Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Named after one of the Pandava brothers, Arjuna's Penance is an enormous ancient relief carving etched on two huge boulders that dates back to the 7th century. The inscription describes scenes from Hindu mythology and daily happenings from South Indian life at the time, with an artificial waterfall pouring from the carved hands of male and female "nagas." In addition to numerous other carved animals, you can't miss the life-sized carvings of elephants, shown protecting their young. The longer you look at this impressive sight, the more new details you will notice, right down to the small mice around the elephants' feet. For Arjuna's Penance and beyond, use our Mahabalipuram trip itinerary maker to get the most from your Mahabalipuram vacation.
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Arjuna's Penance Reviews
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  • August 15, 2017
    Arjuna’s Penance or Descent of the Ganges is a huge rock cut canvas which portrays the delicate hand-carving, which Indians were capable of, back in 7th century. It looks like a beautiful three-dimens...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    Large bas-relief, carved out of granite boulders, full of characters and stories. You find along the way, and can be seen without purchasing a ticket. The adjacent Park includes many other interesting items, including the amazing rock in balance "Krishna's Butterball."
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  • August 6, 2017
    Well Arjuna came here to sit in silence, penance n find answers... Well what were the question he was being bothered with --+ Read Gita for this..  more »
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  • July 15, 2017
    Intricate carving work from Pallava period. A UNESCO World Heritage Site truly makes it remarkable. Near from Chennai city. A lots of small caves and temples to see around.
  • July 8, 2017
    One of the most incredible works on stone. so much to observe in the set of diverse mythological characters sculpted in great detail. UNESCO Heritage site
  • July 12, 2017
    Sculptures are enarmous in number. Its not o ly has sculpture of arju a doing penance.. Also a cat doing penance and some rats worshiping it is really funny. Amazing work and creativity.
  • May 10, 2017
    A must visit place. But not maintained well. parking is available near the area. There are hotels and a temple opposite to this attraction.
  • June 21, 2017
    It is one of the best rock cut temple of mahabalipuram. It is made by only single bed of rock.

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Where to stay in Mahabalipuram

Given the importance of its major attractions, Mahabalipuram offers a good number of accommodations across its main urban area. Thanks to the popularity of its coast, it has a large number of accommodations by the beach, too. Choose between the backpacker-friendly area around Othavadai Street, where budget hostels and boutiques provide the main options, and the massive resorts along the beach. Alternatively, Chennai lies just two hours away by bus, so many travelers choose to stay in the large city to the north and simply take day trips Mahabalipuram.
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