Mammalapuram or Mahabalipuram is a favorite getaway for Chennaites. Mahabalipuram offers places of worship, architecturally brilliant monuments, caves and beaches. Mahabalipuram is well connected with Chennai. It is about 58 km from Chennai. There are excellent cab and bus services from Chennai. Chengalpettu and Chennai are the nearest railway stations.
Mahabalipuram was the seat of art and culture during the Pallava dynasty. The magnificent temples and the rock sculptures and carvings are proof of its glorious past. The pillared halls carved into the rock face are adorned with intricate sculptures of gods, goddesses and mythological figures. Krishna’s butter ball, Ganesh Mandapa, Varaha Mandapa are few of the mandapas which spell aesthetic beauty and artistic perfection. The place is also famous for its monolithic temples called Rathas which are also excellent pieces of architecture and sculpture. It is said that the Rathas represent the Pandava brothers and their wife Draupadi.
The Shore temple with shrines of Siva and Vishnu is a great attraction. There are some exemplary architectural feats and breathtaking sculptures found in these temples.
Apart from its temples Mahabalipuram is also known for its beautiful stretches of unspoilt beaches. The beaches are clean and well maintained. Mahabalipuram also attracts a lot of tourists and art lovers with its annual Dance Festival held during the month of December.