It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva; these have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, it is a very popular tourist destination and the infrastructure to support the multitude is superlative, from cost effective guesthouses and restaurants to luxury resorts.
100 Kms to the North (1h 51min drive)
Forget the race, visit Pondicherry. A city of bon vivants- heritage, peace, delicious food and memories in store just for you. Come once, you will come again.