Actress Kaniha's Mahabalipuram diaries and top places to visit

Actress Kaniha in Mahabalipuram. Photo courtesy: Instagram/Kaniha

Actress Kaniha travels regularly, and she makes it a point to document those stories and pictures on Instagram. Her latest post is from Mahabalipuram in which Kaniha is seen in a white T-shirt and shorts, holding a surfboard in her hand.

She got her big break in the Hariharan-directed MT Vasudevan Nair scripted Pazhassiraja in which she played Kaitheri Makkam, Pazhassiraja’s wife. Apart from Malayalam, Kaniha has acted in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. Kaniha had traveled to Mahabalipuram in July earlier this year. Also known as Mamallapuram, this tourist destination houses a street dotted with cafes, that serve multiple western cuisines; and leads to a breathtaking oceanfront, where surfing and basking in the sun are your two best options.

She took this picture from a resort called Surf Turf in Mahabalipuram. For the locals, adventure sports like surfing, stand-up paddle, and kayaking are also available here. Surf Turf is located at Pearl Beach in Ansari Nagar. This institution is not currently open.

Surfing is a sea adventure sport where fans gather daily. With a coastline of 7,500 km, India has a number of suitable locations. The peak season is from May to September. Maravanthe in Karnataka, Mangalore, Manipal, Kappa Beach, Murdeshwara, Kovalam in Kerala, Varkala, Manapad Point in Tamil Nadu, Kovlong, and Mahabalipuram are some of the best places to surf in India. Mahabalipuram is considered the most stopover tourist destination in Tamil Nadu. There are different stories related with the origin of Mahabalipuram and you will find this destination as the most loved place in the country. Some people say that this place is named after demon Mahabali, who was popular for his benevolence, and on the other hand, some believe that it’s named after the Pallava dynasty King Narsimhavaram I, who was one of the greatest warriors as well as his name was kept due to his various achievements. While you get to revel in the evening by savouring some extravagant seafood, the afternoons can be dedicated to sightseeing of some well-maintained architectural sites. Thus, if you plan it right, a trip to Mahabalipuram can be a holistic experience. There are countless historical monuments that will simply amaze you.

Here are some of the places to visit at Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple:
Shore temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and is, located on the Bay of Bengal along with the gateways from the western side far from the sea. It belonged to the 8th century AD and was constructed by the Pallava dynasty It’s one of the most amazing World Heritage Sites as well as one of the prehistoric rock-cut temples around the nation. It’s known for its beautiful craftsmanship, embellished motifs, and complex carvings. The architectural design of this Shore temple is absolutely fascinating.

Why Mahabalipuram is a constant source of wonder for tourists

Arjuna’s Penance: Arjuna’s Penance is one of the greatest ancient artworks inscribed in two monolithic rock boulders. This work of art brilliantly highlights Arjuna doing his penance in order to gratify Lord Shiva to get his celestial weapon. The rock carving displays scenes of Hindu mythology with animals and human figures as well as images of Gods carved in the form of sculptures. The site is located in the heart of Mahabalipuram, and it is approximately 43 feet high and stretches up to 100 feet in length. All the hard work put to create such a masterpiece can easily be seen when you visit this attractive UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thirakadalmalllai: A marvellous structure erected by the Pallava Kings around 6-8th century BCE, Thirakadalmalllai or Sthalasayana Perumal Temple is one of the 108 popular temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This shrine is designed in Dravidian Pallava style architecture, and it still holds festive offerings and religious activities. In order to attend a prayer ceremony the temple remains open from 6 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 8:30 pm and six rituals are performed daily. Within the complex, a must-visit is the only white colored gopuram (monumental tower) with unmatched beauty amongst other golden gopurams around the complex and Mahabalipuram.

Mahabalipuram Beach: Also called Mamallapuram by the locals, the famous Mahabalipuram Beach is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and is one of the best tourist places in Mahabalipuram. It features plenty of prominent rock-cut sculptures that are sure to melt your heart! There are stunning caves, massive rathas, chariots, and temples on this beach that attract hundreds of pilgrims, architecture fans, and history geeks to these shores every month, and leave them beguiled! Other than exploring these unique Mahabalipuram temples and caves, this beach is a great place to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Alamparai Fort: Not many are aware of the existence of the Alamparai Fort in Mahabalipuram since it’s not as famous as other places to see in Mahabalipuram. However, this captivating fort is a very important historical site in this city. It’s essentially a long-forgotten trading post that has striking and rather imposing architecture, and the views from its top are sure to take your breath away! Though it’s not in perfect condition any more, a walk across this dilapidated yet enthralling fort will make you feel like stepping back in time. Owing to the numerous shrubs, creepers, bushes, and trees here, it is a remarkable example of ancient architecture that has let nature take over and blended perfectly with the surrounding foliage.

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