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Mahabalipuram is a tourist destination situated in Tamil Nadu, which has many beautiful places. It is known for its historical monuments, sculptures, scenic beauty, culture and tradition. Mahabalipuram is placed along the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal. It is an attractive tourist spot.

History of Mahabalipuram

The name ‘Mahabalipuram’ is derived from a myth. The place was ruled by a very arrogant and cruel king named Mahabali who was later killed by Lord Vishnu and this place is named after that King Mahabali.

The Gupta dynasty declined and Pallavas rose to power in south India and ruled for quite some time. The period between 650 AD and 750 AD was called as the golden age of Pallavas and they were powerful and intelligent thinkers. During their rule, great poets, saints, artisans, scholars, artists and dramatists emerged in the region.


Mahabalipuram has unique and beautiful sculptures and paintings, which reflect the talent and skill artisans from the era possessed. Their creativity and innovation can be seen in the best possible form as they explored new styles and innovations eliciting the best in art and architecture. Mahabalipuram is not only known for its architecture, but also known for its casuarinas trees and silver sand beach. These attractions are an integral part of Mahabalipuram tourism.

Things to do in Mahabalipuram

The Pallavas did not expose their creations, as they were not exposed to the outer world and were kept hidden until the late 185th century. Mahabalipuram has temples made out of a single rock, temples of different structures and artistic bas-reliefs, which is the largest in the world. The great architecture is a delight to the visitors even today and attracts devotees from far off places. Mahabalipuram has two low hills whose either sides have excavates temples called Mandapas. It has unique architecture with different sculptures (Nandi, Lion and Elephant), rathas (cut out temples) and a palace.

One of the prominent festivals celebrated here is the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, which is organised by the Department of Tourism every year at the ancient 7th century Centre for Pallava Culture and Arts. As part of the festival, various dance forms are showcased including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi. There is a lot more to Mahabalipuram tourism and travellers can explore history by opting for Mahabalipuram holiday packages.

Travelling to Mahabalipuram

To reach Mahabalipuram, tourists can take flights, trains or travel by road. The nearest airport to Mahabalipuram is in Chennai, located close to 60 km away. The nearest railhead is in Chengalpattu, close to 30 km from Mahabalipuram. Tourists can also drive down from nearby cities such as Bangalore. The best time to visit Mahabalipuram is between October and March.