Chennai to Mahabalipuram by Road – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information

Mahabalipuram is an iconic and one of the most famous tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. Rich in art, architecture, religious sites, and history, the ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Why travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram?

Mahabalipuram is characterized by the ruins of the 7th and 8th-century temples and monuments, built by the Pallava dynasty, classic rock-cut architecture, and fine stone sculptures of the Dravidian culture with a touch of Buddhist elements. And all this heritage coupled with its scenic location on the sea, makes Mahabalipuram a gorgeous holiday destination. You can let the charm of this ancient town grow on to you by taking a road trip from the nearest city of Chennai. When you book a cab from Chennai to Mahabalipuram with Savaari, you can choose your route, travel mode, etc. based on your budget, time, and travel goals. Let us help you discover the best way to travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram and have a memorable journey.

Best time to visit Mahabalipuram

Travelling from Chennai to Mahabalipuram by car

The road from Chennai to Mahabalipuram is considered to be one of the most popular ones in the state. The route runs parallel to the East Coast and offers uninterrupted views of the Bay of Bengal. With our completely customizable Chennai to Mahabalipuram tour packages, you can enjoy the scenic drive. Along the way, you will pass through places like Palavakkam, Kelamvakkam, Kovalam, Nemmeli, and the Great Salt Lake, of course depending on the route you take. You can take a detour or make a stopover at any of these places for a tour and make the most of your road trip with Savaari car rentals.

Chennai to Mahabalipuram Roadtrip

Best Time To Visit

Mahabalipuram sits on the East Coast, and hence experiences a classic coastal climate. The weather is usually warm and humid round the year. The summers are extremely hot with high humidity and harsh temperatures and it is best to avoid this time for traveling. The winters, on the other hand, are pleasant with less warm days and cool nights. Hence this period is good for exploring all the tourist locales and engaging in outdoor activities. So, the best time to travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram is between November and March.

Popular Routes from Chennai to Mahabalipuram

Route 1: Distance and Time Taken from Chennai to Mahabalipuram via East Coast Road

This is the shortest, fastest, and the best route to travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. The Chennai to Mahabalipuram traffic on this route is quite light and there are no major road closures. The distance between Chennai and Mahabalipuram on this route is somewhere around 58 KM and takes roughly one and half hours. Always check live maps and instant traffic updates for the latest information on the road conditions from Chennai to Mahabalipuram.

Here’s the basic route map from Chennai to Mahabalipuram –

Chennai — Kovalam — Thiruvidanthai — Perur — Krishnankaranai — Pattipulam — Devaneri — Mahabalipuram
Chennai to Mahabalipuram via East Coast Road

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • Dakshinachitra Museum, Muthukadu – An open-air, living-history museum, dedicated to ancient Dravidian art, culture, traditions and religious heritage, good for a day tour.
  • Thiruvidanthai Beach, Thiruvidanthai – A local beach offering endless views of the Bay of Bengal, good for a refreshing break or watching sunsets.
  • The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, Vada Nemelli – A reptile zoo and crocodile sanctuary/breeding center with feeding tours and night safari options, good for a day tour.
Thiruvidanthai Beach
Thiruvidanthai Beach

Places to eat along this route:

  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant, Muthukadu – Standard highway restaurant serving vegetarian meals, good for families and big groups.
  • Kadal Kitchen, Alamaram Bus Stop – Casual restaurant serving seafood specialties and other meal options, good for lunch and dinner, family-friendly.
  • The Reef, Vadanemelli – Fine dining restaurant inside Sheraton Grand hotel, offering multicuisine brunch, lunch, and dinner buffets.
  • Melting Pot Market Café, Nemelli – A chain restaurant famous for fondue-style food, good for brunch/lunch, families and kids, big groups.

Chennai to Mahabalipuram Road Condition via route 1:

The road conditions on route 1 from Chennai to Mahabalipuram are excellent. There is usually less traffic with some tolls on the way, but there are no road closures.

Route 2: Distance and Time Taken from Chennai to Mahabalipuram Via NH32

This is an alternative route for travelling from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. This route is about 10 KM longer than the previous route but takes about the same amount of time. There are also tolls on this route. The distance from Chennai to Mahabalipuram on this route is about 80 KM and takes almost two hours. Always use live maps to check for road closures or check for other traffic updates while traveling.

Here’s the basic route map from Chennai to Mahabalipuram along this route:

Chennai — Vandalur — Kandigai — Kelambakkam — Thiruvidanthai — Perur — Krishnankaranai — Pattipulam — Devaneri — Mahabalipuram
Chennai to Mahabalipuram Via NH32

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur – A vast zoo with natural enclosures for animals and birds, good for day tours and for families with kids.
  • Otteri Lake Point, Vandalur – Local water body offering panoramic views of hilly surroundings, good for a refreshing break or food stop.
  • Thiruvidanthai Beach, Thiruvidanthai – A local beach offering endless views of the Bay of Bengal, good for a refreshing break or watching sunsets.
  • The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, Vada Nemmeli – A reptile zoo and crocodile sanctuary/breeding center with feeding tours and night safari options, good for a day tour.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur

Places to eat along this route:

  • Oyster Restaurant, Kelambakkam – Chinese restaurant in a local hotel, serving Indo-Chinese and other Asian dishes, good for families and big groups, kid-friendly.
  • The Reef, Vadanemelli – Fine dining restaurant inside Sheraton Grand hotel, offering multi cuisine brunch, lunch, and dinner buffets.
  • Melting Pot Market Café, Nemelli – A chain restaurant famous for fondue-style food, good for brunch/lunch, families and kids, and big groups.

