Sitting along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, the seaport town of Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu, is a beautiful beach destination that is slowly becoming the surfing hub of the country. Speckled with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, courtesy of the ancient Pallava dynasty (3rd - 9th century BC), who were great patrons of art and crafts, Mamallapuram holds a baffling visual treat around every corner. Its awe-inspiring cave temples, sculptures and monuments leave one marvelling at the skill of the craftsmen of that time. With its striking bas reliefs and rock-cut temples, Mamallapuram is practically an open-air museum. Many of the temples, built with granite, relate the stories from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Once a thriving port, Mamallapuram is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site complex, also famous for its seashell jewellery, seafood, cafes and markets and a breathtaking ocean-front. While you can soak in history visiting various historical sites, Mamallapuram's pristine beaches fringed by lush groves with a warm sun, invite surfers. With perfect sea waves between June and September, the beaches host surfing training sessions conducted by experts. The town is also a major stopover for visitors coming from Chennai and Puducherry.


Mahabalipuram was a well-established seaport between the 7th and the 10th centuries. It earned its name for the legend of demon king Mahabali being killed at the site by Lord Vishnu. Taken over by the kings of the Pallava dynasty, who shifted their capital from Kanchipuram to Mamallapuram, giving glory to king Narasimhavaranam, who was bestowed with the title of “Mammala” for his wrestling skills. During the rule of the Pallavas, many great artists, dancers, poets, writers found a foothold here and left their mark. The Pallavas made Mamallapuram a hub where they emerged as pioneers of new styles of art and architecture, making good use of their resources. However, the ingenuity of the Pallavas remained hidden from the world for centuries. When the region received its fair share of the limelight, it quickly became popular for its architectural marvels, gorgeous beaches, absolute serenity and mesmerising temples, and not to mention the fascinating legends of the Pallavas.

Immersive Experience

Excursions

Explore the places near seaport of spirituality

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Shore Temple

Shore Temple

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shore Temple is the...

Krishna's Butter Ball

Krishna's Butter Ball

This immense boulder, about 16 ft high, is one of the prominent...

The Panch Rathas

The Panch Rathas

Currently a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the...

Open-Air Museum

Open-Air Museum

A recent addition to the splendour of Mamallapuram, this museum...

Government College of Architecture and Sculpture

Government College of Architecture and Sculpture

Mamallapuram, the erstwhile capital of the Pallava dynasty, is famous...

Crocodile Bank

Crocodile Bank

For a fascinating experience, head to the Crocodile Bank in...

Tiger Caves

Tiger Caves

While the name brings to mind a cave filled with majestic tigers, it...

Cholamandal Artists Village

Cholamandal Artists Village

Located on the outskirts of the port town of Mamallapuram, the...

DakshinaChitra Heritage Museum

DakshinaChitra Heritage Museum

On the outskirts of Mamallapuram lies the DakshinaChitra Heritage...

Krishna Mandapam

Krishna Mandapam

The largest mandapam in Mamallapuram is dedicated to Lord Krishna....

Mamallapuram Beach

Mamallapuram Beach

To enjoy spectacular views of sunsets and sunrises, head to...

Varaha Cave Temple

Varaha Cave Temple

The Varaha Cave Temple is known for four exquisite carvings of Lord...

Panchapandava Mandapam

Panchapandava Mandapam

Another jewel in the Mamallapuram UNESCO World Heritage Site complex...

Trimurti Cave Temple

Trimurti Cave Temple

Trimurti is a triple-celled temple, dedicated to the holy trinity of...

Mahishasuramardini Cave Temple

Mahishasuramardini Cave Temple

Located at the southern end of Mamallapuram Hill, Mahishasuramardini...

Chennai

Chennai

Ancient temples, vibrant arts, natural wonders and a bustling...

Puducherry

Puducherry

Puducherry (the official name was changed from Pondicherry in 2006)...

Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram

Synonymous with spirituality, serenity and silk, the temple town of...

tiruvannamalai

tiruvannamalai

Among the holiest towns of Tamil Nadu, Tiruvannamalai is a popular...