Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) is located at a distance of 58-km from Chennai. This historic city contains contains nearly forty monuments of different types including an "open air bas relief" which is the largest in the world. For centuries, it has been a centre of pilgrimage. This pleasant seaside resort with bewildering Monolithic monuments and stone sculptures is a favorite place of tourists.
The Shore Temple is one of the oldest South Indian temples.
(8th century) A three-in-one abode of God - a Vishnu temple positioned
between two Shiva temples, is a treat to the eyes with its in
architectural grandeurs. The complex wall of this temple is adorned with
beautiful sculptures. One can admire for hours together the beauty of the sea spreading endlessly and infinitely on either side of the temple. Mamallapuram Beach - This small beach is very beautiful.
Arjuna's Penance, 27 mtrs long and 9 mtrs high, is one of the most famous stone carvings at Mahabalipuram. It is an enormous relief made on two massive boulders, and perhpas also one of the biggest open-air rock canvases in the world. The surface of the rock has endearing carvings of animals. This skillfully carved edifice has over 100 figures of gods and semi divine creatures, birds and beasts, man and saint. These figures are remarkable for their vitality and spontaneity and speak volumes about the skill of the sculptorsof that period of Pallavas.
The Rathas - There are five monolithic temples, each created in different style. They are also know as "Pancha Pandava Rathas," and four of the Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation.
Tiger's Cave -located 4 kms north of the main monument complex, it is a calm and serene place. It was an open air theatre, where cultural programmes are held.
Covelong beach resort is just 20 km away.
Crocodile Bank is located 14 km away where about 5000 crocodiles and other species are reared.
Muthukadu, a fine picnic spot, with facilities for boating and water sports is not very far.
Thirukazukundram Pakshi Theertham temple is just 15 kms away, where a unique scene can be seen with two kites coming daily to take the prasadam offered by the priest.
Good hotels are available at Mahabalipuram.
By Air - The nearest airport is Chennai,58-km away. Chennai has both domestic and international terminus.
By Rail - The nearest railway stations are Chengalpattu (29-km) and Chennai (58-km).
- Buses are available from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and
Chennai to Mahabalipuram daily. Taxis are also available from Chennai.
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