Mahabalipuram is a small resort town in Tamil Nadu, located somewhere midway between Chennai (60 kilometers) and Pondicherry on the East Coast Road. This sleepy little hamlet town became world famous gradually, since the discovery of many monolithic rock cut temples of the Pallava period, starting from the year 1960. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, making it internationally famous and attracting foreign & domestic travellers. Today, owing to its easy connectivity from Chennai and also lying on the Tamil Nadu pilgrimage route, as well as its UNESCO World heritage tag, Mahabalipuram is thronged with visitors year round. This once sleepy little town has got some interesting attractions to offer to visitors, depending on their interests. Here’s a list of things to do when in Mahabalipuram :
Recommended Read : Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
- Sightseeing Group of Monuments inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site : Ofcourse, top on the list would be the magnificent group of rockcut monuments that are spread all over the town of Mahabaliuram. The most stunning and popular are the Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Single Relief known as Arjuna’s Penance/Descent of Ganges and Krishna’s Butter Ball.
- Enjoy sitting by beach – Located on the Coromandel Coast and boasting of an impressive coastline, sitting by the beach is real fun here, especially near the Shore Temple point. Watch the sun rise here, it’s absolutely delightful experience.
- Take a morning boat ride into the sea – If you are feeling bit adventurous, then take a morning boat/catamaran ride into the sea to watch the sun rise and view the Shore Temple from the sea. I did that on my previous visit, which was arranged by the good folks of Chariot Beach Resort and it was one of the best things I got to do on the trip.
- Visit to Crocodile Bank – The Madras Crocodile Bank (Or Madras Crocodile Bank Trust) is located aroun 10 kilometers from the main town of Mahabalipuram and is something that should not be missed. Founded by iconic herpetoloigist Romulus Whitaker, the trust seeks to conserve, breed and re-introduce crocodile species into the wild.
- Try a hand at Surfing – Mahabalipuram has emerged as one of the favourite locations of surfing in India (surfing as such is quite new adventure activity in India). There are couple of surfing schools in the town which offer this activity, for beginners as well as people looking seriously to try surfing.
- Sea Shell Museum – Mahabalipuram has some quirky museums and the sea shell museum is one of the them! Visit this to know about different kinds of sea shells.
- Dr. Arun’s Photography and Vintage Camera Museum – If you are into cameras and photography, do visit this museum which has a diverse collection of vintage cameras.
- Relax at a Beach Resort and enjoy some Spa time – If you are feeling overhwhelmed after doing all the above, relax in a resort by the beach! There are many nice resorts and I stayed at Chariot Beach Resort on my last visit and quite liked the property. I went for a relaxing Spa session followed by good siesta!
Recommended Read : Long Weekend getaway to Mahabalipuram with Chariot Beach Resort
So if you happen to be Mahabalipuram and try all the things I have suggested, please let me know how you felt post your holiday there!
You may also like to read following for more information on South India travel :
Note : I was hosted by the good folks of Chariot Beach Resort during my stay in Mahabalipuram for this feature. However, the views shared here are my own.