Places to visit in Mahabalipuram (Kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu)

Ultimate Guide to Mahabalipuram - Part 2

Next to the Arjuna's Penance panel (covered in Part 1) is the Krishna Mandapam. Krishna Mandapam as the name suggests, denotes the Krishna Leela or the plays of Krishna. The main scene is the Govardhana Giri scene, where Krishna lifts the mountain Govardhana when rain and thunder storm ravishes the village.
Krishna Mandapam Govardhana Giri Mahabalipuram UNESCO

Detail of Krishna Mandapam UNESCO

Funny pictures to shoot at Mahabalipuram

Krishna Butter Ball Mahabalipuram Mamallapuram
The legend goes that in Gokul people always prayed to Indhra for rains but Krishna says it’s the mountain Govardhana that blocks the clouds and showers rain. So instead of Indhra lets pray Govardhana Giri/Mountain. And people of Gokul accept his idea. So angered Indhra forces thunderstorm and rain in Gokul when Krishna lifts Govardhana with his little finger and the whole village comes under the mountain and gets protected.
Seen here is the whole village depicted under the mountain that Krishna lifts. Now, comes again our crazy shoot. There is a couple seen dancing in rejoice in the scene and we decided the separate the couple & pull them apart......
The shot of this milk man milking the cow while the cow caresses her child by licking is the best part of the whole series. Even the tongue of the cow is shown so perfectly. Don’t you just feel the mother-child love in this shot?!!!

The next place in the list was Krishna Butterball aka Bheema’s Mustard seed. This is a huuuuuge free rock standing at a dangerous slope. But it’s so well sturdy. In fact the government thought of the possibilities of massacre if it rolls down the slope. So trials we done to push and pull it with elephants and too, but in vain!!! Its toooooo sturdy to roll off the slope…
Krishna is a very chweet God filled with mystical powers. He takes different forms and changes his sizes. So this huge rock is as small as a Butter ball to Him, if he blows up. Bheema is one of the Pancha Pandavas, the strongest and biggest in size of the five. And he eats a lot too!!! So this huge rock is only as small as Mustard seed for his huuuuuuuuge tummy!!! Thus these names… You may look at the size of the people standing right below the rock to visualize the rock's actual size. This is perhaps the most popular of the Mahabalipuram places to see.
From there we went to the Ganesha Ratha. It’s a Ratha like temple that houses Lord Ganesha / Vinayakar. Next was to the Varaha Mandapam. This has 4 panels. First is Varaha Panel. Varaha is the 3rd re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu when is born as a Wild Boar. Here is the scene of Lord Vishnu in the form Wild Boar saves Mother Earth – Bhoodevi and puts her on his lap. Second is the Gajalakshmi Panel. Well, Lakshmi was created during the churning of the ocean by angels and demons. Gaja is elephant. Since she is flanked by 2 elephants on either side she is called Gaja Lakshmi. She’s sitting on a lotus with her feet placed on the lotus leaves. Next is the Durga Panel. She is seen standing here on a lotus. Her vahana Lion is on the top left with a stylized mane. The last panel is the Trivikrama Panel. Trivikrama is the form taken by Lord Vishnu in his re-incarnation as Vamana. He is also called Ongi Ulagalandha Perumal.
Rayar Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

Unfinished Sculptures of Mahabalipuram
MAHABALIPURAM RAYAR MANDAPAM (filming location of Guru)
Our next venture was to the place where Kokila Ben of Reliance Industries, dances in rain. Ha… Ok. What I meant is, in the Bollywood movie ‘Guru’ starring Abhishek Bachan and Aishwarya Rai which is based in the real life history of Dhirubai Ambani. Aishwarya Rai plays the character of his wife. A song sequence ‘Barso re’, was shot here in which she dances. And the place is called Rayar Gopuram. Again an unfinished structure.
From here we kept on walking until we saw this rock smiling. Is it only us or do u see it too..??? It smiling, no???

MAHABALIPURAM SHORE TEMPLE (filming location of 2 states):
Then after a bit of rest.. we were off the wedding location of Krish & Ananya (that's the names of the characters played by Alia Bhatt & Arjun Kapoor in Bollywood movie 2 States and the shooting location of climax scene of wedding happened here) - the Shore Temple. Thanks to its location & picturesque setting, this place tops the Mahabalipuram tourist places! 
new sculptures at Mamallapuram Shore Temple

Shore Temple Mahabalipuram
This is actually a complex that houses several monuments again. It is located a bit away from the main location, just near the sea on Mahabalipuram beach
It houses a Siva Temple and a Vishnu Temple. On a whole the Mahabalipuram is a mystery with constant new discoveries that completely destructs the assumptions. Here too, quite a number of structures are believed to be engulfed by the sea now. A recent excavation led to the discovery of some things. One is this small Varaha (wild boar) - Small in comparison to the otherwise large scale architecture and sculpture. Another is a small rather mini shrine that houses Veenadhara Siva (Lord Siva with the music instrument veena in hand). Here is my friend in front of 'em.
It was afternoon by then and a friend was waiting at a hotel constantly messaging to arrive soon for our lunch get together and another group of friends were waiting at ones home for another evening get together!!! We bid goodbye to the sculptural marvel of Mahabalipuram - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Places to visit in Mahabalipuram UNESCO Pinterest Places to visit in Mahabalipuram UNESCO Pinterest

Part 1, Part 2 

From Chennai 
     From Tambaram: 50 km via Vandalur, Kelambakkam, ECR 
     From Tambaram: 50 km via Medavakkam, Sozhinganallur, OMR, ECR 
     From Thiruvanmiyur: 43 km on ECR 
From Pondicherry: 96 km on ECR via Marakkanam

Mahabalipuram resorts and hotels are available at all price points. 
There is the Govt guest house called Hotel TamilNadu TTDC Mahabalipuram. The hotel tariff varies from Rs.3500 to Rs.5000.
For a luxury stay, Mahabalipuram beach resorts include Radission Blu, Indeco Hotels, Mamalla Heritage Resort, Chariot Beach Resort Mahabalipuram etc.


