Mammalapuram or Mahabalipuram is one fascinating place around
Chennai city. The place falls in the adjacent district of Chennai
metropolitan city, that is Kanchipuram. Mammalpuram features a small
town, about 57 kms from Chennai city, that holds some of the best
specimens of South Indian temple architecture. The place used to be
a major port in ancient India. Mammalapuram was the commanding post
of Pallava rulers from 5th to 9th century. The popular attractions
of Mammalapuram were built during this period. The rich traditions
have been preserved and one can still catch a glimpse of ancient art
of Mammalapuram. The region was declared as the World Heritage Site
by UNESCO, in the year 1995.
Mammalapuram is thronged with superb temple structures. The
monuments present in the town define beauty in their own terms, in
their own way. These structures reveal definite trends of the South
Indian culture and architecture. The monuments are present as
bas-reliefs (sculptures with slight bulges and cuts), structured
temples, caves and chariots (rathas). Arjuna's Penance and Krishna
Mandapa are popular bas-reliefs present here. The bas-reliefs
portray the legends as well detailed description of gods, animals,
birds and insects. The Shore Temple built as a twin structure on the
shore of Bay of Bengal, presents the typical Dravidian architectural
style. Equally popular are the man-made caves, some of which are
unfinished. The Mahishasuramardini Cave and Varaha Cave are some
illustrious examples of cave architecture. Amongst the various
chariots Pancha Pandava Rathas and Ganesha Ratha are quite
impressive. The region is inhabited by a large community of stone
carvers. These people have preserved the traditional art and
occupation for centuries now. Small stone carving pieces make up
good sovenirs of the place - whose past, present and future is
carved on a stone.
Mammallapuram is provided with numerous cheap and budget hotels.
The best among the hotels are located on the coastal stretch. Some
popular hotels in the region are Ramakrishna Lodege, Sea Queen,
Surya, Uma Lodge and Victory hotel.
- Mammalapuram is about 57 kms from the Chennai city. The bus
services are available from Chennai city as well other nearby
- The nearest railway station to Mammalapurm is located at
Chengalpattu. The railway station is some 29 kms far from the
- The nearest airport is the one grounded at Chennai.