Mahabalipuram Beach (also known, as "Mamallapuram Beach") is located
58 kms south of Chennai on the shores of the Bay ofBengal,spanning a distance of over 20 km.The Mahabalipuram beach is a marvelous destination to visit. It isprobably one of the finest un-touched beaches in India. Mahabalipuram was the erstwhile port of the Pallava dynasty. They have created many marvellous monuments with Sculptural Panels, Caves, Monolithic Rathas (chariots). This place was declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in the year 1995. This golden sandy beach is a picturesque place bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills. Tourists from across the globe come to Mahabalipuram.
Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu hosts a Dance Festival annually at Mahabalipuram during Jan- Feb.The dances like Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathakali and folk dances are included in this festival.
Dakshinachitra - On the way from Chennai to Mahabalipuram Dakshinachitra - a heritage centre, can be seen. Here traditional crafts persons and folk artists work and perform in the reconstructed period settings of 19th century homes, streets and workspaces of the Southern States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Shore Temple - This is a twin temple, and is one of the oldest temples in south India. It belongs to the early 8th century AD and is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style.The monuments are floodlit at night and gives a beautiful view.
Arjuna's Penance - The world's largest bas-relief measuring 27m x 9m is the pride of Mahabalipuram. This huge whaleback shaped rock contains figures of Gods, Demigods, men, beasts, birds and infact represents the entire creation.
Five Rathas - These are five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the "Pancha Pandava Rathas", and the four of the Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation.
Tiger's Cave - It is 4-km 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 captivating crocodile farm
The snake venom-extracting center
Best time to visit Mamallapuram Temple
November to February
Both luxury and budget hotels are available here.
By Air The nearest airport is at Chennai , 58-km away.
By Rail The nearest convenient railway stations are at Chengalpattu
(29 kms) and at Chennai(58 kms)
By Road Buses are available from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai to Mamallapuram daily. Tourists can also hire a taxi from Chennai.