The soaring high gopurams of the temple stand as landmarks
of the city. Colorful icons of gods, goddesses, animals and
mythical figures adorn the gopurams. The temple has four entrances
and occupies an area of around six hectors. The Parvati sanctum
is not accessible to men-Hindus. The museum called the Temple
Art Gallery is located within the complex containing stone
and brass images. Thousands of Pilgrims visit the Meenakshi
The Mahabalipuram Temple is situated on the
bay of Nengal at 58 kms from Madras. The stone carving art
of Mahabalipuram is one of the best example of art and architecture
of ancient India. The romantic themes on the walls are marvelous.
The famous Arjuna's Penance and the Krishna Mandapa, adorn
massive rocks near the center of the village. The beautiful
Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective breakwater.
Sixteen man-made caves in different stages of completion are
also seen, scattered through the area. There are buses available
from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Madras to
Mahabalipuram daily. Air or train from anywhere in country
can access Madras. November to February (winter) is the best
time to visit Mahabalipuram.