Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is one of the oldest temples of South India constructed in the Dravidian Style. It is built with blocks of granite. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries : rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air rock reliefs such as the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monuments are mostly rock-cut and monolithic, and constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture where in Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. They are constituted by cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots), sculpted reliefs and structural temples. The pillars are of the Dravidian order. The sculptures are excellent examples of Pallava art. They are located in the side of the cliffs near India's Bay of Bengal.
Mahabalipuram Five Rathas are an exemplary set of rock temples.These are built-in the same shape as pagodas and greatly resemble Buddhist shrines and monasteries. It is located at a distance of 2 km from the city centre.
Mahabalipuram Arjuna's Penance is one of the most famous stone carvings in Mahabalipuram. It is located at a distance of 1 km from the city centre. It is famous for its architecture.