There are a number of quality hotels in Mahabalipuram. Most of the hotels and resorts are located close to the shore and offer an unmatched panoramic view of the spectacular beach. It is advisable to make hotel reservations in advance, especially during peak season. Being a beach town, one can find more resorts. However, budget hotels are also available. Summers can be especially hot and it would be advisable to book AC rooms.
WHERE TO EAT
Mahabalipuram is a seafood lover’s paradise. Restaurants offering fresh fish, prawns, lobsters and crabs abound. However, finding vegetarian eateries is not a difficult proposition. Pure veg restaurants offering simple and hygienic meals can be found all across Mahabalipuram. Most of the restaurants clustered around Othavadai Street and Othavadai Cross cater primarily to tourists. Food is cheap and one can get breakfast for Rs 25-45 and lunch or dinner for Rs 65–145.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Mahabalipuram remains hot throughout the year. Summers are hot with the maximum temperature of 36 degree Celsius. Even in the winter, the temperature does not fall much. The maximum temperature in winters is 30 degree Celsius. Best time to visit Mahabalipuram is from October to March.
WHAT TO SEE
Shore Temple: Built in c. 700 AD, it is the oldest structured. Unlike other monuments, Shore Temple is not carved from rock. The carvings in the temple have been badly eroded but it is still captivating. The temple was reconstructed after it was washed away in a cyclone.
Five Rathas: Also called the Pancha Pandava Rathas, it’s a group of five rathas or chariots. Also houses some enormous stone animals, including a large elephant. Each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone and not assembled.
Thirukadalmallai: The temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu was built by Pallava King to safeguard the sculptures. According to local legend, after building the temple, the remaining sculptures and temples was not corroded by sea.
Sculpture Museum: Houses hundreds of sculptures in stone, wood, etc. Museum charges Rs. 2 as entrance fee.
Mahishamardini Cave: Houses carvings of Shiva, Parvati and Murugan or Lord Kartikeya.
Krishna’s Butterball: A giant natural rock perched on a hillside.
Arjuna’s Penance: Also known as Descent of the Ganges, Arjun’s Penance is a giant bas-relief filled with detailed carvings.