Mahabalipuram Travel Guide
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- 85%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 83%Budget Travelers
- 81%Local Culture
- 68%History Buffs
Member Reviews (10)Write a review
- MahabalipuramMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBackpackers+ 2
realy intresting place - culture and beach, a lot of backpackers, there are also a lot of restaurants for people they are not familiar with the indian food. cheap clean hotel direct next the bus stand, not expensive rooms also in the village not far from the centerRecommended for:
- MahabalipuramMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsAdventure Travelers
Something happened between my first visit to this town in 2007 and my return visit in 2011: Mamallapuram got hip. Surfing has appeared on the scene, with a half-dozen people riding the point break off beyond the Shore Temple on any given day, and a cool little social vibe has begun in the town as well. Now popular with families and (especially) the French, the town still offers its historical wealth of ancient stonecarving, which makes a fun day of exploration, and has a slew of good restaurants for international dining and relatively cheap fresh seafood. The small nighttime social scene centered around the Shanti Cafe is a pleasing development, and the beach has been cleaned up somewhat and is in better condition. There are still some dangerous currents to contend with if you're swimming, but as the beach is better watched, drunk domestic tourists have stopped drowning here, which is good news for everybody. In short, it's a town much improved since my last visit, and moving towards realizing its full potential as a hip and relaxed beach spot.Recommended for:
- MahabalipuramMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 4
Located on a very decent beach for being so close to Chennai. It is still crowded and grubby though. The town itself caters to backpackers and every building seems to host a roof top restaurant, a hostel around the back and a store front selling stone carvings. Popular with local and international tourists alike, definitely a place to stop if you are in the area.
Mamallapuram is a charming small village approximately 60 km south of the city of Chennai. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site . The temples are located on the shore line next to the beach and are built in a unique style, dated back to the dynasty that ruled the area in around 700 AD. The beautiful carvings have been damaged by the sea, the wind and the typhoons that hit the area (including the Tsunami of 2004) but you can’t miss the sense of antiquity that comes while you stroll in the temple complex. However, the temples are just the icing on the cake.
The Village of Mamallapuram:
The village itself has lots of interest points and the atmosphere is great and laid back. The place is very small and most points can be reached within 15 minutes walk. Mamallapuram is located between the beach and huge exposed rocks, which means that fishing and stone carving (and of course tourists), are the main income source for the people of the village.
The village is famous for its temples and rock carvings, as well as the Indian dance festival held each year in December and January. Caves, wall carvings and rock-hewn temples are scattered among beautiful huge rocks and the entire area is open and people walk around freely, alongside with goats and pigs. The place is alive and atmospheric and is full of charm.
Mamallapuram is very popular among Indian tourist and westerners alike. For this reason there is an abundance of great guesthouses, family stays, western style food, restaurants and Internet places. It is also a good place for shopping, especially for local craft goods of sculptors and stone crafted items. It is worthwhile to rent a bicycle and tour the area plus visit the lovely beach and go out for a boat and fishing trip plus take up some yoga classes. In short, this is a great place to spend an easy, laid back few days, or for an escape from polluted Chennai for an atmospheric day trip.
Mamallapuram Pongal Festival:
Also good to know is the harvest festival known as Pongal which is celebrated in South India at the end of the harvest season. It is one of the most important festivals enjoyed by the Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and usually falls in mid-January. Mamallapuram is a great place to celebrate the Pongal as the streets are full with people, everyone is hospitable and great food is sold in the streets in a festive atmosphere.
If you are with children the Crocodile bank at Vadanemmeli, 15 km on the road back to Chennai is a nice place to visit. You can feed the reptiles for a small fee.
I absolutely adored this little town. It's a relaxing getaway from nearby Chennai. Not a stunning beach, but a beach. And a quick walk away from a serious of ruins scattered amidst a park. What I loved most about this was not that it had the best ruins I had ever seen, but for the accessibility. There are ruins in Mamallapuram that you pay for, UNESCO sites, which are lovely and I also recommend, but I loved the park closest to town because it wasn't- pay, walk through, snap photo, exit. I used to walk through the park in the morning, find my self a seat right in front of a ruin, and settle in to read my book. It was an atmosphere not a sight. There are many Indian tourists there, and before I knew it I was more of an attraction to them than the ruins!
- MahabalipuramMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersFoodies+ 2
Certainly too touristic for some backpackers, the ambience over there is really peacefull and out of time, you will find there lots of shops selling jewels or statue, some of the temples are really interesting to do especially the Five Rathas Temple. You can spend 3 days of relax, we were in OSA Guest House and paid 500 rs per night. Clean and quiet adress.
- MahabalipuramMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsWellness+ 4First to Review
You could spend a year looking at the intricate carvings in these rock-hewn temples and still not see everything. Depicting scenes from the Mahabharata, Mahabalipuram is a must-see if you're near Chennai.
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