Mamallapuram India - looking at Temples, Caves and Rock Sculptures - with Photos.
About the Indian Town of Mamallapuram which is in Tamil Nadu State, India.
Mamallapuram (which is now re-named as Mahabalipuram) is an ancient coastal town and at one time very busy seaport which is situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal - around 60 kilometres to the south of central Chennai. The existance of both the town and seaport have been shown to go back to at least the 1st Century - when the port was used by Chinese, Roman and
Indian traders.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Getting to Mamallapuram from Chennai on a day trip.
There is a regular bus plying the route from Tiruvanmiyur Bus Station in Chennai which takes normally just over an hour - this will get you into the centre of town so the Shore Temple is easily reached however more transport will be needed to get out to the other things to see. An albeit far more expensive but much
nicer way is to hire a car and driver for the day - firstly the drive down is interesting and you can stop off a few times to look at the Bay of Bengal coast. Also getting to the various outer locations at the town - which your driver should know about - is not a problem. Chennai hotel desks seem to want a lot of money for a car and driver for the day. So find some auto drivers perhaps down on Beach Road and ask them if they know anybody - which of course they
will - and after haggling get a much lower price.
Pancha Pandava Rathas - monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture at Mamallapuram, India. These unusual stone structures (they are not temples) were erected during the reign of the Pallava King Mahendravarman I and by his son King Narasimha-Varman towards the end of the 7th century. This complex of monolithic rock cut shrines are called Panch (five)
Rathas and are probably named after the five Pandava brothers from the epic story of the Mahabharata - the brothers names were Yudishthira (Dharmaraja), Bhima, Arjuna, Nakul and Sahedea. Also the shrine at the front is named after the brother's mother Queen Draupadi.