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“Namskar Mahabalipuram”
Review of Chennai (Madras)

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Level 5 Contributor
19 reviews
65 helpful votes
“Namskar Mahabalipuram”
Reviewed 22 June 2011

I visited Mahabalipuram which is 65 KM away from Chennai on ECR(East Coast Road).
The journey from Chennai to Mahabalipuram or mamllapuram is unforgettable due to its magnificent scenic views.
It takes about one and half hour to reach mahabalipuram.
The place is famous for its stone carvings temples and monuments.
The most important places are Shore temple which is a World Heritage site.
The monuments are mostly rock-cut and monolithic, and constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. They are constituted by cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. The pillars are of the Dravidian order. The sculptures are excellent examples of Pallava art.
It is believed by some that this area served as a school for young sculptors. The different sculptures, some half finished, may have been examples of different styles of architecture, probably demonstrated by instructors and practiced on by young students. This can be seen in the Pancha Rathas where each Ratha is sculpted in a different style.

Some important structures include:
Thirukadalmallai, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was also built by Pallava King in order to safeguard
the sculptures from the ocean. It is told that after building this temple, the remaining architecture was preserved and was not corroded by sea.
Descent of the Ganges - a giant open-air bas relief
Arjuna's Penance - relief sculpture on a massive scale extolling an episode from the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.
Varaha Cave Temple - a small rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century.
The Shore Temple - a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the western side away from the sea. Recent excavations have revealed new structures here. The temple was reconstructed stone by stone from the sea after being washed away in a cyclone.
Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. An interesting aspect of the rathas is that, despite their sizes they are not assembled — each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone.

If u r visiting mahabalipuram in the mid of December o till mid of January
then do not miss the Indian dance festival. This dance festival took place for 30 days in the period at Arjuna's Penance.
Every day their is dance show for 2 hours. Entry fee was Rs.100 for day.

I visited mahabalipuram on 28thDec Sunday; so being weekend there was huge rush.
So while visiting avoid Saturday and Sundays if possible. Its nice place to chill out and hang out with friends; u can spend 3-4 days easily in mahabalipuram.

The beach of mahabalipuram is neat, clean and safe.

Visit mahabalipuram and enjoy u r trip.

2 Thank travel2learn_enjoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
“My present Location”
Reviewed 3 June 2011

City has got many places to visit like marina beach, fort, Mahabalipuram etc. The city is poor in transportation facilities. You can get taxies only from rly stations or Airport not any other place. Though call taxies are available but it takes time to reach. Call taxy services by Fast track is very good. Rest you have to depend upon Auto rickshaws for most of local convence and if you are outsider, they may charge you 2 - 3 times the actual fare and still will lead to end point quarrels.
City's climate is humid and it is not advisable to visit in summer. Language is another barrier for outsiders. Roads of city are not straight and parallel hence any worng move or turn may carry you far away from you destination hence it is advisable to carry a map of city along with you.
City is full of beautiful temples with exellent architectured gates and Garbhgruhas and some beautiful churches made by portuges.

1 Thank ABCXYZ123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
14 helpful votes
“Bustling Chennai”
Reviewed 3 April 2011

We stayed for more than 7 days in chennai for our family holiday trip. The city was always busy and filled with many indians. Shopping is fun and allright.

What put us off was the dust and dirty public loos in Chennai. Another thing is that the weather is so hot that you can get tanned. On our visit to temples we could not take the burning heat of the temple grounds as we were bare-footed. Never walk anywhere without shoes or slippers is urgent as the sun is scorching hot it can hurt your feet. We were thankful that it was only for a short period of time we had to endure being bare-footed and we often rushed out of the temples and into our car to slip on our footwear after praying.

Temples are aplenty in chennai and often we got stopped on the road to visit the nearby temples by people promoting the temples.

The train experience from chennai to uttar pradesh/kasi was so horrible. We had to endure smelly loos which put us off. The egg briyani served in the train was okay. Sleeping in the train gave us cramps. It was slower than a plane trip. Somehow paying extra for aeroplane flight seemed better than taking a train.

In temples, one has to pay higher amounts to see the deities close-up. The priests expected darshan and one must be prepared to pay tips for their service which seemed norm in chennai.

Overall, Chennai was ok but not that fantastic.

1 Thank anu_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 March 2011

It is a nice play to stay, sea shore, all kind of foods avalaible in moderate rate.

during December to January is a nice time

easy transportation

lot of places to see in ECR road, very much developed and getting further development.

easy interchanges to accelerate the traffic ways

Air-conditioned buses is a nice way to transport during hot.

Also call taxi is good option for easily going around with moderate charges

Also for speedy and easy short travel sharing auto is advisable choice to keep moving.

Avoid traffic, it is better to start after 10am, during this time is easy to go on road, during Sunday not much traffic

Lot of good restaurant, different kind of fruits always available in street vendors.

1 Thank habeebmuhammedh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 February 2011

Chennai is a beautiful place and must to see tourist place. It is surrounded by rich heritage monuments and religious places which will be of interest to all age categories. The Marina Beach is a worth attraction for all to pass the time with family and friends in the beach waters. The Mahabalipuram Temple is also worth seeing. Tirupathi is co-located and one can get a glimpse of God Venkateswara. Singara Chennai as they call, is really worth seeing. Don't miss out, when you visit South.

1 Thank Shravaneya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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