Big city life has its advantages, especially in terms of convenience. With a wide range of shopping and dining options, job opportunities, plenty of entertainment, nothing is ever still. Unfortunately, there's a price to pay for a busy lifestyle. The craziness of traffic, the constant noise, crowds that are present almost everywhere. Humans are not designed to function well in stressful conditions for prolonged periods of time. It is crucial for our general well-being to regularly take time to relax. Why not leave the city bustle behind for a few days and enjoy a more peaceful environment. If you happen to be in Chennai, why not escape the madness and head south.
Mamallapuram is a charming seaside town, also known as Mahabalipuram. It's only 60 kilometers from Chennai, the hectic capital of Tamil Nadu state, making it a perfect weekend getaway. It's easy to get there and you have several options. Frequent buses connect Chennai and Mahabalipuram, including a service that operates from the airport. Alternatively drive, hire a taxi, or a driver. The road is in good condition and well maintained. It also makes a convenient stopover on the way to Pondicherry. Don't rush yourself, slowly indulge in the atmosphere. If you are coming from or heading to another part of India, the closest train station is Chengalpattu, also connected by bus services. I would advise spending at least two days in Mamallapuram. There's plenty to do once you arrive. Cure yourself from the big city exhaustion!
1. Explore the temples and admire the stone carvings.
There's plenty to see, Mamallapuram is a UNESCO Heritage Sight for a reason! The Shore Temple that dates back to the 7th century, The Five Rathas skilfully carved from single pieces of rock, Arjuna's Penance relief carving are only some of the many sights that await you there.
2. Enjoy activities at the beach.
Part of the beach that faces the village isn't exactly paradise-like, but walk towards the north and you will find peace within 15 minutes. If you're not into swimming, sit down and watch the waves, enjoy the refreshing touch of the breeze, or go for a boat ride.
3. Visit the local galleries and craft shops.
These little establishments are scattered around Mamallapuram and you're never too far from one of them. Good option for art lovers and shopping fans alike. Stroll around the picturesque streets and soak up the atmosphere. Little restaurants are plentiful, should you find yourself exhausted or hungry.
4. Do some low-key hiking.
Spend an afternoon hiking among the subtly ascending hills near the magnificently surreal rock formation called Krishna's butter ball. You will be rewarded with beautiful views and plenty of photographic opportunities.
5. Treat yourself to a massage or yoga class.
Everyone deserves to get spoiled once in a while. Ayurvedic treatments, yoga classes and massages are offered in various places, it's best to ask around.
Enjoy your stay in beautiful Mahabalipuram, a place filled history, natural beauty and culture. A perfect spot to get away from the stress of everyday life, to slow down and recharge batteries.
Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu, Indie