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Over 3 hours, this guided tour will teleport you to the 7th century into the times of the Pallavas with incredible rock cut monuments. This tour can be done by walk or in your vehicle. We can also arrange a tuk tuk or autorickshaw. You will experience masterpieces from this world heritage site like the Pancha Rathas which are rock cut monolith temples, Arjuna's Penance the giant open air rock relief, the gravity defying Krishna's butterball and the Shore temple which is the last remaining of the 7 Pagodas mentioned by Marco Polo. Mahabalipuram is the proud recipient of world's first stone carving city declaration. However, the next generation of sculptors are moving to the cities for jobs threatening a slow death for this fine art. Our company is helping this community by training & employing local guides and by procuring their wares to strengthen their livelihood. .
Our guide will meet you at the entrance of the Shore Temple.
Confirm time with the local provider in advance of your
7/16/2020 - 6/21/2024
Monday - Sunday : 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Queen Victoria Statue
30/A, Nrupathunga Rd, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangi Rama Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001, India
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We reach the World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram. Panch Rathas, or the 5 chariots is our first destination. These are rock cut monolith structures, where of the chariots are dedicated to the lead cast of the Mahabharata epic- Draupadi, Arjuna, Nakul-Sahadeva, Bhima and Yudhister. There is also a sculpture of an elephant next to the ratha of Nakul-Sahadeva.
Pandava cave is the largest cave-temple at Mahabalipuram The cave is supported on six pillars and two pilasters. There are 3 spectacular sculptures of mythical creatures called Yali on the pillars.
We next visit Arjuna’s Penace, a bas-relief monument that’s considered one of India’s most magnificent pieces of ancient art, depicting vivid scenes from the Mahabharata. The relief is 100 feet long and 45 feet tall! The main story being told is how Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers, performed severe austerities in order to obtain Lord Shiva's weapon.
The next stop is Krishna’s Butterball, a granite boulder that’s poised on a stony slope. This curious boulder seems to defy Newton's laws of gravity and has not moved an inch despite being in this precarious position on the slope for more than a thousand years.
The Varaha cave is carved out of huge piece of granite and dates back to the 7th century. This temple took several decades to be completed. There are squatting lions adorning the pillars which support the hall. Another highlight are the sculptures of two guardian angels who protect the sanctum.
This cave is a fine example of the spectacular architecture style of the Pallavas. The rock cut temple is dedicated to the holy trinity of Hindu Gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are fine carvings of elephants as well.
This is a imposing chariot carved out of a single stone. Originally dedicated to Lord Shiva, it now has the deity of his son Lord Ganesh. It was built in the 7th century by King Mahendravarman I. The other highlight of this temple are the 18 inscriptions in ancient grantha and nagari scripts of Sanskrit.
Built in the year 640, it is India's oldest light house and one of the oldest in the world. Mahabalipuram was a very busy port since the 7th century and hence this lighthouse played a significant role in keeping mariners safe.
This cave has 2 imposing bas-reliefs on the walls. The first one is Lord Vishnu sleeping on top of the coils of a serpent. The other is with Goddess Durga fighting with the demon Mahishasura on a lion.
Our last port of call is the Shore Temple. The magnificent temple overlooks the Bay of Bengal and was an important centre during the reign of the Pallavas when Mahabalipuram was the main port of their Kingdom. Built by King Raja Simha during the early 8th century, the Shore Temple is a landmark in the architectural landscape of India. Marco Polo referred to this as the seven pagodas. The existing temple is the last surviving of the 7 which once stood as a beacon for sea farers.
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
Product code: 114064P14