Mahabalipuram is a sparkling gem in the necklace of the attractions of India. Recognized as a World Heritage Site, it boasts of around forty mesmerizing monuments fashioned in different styles, including an 'open air bas relief' which is one-of-its-king in the world. Once the capital of the Pallava dynasty, Mahabalipuram is located in Tamil Nadu. It is also a highly reverified pilgrim site of the Hindus attracting both tourists and devotees in great numbers.
The rich culture, historical monuments, traditions and blissful ambiance of Mahabalipuram make it a fascinating tourist attraction worth a visit. Its glorious history dates back to the 7th century and most of its arresting monuments were built between the 7th and 9th century.
The brilliant Shore Temple is the most enchanting structure of Mahabalipuram, which has been listed as a World Heritage Site. Ideally set at the sea shore offering breathtaking views of the surroundings, the temple was constructed in the 8th century. Surviving the test of time, the temple takes pride in its exquisite carvings and sculptures. During weekend evenings the temple is lit beautifully.
Another bewitching attraction in the sleeves of this ancient city is the Five Rathas, which is a collection of majestic monolithic rock temples. Fashioned in the form of a chariot, these times are dedicated to the five Pandavas, the heroes of the Great Hindu Epic Mahabharata. Their towers, multi-pillared halls, carvings and sculptures are simply awe-inspiring. These temples were carved out of a small hill.
Also visit the Arjuna's Penance, which is an open air bas-relief built in the 7th century. Bas-Relief is a kind of carving or sculpture in which the figures are raised a few inches from a flat background to give a three-dimensional effect. Towering to a height of 43 feet, this structure is extremely beautiful. It is also the venue for the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival held in January every year.