Interesting facts about Mahabalipuram Temple | Historical Facts of Mahabalipuram

Interesting facts about Mahabalipuram Temple | Historical Facts of Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram Temple has located 60 km from Chennai (formerly Madras) on the Bay of Bengal in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Mahabalipuram is well-known worldwide for its temples and beaches. Mahabalipuram is a historic city and is also known as Mamallapuram. Another ancient name of Mahabalipuram is also Banpur. Mahabalipuram is famous for its intricately engraved temples and rock-cut caves. The five chariots, Varah Mandapam, Krishna Mandapam, and Shore Temple are mainly visible in the temple. The rocks made by cutting stones are also worth seeing here. The temples of Mahabalipuram are known for their carvings. Temples of amazing artistic style, are scattered like silver, sand and trees and waves of the sea make Mahabalipuram one of the most famous tourist destinations. If you are planning to go on a trip to Mahabalipuram, then you must read this article once.

Mahabali Puram Temple

Amazing Famous Facts About Mahabalipuram Temple For Tourists and Kids

  1. Mahabalipuram has been, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1984.
  2. Raja Narasimha Varman was a great warrior and wrestler so, he named Mahabalipuram as Mamallapuram because it means ‘a great wrestler‘.
  3. The Pallava kings ruled South India after the decline of the Gupta dynasty.
  4. The city was the capital of the Pallava kings in the 7th century.
  5. The Pallava kings continued to dominate the country until the end of the 9th century, about three centuries AD.
  6. 650 to 750 AD is considered the best time of the Pallava kings.
  7. The Pallava kings used to be very powerful, and their thinking was very different.
  8. It is, believed that the Pallavas were full of the knowledge of moving forward, new ideology and architecture, so they left the imprints of their work in many places of Mahabalipuram.
  9. Pallava kings craftsmanship depict many types of beautiful images and ideology.
  10. The temple portion of the Shore temple is made, of granite stone. The Shore Temple was, built around 700–728 AD. The Shore temple is most attractive for tourists.
  11. The temples of Mahabalipuram are known for their carvings.
  12. Among the temples, the Varaha Mandapam, Krishna Mandapam, the Five Chariots and the Shore Temple are mainly visible.
  13. Rocks made by cutting stones are also worth seeing.
  14. It is, said that this place has been, named after the same Mahabali demon that Lord Vishnu conquered by retaining Vamnavatar.
  15. There is a college in Mahabalipuram that teaches architecture and temple architecture.
    From, the ancient coins of Chinese coins, Persian coins, and Rome coins, it can be inferred that the harbor may have been, there earlier.
  16. There are five chariots devoted to the Pandavas.
  17. The bass reliefs (structures emerging from the rock base) of the Ganges descent are very famous.
  18. The Shore Temple is the last monument that was, built.
  19. Most of these monuments are monolithic ie, carved from a single rock.

Watch HD video on Mahabalipuram Temple:

Who built Mahabalipuram temple

  • The city of Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram was founded, by the Pallava king Narasimha Varman I during the 7th century AD.

History of Mahabalipuram Temple

Mahabalipuram religious center was established in 7th century, by the Hindu Pallava king Narasimha Dev Varman also known as Mamalla and hence it is called Mamallapuram. Neolithic burial urns, jars and Cairn circles dating after the Christian era have been, discovered near Mamallapuram. The Pallavas dynasty has left behind a treasure of noble history, architecture, and culture. In the 4th century AD Chinese coins and Roman coins of Theodosius I were, found at Mamallapuram which represent the port as an active center of global trade in the late classical period. Two Pallava coins of legends read as Srinidhi and Srihari have been, found at Mamallapuram.
The Pallava kings ruled Mamallapuram from Kanchipuram-
The capital of the Pallava dynasty was from the 3rd century to the 9th century AD and was used to launch trade and diplomatic missions to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. That place is also mentioned, in the book Paththupattu of Tamil literature of ancient Sangam era. These temples are considered glorious examples of ancient architecture of India. The culture of South India reached the highest peak of progress during the time of the Pallavas. In this period, a large number of people from South India had settled in Greater India, especially in Syam, Malaya, Indonesia, and Cambodia and reached there and established new Indian colonies. Mahabalipuram has become an important port and a splendid center of prosperous activity.