An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.


  1. Excellent descriptions pa :)
    Could u suggest me some adventure spots to go with a family ???
    Hilly areas or forest areas would be fine :)

    gr8 work
    keep blogging

  2. @Sathish,
    Thank you so much.
    You may check out Horsely Hills Chittoor in my blog. Yelagiri, Kollimalai, Yercaud are some other places in TN which you can opt for...

  3. Oh God.. I actually felt that you were lifting that rock in ur hands!! Amazing photography :) I am a travel freak and after reading your travelogue.. I feeling like flying to this place! Keep visiting and keep writing such lovely posts :)

  4. I'm really impressed with your photos! One day I have to host them in my Blog! What do you think about?

  5. All those carvings are so impressive.. Nice photo series..

  6. Hi Friend! Lovely reportage. The panels are impressive and you two are looking great!!
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter and have a great weekend!

  7. Hi!

    You have rekindled the desire to visit Mahabs again. :-)

    some of the places I have not visited. So when I go next time I will take a printout :-)

  8. Brought back more memories of this place. Been a long time since my last visit, more than a decade I think! Grrrt pictures! Loved the butterball rock pics.

  9. Wow!!
    Fantastic post :-)
    Amazing shots ...

    Have a nice weekend

  10. @Vineeta,
    Thank you so much. We weren't very sure of that shot as how would its come.. Turned out good I guess...

    Thank you so much... I'd love it for my post to be hosted in your blog... :)

    Thank you so much dear.. :)

    Thank you so much. I'd convey you compliments to my friend as well.. :)

  11. @Nara,
    Do visit Mahabs... Thats a compliment to me when u say u'd take a printout of this when u visit next time. Thank you so much...

    Thanks dear... :) Glad u like it.. :)

    Thank yo soooo much... :)

    Thanks sweetheart.. :)

  12. fantastic post. always love the pictures of place i wish i could go...have a great weekend!

  13. Interesting carvings, and I love your descriptions of everything.

  14. Great detailed post.
    I remember the butter ball stone.

  15. I LOVE THE SMILING ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you for this post, it is so interesting, and I really giggled at your incredible strength manoeuvering that Butterball, lol, that was great! :)

  16. I just accidentally stumbled upon your blog.. Gosh wonder how you are having so much time in this world, to even come up with such interesting narration. Your monkey pic was hilarious from other part..! hehe a tail was only missing..!! anyways it was a nice reading..


  17. Hi Friend! With my vote your blog is Number One!!

    Blogtrotter has an astonishing display of works of art by contemporary artists in the streets of Bilbao for you to enjoy. Have a great week!

  18. I can't leave a comment on your fashion blog
    It works not :(

  19. This is a wonderful place with so much to see. You have covered this beautifully. I missed the smiling rock on my visit here.

  20. Hi Brian,
    Thanks a lot buddy..

    Hi Janie,
    Thank you so much...

    Hi Indrani,
    Thanks sweetheart.. :)
    Do visit again and get your memories refreshed...

    Hi Rain,
    Thanks dear.. :)
    I somehow, with great strength and determination, manoeuvered the butter ball.... Lolz... :P

  21. Hi Rakesh,
    Welcome to my blog. Glad that you liked it... :)
    I somehow manage time to find some to blog as well... DO drop in often. Would love your visits and comments.. :)

    Hi Anya,
    It does work for me and also some other people who have left comments... I dunno what's the issue!!! :(

    Hi Rajesh,
    It is indeed a huuuuuuuuuge place. Glad that I could cover up my experiences atleast this much. Smiling rock is just my own imagination. I and my friend came up with the name. Its a rock/boulder whose costruction that had just begun and aborted immediately. In a long shot, it looks smiling.. So we names it so...

  22. Hi! I've been to Mahabs too, some four years back. It's a lovely place to spend a weekend!

  23. Thats a very good description. the place seems so serene.. love the carvings on the panels .. but my fav.. is the smiling rock :)

    Work from home India

  24. @Eka,
    Its always great to drive all the way to Mahabs thru ECR... Thank you.. :)

    @Work Hard,
    Thanks you so much dear.. :)

  25. Some of the stone carvings are really unique.
    Can imagine the amount of labor that has gone in to make these.

  26. Hey Haddock,
    Guess its ur first visit here. Welcome to my blog... Yeah Haddock, really its beyond imagination that they did all this... Great were our ancestors...
    Do visit often. Would love your visits and comments...

  27. Great post on Mahabs. Very comprehensive and detailed. Superb photographs.

  28. Hey Ram Sir,
    Hows u... Thanks a lot for taking time to go through my older posts and commeting. Thank u so much...


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