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Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

The city of Mahabalipuram is positioned at a distance of 60 km from Chennai, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The history of Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram) goes back to the 7th century during the period of the Pallava dynasty. The Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has catapulted the city on to the global tourist map. Tourists keep flocking to the city all the year round. The city lies on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Besides featuring some of the very ancient stone carvings, Mahabalipuram also offers a 20 km long beach. Amusement parks, resorts and restaurants line the entire coastal strip of the city.

Things to Do in Mahabalipuram
Would you like to experience the countryside lifestyle in Tamil Nadu? Just hire a bike from the tour operators around and set out on your trip. Don’t miss an opportunity to interact with locals during your bike trip.

Attend yoga classes at Mahabalipuram. Being a coastal city, it is a wonderful place to study and practice yoga. You can easily enroll yourself at one of the many yoga camps organized on a regular basis. Spend some quality moments with your near and dear ones on the sandy beach.

You can also indulge in a few water sports at the Mahabalipuram beach. Enjoy a boat ride in to the Bay of Bengal. Undertake a fishing trip out into the sea. There is a hill located close by. So, you can also choose to enjoy trekking up to it.

Visit roadside shops to watch local artisans busy in sculpting. You can buy few of these wonderful stone sculptures as souvenirs to take back home.

In and Around
Of course, the Shore Temple is what magnetises tourists most to Mahabalipuram. The 1400-year-old temple suffered some damages due to a cyclone. Most part of the temple was reconstructed after that. Another major tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram is the 7th century Pancha Pandava Rathas or the Five Rathas. The Thirukadalmallai Temple, constructed by the Pallava rulers, is also a must see for visitors coming here. Art connoisseurs and history buffs would never miss a visit to the Sculpture Museum, which stands on the East Raja Street. Displayed in the museum are numerous stone sculptures. Arjuna’s Penance features a mysterious gigantic bas-relief with exquisite carvings on them. Varaha Cave, Mahishamardini Cave and Krishna’s Butterball (a huge natural rock suspending free on a hillside) are the other popular must see sites in the city.

Where to Stay
During your tour to Mahabalipuram, you can book your accommodation at popular hotels like Greenwoods Resort, Idea Beach Resort, Ishwarya Guest House, Mamalla Beach Resort, Hotel Sea Breeze, Hotel Sea Breeze etc.

Mahabalipuram Air/Rail/Road Link
The Anna International Airport of Chennai is at 60 km from Mahabalipuram. Those who are arriving by rail would need to alight at Chengalpattu Railway Station, 29 km away from the city. By road routes, Mahabalipuram has connectivity with places like Chennai, Kanchipuram and Pondicherry among others. Taxis can also be hired from Chennai to reach Mahabalipuram.