Read Also: Interesting facts about Khajuraho Temple

The temples of Mamallapuram depicting the events related in the Mahabharata were broadly built, during the reign of Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasinghavarman and describe the movement from rock-cut architecture to structural buildings.  The city of Mamallapuram was founded in the 7th century AD by, the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I. According to the inscription, the monuments of Mahabalipuram were constructed, by the Pallava kings Mahendravarman (580 630 AD) by his son Narasimhavarman (638 668 AD) and his descendants. Mahendravarman was, a famous patron of fine arts and during his time he devoted his efforts to develop these arts. The temples constructed as mandapa or pavilions and the rathas or shrines are decorated with granite rock faces while the famous Shore temple was made half a century later with a stone cloth. The culturally resonating influences of Mamallapuram are the influences absorbing and transmitting it. The Shore temple contains several reliefs, including carvings made of granite 100 feet long and 45 feet high. Mamallapuram is also, known by different names as Kadal, Arthasethu, Mallai, Mallavaram, Mallai, and Mamallai.

Mahabalipuram Main Monument

  • Five Rathas, Shore Temple, Clock Tower, Hill Side Cave, and Tiger Cave

Pancha Rathas

Pancha Rathas is famous for its carving and artistic style which is known, as the five Pandavas. These are small temples carved out of the rock in the form of chariots. Their specialty is that they are made, by cutting a single stone. It is one of the scenic spots in Mahabalipuram whose artistic style is praise-worthy. Four of these five chariots are dedicated, to Draupadi’s husband or one to Draupadi.

The five chariots include:
Arjuna Rath, Bhima Rath, Dharmaraja Rath, Nakula – Sahadeva Rath, Draupadi Rath.

Statues in chariots:

All these chariots also include many gods of God Shiva, Vishnu, Murugan, etc. Krishna is formed, on the wall and Nandi, elephant, etc. are included in other idols on the outside of the chariots.

Shore Temple

Shore temples are, located on the coastline in the state of Tamil Nadu. There is a unique combination of three pilgrimages. The Shore Temple is one of the historical and beautiful temples. The Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was, built 50 km south of Madras, a coastal village. It was built, in the 7th century during the reign of Rajasimha. Behind the protective dam are towers on the waves. Whose artistic style is commendable. It is, said that this temple is included, in the 8th-century temples which are of Dravidian style. In this temple, pictures of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu with their beautiful polygonal dome, are made on a rock. The Shore Temple is a marvelous specimen of its architectural art. This beautiful temple has been declared a world heritage by UNESCO devastated by wind and sea. The Shore Temple is built, in pyramid style resting on a 60 feet high and 50 feet square platform.

Krishna’s butterball

krishna butterfall

In Mahabalipuram tourism, Krishna’s butterball is a large rock on the hill on the other side of the Mahabalipuram beach. This rock is 5 meters in diameter. Krishna’s butterballs are situated, in the form of a large rock on a hill slope near the Ganesh chariot.
Krishna Mandapam– Krishna Mandapam temple depicts the stories of Krishna in full.

Mahishmardini cave

The Mahishmardini cave is a monolithic statue located in the Chingalput district of Mahabalipuram. The Mahishmardini cave dates to the middle of the 7th century. Caves 9 Temple Caves built-in Mahabalipuram are worth seeing. This cave is dedicated, to the Mother Goddess and the cave has carvings of Shiva, Parvati, and Murugan. Tourists come to see amazing artistic caves.

Hill cave and clock tower

There are statues of various historical, spiritual events on ancient India. This monument is spread, across a wide area. It is one of the enormous places in Mahabalipuram.
The foremost among them –
Mahishasuramardini Cave, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Caves, and Arjuna Tapasya.

