The Shore Temple is one of Mahabalipuram's most popular tourist attractions, located 55 km from Chennai, a shore city in Tamil Nadu. It is a part of the “Group of Monuments”, a UNESCO world heritage site. This temple was built by King Narasimhavarman II during the Pallava dynasty in the 8th century AD.
The entry ticket for any Indian is ₹40, and for any foreigner is ₹600. Anyone below the age of 15 can enter the site free of cost. The ticket counter is located before the entrance gate, and the ticket is stamped during the entry, which means a person can enter the site only once with a ticket.
The ticket should be kept safe throughout the time you visit locations at Mahabalipuram like the Pancha rathas and the Krishna’s Butter Ball, as it is enough to take one ticket to be allowed at any of the monuments in the area. The stamp is unique at each spot.
Visitors are allowed from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Plan accordingly to visit the areas with time restrictions first, and then to the beach.
It is a long walk from the entrance to the place where the Temple is located. There are a lot of trees along the footpath so that we can walk under the shade. There is also a huge lawn on the other side of the footpath.
Upon reaching the site, the stairs bring us below the ground level, where it looks like the whole premises of the temple is inside a pit. The structure is partially damaged due to the effects of salty breeze coming in from the sea. The front of the complex has a layered seating structure.
There are many other isolated stone chunks scattered around the area. The main area is surrounded by a compound of rock walls, which has a number of bull statues placed all over them. The inner walls have a lot of deities carved into them.
There are two Shrines of different sizes built next to each other. One of the Shrines faces towards the East and is called the Kshatriyasimheswaram and the other Shrine named Rajasimheswaram faces towards the west. These shrines are built in the form of Pagodas, with layers of carved stones.
There are a lot of animal statues like Lions and Bulls carved and placed all over the structures. The method of building the structures with blocks of rocks is contrasting with the monolithic structures followed at other Monuments in Mahabalipuram like the Pancha Rathas, Arjuna Penance, and others.
Battery vehicles are available as shuttle services at the Shore Temple. It picks people from the main gate and drops them at the secondary gate. This service is only available for people in special categories such as pregnant women, senior citizens, and physically challenged people. They can also use the shuttle service and return back to the main gate.
This service is free of cost once you enter the premise with the entry ticket.
Restrooms are available inside the compound near the main gate. Take a left from the entrance to reach the toilets. Separate restrooms are provided for both men and women. There is no dedicated restroom for people from other genders. The toilets can be used free of cost.
A cafeteria is located near the entrance which sells snacks and beverages. Meals are not available here. Enough amount of chairs and tables are placed in the area for comfort.
This canteen sells packed chips, soft drinks, ice creams, tea/coffee, fresh fruit juice, popcorn, and pastries.
Another extensive sitting area is located behind the cafe, which is well-designed with enough space. It is well-shaded at any time of the day with multiple trees that are placed all over this area. The trees are surrounded by blocks of marble slabs at different heights.
RO water booth is placed between the main gate and the inner gate. The water taps are comfortable to drink water from it directly, but the angle is uncomfortable to fill water bottles. The water does taste good and is available for free.
Dustbins are kept at a lot of points and the visitors are expected to keep the place litter free, even though there are janitors who maintain the lawns and roads well.
The parking place is common for both Shore Temple and the Mahabalipuram beach. They are located on both sides of the road that ends at the temple’s entrance gate. The north parking place is free and unguarded. The surface of this parking area is made up of concrete, where four-wheelers like cars, vans, and buses are parked. Bikes are also parked between the road and the four-wheeler parking section.
A paid parking area is located on the opposite side. This one is long and can accommodate more vehicles, but the floor is not made of concrete or any other safe materials. Inspect the spot before you park your vehicle.
|Vehicle type||Parking price|
|Mini bus, Tempo||₹50|