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Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is 58 Kms South of Chennai. King Mahabali was killed by Lord Vishnu hence it was named Mahabalipuram ; The Pallava King Narasimha Varman I , a great wrestler with the title MAMALLAN, hence it was named MAMALLAPURAM are the two legends available related to the naming of this town. This has an exotic 20 Km Sea Shore that attracts both local and international Tourists. This was created by the Pallava Dynasty and was the seaport of Pallava Dynasty between 7th and 10th Century. 650 - 750 AD was considered as the Golden Age of Pallava dynasty.

Mamallapuram Bathers
It is known especially for its Temples in the form of Chariots called rathas, mandapams (cave sanctuaries), huge open-air reliefs such as the famous and excellent 100 foot long “Descent of the Ganges”/ “ Arjuna Penance”, and the temple of Rivage, with innumerable glorious sculptures of Lord Siva. Sculpture and Art college, Sculpture Workshops, Handicrafts, long and beautiful sea shore attracts millions of tourist throughout the year. Mahabalipuram was included in the World Heritage Monuments list of 1984 by UNESCO. Mamallapuram Dance Festival during December - January attracts Exponents of Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohini Attam, Oddissi and Kathak who perform to the delight of International and Local Tourists as well.

General Information

Area 8 sq. km.
Altitude Sea level
Population 15,172 (2011 Census)
  Max. Min.
Summer : 36.6ºC 21.1ºC
Winter : 31.5 ºC 19.8ºC
Rainfall 32.5 cm average
Clothing Tropical
Season Throughout the year
Languages spoken Tamil and English
STD Code 044

Places of Interest

Caves : There are nine rock cut cave temples. The caves of Mahishasura mardhini Cave , Goddess who destroyed the Demon Mahishan [buffalo form] on One side and Lord Vishnu in SAYANAM POSTURE [reclining form] on the other side is a remarkable exhibition of Sculpture Architecture.

Krishna Mandapam : It is also called as Krishna Cave Temple, a remarkable artificial rock-cut Mandapam or Temple. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed in 1984. Notable carvings inside are sculpted panels that bring out the legend from myth of Krishna lifting the Govardhana Hills to protect the Cowherds and People from heavy rains and Floods. The rock-cut cave is located on a hillock next to the open rock cut bas-relief of Descent of the Ganges.



India Sea Shell Museum : It is on the Mahabalipuram-Kalpakkam road. This museum is the largest of its kind and has a huge collection of 40,000 specimens of rare and unique Seashells, Fossils, Shark Teeth , Whale fins and a unique perspective on Conchology which leaves the visitors awestruck. The complex in a one and a half acre houses an aquarium of colorful Ocean Fishes, attractive Boutique and a Sea Food Restaurant too. Contact for further details: 2744 2205.

Five Rathas : .It is a monument complex called as Pancha Rathas or Pahncha Pandava Rathas too. The Five Rathas are named as Dharamarajar, Bhiman, Arjunan, Nakulan-Sahadevan and Draupathi Rathas. Four of the Five rathas of Draupadi, Arjuna, Bhima and Dharmaraja are made to stand in a Single row. The Fifth Ratha of Nakula-Sahadeva stands apart facing the other four Rathas. The Arjuna and Draupadi rathas facing west, are dedicated to Shiva and Durga respectively. They are the best example of the 7th Century Monolithic Indian Rock-Cut temple architecture. This was raised during the NarasimhavarmanI reign. It was not found in the Indian Architecture before. The complex is under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India which retains it originality even by a through maintenance of the monuments. It is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Please Visit India Seashell Museum for more information.


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