Arjuna penance statue

The attraction of Mahabalipuram is Arjuna’s penance about 30 meters long and 9 meters high, and it is, built on two huge rocks. Arjuna penance is one of the most prestigious 7th and 8th-century rock carvings of Mahabalipuram. That attracted carving has animals such as God, birds, animals, semi-celestial creatures, elephants, and monkeys. The carvings engraved on the rock present the artistic skills of the sculptors.

Watch Tower & Light House

There is a clock cave in Mahabalipuram which is a tower located in a small hill different from the one directed by traders coming through the sea to trade with the ancient port of the Pallava kingdom. During the Pallava period, instructions were given, to seafarers from the fire in this clock tower. Next to the clock tower is a lighthouse built by the British which is taller than the watchtower. One can see the full view of Mahabalipuram from the Light House.

Tiger cave

Mahabali Puram Temple

Tiger Cave is located near the village, of Saluvanakuppam, 5 kilometers north of Mahabalipuram. This rock-cut cave temple is devoted, to Goddess Durga. The carvings done in the tiger cave represent an incident in the life of Goddess Durga. This cave temple was also constructed, by the Pallavas in the 8th century. There are many statues of tiger heads carved out of the rocks around the entrance of the cave, opening hence its name is known as tiger cave. This cave is today known as a spectacular picnic spot.

Bass Relief

Bass Relief A large rock in the shape of a fish is called the Bass Relief Haveli, on which on one side there are sculptures of Gods and Goddesses, and on the other hand, wonderful sculptures of animals are, viewed.


Bedangtalam is a beautiful bird sanctuary where many types of birds come and collect. It becomes more attractive from November to January as several types of birds gather these days. You can also enjoy watching all kinds of birds in one place. It will be about 53 km from Mahabalipuram.

Read More: Jantar Mantar Facts

Crocodile Bank

Crocodile Bank of Mahabalipuram has about 5000 crocodiles which are of other species.

View from beach Mamallapuram beach

An 8th-century Tamil text written by Thirumangai Alwar described the place as Sea Mountain where ships bent to break langers as they carried nine varieties of gems, big trunked elephants and money in the pile. Situated on a hill near Mahabalipuram, Deepastambha was built, for the protection of sea voyages. It is, also known as many different names such as Mamalapatinam and Mamallapuram. Another name by which Mamallapuram has been, known since at least the time of Marco Polo is Seven Pagoda which is correlated, with the seven pagodas of Mamallapuram which are located on the shore of which one survives Shore Temple.

Mahabalipuram Beach

Mahabali history

Mahabalipuram Beach is located on the coast of Bay of Bengal in the south, about 58 km from Chennai city of Tamil Nadu. Mahabalipuram Beach is about 20 km long beach which came into existence since the 20th century. These beaches are popular with tourists for beach activities like sunbathing, windsurfing, diving and motor boating.

Dakshina Chitra Mahabalipuram

Dakshinachitra is a heritage village situated on the Mahabalipuram beach and about 25 km from the city of Chennai. The village has been, developed as a model of the village it represented, during the 19th century. The South Indian craft industry is depicted here in its artistic and traditional form.

Ganesh Rath Temple Mahabalipuram

Ganesh Rath Temple is a beautiful temple in Mahabalipuram built by the Pallava dynasty. The Ganesh temple is designed in the Dravidian style and is located, on the north side of the Arjuna Tapasya. The temple is beautifully carved, on a rock whose shape looks like a chariot. Initially, this temple was, known to Lord Shiva but later it was dedicated to Ganesha.

Origin of Ganga Mahabalipuram

One of the main sightseeing places of Mahabalipuram is the origin of the Ganges, a large rock memorial located on West Raja Street in Mahabalipuram. This rock was built, during the reign of the Pallava dynasty in the 7th century. The carving on the stone represents the story of the arrival of the holy Ganges river from heaven to earth.

Trimurti Cave Temple Mahabalipuram

Mahabali facts

The spectacular Trimurti cave temple of Mahabalipuram is an ancient rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century. Which are built, on a 100 feet high rock? This temple is situated, on the north side of Ganesh Rath of Mahabalipuram. The Trimurti cave temple is dedicated, to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the three major deities related to Hinduism.

