Chennai Mahabalipuram alias Mamallapuram UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mahabalipuram alias Mamallapuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is near to Chennai (old name Madras) in the state of Tamilnadu in India. There are many historic monuments consisting of monolithic and cave rock cut carvings, portraying events from the major Indian epic Mahabharatha, built between the 7th and 9th centuries. Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram.


Mahabalipuram UNESCO World Heritage Site is on the Bay of Bengal sea coast at a distance of around 60 kilometers from Chennai on the Chennai – Pondicherry East Coast Road (ECR). It was once the port city of the famous Pallava kingdom.

Magnificent burial urns and jars with burials dating to the start of the first century A.D.  were discovered from nearby areas of Mamallapuram. A.D. 4th century Chinese and Roman coins were also found in Mahabalipuram. Mamallapuram city is believed to have been built in the 7th century A.D. by the great Pallava king Narasimhavarman.

India – china Summit at Mahabalipuram – OCtober 2019

Mahabalipuram Shot into prominence after the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met here for a Summit. It was held on October 11th and 12th, 2019.

Arjuna’s penance

Arjuna’s penance is one of the magnificent and gigantic rock-cut carvings at Mahabalipuram. It measures around 30meters in length (100 feet) and 15 meters (45feet) in height.

Arjuna is a leading character in the great Hindu epic, Mahabharatha. He is one among the Pandavas. Pandavas are 5 brothers in Mahabharatha. Arjuna’s penance was to obtain Lord Shiva’s weapons by meditation.

Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

There is also an ancient shore temple on the sea coast, which also belongs to the same period mentioned above. Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram temple was submerged during certain periods in history. It is one of the places to visit in Mahabalipuram. It is around 200 meters from the parking lot, near Mahabalipuram beach.

How Do I Go to Chennai Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram alias Mamallapuram is easily accessible by road. Chennai to Mahabalipuram distance is around 60 kilometers. Mamallapuram is on the East Coast Road (ECR Road – State Highway No 49). ECR runs along the coast of Tamilnadu, from Chennai to Thoothukudi alias Tuticorin. This road is being expanded to Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin via Thiruchendur and Koodamkulam (where the nuclear power station has come up).

Chennai International airport is the nearest Airport to Mahabalipuram alias Mamallapuram.

Chennai Central railway station, Chennai Egmore and Chennai Tambaram are the nearest major railway stations to Mamallapuram. Mahabalipuram to Chennai traveling time is around one hour.

Hotels in Mahabalipuram

There are a large number of Hotels in Mahabalipuram. 5-star hotels along with budget hotels and resorts are there at Mamallapuram alias Mahabalipuram. There are different types of rooms in Mahabalipuram, catering to the needs of the tourists.

About Author: George