Vanakkam Wanderlusters! Are you itching to go on a journey of discovery and uncovering the magic of ancient wonders and experiencing the serenity of coastal beauty? Your search stops right here and you need to look no further than the mesmerizing town of Mahabalipuram. 

Nestled along the stunning shores of Tamil Nadu, India. Mahabalipuram is a delightful location with the perfect blend of history, culture and heritage. 

Come with us on this escapade as we take you through a copious list of the top things to do and places to visit in this fascinating destination. 

A visit to beach is one of the must things to do in Mahabalipuram
Sunset at Mahabalipuram

Dance With The Shore Temples

As you enter Mahabalipuram, you’ll be sure to be greeted by the breathtaking Shore Temples. Standing tall against the relentless waves of the Bay of Bengal, these UNESCO World Heritage marvels are a testament to the rich history and architectural brilliance of the Pallava dynasty. As the golden sun sets in the horizon, the temples cast a mesmerizing spell, creating an ethereal atmosphere that seems straight out of a dream.

Marvel At The Descent Of The Ganges

If you want to be awestruck by the magnificent rock-cut wonder known as the Descent of the Ganges (Arjuna’s Penance), Mahabalipuram is the place for you. This gigantic stone relief sculpture portrays a mythical tale of gods, animals, and humans, seemingly frozen in time. Each intricate detail tells a unique story, and as you wander amidst these stone narratives, your imagination will take flight.

Get Your Time Travel On At The Panch Rathas

Get your time traveling hats on and step into a time machine and journey back to the 7th century at the Panch Rathas (Five Chariots). Carved from single enormous stones, each ratha showcases a distinctive architectural style. They also represent the Pandavas from the Indian epic Mahabharata, and there’s also one ratha dedicated to Draupadi. These awe-inspiring monolithic structures exude an inexplicable charm. And once there you’ll find yourself wondering about the artisans’ extraordinary craftsmanship for sure.

Seek Serenity At The Mahishasuramardini Cave

It’s time for spirituality, as you delve into the spiritual heart of Mahabalipuram by exploring the Mahishasuramardini Cave. It is an ancient rock-cut shrine dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. Here you will feel the tranquil ambience inside the cave as you witness the impressive carvings of deities and mythical creatures. The interplay of light and shadows will also add a mystical touch to your spiritual journey.

Temples of Mahabalipuram
Temples of Mahabalipuram

Capture the Beauty of Krishna’s Butter Ball

Prepare your eyes and your cameras for a mind-boggling sight. The gravity-defying Krishna’s Butter Ball is a fabulous marvel. This colossal rock seems precariously balanced on a slope, defying the laws of physics. It’s so baffling that it will leave you marveling at its existence.

Embrace Serenity At The Mahabalipuram Beach

Once you’re done exploring and touring the ancient wonders, remember to take a leisurely stroll along the Mahabalipuram Beach. Let the gentle sea breeze caress your face, and the soft sand massage your feet. And get the much-needed respite from the bustling world. Whether you’re a sun seeker or a contemplative soul, the beach will offer you the perfect setting to unwind and enjoy the peaceful ocean views.

Dive Into The Underwater World At Crocodile Bank

Have you always wanted to see crocodiles up close? If yes then a visit to the Crocodile Bank is an absolute must for you. Home to various species of crocodiles, alligators, and even some endangered reptiles, this conservation center educates visitors about these fascinating creatures while raising awareness about their conservation. It’s both an educational and thrilling experience that’ll leave you with lasting memories.

Discover The Secrets Of Tiger’s Cave

All you have to do is venture a little beyond Mahabalipuram and then you can discover the hidden gem known as Tiger’s Cave. This rock-cut temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is perched on the edge of a cliff. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The tranquility and secluded charm of this site make it an ideal spot for you to meditate and introspect.

Intricate carvings at monuments in Mahabalipuram 
Intricate carvings at monuments in Mahabalipuram 

Shop for Souvenirs at The Local Market

Your trip can simply not be complete without indulging in a little retail therapy. Moreover you can simply not leave without picking up some souvenirs for your loved ones. Remember to explore the local markets of Mahabalipuram, where you’ll find an array of handicrafts, stone sculptures, and other artistic treasures. Support local artisans and take home a piece of Mahabalipuram’s rich cultural heritage.

Experience the Thrills of Surfing

Calling all adrenaline junkies! Mahabalipuram is not only a treasure trove of ancient history but also a paradise for surfers. Head to the Surfing School and ride the waves like a pro. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, the local instructors will guide you through the basics and help you conquer the roaring sea. It’s an invigorating and fun-filled activity that adds a dash of adventure to your trip.

