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Pancha Pandava Rathas

Study the religious carvings and decorated roofs of these five exquisite monoliths, which are testament to the ingenuity of Pallavan masonry.

Marvel at the monoliths of Pancha Rathas, a complex of granite structures that have been decorated with ornate carvings. See tributes to Hindu gods and bring your camera to capture the striking beauty of chiseled sculptures and façades.

The Pancha Rathas complex was built in the 7th century under the rule of Pallavan King Mahendravarman I. This UNESCO Heritage Site features innovative designs that had not been seen earlier in Indian architecture. Examine lion sculptures and decorative motifs that have been repeated throughout Dravidian architecture, especially in landmarks along the coast of Tamil Nadu.

The complex includes five stone-cut structures built to resemble “rathas,” which were ancient chariots. All are monoliths, carved from a single piece of pink granite.

Each ratha features an ornate tiered roof that rises to a dome. The patterns and figures chiseled into the tiers are characteristic of Dravidian architecture. Inspect niches built into the walls, which are occupied by sculptures of gods and mythical Hindu figures.

The Dharmaraja Ratha is the largest of the rathas. Walk around its walls to see panels carved with depictions of the deities, Lord Shiva and Shakti. A representation of Lord Krishna dancing on the ferocious kaliya snake is particularly striking. Next door is the Bhima Ratha, an oblong building with decorative columns.

Stop by Arjuna Ratha and Nakul Ratha to see reliefs of animals and the Nandi bull, a symbol of Lord Shiva. Admire a huge elephant sculpture that stands on a separate platform between the temples.

The Draupadi Ratha, which is dedicated to the goddess Durga, sets itself apart from the others with a simpler aesthetic. Study the guardians of this structure, two stone soldiers with bows and swords.

Pancha Rathas is about a 15-minute walk south from central Mahabalipuram. The site is open daily and there is an admission.


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Lodging Near Pancha Pandava Rathas

See all 640 Properties near Pancha Pandava Rathas
Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram $100
Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

57, Covelong Road, Kanchipuram District, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    I like the boogie service, all staff very kind and helpful.need to focus on amenities, some are charged which could be offered free

    Chariot Beach Resort $67
    Reviewed on Oct 31, 2018
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    Chariot Beach Resort

    Chariot Beach Resort

    Five Rathas Road, Behind Five Rathas Monuments, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
       
      3.6 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Decent property with easy access to beach and a very good SPA facility

      Nirvana Boutique Hotel $28
      Reviewed on Jan 28, 2019
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      Nirvana Boutique Hotel

      Nirvana Boutique Hotel

      Plot no 28,29 GKM street mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram district, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
         
        4.4 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        A very calm and quiet hotel. They just need to maintain more in the sector of the Bathrooms. That was the only putoff...

        Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center $77
        Reviewed on Mar 5, 2019
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        Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center

        Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center

        ECR-OMR Junction, ECR, Poonjeri, Mahabalipuram, Chengalpattu
           
          4.6 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Excellent reception. Very good service. Good rooms that were clean and well ventilated. Well kept grounds and pool. Will definitely visit again.

          OYO 12785 ART Guest House
          Reviewed on Mar 7, 2019
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          OYO 12785 ART Guest House

          OYO 12785 ART Guest House

          12, Old College Road, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
             
            2.0 of 5
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nice to stay, issues with basic amenities like No Drinking Water, No Glasses, No Towel, No Soaps, No Geyser. Bed was good & comfy, AC was with power backup working. Breakfast & Tea not provided on time so we went out & had breakfast. TV & WiFi router present & was switched on but no channel & no ...

            Hotel Mahabs $38
            Reviewed on Nov 27, 2018
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            Hotel Mahabs

            Hotel Mahabs

            No. 68 East Raja Street, Behind SBI-ATM, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
               
              3.8 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              A very good hotel by budget standards. Good room with balcony, wifi and hot shower. Pool and sunbeds. Reasonable restaurant. In the town, yet close to beach and tourist attractions. Staff very helpful and friendly.

              Oceanside Hotel Mahabalipuram $30
              Reviewed on Jun 10, 2019
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              Oceanside Hotel Mahabalipuram

              Oceanside Hotel Mahabalipuram

              15, Othavadai Cross Street, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
                 
                5.0 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                They keep their property clean. not gougeous, lucurious, but enough for staying comfortable.

                Indeco Mahabalipuram
                Reviewed on Jan 24, 2018
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                Indeco Mahabalipuram

                Indeco Mahabalipuram

                Shore Temple Road, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram District, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
                   
                  3.4 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  InDeco is an amazing idea--- half local history half a beautiful social experiment to help people and animals. This property is not as fabulously interesting as the original InDeco at Swamimalai although fun and funky, and the food is superior. The location-- within seeing distance of the Shore Temple-- ...