Arjunas Penance

India is a land of legends; it has in it countless myth and folklore, which are the sole reason for the ideal tradition and customs of Indians. These folktales are carved in many planks, rocks, boulders and temples to make the people to commemorate their ancestor’s valor. One such work of art is the Arjunas Penance at Mahabalipuram.


The mammoth bas relief fully embellished with vivid sculptures stands in the open air and wins the heart of the out lookers at the very first sight. The huge bas relief is carved based on a legend; eons ago Arjuna, one of the Pallavas is a dab hand at archery, he in order to gain unbeatable power and weapon, underwent a diligent penance towards Lord Shiva. This story of Mahabharata and another from Panchatantra are flawlessly embedded on this boulder. A natural cleft bifurcate this rock into two and serves as an artificial waterfall. There are about 100 figures of celestial bodies, gods, birds, and animals engraved on this rock. This piece of work is a Magnus opus of ancient Tamil architectures.


This mammoth bas relief was constructed during mid-seventh century. It is about 43 feet tall and 93 feet broad, and is also known as ‘Decent of Ganges’. This monolith depicts, joy, valor, power, devotion, and purity of the celestial beings in early days.


There is no entrance fee for this monument, as it is placed in open air.


Visitors can take a look of this, from 8 am to 9 pm, on all days.

Nearby Tourist Places:

Valluvar Kottam, Mahabalipuram seashore temple, Five rathas and Marins beach, Light house, Krishna Butter Ball, Mahishamardini Cave are some other places of interest.

Travel Mode:


Chennai airport is the neighboring one to Mahabalipuram.


There is lots of bus frequency from Chennai central bus stand to Mahabalipuram.


Nearby railway station is at Chennai.

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