Located 60 km to the south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram (Mammalapuram) is an important tourist place of Tamil Nadu and is most famous for its spectacular monolithic structures. Some of the monuments in Mahabalipuram have also been recognized by the UNESCO and are must see for the tourists on their tour to Mahabalipuram. Besides, Mahabalipuram is quite popular for its sun-kissed beaches that are idyllic retreats for cooling off or taking long strolls in the evening. The tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram carry their individual significance and reflect the historic charm of this place.
Some of the important things to watch in Mahabalipuram are:
It is a marvelous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was built by the Pallavas for safeguarding the sculptures from the waves of the ocean. According to the sources, after this temple was built, the remaining structure was preserved and was unharmed by the sea.
This charming temple located on the shore is the most famous among the tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram. It is located between two Shiva temples and is a visual delight recognized for its architectural masterpieces. You will find the attractive sculptures of Nandi the bull while the figure of Vishnu is present in the sanctum.
Pancha Pandava Rathas:
These splendid structures dating back to the 7th century are located in the southern end of Mahabalipuram. These Rathas (chariots) are five in number and carved out of a single rock. Out of these rocks, gigantic stone animals have been carved out including an elephant.
It is a massive bas-relief replete with meticulous carvings that include a family of elephants and monkeys. The carvings on the bas-relief are the stories from the legends of India and the Panchatantra . You will also encounter the Krishna Mandapa nearby, which is a bas-relief of enthralling architectural brilliance.
The caves in Mahabalipuram are among some of the most sought-after Mahabalipuram tourist attractions. The Varaha cave is one such cave which is actually a rock-cut mandapam (hall) and features two incarnations of Vishnu which are Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). There is also a seventh century Dharmaraja Cave and consists of three empty shrines. The other caves located here are Mahisasurmardini Cave and Tiger cave.
This is a huge natural rock perched on a hillside and the precarious way in which it is balanced simply startles its onlookers.
Moreover, Mahabalipuram is also an ideal point for indulging in various adventure activities such as bike trips, boat rides, fishing trips, trekking and wind surfing.
Touristplacesinindia.com offers online information on the Mahabalipuram Tourist Attractions and useful inputs on tour to Mahabalipuram.