The ringing of metal chisels against rock mingles with the swoosh of the ocean to create Mahabalipuram’s unique soundtrack. Sandwiched between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake just south of Chennai, this engaging town has been a centre of stone carving for at least 1,400 years, as evidenced by its generous scattering of ornately sculpted temples and monuments whose World Heritage status is richly deserved.
Conjured into existence in the 7th and 8th centuries by master craftsmen of the long-vanished Pallava dynasty that once ruled these shores, there are vast open-air reliefs showing how the Ganges came to be, more compact temples in what were once simple caves and others by the shore whose ornamented five-step towers are the perfect finishing touch to photos of the sunrise over the sea. And when you’ve had your fill of temple-hopping, you can watch the town’s current crop of talented artisans in action or head to the beach to see members of the burgeoning local surf scene carve waves instead of granite.
Let our India experts shape your ideal visit to Mahabalipuram by putting you in touch with the guides whose local knowledge is second to none.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.
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