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Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a famous sea side village 58 km from Chennai and attracts people for its temples, caves and beaches.

Mahabalipuram was the seat of art and culture during the Pallava dynasty and the magnificent temples and the rock sculptures and carvings are proof of its glorious past. The Mandapas or pillared halls carved into the rock face are adorned with intricate sculptures of gods, goddesses and mythological figures. Krishna's butter ball, Ganesh Mandapa, Varaha Mandapa are few of the mandapas which spells aesthetic beauty and artistic perfection. Mahabalipuram is also famous for its monolithic temples called Rathas which are also excellent pieces of architecture and sculpture. The Rathas are representative of the Pandava brothers and their wife Draupadi. These rathas are known as the seven pagodas. One of the most popular sights in Mahabalipuram is the Shore temple with shrines of Siva and Vishnu. The ancient Siva temple is very popular but none of the famous saivite saints have visited here. This temple, like the other constructions here, are home to some exemplary architectural feats and breathtaking sculptures. The cave temples include the Trimurthi, Varaha, Durga and Pancha Pandava. Near the cave temples is the famous open air sculpture called Arjuna's penance. The popular theory is that, the sculpture depicts the penance of Arjuna during his exile to the Himalayas to procure fro Lord Siva the weapon Pasupata. There are other theories as well.

The vast influx of tourists in the place may be accorded to the fact that this place is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Chennai Airport is the nearest airport where flights arrive from a lot of domestic and international airports. Chennai and Chengalpettu are the nearest railway stations from where the road has to be taken to reach this city.
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