The old port town of Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
It has a coastline spanning a distance of over 20 km with beautiful beaches.This is also the longest beach compared to other Beaches in Tamil Nadu.
Located 58km from Chennai on the Mahabalipuram road,the golden sandy beach is a picturesque place bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills.
Mamallapuram beach is more known for its bas-reliefs and shore and cave temples than its sands and sea waves.This have several rock caves than other South Indian Beaches.
There is one of the oldest shore temples in South Indian beaches built by the Pallava King Rajasimha in the early 8th century and the world's largest bas-relief,the 'Penance of Arjuna',which is 96ft long and 43 ft high, the five rathas and the tiger's cave along the beach.
On the way to Mahabalipuram Beach is Dakshinachitra, 28 km from Chennai, a heritage space with exhibitions and workshops of the arts and crafts including traditional home architecture and performing artists of Tamil Nadu,Kerala and Karnataka.
Other places worth a visit while on a tour to the beach include the crocodile farm where about 5000 crocodiles of 6 different species, alligators and other reptiles are bred in captivity,kept in open,marshy enclosures,snake venom extracting centre and a school of art and sculpture.
The magical land of Mahabalipuram is probably one of the finest un-spoilt beaches in India on the coastline of Tamil Nadu.
Tourists from across the globe come to Mahabalipuram.On the shores of the breathtakingly beautiful Bay of Bengal Mahabalipuram is truly mesmerizing.
Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu hosts a Dance Festival annually at Mahabalipuram during Jan- Feb.
The festival which lasts for a month has exponents of classical dances like Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathakali.as well as folk dances perform in an open air stage against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. This is speciality for this beach than other South Indian Beaches.
The most enjoyable time to visit this place is during October to March.One is advised to avoid visiting this place in the monsoon season.
HOW TO GET THERE :
Chennai (58-km) has the nearest airport with both domestic and international terminus. Chennai is connected with all the important places in India through the numerous domestic flights. International flights operate from various parts of the world to Chennai.
The nearest railway stations are Chengalpattu (29-km) and Chennai (58-km). From these stations one has to take the terrestrial route to reach Mahabalipuram.
There are buses available from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai to Mahabalipuram regularly.The road to Mahabalipuram is well connected to other major roads.Tourists can also hire a taxi from Chennai to reach Mahabalipuram.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore Beaches in India page.