Top things to do in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Top Choice Hindu Monument in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Arjuna’s Penance

The crowning masterpiece of Mamallapuram’s stonework, this giant relief carving is one of India's greatest ancient artworks. Inscribed on two huge, adjacent boulders, the Penance bursts with scenes of Hindu myth and…
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Trimurti Cave Temple

At the northern end of the Mamallapuram Hill compound, the Trimurti Cave Temple depicts the Hindu 'trinity' amid guardian figures: Brahma (left), Shiva (centre) and Vishnu (right). A fine carving of elephants adorns…
Hindu Temple in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Five Rathas

Huddled together at the southern end of Mamallapuram, the Five Rathas were, astonishingly, all carved from single large rocks. Each of these fine 7th-century temples was dedicated to a Hindu god and is now named aft…
Hindu Temple in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Shore Temple

Standing like a magnificent fist of rock-cut elegance overlooking the sea, surrounded by gardens and ruined courts, the two-towered Shore Temple symbolises the heights of Pallava architecture and the maritime ambiti…
Hindu Monument in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Mahishamardini Mandapa

At the southern end of the Mamallapuram Hill complex, the Mahishamardini Mandapa is carved from the rock, displaying very fine scenes from the Puranas (Sanskrit stories from the 5th century AD). These include Vishnu…
Hindu Temple in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Varaha Mandapa

Home to some of Mamallapuram's most brilliant carvings, the Varaha Mandapa depicts Vishnu's boar avatar, Varaha, lifting the earth out of the oceans (left panel), alongside fine columns with seated lions. Vishnu's c…
Dance in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Mamallapuram Dance Festival

A four-week dance festival showcasing classical and folk dances from all over India, with many performances on an open-air stage. Dances include bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kuchipudi dance-drama (Andhra Pradesh) and…
Hindu Monument in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Krishna Mandapa

Just south of the Arjuna's Penance relief carving, the Krisha Mandapa has a fine 16th-century colonnade and contains a famous carving of Krishna protecting cows and villagers from Indra's wrath by lifting Govardhana…
Multicuisine in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Water's Edge Cafe

The Radisson's pool-side 'cafe' offers everything from American pancakes to grilled tofu, Indian veg dishes, pan-Asian cuisine and a fantastic breakfast buffet (₹1190). It's expensive, but smart and popular.
Multicuisine in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)


Though it looks like a beach shack, the Wharf is actually the Radisson's gourmet multicuisine seaside restaurant, with a strong emphasis on fresh seafood.