Dharmaraja Cave Mahabalipuram

Dharmaraja Cave is a splendid artistic cave temple structure of 7th century. It has three empty temples. The cave has three sanctuaries for the three deities, which are currently empty. According to the inscription, this cave is also called Atintakama Mandapam.

Varaha Cave Temple Mahabalipuram

The famous Varaha Cave Temple of Mahabalipuram is a mandapa as well as a monolithic rock-cut temple. This cave, like other caves, dates back to the 7th century and is built on the rocky walls of a granite hill. Lord Vishnu is placed in the form of Varaha on the walls of the mandapa and remains an idol with Bhudevi. Tourists come to visit this cave.

Thirukalukundram Temple Mahabalipuram

Thirukalukundaram Temple is a scenic spot in Mahabalipuram, which is situated, on the top of the hill. This beautiful temple is 15 km west of Mahabalipuram. Thirukalukundram Temple is dedicated, to Lord Shiva and beautiful inscriptions in Dutch, English and ancient Indian language will be, found here. The principal deities of the Thirukalukundram temple are Arulmigu Vedagireshwar and Arulmighu Thirumalaiyuldayar.

Thirukkalamalai Temple Mahabalipuram

The Thirukkalamalai temple was built by the king of the Pallava dynasty to protect the idols from the waves of the sea. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, also known as Valvendai Jnanapiran. This temple is well-known for its Adivarah shrine near the sea.

Entrance fee for Shore temple and five chariots

Mahabali facts

  • 10 rupees for Indian citizens
  • USD 5 for foreign nationals
  • Free for children under 15 years old

Time: 6 AM to 6 PM

Local Food of Mahabalipuram

The restaurants and cafes in Mahabalipuram serve you a variety of cuisines. The colors and spices of street food are a traditional, elaborate and authentic plate as well as a long list, of Western dishes. You can take a traditional South Indian plate meal. In which you will find Idli, Appam, Dosa, Vada, Upma Sambar, Sweet Pongal, Kesari, Payasam and much more.

Read Also: Omg & Amazing facts about Jallianwala Bagh

Where to stay in Mahabalipuram

After visiting the major tourist destination in Mahabalipuram if you want to stay in Mahabalipuram then let us tell you that you will easily find hotels from low-budget to high-budget.

  • Grande Bay Resort & Spa
  • Intercontinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort
  • Silver Moon Guest House
  • Rajalakshmi Guest House
  • Hotel Mamalla Heritage

Best time to visit Mahabalipuram

You can visit Mahabalipuram at any time of the year but the best time to visit is considered to be between November to February as the weather is very favorable for traveling during this time.

Quick Tips

  • Entrance to nearby monuments is free.
  • Entrance ticket sales close at 5:30 p.m.
  • Photography is allowed, and a person has to pay Rs 25 for videography.
  • Don’t forget to take your camera so that you can take lots of photos to capture every attraction.
  • It is best to visit the Shore temple at sunrise and sunset.

Find Mahabalipuram Temple On Google Map

How to reach Mahabalipuram

You can go by flight, train or bus to visit Mahabalipuram tourist destination. All kinds of options are available to reach this beautiful spot.

How to reach Mahabalipuram by Flight

If you have chosen the route for travel to Mahabalipuram, then let us tell you that there is no direct flight service to Mahabalipuram. The closest airport to Mahabalipuram is Chennai Airport, which is located, in Chennai at a distance of about 40 km. From the airport, you can hire taxis.

How to reach Mahabalipuram by train

If you have chosen the railway route to visit, Mahabalipuram tourist place then let us tell you that there is no direct train service to Mahabalipuram. But the nearest railway station is Egmore railway station which is located, in Chennai city. You can hire a taxi from the railway station to go to Mahabalipuram.

How to reach Mahabalipuram by Bus

If you have opted for a bus to visit Mahabalipuram Tourist Place, let us tell you that Mahabalipuram is connected, to all the nearby cities via road. You will easily reach Mahabalipuram via bus or taxi from Chennai route.

About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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