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

Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

(4.6/5 based on 440+ reviews on the web)
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 a full Mahabalipuram itinerary
map

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.

Plans in Mahabalipuram by other users

5 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Pondicherry & Mahabalipuram BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 57 days in India BY A USER FROM CANADA March, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Mahabalipuram BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in India BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in India BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND December, teens, culture, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND December, teens, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Tamil Nadu BY A USER FROM INDIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in India BY A USER FROM INDIA June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Tamil Nadu SEE PLAN May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The carvings at this temple are amazing and definitely worth checking out. We took a cycle tour to visit this and other temples and would recommend this mode!!  more »
  • Need to hear from a guide the story about the murals to fully appreciate them. But even without - 1,400 years ago people were amazingly skilled - awesome!!!  more »
  • Very beautiful sculptures in the rock. Many Indians come to visit the place and are happy to take foreigners in photos.
    View original
Google
  • You cannot afford to miss this place. A sheer sculptural treat is awaiting you there. Also, don't miss the wonder "Krishna's Butter Ball" a rock which doesn't roll down, defying the gravitational theories.
  • Masterpiece. The details are unreal. As a kid I read about Bakeetathan Thavam in my books, to see it in real was amazing. There is this two moneys sculpture next to it. Its really funny.
  • Great sculptures finest curvings on rock but not maintained properly left open to weather which is causing wear and tear...
  • Simply comparable to Ajanta & Ellore. A must visit place who throw a visit to Mahabalipuram
  • Another great piece of architecture. If you are in the vicinity take five mins out and visit it as these places are located next to each other and offers a great insight into India's earlier architectural marvel era.