You will be picked up from your hotel for the one and a half hour drive to Mahabalipuram situated 37 miles from Chennai. The drive takes you down the scenic East Coast road.
En-route visit the Madras Crocodile Bank - a reptile zoo and herpetology research station started by an herpetologist to protect crocodiles. It is one of the largest reptile zoos in the world.
After lunch continue your drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mahabalipuram. This 7th century port of the Pallava Kingdom has a rich collection of five monolithic temples shaped in the form of stone chariots. The carvings on each of these chariots is unique and different from the others. Also visit the Shore Temple that is located on the beach. The temple has a giant stone relief that is 100 feet long and 45 feet high. Take a look at the numerous cave temples, each of which is dedicated to one of the many Hindu Gods. The giant open-air bas relief of ‘The Descent of the Ganges’ that is sculpted out of pink granite rock is a masterpiece not to be missed. Krishna’s Butterball is a natural wonder that is also worth a visit. It is a giant boulder perched on a slope that seems to defy the force of gravity. If time permits you can also visit the local market in Mahabalipuram.
After this, drive further to visit the famous Dakshinachitra, a cross cultural living history museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. This unique museum has been designed along the lines of a South Indian village. Entire houses dating from the 18th to the 20th century were relocated here and restored. Village streets and craftsmens’ huts were added to give an authentic feel to the museum. Traditional arts and crafts of South India are on display in these houses. You can also watch the local weavers, potters and other craftsmen at work. The museum holds dance and music shows from time to time.
At the end of the tour you will be driven back to Chennai and dropped off at your hotel.