Mahabalipuram dates back to the Tamil Pallava dynasty in the 7th-9th century. The structures here, mostly carved straight out of granite, are among the oldest existing examples of Dravidian (South Indian) architecture.
Located at a distance of 58-km from Chennai, Mahabalipuram has everything that makes a site memorable; tradition, history, piety, western annals, and current importance as a centre of tourism.
Mahabalipuram is located close to Chennai (Madras) on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, along the Indian eastern coast. Known for its rocks carvings and monolithic sculptures it has the famous shore temple, the only one to have survived the ravages of nature. Alsoknown as the Seven Pagodas (temples), six now lie submerged in the sea. Mahabalipuram temples whose architecture was inspired by the Pallava Art were built during the period 830 – 1100 AD
The Pallavas ruled here from the 3rd to the 9th century and during this time many saints and poets were born here. The period from 650 to 750 AD is considered to be the most glorious years of the Pallava rules, as during this time the rulers were the most powerful. Since then the city slipped into oblivion and was revived only in the year 1827, by the British who laid the foundation of the modern city of Mahabalipuram.