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Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, was the chief seaport of the powerful Pallava dynasty of South India from as early as the first century B.C to the eighth century A.D. The contribution of the Pallavas to the administration, culture and architecture of South India is well-known. The reign of Narasimha Varman in the 7th century AD witnessed the height of glory for the Pallava Empire both in area and architecture. Mahabalipuram, now a small sleepy village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, has the distinction of being one of the top travel destinations of not only Tamil Nadu but also South India. Known to the world for its famous Shore group of Temples. These temples bear lavish testimony to the supreme heights scaled by the Pallava architecture. Though the vagaries of nature had played havoc with this magnificent structure, efforts are now on to preserve it and save it from further destruction. An important step was taken in this direction when it was listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Places to See in Mahabalipuram :

Five Rathas : Five Rathas are the one of the most magnificent tourist attractions at Mahabalipuram Beaches. Five Rathas are actually five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are modeled around chariots that are called 'Rathas' in Hindi. They are also known as the 'Pancha Pandava Rathas', which means that each one of them represent 5 Pandavas, the protagonists of Indian epic Mahabharata. The most mesmerizing aspect of this monument is the fact that the four of the Rathas are supposed to have scooped out of a single rock formation.

Dakshinachitra : A must visit site on the Mahabalipuram beach is Dakshinachitra, a heritage village that is the brainchild of the Ministry of Culture. The village falls to your left when you start moving from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. The place is being developed as a model village that will have dedicated sectors depicting 19th century villages of states like Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Everything, right from roads to utensils will represent that era. This ambitious project will take years to complete and is currently home to hundreds of artists and masons who are working on this project.

Tiger's Cave : Tiger's Cave is just 4 kilometers off to the main monument complex of the Mahabalipuram beach. The place is actually an open-air theatre, where activities and programs highlighting the cultural heritage of Tamilnadu are held. As this place is ashore Coromandel Coast, it is very serene and calm.

The Sculpture Museum : The Sculpture Museum in East Raja Street contains more than 3,000 sculptures by the local artisans, made in wood, metal, brass, and cement.

How to Reach :

By Air : The nearest airport is Chennai. Chennai is well-connected with all major cites of India and broad.

By Rail : The nearest railway station is Chengalpattu, 29 km away. It is well-connected with Chennai and other major cities of South India.

By Road : Mahabalipuram is well-connected by road to Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tirukkalikundram and Pondicherry.



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