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INFORMATION ABOUT MAMALLAPURAM

Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is a tourist town 60 km south of Chennai made famous by its stone carvings. The most famous monument is the Shore Temple: when lit by moonlight, it is one of the most beautiful locations in the region. The best time to visit is November to March. It is an important tourist attraction close to Chennai (Madras), along with the temples of Kanchipuram and the colonial buildings of Pondicherry. India's fourth largest city. The East Coast Road has made it easily accessible - just about an hour from the city. Unfortunately, the entire strip is now a mess of restaurants, resorts, amusement parks, people, discarded plastic and chaotic traffic. At one time you could see the Bay of Bengal almost all the way to M'puram, but, there is so much development that the ocean is glimpsed only as you get close to M'puram.

MAMALLAPURAM TOURISM

    The Places of Interest and Sight Seeing

  • Thirukadalmallai : the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was also built by Pallava King in order to safeguard the sculptures from the ocean. It is told that after building this temple, the remaining architecture was preserved and was not corroded by sea.


  • Krishna's ButterballShore Temple :The temple is carved from a single piece of stone and has stood for more than 1400 years. Entry US $5 for foreigners (there is a lower price for Indians), also includes entry to the Pancha Pandava Rathas.


  • Pancha Pandava Rathas :five "rathas", literally chariots, dating from the 7th century. The sculptures are complemented by some enormous stone animals, including a large elephant.


  • Arjuna's Penance :a giant bas-relief filled with detailed carvings, including a family of elephants and monkeys. Nearby is Krishna Madapa, another bas-relief.


  • Varaha Cave :has four impressive carvings of Vishnu, Gakalakshmi, Trivikama and Durga.


  • Mahishamardini Cave : The central carving is of Shiva and Parvati and Murugan


  • Krishna's Butterball :a giant natural rock perched on a hillside. It provides welcome shade if you dare to sit underneath it!


  • The Sculpture Museum :East Raja Street has sculptures.


  • Old and new light houses :provide views across the area to the sea. There are several unfinished temples nearby, and the December 2004 tsunami exposed more previously submerged temples.


ACCOMODATION/STAY OPTIONS IN MAMALLAPURAM



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