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places to visit in Mahabalipuram

Catching up with a world heritage city standing tall in sands of time

The funny part about my trips are that they are very impulsive. One of such impulsive plans with Abhilash – a friend of mine took me to Mahabalipuram. This was my first trip of Tamil Nadu and thanks to him and his local friends it went very smoothly.

How we reached there ?

A private travels bus took us from Bangalore to Chennai in 6 hrs, so we reached there quite early in the morning. From there a quick refreshment stop at a local friends place and we were ready for the journey.

 

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Sea Shore temple

This temple built overlooking the Bay of Bengal is actually a complex of three temples. The intricate work on this temple structure is beautiful. Also the temple creates beautiful shadow patterns during different times of the day. The complex is a photographer’s delight. Much of the temple has been damaged due to the floods caused in this region. Mythological stories state the temple was built by King Bali, son of King Prahlad.

 

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Pancha Pandava Rathas

The Panch rathas are the best example of ancient Indian rock-cut architecture. This 7th century complex is a part of UNESCO heritage list and is one of the most visited places in Mahabalipuram. Surrounded by sand all around all the five rathas stand tall on the ground. Being an architect i personally loved being face to face with the heritage I had studied in academics.

 

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Descent of the ganges

This is one of the most amazing carved monolithic rocks in Mahabalipuram. The sheer scale of the rocks is impressive at 96 feet wide and 43 feet high. The carvings on this rock depict the descent of the scred river ganges from heavens to earth. The rock also depicts Arjuna’s penance to receive a boon from Lord shiva so he could fight in the Mahabharata war.

 

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Krishna Mandapam

This rock-cut structure adjacent to Arjun’s pannance, depicts the incident where Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan mountain to provides shelter to cowherds from the heavy rains created by Indra -the rain god.

Krishna’s butter ball

Funny as it sounds this giant balancing rock is a must visit spot by everyone. You can stand against it trying to push it or run away from it. Lots of greenery around will give a good backdrop for pictures from any angle.

 

 

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Mamallapuram lighthouse

The oldest lighthouse of India dating back to 640 AD this spot provides picturesque views of the beach. A little more effort and you can reach the century old tall lighthouse giving you even better views. The gusty wind and amazing view will be the best way to wrap up your trip of Mahabalipuram.

 

places in mahabalipuram

Crocodile Park

This crocodile sanctuary has one of the biggest crocodile in Asia. I was amazed to see almost 400 crocodiles basking in the sun here. Although i must inform you the stench of meat is very strong in this park. Somebody give these crocs a shower !!!

 

Know anymore places to visit in Mahabalipuram? Let me know so i can add to my next travel list.

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