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Our most recommended things to do in Mahabalipuram

Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

1. Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

Your experience will begin as you are collected from your accommodation at 7:30AM, at which point you will make your way to Mahabalipuram. Once having arrived, Panch Rathas is your first destination. These are rock-cut monolith structures which are dedicated to the lead cast of the Mahabharata epic. They are dedicated to Draupadi, Arjuna, Nakul-Sahadeva, Bhima and Yudhister. There is also a sculpture of an elephant next to the ratha of Nakul-Sahadeva. Next in the itinerary is Arjuna’s Penance, a 100-foot by 45-foot open-air rock relief where an entire masterpiece from the Mahabharata epic has been carved. The River Ganga is at the center of the panel, and is surrounded by divine beings, hunters, animals, birds, and trees belonging to the Himalayan ranges. The next stop is to Krishna’s Butterball, a 5-meter ball-shaped boulder which is perched precariously on a slope and seems to defy Newton’s laws of gravity. Next up, the magnificent Shore Temple beckons you. This 8th-century structural temple is made of granite, and served as a beacon for seafarers of the time. Legend says that this was a part of a complex of 7 temples dotted along the sea, and the legendary traveler Marco Polo also mentioned Mahabalipuram in his memoirs, referring to it as the "City of 7 Pagodas". Following this final stop, you will travel back to Chennai where you will be dropped off back to your hotel by 3:30PM.

Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

2. Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Starting in Chennai, you'll be transported to Mahabalipuram, famous for its splendid 7th and 8th-century art and architecture, especially its stone carvings. You will start your tour by visiting the magnificent 7th-century Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. In addition, you’ll also visit the 7th-century Five Rathas shrine, also known as Pancha Rathas. After visiting Mahabalipuram you'll stop to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the "golden city of a thousand temples" and is also one of the 7 sacred cities of India. The city has some grand and majestic buildings that reflect the architectural experiments undertaken by different dynasties ruling the city over the centuries. Visit historic spots like the Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple and Ekambareswara Temple. All of these are excellent specimens of the architectural splendor of the medieval period.   

Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram Temples & Caves Tour

3. Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram Temples & Caves Tour

Discover the enchanting parts of Chennai through Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. A guide will pick you up in the morning. First off, you'll enter Mahabalipuram, an ancient town that is situated between the Bay of Bengal & Great Salt Sea. Here you will come across a mixture of the seaside as well as rock-cut carvings. Stop by the magnificent heritage at Shore Temple along the coast. Followed by a visit to Pancha Rathas, a monument complex that goes back to the Pallava dynasty's time. After all the sightseeing, you'll head to Kanchipuram. It's a sacred golden town known for its majestic temples, architectural style & also silk sarees. You'll see Lord Shiva's Kailasanathar Temple, a temple wrapped in Dravidian architecture from the 8th century. Next, the guide will take you to many famous temples - Kamaskhi Amman Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, & Ekambareswarar Temple. Throughout different periods many dynasties have taken over this golden city & have preserved its legacy. You will also get time to buy the popular Kanchipuram sarees weaved by regional weavers before the tour ends.

Chennai: Mahabalipuram Guided Tour with Lunch

4. Chennai: Mahabalipuram Guided Tour with Lunch

In the morning, your guide will arrive to pick you up for Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO Heritage Site that dates back to the 7th & 8th centuries. It's a site that even the famous explorer Marco Polo didn't miss out on. He dubbed Mahabalipuram the 'City of 7 Pagodas' in his period. Upon arrival, you will first see Pancha Rathas, a centuries-old sacred complex. Its monoliths & walls showcase visuals from the ancient Hindu epic, Mahabharata. The guide will tell the significance & past of this complex as move on. From there, you will head to Arjuna's Panance, a remarkable 100-foot by 45-foot monument at Mamallapuram. This place is also known as the Descent of Ganges since its carvings illustrate the river Ganga rising & flowing through the Himalayas. Next, you will see Krishna's Butterball which is a huge granite boulder perched on a steep rock slope. Make memories & click as many pictures as you want. After this, we'll move towards Shore Temple, a granite built temple which overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Listen to captivating stories & reasoning behind its structuring as the tour comes to an end. By 3:30 PM, you will be at your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Mahabalipuram

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What people are saying about Mahabalipuram

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14 reviews

The temples are a spectacular sight and I enjoyed not only seeing them but being given plenty of information alongside. The tour is well set up and guide Kannan is very forthcoming and knowledgeable. It was a pleasure to listen to all his elaboration on the history of the sights but also about Indian life in general. Lunch was a good experience too and on the way back we even got to visit an active Jain temple that was en route. in conclusion, I'd definitely recommend this tour to anyone who is keen in learning more about the rich history and culture of Tamil Nadu.

Pickup by our guide Nivethitha and the driver worked perfectly, on the drive to Mahabalipuram, she already gave us very much information about the city Chennai and the trip target. The local guide was also very nice and provided all information we asked for and shared a ton of knowledge about the temples and locations. Impressive monuments and temples we visited. Very friendly and well informed guides.

I spent more than 7 hours to visit great must see places in and around Chennai. Mahabalipuram was just unbelievable. So many temples and sculptures made of one real monolithes. Never seen such a place before. The guide did a great job. Very kind and knowledgeable . All started perfectly in time in the morning. Well organized. I can only recommend this trip. Thanks for a wonderful insight.

The guide is excelent. Ramesh is our guide. He took good care of my dad to Mahabalipuram while I was in the meeting. This is his first trip to India. And he was really impressed and enjoy and keep saying that Ramesh had given him many good information and fun shooting photos for him. Thank you so much :)

We had a great driver Mr Ram Kumar. Guides were included. We were not allowed in the temples as we are foreigners. Though it is not the company’s fault. But it’s a thumbs up for all foreigners n non Hindus.