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10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King

Mahabalipuram, named after the demon king Mahabali, today known as Mamallapuram, is a town in the Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu.

Mahabalipuram is one of the oldest cities of India with the serenity of beaches and ethnicity of sculptures, monuments, caves and hand-carved temples built by the Pallavas in the 7th and 8th centuries. Plan your visit to Mahabalipuram and discover these magnificent wonders of the city.

The city is privileged to have the Group of monuments including Pancha Rathas, shore temple, descent of Ganges, named as a UNESCO World heritage site.

With beautifully hand carved temples and sculptures and peaceful beaches, Mahabalipuram is a hot spot for tourists who are enthusiastic about ancient Indian architecture and it’s magic.

This city of Mahabali has much more to offer then it seems to.

Let us explore it together by looking at what 10 things we can do in this city of historical treasure.

10 Things To Explore In Mahabalipuram

Pancha Rathas

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
Pancha Rathas, also known as Five Rathas or Pandava Rathas, are five monolithic temples built during the 7th century by the Pallavas.

These five temples are beautifully hand-carved on one large boulder of stone.

As the name Pandava Rathas depicts, this historical monument is named after the five Pandavas – Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Bheem, Nakul, Sahadeva and their wife Draupadi. However, except the name, these temples are not related to these mythological heroes.

These temples with precise and ethnic carvings were left incomplete after the death of Narasimhavarman the first.

Descent Of Ganges

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
This remarkable stone engraved structure is a part of the Group of monuments in Mahabalipuram which depicts the tale of Ganga descending from heaven to earth, led by Bhagirathi.

This beautiful stone tale is known for its unseen before carvings, precision and life sized sculptures cut out of pink granite.

Shore Temple

Shore temple is a clear depiction of the royal taste and architectural knowledge of the Pallavas.

This temple has three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. In one shrine there is a Shivalinga the Garbhagriha and in another shrine there is a sculpture of Lord Vishnu lying on Sheshanaga.

The walls of these shrines are well painted and sculpted with images of everyday life and history.

Tiger Cave

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
This complex, situated by the Bay of Bengal, gets its name from the 11 tiger heads crowned on the entrance gate of the cave.

This cave is famous for an exquisite sculpture of Goddess Durga.

These caves hold a lot of mysteries which make them a place of archaeological as well as tourist interest.

Mahabalipuram Beach

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
This serene shore of the sea lies on the Bay of Bengal and has various sculptures, caves and Rathas, making it more than just a beach.

This beach offers a place to relax and get refreshed after a storming visit to the shrines and temples.

Mahabalipuram beach offers the visitors with attractions like – crocodile den with around 5000 crocodiles belonging to six different species and a snake venom extracting centre.

This beach provides visitors with a surreal experience amongst the golden sand and pearl sea.

Covelong Beach

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
Formerly known as the Kovalam beach, situated in the Kovalam village, along the coastline of Bay of Bengal, Covelong beach is a mixture of beauty and serenity `with palm trees running till where the eyes could see.

Covelong beach is a treasure of nature which the locals have made best use of, with various water activities like jet skiing, boating and surfing and fishing.

The first school of surfing in the country is also situated in the Kovalam village.

Krishna’s Butter Ball

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
This boulder ball is of mystical significance as it has been on the same spot for the last 1200 years with no clue of its origin and no one has ever been able to move it.

There is a mythological belief that this rock is a droplet of butter dropped by Lord Krishna, and hence the name.

Alamparai Fort

A fort covered in layers of shrubs, creepers and traces of life, is one of the breath taking views of the city.

This fort holds the significance of a trading port of historical times.

The beauty of the fort has attracted various movie shoots and advertisements over the place.

No matter how un-talked about this fort is, it has never failed to enchant the tourists over the years.

Mahabalipuram Lighthouse

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
This lighthouse stands next to the oldest lighthouse of the country, built in around 640 A.D by Pallava king Mahendra Pallava. This beautiful structure, made out of natural stones commissioned its first light in 1887.

This lighthouse became available for public visit in 2011.

The view from the top of this lighthouse, situated at the shores, is breath taking.

Seashell Museum

10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
10 Things To Do In Mahabalipuram: The City Of Demon King
Mahabalipuram Harbour Asia’s second largest Seashell museum, which itself becomes a great attraction for the city. The special thing about this museum is the shopping centre where you can buy all the sea products you want and make a sea world of your own.

This museum is not just a place of exhibit, it is like a sea world mall with sea food courts, aquariums with different fish species, and other sea products.

The architecture of the museum itself gives a view of the deep down sea and takes you to the underwater realm.

The founder of the museum, Mr K Raja Mohamed, put all his efforts to bring this surreal dream to reality.

My Final Word

Mahabalipuram is a miracle city in itself as it touches all realms ranging from ancient history to architecture, and from mysteries to dream worlds.

If you are planning a trip to the south of the country, Mahabalipuram is a must have in your list. So, I would suggest to go for it once in your travel endeavour.

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