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Mahabalipuram: Ancient Temple of India (Must See)

Mahabalipuram:In the Indian ancient history, Mahabalipuram is considered to be the most important temple site in South Asia. It was built around 400 BC and has over 1,000 temples spread across its grounds.

Introduction Hook: In ancient times, the city of Mahabalipuram was known as “Kanchipuram” because it was home to over 50 temples. It has since become famous for its magnificent structures, including the Shore Temple, Kailasanatha temple, and Mahabalipuram Beach.

History Of Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram:Image by c2squareinc from Pixabay

I was just reading about the history of Mahabalipuram, a small village in Tamil Nadu, India.

This ancient temple town is located along the Bay of Bengal. The name means “city where ships are built.” Ships were used as early as 3000 BC!

This story begins with the rise of the Pallava dynasty in South India. They ruled over the region between 600 AD until 973 AD. During this period, King Narasimhavarman II made his capital at Kanchipuram. He was known for building many temples including the famous Brihadisvara Temple.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is believed to be the preserver of world. He is worshipped by Hindus as well as Buddhists.

Mahabalipuram is located at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu state, near Chennai. It is famous for its magnificent temples and beautiful beaches.

After the fall of the Pallava dynasty, the Chola dynasty took control of the area. This dynasty ruled from 1075 to 1246. Their reign saw the development of Mahabalipuram, which became a major trading port.

When the Vijayanagar empire came to power in 1336, Mahabalipuram served as its capital. After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 1565, the Nayak kingdom took control of the area, and then the British East India Company.

Today, Mahabalipuram serves as a tourist destination. Visitors come here to explore the ruins of the old city, the temples, and the beach.

The site is made up of five main temples.

Shore Temple. 

Photo by Iamnvnk:

One of the most famous ancient temples in India, Mahabalipuram, was founded during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century AD. This temple town lies near Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu state. The Shore Temple is located at the eastern end of the Bay of Bengal.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is believed to be the destroyer of evil. His consort Parvati is depicted here as Durga riding on a lion. She is holding a trident in her right hand and standing on a tiger skin in her left. There are two lions flanking her.

The Shore Temple consists of three temples connected by open corridors. These temples were built over a period of several hundred years. The original structure dates back to the 8th century BC. The temple complex covers an area of approximately 1 square kilometre (0.6 sq mi). It is set among coconut palms and mango trees on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by rice fields.

The temple is an architectural marvel. Its architecture incorporates many styles – Hindu, Buddhist,

At this temple, there is another interesting sight, the Shore Temple Museum. It houses sculptures, paintings and carvings.

Elephant Temple.

Photo by Yugant Nagralawala:

The Elephant temple is located near Mahabalipuram, India. The elephant was used as a symbol for Lord Ganesha when he was worshipped as the god of wisdom. The temple dates back to 600 CE, and was built during the Pallava dynasty.

This temple is a popular tourist attraction because it contains many unique features including a statue of Ganesh, the largest monolithic rock carving in Asia, and a large granite sculpture of a man riding an elephant. There are also many other interesting sculptures and carvings within this temple.

There are several things that make this particular temple stand out among others. One of these is that there are no stairs leading to the top of the temple. This makes it very easy for tourists to climb up and view the entire structure. Another feature is the huge elephant carved into the main wall of the temple.

Another famous feature of this temple is the fact that it is one of only two temples in India where elephants were allowed inside. Other than this, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the temple.

The most important reason to go to this temple is that it is home to an amazing collection of art. There are many different types of artwork at this temple. Some of them include statues, paintings, reliefs, and carvings. These pieces of art are displayed throughout the temple. They range in style from Hinduism to Buddhism.

One of the highlights of visiting the temple is viewing the massive stone sculptures. Visitors can see many different styles of sculpture here. Many of them are quite large. Some of them depict scenes from Indian mythology. Others show various animals and deities. Still others display human figures.

All of these sculptures are made of stone. Each piece is hand carved. They are incredibly detailed and beautiful. There are some that are over 2 meters tall.

The temple itself is pretty impressive too. It stands over 60 feet tall. It is made of sandstone and marble. It is surrounded by a moat filled with water. The walls of the temple itself are covered with intricate designs.

Overall, this is a great place to visit. People come from all over the world just to see this. If you’re going to be traveling through India, then you should definitely stop off at this temple.


The Gopura was built during the 9th century AD and is an ancient temple in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is among the most well preserved temples of South Indian architecture and is considered to be one of the finest examples of early Chola art.

