MAHABALIPURAM, TAMIL NADU

Mahabalipuram

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A beautiful two-hour ride along the scenic East Coast Road from Chennai gets you to the seashore town of Mahabalipuram. The magnificent Shore Temple, although ravaged by the elements and the pounding ocean waves, still reflects the glorious past of these intrepid merchants.
We recommend a walk around the five Rathas or temples in the shape of chariots named to admire the craftsmanship of the sculptors, who carved these temples out of single blocks of stone. Another impressive monument, listed as the earliest free-standing stone temple, from the 8th century, is the Shore temple of two towers. Many stone masons still work here, mainly making statues and souvenirs, but it’s interesting to see them at work and you can purchase miniature copies of the stunning sculptures that cover this temple as mementos to take home.

Experiences In And Around Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram - Beyond the Taj, Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram - Beyond the Taj, Mahabalipuram

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A beautiful two-hour ride along the scenic East Coast Road from Chennai gets you to the seashore town of Mahabalipuram. The magnificent Shore Temple, although ravaged by the elements and the pounding ocean waves, still reflects the glorious past of these intrepid merchants
The first British settlement in India, Chennai still has a fine legacy of colonial architecture which displays a wide range of influences from the elegant classical style of the 18th century to the much more eclectic Anglo-Indian school of the late 19th century. Like all Indian cities, it has become busy and chaotic, but there is gentleness in the south and the occasional melody of Carnatic classical music and the gongs of church bells that can be heard above the cacophony of work-hour traffic. Unmistakable is the aromatic smell of freshly brewed filter coffee, the fragrance of jasmine flowers and the sight of rice crepes or dosas rolled out on a hot griddle by the roadside, quintessential south Indian attributes.