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MAHABALIPURAMBack to the Destination

                          Mahabalipuram is world famous for its shore temples and it was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. 58 kilometers from Madras on the Bay of Bengal, this tiny seaside village of Mahabalipuram, is set in a covered landscape. Interesting tourist places include, Rathas which are architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, famous Arjuna's Penance and Krishna Mandapa, adorn massive rocks near the center of the village. The Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective breakwater give a beautiful image. Sixteen man made caves in different stages of completion are also seen scattered through the area. Mahabalipuram art is divided into four categories, open-air bas-reliefs, structured temples, man-made caves, and rathas. Today it attracts shoals of foreigners in search of relaxation and sea bathing, and most strange of all, it has an atomic power plant also. A number of scholarly controversies rage over its history and that of its monuments. Mahabalipuram was already a center of pilgrimage when, in the 7th century Mamalla made it a seaport and began to make temples fashioned of rock. It was through Mahabalipuram that many Indian colonists, who included sages and artists, migrated to Southeast Asia. Though it is no longer a port, Mamallapuram has retained its fame in stone. It is among the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture and a jewel in the crown of Tamil Nadu. In a land that is liberally strewn with some of the best in temple art, Mamallapuram holds its own, and stands as a silent yet eloquent witness to the glory of its creators.Unfortunately most of the work was left incomplete, and time and nature have also eroded the remains of this once great port. The monuments are floodlit at night and so it is possible to enjoy their beauty even after sunset. The Mamallapuram dance festival is conducted every year during Dec-Jan. It is a month long festival and dances take place during the weekends. Classical dances such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohini Attam, Odissi, Kathak etc., are performed by well-known exponents of the art.

 

                                                                     How to reach  

By Air

  The nearest airport is Meenambakkam,situated 64 km away.  

By Rail  

  The nearest railway station is Chingalpet  

By Road  

  Mammallapuram is connected by road to main cities in Tamilnadu  
   

                                                               Places to Visit  

Arjuna's Penance  

  Arjuna's Penance The world's largest bas-relief measuring 27m x 9m is the pride of Mamallapuram. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, and birds and in fact, can be said to represent creation itself.  
   

Krishna Mandapam  

  Krishna Mandapam This cave has a big bas-relief, notable for its realistic representation. The panel relates one of the stories of Lord Krishna.  
   

Rathas  

  These rock-cut temples are rated as excellent examples of Pallava art. Shaped in different styles, the five structures are named after the Pandava brothers of the Mahabharatha and Draupadi. These are 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 been scooped out of a single rock formation.  
   

Shore Temples  

  The Shore Temple This is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century A.D. and is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style.  
   

Crocodile farm  

  A crocodile farm is located 14 km.away from Mamallapuram.  

 
 
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