Mahabalipuram, Chennai (Madras)
Ride down to this place on the awesome ECR (East Coast Road) on a nice sunny weekend for a truly unforgettable experience!!
Mahabalipuram lies on the Coromandel Coast which faces the Bay of Bengal. This is an elegant place to watch which a well established sea port was during the 7th and 10th centuries of the Pallava dynasty. This was the second capital of the Pallavas who ruled Kanchipuram. Formerly, mahabalipuram was known and called as Mahabalipuram. The former name of this place ‘Mahabalipuram’ has a history. A very rude cruel king Mahabali reined this place and in a fierce battle king Mahabali was killed by Lord Vishnu and the place was named after the dead, arrogant kind Mahabali.
It was during the reign of King Narasimha Varman I, the name Mahabalipuram was changed. It was renamed mahabalipuram which is called till now. There is a story behind. The name Mamallpuram king Narasimha Varman I was a great and valiant warrior. He was given the title Mamalla which means ‘the great wrestler’ so the name was converted from Mahabalipuram to mahabalipuram considering the great king and his achievements.
Mahabalipuram is a town which is aprox. 60 kilometers from Chennai. It is also called the city of the seven temples or Pagodas. This site is a World Heritage site, represents some of the earliest-known examples of Dravidian architecture dating back to 7th Century AD.
This town seems to have some strange relationship with the happening of Tsunamis. This town was a very important port city in the 5th to the 8th century when the Pallavan kings had strong commerce ties with countries which are today known as Malaysia, Cambodia,and Indonesia. A Tsunami then forced this town out of the maps. Now after the recent Tsunami in December 2004, it seems that parts of the previous remains of the then historical city, have been uncovered by the waves and teams of archaeologists seem to be working on the site. Observe and enjoy the carvings on the rocks of the temples.
Apart from the seven temples Mahabalipuram has nice beaches and many hotel resorts and is a perfect day trip outing for the full family. I would recomend you to hire a car to get there even if you consider yourself to be a good driver.
Mamalipuram is an ancient site situated south of Chennai. Beautiful sculptures are seen all around this small settlement. Apparently more arterfacts were discovered after swept to the shore following the tsunami. It was a pity I couldn't spend more time here.
Mahabalipuram is one of history's intriguing enigmas. The ancient Mamallapuram, as Mahabalipuram was formerly known, was flourishing port town of the Pallava rulers of south India who chiseled in stone a fabulous "open-air museum" of sculpture under the vault of a burning sky.
Experts say that there were seven pagodas or temples on the shores of Mahabalipuram. All but one were pillaged by the rapacious sea, though there is little underwater evidence to substantiate their existence.
Most of the temples and rock carvings of this place were built during the reigns of Narsinha Varman I (AD 630-668) and Narsinha Varman II (AD 700-728). Though the initial kings of Pallava dynasty were followers of Jainism, the conversion of Mahendra Varman (AD 600-630) to Shaivism led most of the monuments to be related with Shiva or Vishnu
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is very famous for the carvings and sculptures on rock and architecture. It is located at about an hour's drive from the city and is served by frequent buses. Mamallapuram is very famous for the Shore temple, a must visit for the tourists. This city also served as the capital for the ancient Pallava dynasty.
a 30mins ride to Mamallapuram from chennai city. here u will see manual carved huge stones. Stones of temples and statues. Admission fee for local is 10rupees, and 250rupees for foreigners.