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. Add Arjuna's Penance to your Mahabalipuram travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Mahabalipuram online trip builder .
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Arjuna's Penance Reviews
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  • This is a huge rock which has been carved. It is on the road itself, which does not allow you to stand and really appreciate since there is a lot of traffic. Worth seeing.  more »
  • There are carvings from the mahabarthe the Indian mythology. How arjun had done meditation and how other gods where present is been shown in stone so long back is worth seeing  more »
  • On a granite wall many legends of gods and kings of India have been depicted. At different heights are represented Gods, Kings, events that reflect the Hindu cultural heritage especially from the reli...  more »
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  • 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.

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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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