Mahabalipuram used to be the trading port of Pallava dynasty. The Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is popular for its architectural style of building. It’s the same place recently India’s PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jimping had a summit.


Image Credit: Sasank

It’s one of the sites recognised by UNESCO in Tamil Nadu. This shrine was built in 700-728 AD. The foundation of Shore Temple started by Narashima II of Pallava dynasty but continued and finished by Cholas after invading the kingdom. The meaning of the temple is in the name itself, the significance of the temple is Shore of the Mahabalipuram Beach.

Things to Do

  • Create memories with friends and family by taking a trip of the whole temple within a couple of hours.

  • Youth and kids can enjoy the enjoy water activities at Mahabalipuram beach.

  • Architecture, historian and Anthropologist can find this place interesting for excavation of new shrines and evidence.

  • Must visit During Indian Dance Festival in Mahabalipuram(DEC-FEB) to witness a huge gathering.

  • You can also see the submerged temple, lighthouse, sculpture shop in Mamallapuram.



Image by: Sasank

Mahabalipuram Shore Temple acted as a landmark of navigation for the ship of Marco Polo and European Merchants. Temple looks like Pagoda and the European Merchants called it Seven Pagodas. There was seven pyramidical structure in Mahabalipuram but Shore temple is remaining, telling the tales of Seven Pagodas. The December 2004 tsunami in coromandel coast of India didn’t damage much to the Shore Temple of Mamallapuram for the foundation is on hard local granite rock. Some temples are submerged in water for natural calamity and tsunami excavated these temples feeding findings.

Architectural Layout


Image by: Sasank

The temples in Shore Temple are built on one platform and they seem replica of Dharmaraj Ratha from the northern end. The main deity Shiva Linga faces the south for direct sunshine. Its the first structural temple in South India. There have several more structures found in recent excavations. There are three shrines in the, two main shrines on both sides of Shiva Linga and the third is between the Shivalingas. These three temples are named as Kshytriyashimha Pallaveswara, Rajashima Pallaveswara, Pllikondaruliya. The other name Shore Temple Jalashyana as it is lying on the sea level.

Architectural Feature


Image by Sasank

The roofs of the shrines are ornamented giving a complete temple look like Pncharatha. The octagonal shape of Shikaras is built in Dravidian architectural style dedicated to Lord Shiva. The attributes of four arms of Vishnu and rectangular tower are damaged. Shore Temple is no more shrine for worship.

Lion Monolith in Mahabalipuram

The walls of the Temple are carved with the lifestyle of Mahabalipuram people. There is a Goddess Durga carving depicting her as Mahishamardhini and a lion opening its mouth, inferred as the Vahana of Durga.

Miniature Shrine

The Archaeological Survey of India in 1990 discovered a miniature shrine in a well-type enclosure in Mahabalipuram Shore Temple complex. The miniature shrine is dedicated to lord shiva.

How to Reach

Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is in Kanchipuram District and it is connected to all cities in India via road. You can take a bus from Chennai and reach the temple. The distance is just 59.2 km.

Bast Time

Escape from the piercing hot sunlight and visit Shore Temple in Morning or Evening. You can visit in the month of August, September for widespread monsoon landscape or else can visit during Indian Dance Festival in Mahabalipuram.


Image by Sasank

Visitors Guide

There are translators and tour guides of several travel agencies are available around the city. But the local residents and visitors can also help you in learning the interesting facts on Mahabalipuram Shore Temple.

Dance Festival Mahabalipuram

Every year January-February month dance festival is organised by the department of tourism Govt. of Tamil Nadu to promote the traditional dance and Mahabalipuram Tourism. The background of the program is Shore Temple.

Entry Fee: Adult INR 10, children below 15- no fee, foreigners INR 340, videography INR 25, Still Camera no fee. The ticket for entry is sold till 5.30 pm.

Timing: 6 AM to 6 PM.


There is a break-water wall constructed all around the temple to save it from further natural calamities by Archaeological Survey of India. ASI also has planted casuarina trees in the coastal areas to absorb the saline water, there is also chemical treatment on the walls of Mahabalipuram Shore Temple to prevent water seepage into the rock. It helps the rocks to preserve its strength. Horticultural Department of ASI also has built a green lawn on 4.4 hectares around the temple.


Image by Sasank

Attractions near Shore Temple

  • Sthala Shyana Perumal Temple

  • Sculpture Museum

  • Ganesha Temple

  • Arjuna’s Penance

  • Trimurti Cave

  • Light House Museum

  • Mamallapuram Light House

  • Karauthamman Temple

Nearby Restaurants

  • Sea Shore Garden Beach Restaurants

  • Sunrise Pizzeria and Guest House

  • Bambino Beach Restaurant

  • The Warf Restaurant

  • Moonrakers

  • Le Yogi Restaurant

  • L’attitude 49

  • You can visit the whole temple in an hour or two.