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Panch Rathas in Mahabalipuram

·  Summer: March-May (21°C - 41°C)
·  Winter: November-February (17°C - 33°C)
·  Monsoon: June-September

Best time to visit:  November-February

Opening Time: 6:00 am
Closing Time: 6:00 p.m.
Weekly Holiday: Nil

Entry Fees for Indians Adults:  INR 10
Children:  Nil
Cameras:  Nil
Video Camera:  Nil
Entry Fees for Foreign Nationals Adults:  INR 250
Children:  Nil
Cameras:  Nil
Video Camera:  Nil
Among the fabulous Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, designated as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, are the Panch Rathas or Five Chariots, astoundingly carved over monolithic pink granite stones. Dating way back to the 7th century, these masterpieces are dedicated to the Pandavas (five heroic brothers from Mahabharata) and their wife Draupadi.  

The most attractive one is Dharmaraja Ratha, dedicated to the eldest of the five brothers, admired for its pyramidal structure and many splendid carvings. Other four are Bheema Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Nakula and Sehdeva Ratha and Draupadi Ratha, each having a different layout but a compelling design. Interestingly, none of the five stone chariots are complete in design.

The group also consists of impressive monolithic structures of a lion, a bull and an elephant. Located close to the coast, these monuments are surrounded by many other equally charming heritage gems like Shore Temple and Arjuna’s Penance.

Road: Mamallapuram being a popular tourist destination of South India is easily accessible by road from various towns and cities in the region. State transport buses and taxis are the preferred options to reach the place. The monument is about a km. from the main bus station and can be accessed on foot or in an auto-rickshaw.

Railway: Chengalpattu Railway Station is about 30 km. from the monument. It is possible to hire taxis and cabs from the station to access your destination.

Airway: Chennai International Airport (about 59 km. away) is the closest airport to reach Panch Rathas. For the road journey between the two points, you have taxis as the best option.