely standing monolith stone that is tilted and balances itself in a magical way against the slippery ground. It is one of the must see attractions of Mahabalipuram. It is said futile attempts have been made in the past to move this stone from it’s place but all in vein. Even a set of elephants employed to move it failed to do so, thus, no wonder it is a major attraction in Mahabalipuram.

READ  Things To Keep In Mind When Planning A Destination Wedding

Mahabalipuram was a major trade hub in ancient India. It has a beautiful lighthouse standing tall amidst it’s historical wonders like the shore temple and Pancha Ratha. Recently it has been opened to public. You can now climb all the way till the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the stunning view of the city from there.

Several museums have come up in Mahabalipuram in the past few years. And each of these is equally wonderful. Near the lighthouse lies the lighthouse heritage museum and the maritime heritage museum. The former has many equipment on display that once were operational in the lighthouse. While the later exhibits several models of ancient boats and ships, the important shipping routes of the past and several other interesting artifacts. Then there is a shell museum that is one of it’s kind and the largest in Asia, it consists of 2300 unique shells on display that are more than 40000 in number.

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu Off the Beaten Path

The town of Mahabalipuram is not so crowded. We went in the peak season and still it was not very crowded. So, the place definitely off the beaten path. The place can be comfortably covered in a day, and then, you can club it along with a visit to Pondicherry, another gem of a place in South India.

beach - sunrise - Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
beach – sunrise – Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Where to eat

The streets around Shore Temple and the other UNESCO heritage thrive with restaurants of all types, specializing in sea food, Chinese, Indian and continental. There are even vegetarian restaurants in abundance. You can as well try some local authentic ‘thali’ in one of the local outlets along the streets.

Tips for Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

  • Visit in winter months, summers are too hot here, as it is a tropical beach.
  • Wear comfortable cotton cloths. Preferably full sleeves unless you want to get considerably tanned
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be doing lots of walking around the place, as all the monuments and sites are quiet walkable from each other.
  • Carry a bottle of water with you all the time
  • You can as well stay in Chennai when you visit here. Because this place is very close to Chennai.
  • The place is quiet safe for visitors, just take the normal precautions that you would for any other destination.
READ  The complete guide to Fujikawaguchiko, Japan

Overall, I really liked visiting Mahabalipuram very much. It has a mix of ancient sites, historical places, beautiful beach and some nice museums.

About the author: This post is written by Neha. She and her husband Abhishek are travel enthusiasts & travel bloggers by passion and software engineer by profession. Neha is the planner and the writer. Abhishek is the executer and the photographer. They plan their family trips at the beginning of each year, putting good use to all holidays and extended weekends available. Post the vacation, they share their experience through their travelogue . When they are not able to travel physically, they travel virtually reading blogs of fellow travelers (and that happens daily!) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!

The best guide to Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India



31 thoughts on “The best guide to Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

  1. Hi, I love these Hindu temples and Buddhist temples too. I’ve spent many days strolling around temples in Asia and taking photos. Mahabalipuram and the Shore temple look a chilled out and interesting place to visit, thanks for sharing. Noi.

  2. wow, these temples look gorgeous and now that I am meditating they give me a more spiritual feeling. i would love to visit on at some point of my life. thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly
    informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.

  4. I got this website from my friend who told me on the topic of this web page and at
    the moment this time I am visiting this web site and reading very
    informative articles or reviews at this place.

  5. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
    My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my
    users would certainly benefit from some of the information you
    provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you.

  6. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or
    advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  7. Good day I am so happy I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while
    I was researching on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here
    now and would just like to say kudos for a incredible post and
    a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  8. You can certainly see your skills within the
    work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers
    like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they
    believe. Always follow your heart.

  9. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be
    actually something which I think I might
    never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely large for me.
    I am taking a look ahead to your subsequent post, I’ll attempt to get the cling
    of it!

  10. Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog
    world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Hey I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found
    you by mistake, while I was researching on Bing for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a fantastic
    post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to browse it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included
    your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read much more, Please do keep up the superb work.

  12. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. This great article has truly
    peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once
    per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  13. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  14. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s
    both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you,
    you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I found this in my hunt for something concerning

  15. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating
    on a number of the subjects you write concerning here.
    Again, awesome website!

  16. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go
    back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *