It was individual and authentic. And I was treated like a family friend, not a paying guest.
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is best known for the impressive series of temples, cave sanctuaries and open-air sculptures carved from rock by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. It sits only 39 feet (12 meters) above sea level, and while much of the town itself is rambling and chaotic, many of the beautiful temples, panoramic stone carvings, and other monuments are within walking distance of each other. Thankfully, after Mahabalipuram was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, preservation and renovation efforts began in earnest, thus protecting the remarkable, culturally distinct structures and buildings within the city.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald was moved by her Hindu wedding vow renewal in Kerala. She also loved staying with a Maharajah at his palace in Darjeeling.
Spend the day exploring the city's ancient religious sites. Receive a primer on Hinduism and its aesthetics at a massive outdoor bas-relief, which depicts Arjuna's Penance, in addition to other scenes from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Admire the beautifully detailed stone sculptures and the ornate, multi-tiered temples, which are all that remain of the once-powerful Pallavas.
Visit what is believed to be the practice area for the sculptors who worked on Mahabalipuram's main temples, then proceed to the Shore Temples of Mahabalipuram, which are Vishnu temples overlooking the Bay of Bengal.
Temple Bay GRT
Have dinner at Temple Bay GRT, a seaside property only minutes away from Mahabalipuram.
Take in the best of South India’s culture on this 14-day luxury journey from Mumbai to Madurai. You’ll peruse bustling markets, explore UNESCO-listed ancient ruins in Hampi, and enjoy the colonial charms of Pondicherry as you feel like royalty sleeping in some of India’s most luxurious Taj hotels.
Just south of Chennai, near the temples of Mahabalipuram lies Fishermanâ€™s Cove, a beautiful resort built on the ruins of an old Dutch fort. Situated on a private beach, Fishermanâ€™s Cove contains a variety of rooms and cottages, some of which feature sea and beach views, but all of whom possess flat-screen televisions, bright, cheery spaces, tasteful, elegant furniture, and climate control. Culinary options include Seagull, an all-day restaurant which serves English-inspired Continental, Chinese, and Indian fare; the Bay View, which features fresh, delicious sea food prepared in a variety of ways, from barbecued to grilled; and an open-air deck and upscale bar. Amenities include a spa by the internationally renowned Jiva, and a fitness center. Vivanta by Taj Fishermanâ€™s Cove lies twenty minutes from Mahabalipuram, and an hour away from downtown Chennai.