Situated some 65 km south of Chennai, Mamallapuram has become famous for its monuments and stone carvings.Mamallapuram once served as a port city to the great Pallava kings, the history of this city dates back to more than 2000 years.The most famous of all is the Shore temple situated at a picturesque location just by the side of Bay of Bengal.The temple is at its imperious best to look at under the moonlit skies. The temple was battered by waves and winds of 13 centuries and too was a victim of people’s inattention, but now, after Mamallapuram being tagged as a World heritage site by UNESCO, it gets all the deserved attention and accolades. There are other tourist places worth a visit in Mamallapuram like the Panch Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance and many well carved caves like the Mahishasurmardini Cave.
Arjuna’s Penance, a sculpted rock situated opposite to Talasayana Perumal Temple is the world’s largest bas-relief. The rock has carvings of Arjuna in deep meditation and many other sculptures of Gods, elephants, monkeys, and other creatures looking on.ust a few meters away, to the left of Arjuna’s Penance, is Krishna Mandapam, another bas-relief, carved in the mid-7th century, definitely able to catch your attention, watch carefully the carvings of Lord Krishna indulging into his day to day activities, you will be stun by such a fineness of details. Near Arjuna’s Penance, to the north, is the huge spherical boulder known as Krishna’s Butter Ball, balanced on a hillside, a sight worth a watch.
Sitting pretty on a sandy beach on the Bay of Bengal, early-8th-century Shore Temple is considered to be one of the oldest temples in South India. Its two towers started a trend that was copied by temples throughout the southern region and to other Asian shores.A sculpture of reclining Lord Vishnu is found inside one shrine, whereas the other two shrines are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a classic example of Dravidian style architecture. Make your travel worthwhile by paying a visit to the presiding deities.
By Air : The nearest airport is Chennai around 50 km away. It takes around 1 hr by road to reach Mamallapuram.
By Rail : Nearest railhead is Chennai which is well connected to all parts of India. Pondicherry station is also close by and can be used as an alternative.