Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) is a very popular town in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The ideal location of the town, on the Coromandel Coast, adjacent to the Bay of Bengal, has also made the town highly popular amongst tourists. During the 7th and 10th centuries of the Pallava dynasty, the town was established as a sea port and thus, has prospered accordingly.

Mahabalipuram shore temple
Mahabalipuram Shore Temple                                      

The architectural brilliance has also played a crucial role in attracting tourists from native and foreign land. The casuarinas trees and lovely white sandy beaches also make Mahabalipuram worth visiting for the vacationers looking for a tranquil location. Apart from this, Mahabalipuram is also popular amidst shopping freaks as there are exquisite local handicrafts are available in the shops at great prices.

mahabalipuram tourist place
Mhabalipuram Tourist Place

Amongst various architectural attractions, the Shore Temple has attracted tourists from far flung regions. Here is a small synopsis provided about the Shore Temple that reflects the architectural brilliance and importance of the site.

Shore Temple

mahabalipuram-shore-temple (1)

The folklore states existence of 7 temples on the shore line. Presently, there is only one temple is available on the shore and is popular as the Shore Temple. The artisan Rajasimha constructed the temple during the 7th century, under the reign of Narasimha Varman II. This ancient South Indian temple is constructed according to the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple has become very popular amidst tourists due to its recognition as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The temple is adorned with numerous carvings. The temple constitutes of three separate buildings, 2 dedicated to the Lord Shiva and 1 dedicated to the Lord Vishnu.

Fast Facts:

  • Location: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Built In: 7th Century
  • Architectural Style: Dravidian
  • Dedicated To: Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva
  • Attraction: One amongst the earliest structural temples in South India
  • Significance: Renowned as World Heritage Site
  • How To Reach: Through regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Tamil Nadu.


Architecture of Mahabalipuram Shore Temple
Architecture of Mahabalipuram Shore Temple

The shore temple is recognized as the first stone structure built by the Pallavas. Prior to this, the monuments were carved out of stones or rocks. The Shore Temple is distinguished as being a five-storied rock-cut structural temple. Carvings and sculptures are used to decorate the spire. Recently, to protect the temple from further sea erosion, a stone wall has been constructed.


Mahabalipuram is also an important destination covered in the itinerary of Indian luxury train, Golden Chariot. On the second day, the shore temple is visited, en-route to Pondicherry from Chennai. Thus, this is also one of the comfortable and royal way to explore the temple site and enjoy the erstwhile opulence of the regal authorizes in India. There also are numerous tour operators and travel agents, involved in making arrangements for the Golden Chariot train travel.

Contributed by:- Neelam Talreja