The historic town of Mahabalipuram is a constant source of wonder. It is a must-visit if you are taking a Kochi to Chennai flight since it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its religious sites, rich art, and awe-inspiring architecture. This small ancient town is accessible from Chennai via bus or car. The traffic is usually light and does not take more than 1.5 hours. The best time to visit is from October to February. It has plenty of popular sites like temples and monuments right from the 8th century making it well worth a visit. Read on.
Why Take a Road Trip?
This could be an excellent stress buster. It can refresh your mind and help you explore the Southern countryside in a much better way. The route from Chennai to Mahabalipuram is parallel to the East Coast with a great view of the Bay of Bengal. You can enjoy a scenic drive while crossing Kovalam, Nemmeli, Kelamvakkam, and Palavakkam. You can easily plan a weekend getaway in the cooler months. It would be pleasant since the road is well-maintained and adorned by lush greenery on either side. Good places to eat along the journey are Kadal Kitchen and Melting Pot Market Café.
What to See in Mahabalipuram?
There are many stone carvings, monoliths, and temples that are a clear testimony of India’s exquisite cultural heritage. While you start looking for a Kochi to Chennai flight, plan a trip to this iconic town for the following:
Krishna’s Butterball: This rock is no less than a geographical surprise! It sits on a steep slope in a way as if ready to roll down but never does. Nothing could shift this giant balancing boulder which has been defying gravity for ages. It is a representation of a lump of butter that was stolen but dropped by Lord Krishna.
The Shore Temple: It is one of the oldest Dravidian-style temples of South India. Shrines of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are present here. The main structure has been cut of granite chunks and is India’s one of most photographed monuments.
Mahabalipuram Lighthouse: This was established in 1904 by King Pallava. It was open to tourists since 2011. A 10-minute climb to the top can help you enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset and the surrounding landscapes.
Alampari Fort: This was built in the Mughal era. It had a 100-meter dockyard from where ghee, salt, and zari cloth were exported via the sea. Today it is mostly in ruins yet an intriguing place to visit for history lovers.
The Crocodile Museum: Here you can see both Indian and African crocodiles. They are kept in open pools for conservation. Venom attraction process, aquariums, and baby crocodile feeding are attractive tourist activities here.
Other places are Arjuna’s Penance, Five Rathas, Tiger Caves, Ganesh Rath Temple, Descent of Ganges, Sculpture Museum, and Mahishashurmardini Cave. Check the timings beforehand. Don’t forget to relish some typical Tamil foods like uttapam, rasam, and chettinad here. Head over to the beach once all sightseeing is over. Pick some souvenirs from little shops here before heading back to catch your Chennai to Kochi flights.