Unwind with Ayurvedic Massages

After a day of exploration, treat yourself to some well-deserved pampering with traditional Ayurvedic massages. Mahabalipuram is dotted with various wellness centers and spas that offer rejuvenating therapies to soothe your mind, body, and soul. Let the skilled hands of therapists work their magic and transport you to a state of utter relaxation.

Mahabalipuram beach at Sunset
Mahabalipuram beach at Sunset.

Marvel At The Butterflies At Madras Crocodile Bank Trust

For nature enthusiasts and families alike, the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is a delightful excursion. Apart from crocodiles, this conservation center is also a haven for butterflies. Wander through the butterfly enclosure and witness the kaleidoscope of colors as these delicate creatures flutter around you. It’s a charming and educational experience for both young and old.

Delight In The Intricacies Of Stone Carving

Mahabalipuram has a rich tradition of stone carving, and you can witness the artists in action at various workshops and studios. Take a peek into the fascinating world of sculpting as these skilled craftsmen transform blocks of stone into intricate masterpieces. You can even try your hand at carving under their expert guidance and create a unique keepsake to cherish forever.

Feast On Delectable Seafood Delicacies

Give your tastebuds a joyride. And revel in the flavors of the sea by savoring the delectable seafood dishes that Mahabalipuram has an array of. From fresh catch to traditional coastal recipes, the local restaurants will serve you a culinary extravaganza that will leave you wanting more. Quick tip: don’t forget to try the famous prawn masala and fish curry. They are a true delight. 

Witness The Splendor Of The Krishna Mandapam

If you want to have a deeper look at religious monuments this is the place for you. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the Krishna Mandapam is an exquisite rock-cut monument adorned with intricately carved panels depicting his life and various legends. The vibrant sculptures and detailed carvings make it a visual treat for art enthusiasts. And remember to take your time to appreciate the craftsmanship that has withstood the test of time.

Ancient monuments of Mahabalipuram
Ancient monuments of Mahabalipuram

Sunrise at The Lighthouse

Looking for a romantic spot? Then head to the Mahabalipuram Lighthouse and witness the most romantic sunrise from its vantage point. You will be sure to have a wonderful time while viewing the beautiful panoramic view of the sea. And the best part is when the town as the sun bathes everything in its warm glow. It is truly a sight to behold. 

Enjoy A Boat Ride In The Backwaters

Escape the tourist crowds for a while and embark on a peaceful boat ride through the backwaters of Mahabalipuram. The tranquil waters, lined with lush greenery, offer a serene respite from the bustling attractions. Keep an eye out for local birds and wildlife as you drift along the gentle currents.

Attend The Mahabalipuram Dance Festival

If you happen to visit during December or January, you’re in for a treat! Mahabalipuram hosts an annual dance festival that brings together classical dancers from across India. Marvel at the graceful movements and captivating performances against the backdrop of the Shore Temples. It’s a celebration of art, culture, and tradition that will leave you spellbound.


Wanderlusters, now you are privy to the best list of things to do in Mahabalipuram. So don’t wait any longer. Grab your sunscreen, sunglasses and enormous sun hats and get ready for an adventure that will be equal parts fun and equal parts memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Some FAQs For You

Which is the best time to go Mahabalipuram?

The best time to visit Mahabalipuram is during the winter months, from November to February. Because the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities and you can enjoy everything without feeling like you’ll be scorched. 

How much time is enough for Mahabalipuram?

Spending 2 to 3 days in Mahabalipuram is sufficient to explore the main attractions, immerse in its rich history, and enjoy the coastal charm without rushing.

Is there entry fee for Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram in itself doesn’t have an entry fee. But it has an entry fee to access the Group of Monuments, including Shore Temples, Panch Rathas, and other significant sites. But nothing to worry as the fee is very reasonable and is only applicable as it helps in the preservation of these historical treasures.

Is there any dress code for Mahabalipuram?

There is no strict dress code for Mahabalipuram in itself. But if you plan on visiting temples and religious sites, it’s advisable to dress modestly out of respect for local customs and traditions.

Can you swim in Mahabalipuram beach?

To water lovers swimming in Mahabalipuram beach will definitely seem tempting. But it’s not recommended due to strong currents and occasional high waves. You can visit the beach for leisurely walks and enjoy its scenic beauty.


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