South of Chennai along the Coromandel Coast is Mamallapuram (previously Mahabalipuram). This is a fantastic place to be based as it offers beach, cultural heritage and the possibility of visiting Chennai and Kanchipuram as a day trip. Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) is a World Heritage Site and its ancient monuments include the famous Shore Temple and the wonderful rock carvings of Arjuna’s Penance plus the various Mandapams and Rathas. Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava Kings in the fourth century and offers visitors a range of temples to visit. Kanchipuram is famous within India for its silk weaving and brides dream of getting married in a Kanchi silk. From Mamallapuram you can visit Dakshina Chitra – an arts and crafts village where you can see replicas of traditional houses from across South India as well as watching traditional performing arts and seeing local crafts being made (much of which is also for sale). The Crocodile Bank is also nearby – here there is a breeding and research centre and they have most of the crocodilian species in captivity (including a number of rare specimens).

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