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Historical Tour to Mahabalipuram - Cave Temples

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Key Highlights

  • This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the cave temples and the Shore Temple
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    Daily

    Duration

    8 hours

    Start time

    8 hours

    Meeting Point

    Your hotel in Chennai.
    (Please advise your hotel at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)

    Ending Point

    Your hotel in Chennai.

  • Overview & Itinerary

    Overview

    Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its brilliant rock-cut temples. Built by the Pallava rulers in the 7th century, the complex comprises of cave-temples and monolithic rathas (chariots).

    The primary attraction in the temple complex is the Shore Temple described by Percy Brown as “'a landmark by day and a beacon by night”. Designed to catch the first rays of the rising sun and to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended up with an unusual lay-out. As the main shrine faces the sea on the east, the gateway, the fore court and the assembly hall of the Shore Temple all lie behind the sanctum.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to see these cave-temples which are outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture.

    Itinerary

    You will be picked up from your hotel in Chennai and travel in an air-conditioned vehicle to Mahabalipuram, which was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. On this tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be accompanied by a local English-speaking guide. You will see:

    The Shore Temple: Perched on a rocky outcrop, the main shrine faces the sea on the east. The temple is dedicated to two Hindu Gods: Shiva and Vishnu. Interconnected cisterns around the temple meant that the sea could be let in to transform the temple into a water shrine. But, in recent times, a stone wall as been added to protect the shrine from the rising seas and further erosion.

    The Rathas: The eight rathas are monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. Of the eight rathas, five have been named after the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharata, and their wife, Draupadi. The largest is the Dharmaraja Ratha and the Draupadi Ratha is the smallest and the quaintest. Listen to your guide tell you more about the history and mythology associated with Mahabalipuram.

    Every year, around January-February, the Mamallapuram dance festival is held here. It is a month-long festival and well-known exponents of various dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi perform here.

    After the tour, you will be taken back to your hotel where the tour ends.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Transport – Services using an Air-conditioned Medium Car for 1-2 passengers, Toyota Innova for 03 passengers & Tempo Taveller for 04-07 passengers.
    • Guide –English speaking local guide for sightseeing.
    • Entrance fee

    Exclusions

    • Any airfare, airport taxes, supplement for which are quoted separately if applicable.
    • Breakfast and lunch
    • Expenses of personal nature such as table drinks, telephone calls, laundry, camera fee for still or video camera, tips to drivers and local guides
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the local activity operator at least 24 hours prior to the start of the tour to reconfirm the departure details.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.You will travel in an air-conditioned medium-sized car if there are 1-2 passengers, Toyota Innova if there are 3 passengers and a Tempo Traveller if there are 4 - 7 passengers.