Trip Planner:   Asia  /  India  /  Tamil Nadu  /  Kanchipuram District  /  Mahabalipuram  /  Sightseeing  /  Arjuna's Penance

Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

4.6
#4 of 25 in Things to do in Mahabalipuram
Landmark Tourist Spot
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.
Create an itinerary including Arjuna's Penance
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
489 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Also known as Descent of the Ganges or both...this wonderful bas air relief dates back to the mid-seventh century. Standing tall at a height of 43 feet, the monolith was carved on the face of two huge...  more »
  • how can they make such huge 96ft × 43ft sculpture. there was no machine only man with their hands and hummer shurpen iron made this.  more »
  • The monument looks similar to the ones in Humpy. And it is well maintained. The surrounding is a bit shabby though  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • A must visit place. But not maintained well. parking is available near the area. There are hotels and a temple opposite to this attraction.
  • It is one of the best rock cut temple of mahabalipuram. It is made by only single bed of rock.

Plan your trip to Mahabalipuram

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

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.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Mahabalipuram by other users

30 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in India BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 51 days in South India BY A USER FROM CANADA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in India & Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM CYPRUS January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 40 days in South Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 20 days in India BY A USER FROM INDIA October, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 26 days in India BY A USER FROM INDIA October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Mahabalipuram & Adyar BY A USER FROM INDIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA September, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans