Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town that saw major development under South Indian King Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty. Today, the assemblage of impressive monuments at Mahabalipuram has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited by scores of domestic and foreign travelers each year. People travel to take in the splendor of Dravidian architecture that contains Buddhist influence in the stone fashioned monolithic sculptures.
The Ancient Thirukadalmallai Temple
Merely 60km to the south of Chennai lays Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu where the famous Thirukadalmallai temple rests in honor of the deity Vishnu. A Pallava regent ordered its construction to prevent the corrosion of several sculptures that lay beyond it. It is the glorious temple that indeed served its cause, safeguarding ancient architecture from the ocean’s corrosion.
Tourism in Mahabalipuram
In the 7th century AD, Mamallapuram was a flourishing port rich with global trade. The proof of this were the Chinese and Roman coins recovered at Mamallapuram belonging to Theodosius I who reigned during the 4th century CE. When in Mahabalipuram, the glory of the Pancha Rathas or sculpted Five Chariots must be witnessed. The five gigantic pyramidal structures have been carved from a single rock in honor of the five Pandavas. The 7th century Varaha cave temple and the descent of the Ganges commonly known as Bagiratha's Penance are charming landmarks worth a visit.
The Light House is another charismatic attraction standing tall since the year 1894 that vacationers love visiting at the time of sunset.