When you visit this temple, you will find out many things about Hinduism including its origin, history and meaning. This is because there are different types of Gopuras found in various parts of India. Some of them are made of sandstone, some of stone, some of wood, etc. There is no standard type of Gopura. Each of these types has its own unique features.

This particular Gopura consists of five gate towers, each having four pillars. These pillars are decorated with carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana, the story of Rama who is believed to have been born here. The temple complex is surrounded by walls, which enclose a large tank called the Kaveri Tank.

The temple is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. During summer months, the temple opens at 7 am and closes at 6 pm.

Kailasanatha Temple.

Photo by rolf neumann on Unsplash

This temple was built over 1000 years ago and is located within the Mahabalipuram area near Chennai, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known for his cosmic dance.

The structure itself is made entirely out of sandstone. This makes Kailashanathar Temple unique because most temples are constructed out of marble.

The temple is famous for its intricate carvings and sculptures. There are many different types of gods represented here including Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesha, Murugan, and others.

There are also many figures representing various aspects of life such as dancing women, musicians, animals, and warriors.

The temple is open daily between 7 AM and 5 PM and admission costs only $2 USD per person. However, there are additional fees for some special events held at the temple.

People come from all over the world to visit this temple. Visitors include tourists, pilgrims, students, and locals.

Jagannath Temple.

Photo by VARAN NM:

This temple was built during AD 785 – 907. The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is considered to be the incarnation of Vishnu. The main deity here is Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, Subhadra Devi and Sudarshan Chakra. This temple is known for its magnificent architecture, the grandeur of its carvings, sculptures and paintings. The temple’s history dates back to pre-Vedic times.

The oldest parts of this temple date back to 8th century BC. The temple was rebuilt twice in the 10th century and again in 16th century. The current structure of this temple was completed in 1755.

The temple is located at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated along the Bay of Bengal and is just 70 km away from Chennai. The temple is open from 6 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm.

There are two entrances to the temple; one is through the northern gate and another is through the southern gate. There are four major temples inside the compound of the temple; these are the three temples of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balbhadra and Goddess Subhadra and the fourth temple houses the chariot of Lord Jagannatha.

Inside the temple there are many beautiful sculptures, murals and paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The most famous painting inside the temple is called ‘Sree Padmavathi’ which depicts the story of Sita and Rama’s exile in the forest. Inside the temple there is a museum where the sculptures and murals are displayed.

There are several interesting facts about this temple. One of them is that the temple is named after the name of the presiding deity – Jagannath. Another fact is that the temple is believed to have been built by King Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. He wanted to build a Shiva temple. He took help of rishi Narada and constructed this temple.

Another interesting fact is that the temple was built in seven days. During those seven days, Lord Jagannath was taken out in procession once every day. On the seventh day, he returned to the temple and gave darshan to devotees.

Another important point is that the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only temple in India which is included in the list of world heritage sites.

What was my experience at the beach?


The Mahabalipuram Beach is located at Kovalam, Tamil Nadu, India. The name of the beach is derived from the Sanskrit words “Maha”, meaning great; “Bala”, meaning victory; and “Puram”, meaning sea. The beach is famous for its serene beauty and pristine beaches. The beach is surrounded by many coconut trees and palm trees.

There is a lot to explore here. One can go to watch sunrise in the morning and sunset in the evening. Also, there are some interesting rock formations along the coast. The most popular attraction here is the Shore Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple has been constructed within rocks and stones. Every year thousands of devotees come here to offer prayers. The temple is situated near the shore and is accessible through stairs.

There are two types of people who visit the Mahabalipuram beach – tourists and locals. Tourists mostly visit the beach to spend their holidays. They take pleasure in watching the sun rise and set. Locals usually visit the beach to relax. They prefer staying back home and visiting the beach only once in a week.

What is there to see in Mahabalipuram ?

Photo by Shootcase Chronicles:

There are many places to visit here. Here we mention some top most places to visit in Mahabalipuram.

Krishna Beach: Krishna beach is a very popular place among tourists. There are several hotels available here. One can find various types of accommodation ranging from budget rooms to luxury suites.

Sri Ramakrishna Math: Sri Ramakrishna Math situated in the heart of Mahabalipuram is the largest religious institution of Hinduism. The main attraction of the math is the holy river Cauvery flowing through premises of the math.

