The town of temples, sand and sea - Mamallapuram, formely known as Mahabalipuram is world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple. It was once the main port and naval base of the great Pallava kingdom and was later made the capital of this Dynasty.
' Mamall ', meaning the great wrestler was the name given to king Narasimha Varman I. Most of the temples here is dedicated to the Lord Siva and Vishnu, were completed between 630 A.D and 728 A.D during the reign of Narasimha Varman II. At the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival , sand , water and temples set the backdrop for the graceful and evocative dancers who celebrates the ancient Indian culture and tradition. This quaint little town of Mamallapuram is enriched with ancient and splendid sculptures. Each of the beautiful works of arts has a story to tell. Like the large bas relief that narrates the tale of Arjuna's Penance. Arjuna here, is shown standing on one leg to please Lord Shiva into helping him win back the Pandava Empire.
The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colourful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.State Map