Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a place located at a distance of 60 km from the capital city of Tamilnadu, Chennai. According to mythology the demon king Mahabali was killed by Lord Vishnu here, so the place is named as Mahabalipuram. Later the king Pallava Narashima changed the name of the place to Mamallapuram. Today Mahabalipuram is one of the major tourist attractions around Chennai. Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram is known as one of the UNESCO heritage sites of India. The place is mainly famous for the monuments. The structure of the monuments is really stunning.
The city has a mysterious history. Earlier Mahabalipuram was ruled by the Pallavas. According to the experts there were seven temples on the shores of Mahabalipuram. All were vanished by the sea. Most of the temples are made up of rock, which were built during Narsinha Varman. The Pallavas were followers of Jainism, but Mahendra Varman converted to Shaivism. So, at Mahabalipuram most of the monuments are related to Lord Shiva or Vishnu. The monuments are the integration of religion, culture, legends, which are related to Hinduism. The history of Mahabalipuram is unclear.
Pongal, is the major festival celebrated here in the mid of January every year. During this festival Mahabalipuram Dance festival is conducted, where artists from all over the country perform. Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Thirukadalmallai, Varaha Cave are some of the tourist attractions at Mahabalipuram. These temples are famous for the stone carvings. One can enjoy the Boat rides, Trekking, Turtle walk, fishing trips at Mahabalipuram. The beauty of the place doesn’t lie not only on the architectures but also the silver beach, handicrafts etc. There is a college at Mahabalipuram that is offering instruction in architecture and temple sculpture. Mahabalipuram also has a beach which is a good place for the beach lovers.
It has a moderate and a humid climate throughout the year; however the best time to visit Mahabalipuram is from the month of October to March.
By Air: Chennai is the nearest airport and if you wish to take a tour to Mahabalipuram then drop into the Chennai Airport. Chennai is 45 km from Mahabalipuram.
By Road: Mahabalipuram is connected by a number of interconnecting roadways to Chennai, Chengalpattu, Pondicherry and Kanchipuram.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Chennai Railway Station which is at a distance of 45 kms.