Nagore Beach: Nagore beach is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Mahabalipuram. It is a long stretch of white sand beach surrounded by coconut trees.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial: Vivekananda Rock memorial is a huge rock in the shape of human body. According to legend, Swami Vivekananda meditated here.

Museum of Indian Arms & Armour: Museum of Indian arms and armour is housed in a 17th-century palace in Mahabalipuram. The museum showcases weapons used by the rulers of Chola Dynasty.

Pattukkottai Fort: Pattukkotayi fort is a ruined fortress located in Mahabalipurampuram. It was built by king Rajendra Chola III in 1336 AD.

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport: Rajiv Ghandhi International airport is located in Coimbatore. It is the second busiest airport after Delhi international airport.

Chennai Egmore Railway Station: Chennai Egmore railway station is the major train station serving Chennai City. It is just 2 km away from Mahabalipuram beach.

What did we learn from our trip to Mahabalipuram ?

We learned that the ancient temple was built during the Pallava dynasty (550–965 CE). The Pallavas were rulers who ruled over the region between the Kaveri River and the Bay of Bengal. They were Hindu kings who converted to Buddhism after being defeated by King Ashoka of India in 273 BCE.

While visiting this temple, we noticed that there were many sculptures carved out of rock and sandstone. These are called _shilpis_, which means’sculptures’ in Sanskrit. We saw some very beautiful ones, including elephants, horses, lions, and humans.

These sculptures were created during the reigns of three kings, Vijayalaya II (600–640), Narasimhavarman III (650–680) and his son Mahendravarman I (700–760). This particular temple dates back to the late 7th century, making it among the oldest temples in South India.

One of the most famous features of the temple is its giant _gopura_. Gopuras are gate towers made of stone, brick, wood, metal and mortar. They are often decorated with carvings, statues, reliefs and paintings.

This gopura at Mahabalipuram is believed to be one of the largest and grandest structures ever constructed in India. It is located near the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal along the coast of Tamil Nadu state.

There are two main entrances to this structure—a southern entrance and a northern entrance. The southern entrance is guarded by four huge granite pillars, each weighing approximately 20 tons. Each pillar is nearly 30 feet tall and is connected to the next one through a series of arches. There are nine such pillars in total, each supporting a different level of the tower.

Inside the north gate of Mahabalipuram, visitors find a large pond surrounded by a series of steps leading down to the water. On top of these stairs sits a small shrine dedicated to Shiva. The statue of Lord Shiva is considered sacred because he is said to have been born here.

Another interesting feature of this temple is the presence of numerous inscriptions carved onto the walls. Some of them are written in Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit, dating back to the 8th century.

Here are some interesting facts about the temple:• The name ‘Mahabalipuram’ comes from the combination of two words: ‘Maha’, meaning great, and ‘Balipuram,’ meaning city of gems.• The temple was built by the Pallavas, a powerful Hindu kingdom that dominated parts of south India during the 6th – 9th centuries.• During the 15th century, the temple was damaged by Muslim invaders. After that, it underwent extensive restoration work.• The temple is now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Our visit to Mahabalipuram ended on a happy note when we met a friendly local named Sivakumar. He took us to a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed fresh seafood. He invited us to return to his home for lunch, but we politely declined.


What is the best way to reach Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram is located in Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for its beautiful beaches and temples. To get to Mahabalipuram, take a flight to Chennai (Madras), and then rent a car. From Chennai, drive south on NH 4 towards Kanchipuram. Continue driving until you see signs directing you to Mahabalipurm. Once you arrive, check out the beach area and visit the temple ruins. There are many hotels near Mahabalipuram that cater to tourists.

What is the local food in Mahabalipuram?

Local Food in Mahabalipuriya Pongal – Rice cakes cooked in ghee and jaggery. It is eaten on pongal festival.

What is the best time to visit Mahabalipuram?

The best time to visit Mahabaliapuram is during the monsoon season. During this time, the weather is pleasant, the beaches are clean, and the water is calm. However, if you want to avoid crowds, you should plan your trip around November or December. Then, you’ll enjoy fewer tourists and much quieter beaches.

What is not so good about Mahabalipuram?

There is not Bad All is good

What is famous about Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram is a town located in Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for its temples and monuments dating back to the 7th century BC. These include the Shore Temple, the Kailasanathar temple, the Arjuna’s Penance and the Pancha Narayana Perumal temple. The town is also home to the world-famous Mamallapuram Beach, which is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Written by Sumesh

My name is Sumesh. I am the CEO of this website. I graduated Degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Computer science Engineering in INDIA.

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