About 60 kilometres away from Chennai, there lays the land of sculptures, rock cut caves, monolithic statues and temples. It is the old port of this region, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram. Ancient kings wanted to welcome the merchants from the sea by showing their art wealth. They built a lot of sculptures and temples along the shores of this city, Mahabalipuram. Today, this city lies as a heritage site, top site for photography, important tourist destination in Tamilnadu for art lovers and for sightseeing. Moreover, the beach in this city also adds more attraction to the place.
This article talks in detail about things that every tourist should perform in Mahabalipuram.
The Shore Temple of Pallavas
As the name indicates, this temple is located on the beach of Mahabalipuram. It was built by Pallavas. This temple is a heritage site. The golden colour temple with blue sea and golden sand would stand as a marvellous backdrop for all your photographs. There are only six other such shore temples in India that aren’t engulfed by sea. Other important feature of this temple is that it is made up of a single rock. A great rock was sculptured into this marvellous temple. There are many temples inside this huge campus.
The best activities to perform in this shore temple include sightseeing, photography and exploration. You would feel like exploring a cave as you walk through the steep stairs. If you visit during December, you ought to enjoy the annual cultural dance festival of India that happens inside this temple.
These are monolithic rock temples carved to look like chariots. There are numerous animal sculptures carved in these temples. There are five temples dedicated to different gods. In one of the temple, there are two floors. There is no staircase from ground to first floor but, you can find stairs from first to second floor. These are famous for sightseeing and photography.
Open Air Caves Mahabalipuram
Another attraction in Mahabalipuram is exploring caves. You can find eight caves here. Each cave has sculptures that tell us an epic story. The best of all is the tiger cave here. Other attractions for sightseeing in Mahabalipuram are the white coloured temple of Thirukadalmalai, open air relief of Arjuna’s penance and others.
Gravity Defying Butterball of Krishna
There is a large boulder on a slanting rock that does not fall off. This is a true attraction and ancient kings have tried to push it down by using elephants too. If you are up to it, try to give a few pushes to it.
Surfing and other Beach Activities
There is a beach and a beautiful sea in Mahabalipuram. All known beach based attractions can be found here. The top most activity enjoyed by most of the tourists is surfing. Apart from surfing, you can enjoy turtle walks, boating, trekking and many others.
Sunset at Lighthouse
It was an ancient port and you would obviously find an ancient stone lighthouse that was built in Pallava era. The best activity here is to catch the sunset from the top of the lighthouse. It is a romantic and adrenaline rushing activity here.
These are the top activities to enjoy in Mahabalipuram. Other activities include stone carving classes, cycle ride, and visit to the cultural village and crocodile park.