A cluster of many Pallava temples by the side of Bay of Bengal. This is World heritage site of UNESCO.
During the Pallava period Mahabalipuram was an important commercial hub and a busy port. The shore temples of Mahabalipuram is a testimony of the crafting skill of Pallavas.
The cluster has five temples, carved out of single granite stones, each named after a Pandava brothers of Hindu epic Mahabharath. Out of this, a cave , now known as Arjuna’s penance, is note worthy for its brilliant sculpture of Arjuna’s penance to please Lord Shiva.
The legend is that the great Pallava ruler Narasimha Varman built this temple to commemorate his victory over Chalukya king Pulakesin second in 642 AD.
Historically, these temple marks the transition of Hindu temples from Cave temples to structural temples.
Mahabalipuram (now officially Mamallapuram) is about 55 kilometers from Chennai.