The Pallava dynasty

Mamallapuram, or Mahabalipuram, is a town on a strip of land between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It’s known for its temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. The seafront Shore Temple comprises 3 ornate granite shrines. Krishna’s Butter Ball is a massive boulder balanced on a small hill near the Ganesha Ratha stone temple.

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The Coromandel Coast

Mahabalipuram lies on the Coromandel Coast which faces the Bay of Bengal. This is an elegant place to watch which a well-established sea port was during the 7th to 10th centuries of the Pallava dynasty. This was the second capital of the Pallavas who ruled Kanchipuram. Formerly, mahabalipuram was known and called as Mamallapuram. The former name of this place ‘Mahabalipuram’ has a history.

It was during the reign of King Narasimha Varman I(630 - 668AD), the name Mahabalipuram was changed. It was renamed mahabalipuram which is called till now. There is a story behind. The name Mamallpuram king Narasimha Varman I was a great and valiant warrior. He was given the title Mamalla which means ‘the great wrestler’ so the name was converted from Mahabalipuram to Mamallapuram considering the great king and his achievements.

After the decline of the Gupta Dynasty, the pallavas rose to the pioneer in south India. They ruled over from the 3rd century till the end of the 9th century A.D. The best period of their rule was between 650 and 750 AD and this period was called the Golden Age of the pallavas. The pallavas were very powerful. They were profound thinkers.

It was during the rule of the pallavas, great poets, dramatists, artists, artisans, scholars and saints emerged. As one can say that the pallavas are the pioneers and forerunners of new styles both in art and architecture and mahabalipuram is the best place to praise off their skill and talent. New sculptures and unique paintings were innovative and exuberant. This place mahabalipuram itself became their exploring field and they made the best use of the resources. They game a shape and creative energy to what they imagined. It became a dream come true as it witnessed innovations in all styles.

The richness in mahaballipuram was not known to many, as these pallavas did not outlet and expose their quality and innovative creations to the outer world for obvious reasons. The aestheticism in mahabalipuram was hidden until the late 185h century. What is special about mahabalipuram? Of course every one can point out the rock - cut caves, temples made from a single rock, temples and strives of different structures, and bas-reliefs which are so artistic and sheer creativity. Mamallpuram is referred as an ‘open-air museum’. The great pallava kings Narasimha I and Rajasimha have well preserved these stylistic qualities that one enjoys in mahabalipuram even in the present day.

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Connectivity to reach

By Flight: There is no airport in Mahabalipuram. The nearest airport is in Chennai, which is around 40 km away. From Chennai airport, the guest can take a taxi or bus. It will take an hour to reach.

By Train:
There is no railway station in Mahabalipuram, the nearest railway station is the Egmore station, located in Chennai. After reaching Chennai, you can either hire a taxi from outside the railway station or took the buses that run regularly from Chennai to Mahabalipuram.

By Road:
Mahabalipuram is well connected by road from all the cities of Tamilnadu. Road condition is good and the drive along the coast is quite pleasant. Regular state buses are available, and one can hire the taxis too.

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Climate & best time to visit

Summer from March to May: The weather in summer remains hot. avoiding a visit to Mahabalipuram around this time is a good idea. Especially sightseeing and outdoor activities during the daytime is hard for the visitors.

Monsoon from June to September:
The rain beautifies the entire place, making it fresh and green. The Monsoon is accompanied by high humidity and scanty showers, with an occasional heavy shower. If you are visiting Mahabalipuram around this time then you are advised to carry an umbrella or a raincoat.

Winter from November to February:
This is the best time to enjoy, the weather is nice, cold and good for sightseeing, outdoor activities are also best around this time. The winters in Mahabalipuram are usually pleasant, with warm days and cool nights. 

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