Mahabalipuram also called as Mamallapuram is a famous coastal town and was earlier a sea port founded by a Pallavan King in the 17th century. Today it is a fascinating archeological site and a pleasant sea resort. Mahabalipuram washed by the shores of the Bay of Bengal is noted for its coastline which spreads for atleast 20kms.Its beautiful and unspoilt beaches stretching for miles, and lined by groves of casuarinas is another great attraction.

This golden sandy beach has striking interesting features in an unusual way bounded by the gleam of the sea and rolling hills. Apart from exploring magnificent monuments besides the beach it also has many other factors attracting the interests of the tourists, like you can get into adventure sports, have sun bathe, relax and unwind yourself.Mahabalipuram along with Chennai and Kanchipuram forms the famous 'Golden Tourism Triangle' ashore Coromandel Coast.


Mahabalipuram Beach lies on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at the distance of 58 km south of Chennai.


This ancient port city on the Coromandel coast belongs to the 7th century of the Pallava dynasty.Mahabalipuram, one of the important heritage site of India gets its name from the the cruel demon king Mahabali, who was slayed by Goddess Durga.Though it was famous for its shore temple and the cave temples, the beach was not of prominence during the Pallava period. It got its recognition only after the 20th century and started attracting tourists from different parts of the world.


The most renowned "Mahabalipuram Dance Festival" is famous all over the world and people come from all over the world as participants as well as spectators. The Dance festival starts on the 25th of December every year and is conducted on all Saturdays and Government holidays, upto February first week. This dance festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu.The performers apart from presenting the classical dances like Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi also perform folk dances of India.


Arjuna's Penance

The hero of this sculpture Arjuna was one of the main characters of the Indian epic Mahabharata.Arjuna's Penance not only talks about history but also it adds to the pride of the country. This is one of the world's largest bas-relief that measures 27 meters and 9 meters along its length and breadth respectively. The other added features to Arjuna's Penance that this whaleback shaped rock contains figures of Gods, Demigods, Men, Beasts and Birds.

Five Rathas

The five Rathas dedicated to the five Pandavas, showing fine chariots hewn out of solid granite monolithic rocks, are one of the major attractions in Mahabalipuram.Each Ratha or otherwise the chariot is created in a different style which are popularly referred as the 'Pancha Pandava Rathas'.The main notable feature of these rathas are that out of the five four of the Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation.


Dakshinachitra is a place dedicated to the olden days culture and is being developed as a model village having various sectors depicting 19th century villages of states like Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The main feature of this project is that it has got everything like roads to utensils pertaining to that particular era.

Though it is going to take years to complete it is at present home to hundreds of artists and masons who are involved in this project. This place is situated on the Chennai Mahabalipuram road.

Shore Temples

The Shore Temple which talks about the Dravidian style of architecture belongs to the 8th century AD. It was this shore temple which ventured into this unclaimed territory of the Dravidian temple art. It is one of the oldest temple in South India and it looks splendid in great moonlit night. Although the religious activities in this temple have been discontinued way back in the late 19th century, the temple attracts a lot of tourist�s everyday.

Varaha Caves

The Varaha Cave shows two incarnations of Vishnu-Varaha and Vamana along with four panels of the famous Pallava doorkeepers in addiction to a state of abstracted musing. It is the lyrical softness and grace of these supposed to be macho-guards that make them attract the attention of the tourists. The 7th century Mahisasurmardini Cave has fine bas-reliefs on its panels while the Dharmaraja Cave sports three empty shrines. The other highlights of these caves are the Somaskanda, masterpiece of 'dhwani'depicting Lord Vishnu and a huge theatrical panel showing Goddess Durga's fight with the demon Mahishasura.

Tiger's Cave

The Tiger's Cave is a calm and unruffled place just 4 kilometers off to the main monument complex of the Mahabalipuram.It has an open air theatre which can accommodate a large crowd and hence many major cultural programs are held here.

Krishna Mandapam

One of the earliest rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram, its walls depicts scenes of Krishna's herder�s life. One of them depicts Krishna lifting the Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect his people from wrath of the Rain God, Indra.


There are number of small outlets famous for its stone and wooden sculptures. Handicrafts, images made of Soapstone, Wood carvings, sea-shell articles and jewelleries are also sold.Jewellery and decorative items made of seashells are also good buys to carry home as souvenirs from this seaside town. Apart from the the main area for shopping in Mount Road, there are also government run emporiums which sells handicraft items.


1.Blue Elephant Restaurant‎
Othavadai St, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
044 27442115‎

2.Grt Temple Bay
Temple Bay, Kovalam Road, Mahabalipuram, 603104

#131, East Coast Road,
Mahabalipuram - 603 104. 
044-67456348 .

4.Sunrise Restaurants
Thirukulam Street
Beach Road


5.Le Rilz Restaurant‎
E Raja St, Mahabalipuram,
Tamil Nadu 603104

6.Kumaran Cool Bar‎
No. 11, Old College Road,

7.Amman Tea Stall
No. 9, E.C.R. Kovalam Road,
East Coast Road, Mahabalipuram,
Tamil Nadu 603104


1.Hotel Lakshmi Cottages‎
No-5, Othavadai Street, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
044 27442463‎

2.Ideal Beach Resort
Mahabalipuram-603 104 
Tamil Nadu 

3.Hotel Mamallaa Heritage
NO: 104, East Raja Street,
Mamallapuram 603 104,
Tamil Nadu, SouthIndia.
044 - 27442060

4.Hotel Sea Breeze‎
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
044 27443035‎

5.Green Coconut Resort 
58/1, East Coast Road, Muhukatu, Kanchipuram
Chennai, Tamil Nadu 603112
044 27472055

6.Shelter Beach Resort Mahabalipuram
275, East Coast Road, Vada Nemmeli,
District Kanchipuram,
Tamil Nadu, India

7.Temple Bay Beach Resort 
Tamil Nadu


By Air

Chennai (58-km) has the nearest airport with both domestic and international terminus. Chennai is connected with all the important places in India through the numerous domestic flights. International flights operate from various parts of the world to Chennai.

By Trains >

The nearest railway stations are Chengalpattu (29-km) and Chennai (58-km). From these stations one has to take the terrestrial route to reach Mahabalipuram.

By Road

There are buses available from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai to Mahabalipuram regularly. The road to Mahabalipuram is well connected to other major roads. Tourists can also hire a taxi from Chennai to reach Mahabalipuram.