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How To Reach Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)
Mamallapuram lies in Kanchipuram district, which is an important pilgrimage centre in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. One of the most significant and ancient port cities on the south eastern side of India, the coastal town of Mamallapuram showcases the architectural finesse of the ancient Tamil Kingdoms that built their temples on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal.
Mamallapuram lies about 57 km to the south of the capital city of Chennai, 66 km from Kanchipuram and 95 km from Pondicherry. It is one of Tamil Nadu’s major tourist centres and is well connected to Chennai and the pilgrim and touristy towns of Kanchipuram and Pondicherry. The town lies close to Chengalpattu, the gateway to tourists who visit Kanchipuram, Mamallapuram and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. The easiest way to reach Mamallapuram would be by road from Chennai.
Chennai’s Domestic and International Airports are the airports closest to Mamallapuram. Chennai serves flights to most cities within the country and international flights to Frankfurt, Colombo, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Kuala Lampur et al.
You could take a flight to Chennai and hire a taxi from the airport to Mamallapuram. Otherwise you could take a local train to Chengalpattu Junction from the Tirusoolam station that is opposite the Chennai airport. From Chengalpattu Junction you could get a taxi to Mamallapuram. Mamallapuram is about 54 km from the Chennai airport.
If you are travelling to Mamallapuram by train, then the nearest major railhead is Chennai. The capital city is well connected to major cities of India by rail. You have the options of taking a train to Chennai’s Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M. G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station or Egmore Railway Station. From either of these regions you can board a local MRTS or EMU train to Chengalpattu Junction. Chengalpattu is about 27 km from Mamallapuram and from Chengalpattu Junction, you could hire a cab to cover the distance to Mamallapuram.
Mamallapuram is well connected to Chennai by road and there are regular buses to Mamallapuram from Chennai, Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram. There are also buses from Pondicherry to Chennai via East Coast Road that halt at Mamallapuram bypass. Deboard and get an auto to Mamallapuram. Another best option would be driving your car to Mamallapuram or hiring a cab for the same.
Mamallapuram is a small town and can be explored on foot. There are auto rickshaws or tuk-tuks and local minibuses to take you around the town. The best option would be to walk along short distances, since it’s always finest that way to see the sights round the town. Otherwise you can also fix up a two wheeler on hire.