Chennai to Mahabalipuram Road Condition via route 2:

The road conditions on this route from Chennai to Mahabalipuram is also good as of date. But it is a little longer route than the previous one and can have some traffic.

Chennai to Mahabalipuram Best Route

With interesting sites to see and ample food stops along the way, both the above mentioned routes are good for traveling from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. But if time is your priority, then the first route seems to be the best option since the second route takes a lot more time. Moreover, the route via the East Road Road makes for a scenic road trip.

Other means of traveling from Chennai to Mahabalipuram

By Train

You can also travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram by train. The nearest railway station is in Chengalpattu, about 30 KM away and the nearest major railhead is in Chennai itself. From Chengalpattu you can take a Chengalpattu to Mahabalipuram taxi to reach your destination. 

There are 26 regular trains from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. The fastest train is CHENNAI BEACH-CHENGALPATTU FAST EMU (40559) which takes about one and a half hours to reach. Mahabalipuram is well-connected by train to Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu and other cities/towns in neighboring states. You can also directly hire a car rental in Chennai to reach Wayanad.

For Chennai to Mahabalipuram train booking, you can visit any online travel portal to get the best deals. For the latest and most accurate information on Chennai to Mahabalipuram train timings, always check with IRCTC before booking.

By Flight

There is no flight service between Chennai and Mahabalipuram. The only way to travel to Mahabalipuram from Chennai is by bus, train, or drive. If you are traveling from other cities/towns across India, you can fly to Chennai and from there book an Chennai airport taxi or rent a car to reach Mahabalipuram. You can also directly book a cab in Chennai to reach your destination.

Attractions in Mahabalipuram for Sightseeing

Sitting on the Coromandel Coast, the sandy beaches with mystical, ancient relics, Mahabalipuram is a visual treat for any traveller.

Check out these popular sights to see in Mahabalipuram –

  • Shore Temple – The most iconic site, this is an 8th-century temple complex facing the shorelines of Bay of Bengal. The structures are cut out of granite chunks and faces. The complex houses three ornate granite temples enshrining Hindu deities.
  • Krishna Butter Ball – This massive natural boulder sits balanced on a small hill, and is a figurative representation of the lump of butter Krishna used to rejoice as a child.
  • Mahabalipuram Beach – The golden sandy stretch of shore is the most popular hangout and unwinding place for tourists and locals alike. You can get boat rides from here.
  • Five Rathas (Chariots) – Also called Pancha (Five) Rathas, this elaborately designed temple is a stunning example of the signature Dravidian architecture. The premise holds ruins of giant stone chariots with intricate carvings.
  • Arjuna’s Penance – A rock-cut, relief structure with unique carvings, is also called the Descent of Ganges and is an important mythological site.
  • Tiger’s Caves – Located 5 km north of Mahabalipuram, this is a natural formed, ancient cave with a stone-cut raised stone platform also known as mandapa, and holds carved idols of Durga.
  • Alamparai Fort – An ancient fort overlooking the sea, the Alamparai is covered in ruins and creepers but makes for an intriguing site to explore.
  • India Seashell Museum – A public museum housing a massive collection of shells and sea fossils.
  • Mahabalipuram Lighthouse – An old lighthouse of the town that dates back to 1904, this is a popular site for photography and for watching sunrise and sunsets.
  • Sculpture Museum – A local museum specializing in housing sculptures. They are known for their elaborate collection of more than 3000 sculptures made of wood, stone, brass, cement, sand, etc.

Hire a car rental in Mahabalipuram to visit these major tourist places.

Savaari recommends – Popular places to eat in Mahabalipuram

Being a coastal destination, Mahabalipuram’s food fare includes a lot of seafood. But you can also find other meat and vegetarian options all around the town.

Here are some of the top-rated places to eat in Mahabalipuram –

  • Masala Café, Fisherman Colony
  • Searock Restauarant, GKM Street Beach side
  • Taacos Seafood Restaurant, Fisherman Colony
  • The Wharf Restaurant, Radisson Blu Temple Bay
  • Johnny’s Corner Sea Food Restaurant, Fisherman Colony
  • The Golden Palate, Hotel Mamalla Heritage

Book a cab in Mahabalipuram to visit these major eateries.

Hotels and Resorts in Mahabalipuram

Hotel Name Address Phone Number
Kaldhan Samudra Palace 16/3B1B, Devaneri, East Coast Road Mamallapuram Devaneri, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603103 04445681000
Hotel Mamalla Heritage 104 East Raja Street, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104 04446270563
Silversands Beach Resort Devaneri Village, 131, East Coast Rd, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104 09840378121
IVY Villa No.163 Mahabalipuram, Venpurusham Village, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 603104 NA
Kences Palm Beach No 53, East Coast Road, Devaneri, Village, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104 04427442764

Download our Savaari car booking app for a smooth and pleasant journey.

A quick summary
An Essential Road Trip Guide from Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Article Name
An Essential Road Trip Guide from Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Description
Get information on all the routes, restaurants and nearby places for your Chennai to Mahabalipuram road trip. Detailed itinerary of Chennai to Mahabalipuram distance, time and popular spots.
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Savaari Car Rentals
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