While driving from Pondicherry to Chennai on east coast road we decided to take halt at Mahaballipuram, 96 km from Pondicherry and 56 Km from chennai. This UNESCO world heritage site overlooking Coromandal coast of bay of Bengal is a magnificent piece of architecture of 7th century Pallava rule.
Important places to vist
As you enter this small town you will find a rocky hill with large stones and caves in side these rocks. Some beautiful carving done on these rocks and are popularly known as Arjuna’s Pennance. Arjuna’s Pennance is story from mahabharata where Arjun one of the Pandavas performed austerities in order to obtain shiva’s weapon.
There is a new light house built on this hillock facing an old lighthouse which was used during the ancient times. As you move along the road for a kilometer or more, there is another site which is called ratha temples. These temples were built by pallava king in 7th century. Ratha temples are mololith structures with beautiful carvings. On way to temple you can find a small handicraft market with stone ornaments, statues utensils.
Shore temple built in 7 th century is dedicated to lord shiva and vishnu, its one of the oldest structural temple in south india. This UNESCO world heritage site comprises of three shrines and it is built on a 50 feet plinth with some very real and artistic images depicting routine life. In the present times they are mere archaeological structures and no puja/archana happens here.