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184 Main Collins Street West Victoria 807
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Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

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Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram, is a town situated on a narrow peninsula between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake. It is a stunningly beautiful town that is known for its intricately carved temples and caves cut into the rock, its peace and quiet, and its many beautiful white sand beaches with casuarina trees.From the seventh to the tenth century, Mahabalipuram served as a thriving port city. It is a beautiful beach destination that is gradually developing into the surfing hub of the country. Mamallapuram is essentially an open-air museum with its striking bas-reliefs and rock-cut temples. Formerly a bustling port, Mamallapuram is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site complex that is also well-known for its seafood, cafes, markets, seashell jewellery and breathtaking oceanfront.

Nearby Places to See

Shore Temple
Shore Temple, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest, free-standing temple in the vicinity of Mamallapuram. Built with granite during the reign of King Narasimhavarman II (695-722), it dates to the latter half of the 7th century and is a perfect example of Dravidian and Pallava architecture. Three sanctums with shrines can be found inside the temple, two of which are devoted to Lord Shiva and one to Lord Vishnu. It stands magnificently in rock-cut elegance and is surrounded by gardens and ruined courts.
Pancha Rathas
The Pancha Rathas are five magnificent rock carvings that are currently included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the Mamallapuram Complex. The rock carvings, which are a beautiful example of Dravidian architecture, are located at the southernmost point of Mamallapuram. The five ratha temples belong to the Pandava brothers-Yudhishthir, Bheema, Arjun, Nakul, and Sahdeva, and their wife Draupadi- the characters of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata.
Arjuna’s Penance
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arjuna’s Penance (tapas) measures up to 43 feet in height and 100 feet in length and is thought to be the largest structure of its kind in the world. It is inscribed on two monolithic boulders. Over a hundred sculptures of deities, birds, beasts, and saints decorate its walls. The relic depicts a scene from the epic Mahabharata where Arjuna was praying fervently and performing penance to Lord Shiva to ask him for his powerful and divine bow. This bow is rumoured to have been crucial to Arjuna’s victory over the Kauravas in the Mahabharata’s epic battle.
Krishna’s Butter Ball
There are many places to see in Mamallapuram, but one of the most famous is this enormous boulder that stands about 16 feet tall. The boulder seems to defy the laws of physics as it balances precariously on its narrow base. It is a representation of Lord Krishna’s affection for butter. According to legend, the boulder is symbolic of the amount of butter that Lord Krishna used to steal and eat.
India Seashell Museum
It is Asia’s biggest seashell museum. The variety of shells on display here would mesmerise visitors and transport them to a completely different world. It takes more than 90 minutes to view the entire collection of shells on display.