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Shore Temple

Witness fine Pallavan architecture and ornate shrines to Hindu gods at this gorgeous seaside temple, which is at its most beautiful at sunset.

The Shore Temple overlooks the Bay of Bengal and is an attractive sight on the Mahabalipuram shorefront. The name of this finely carved structure derives from its proximity to the sea, being situated on the sands of Mahabalipuram beach. Study the weathered façades, marvel at sculptures of the temple’s patron Hindu gods and gaze at the pyramidal towers as they reflect the golden rays of sunset.

The Shore Temple was built in the 8th century under the reign of King Rajasimha of the Pallava dynasty. This landmark, which features Dravidian stone cut building techniques, is one of India's oldest temples. It has been under the protection of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984.

The Shore Temple is comprised of three shrines, one large and two small ones. Admire the two ornate pyramidal towers, which rise above them and feature elaborately carved tiers capped by domes.

The three shrines are dedicated to the Hindu deities, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Ksatriyasimnesvara. Stop by each one and see carved tributes to the gods, including a depiction of Lord Vishnu resting on a the holy serpent Seshanag. This is a Hindu symbol of consciousness.

At the main shrine, the sanctum sanctorum, see the repeated sculpted figures of Nandi, Shiva's bull companion on the walls surrounding the temple. Venture inside for the Shiva Linga, a phallic sculpture symbolizing the presence of Shiva. Elsewhere in the grounds is a partly sculpted monolith of a lion.

The temple's beautiful designs serve as a backdrop for the yearly Mahabalipuram Dance Festival. Visit in December and January to see many traditional dance performances in this scenic locale.

The Shore Temple is approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from central Mahabalipuram. Arrive by rental car, taxi, bus, rickshaw or on foot. The site is open daily from early morning until early evening and there is an admission fee. If you are here on a Sunday, browse the stalls of the nearby street market. Then enjoy a lazy meander on the beach.


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Lodging Near Shore Temple

See all 290 Hotels near Shore Temple
Hotel Mamallaa Heritage

Hotel Mamallaa Heritage

No.104, East Raja Street,, Mahabalipuram
3.5
of 5, from 17 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Mahabalipuram Beach, this hotel is steps from Varaha Cave Temple, Ganesha Ratha, and Descent Of The Ganges. Arjuna's Penance and Krishna's Butterball are also within 5 minutes.

$98
Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

57, Covelong Road, Mahabalipuram
4.2
of 5, from 46 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This 4.5-star luxury resort lies near a stretch of sand off the East Coast Road on the Bay of Bengal. Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butterball, and Shore Temple are all within a 10-minute walk.

$27
Hotel Mamalla Inn

Hotel Mamalla Inn

No.69/1, East Raja Street, Mahabalipuram
3.5
of 5, from 17 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Mahabalipuram Beach, this hotel is steps from Varaha Cave Temple, Ganesha Ratha, and Descent Of The Ganges. Arjuna's Penance and Krishna's Butterball are also within 5 minutes.

$44
Indeco Mahabalipuram

Indeco Mahabalipuram

Shore Temple Road, Mahabalipuram, Mahabalipuram
3.7
of 5, from 7 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Mahabalipuram Beach, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Shore Temple, Descent Of The Ganges, and Arjuna's Penance. Varaha Cave Temple and Ganesha Ratha are also within 10 minutes.

$47
Hotel Mahabs

Hotel Mahabs

No. 68 East Raja Street, Behind SBI-ATM, Mahabalipuram
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Mahabalipuram Beach, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Varaha Cave Temple and Descent Of The Ganges. Ganesha Ratha and Krishna's Butterball are also within 10 minutes.

$23
Hotel Ramakrishna

Hotel Ramakrishna

NO:8,Othavadai Street, Mahabalipuram
3.2
of 5, from 18 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Mahabalipuram Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mamallapuram Beach, Krishna's Butterball, and Ganesha Ratha. Varaha Cave Temple and Descent Of The Ganges are also within 10 minutes.

$81
Chariot Beach Resort

Chariot Beach Resort

Five Rathas Road, Mahabalipuram
3.7
of 5, from 29 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Offering direct access to the beach, this Mahabalipuram resort is in the historical district and within a 15-minute walk of Pancha Pandava Rathas and New Lighthouse. Arjuna's Penance and Descent Of The Ganges are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$82
WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach

WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach

No 53, Devaneri Village, East Coast Rd, Mahabalipuram
4.5 out of 5.0

Situated on the beach, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Tiger Cave, Krishna's Butterball, and Ganesha Ratha. Varaha Cave Temple and Descent Of The Ganges are also within 2 mi (3 km).