Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, was the chief seaport of the Pallavas who ruled over much of South India from as early as the first century B.C to the eighth century A.D., and it is now recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India.Mahabalipuram is under two hours by bus from Chennai, and many travellers make a beeline straight here. The town is small and laid-back, and its sights can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
Mamallapuram was the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom based at Kanchipuram, and a wander round the town’s magnificent, World Heritage–listed temples and carvings inflames the imagination, especially at sunset.
And then, in addition to ancient archaeological wonders and coastal beauty, there’s the traveller ghetto of Othavadai and Othavadai Cross Sts. Restaurants serve pasta, pizza and pancakes, shops sell hand sanitiser and things from Tibet, and you know you have landed, once again, in the great Kingdom of Backpackistan.
‘Mahabs’, as most call it, is under two hours by bus from Chennai, and many travellers make a beeline straight here. The town is small and laid-back, and its sights can be explored on foot or by bicycle.