Mahabalipuram Heritage Trip with Archaeologist, 1 Day

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Mamallapuram Heritage Trip with Archaeologist, 1Day


  • Mesmerising narration by a young Archaeologist, unheard stories, unseen places. Multi perspective covering History, Archaeological, Architecture & Mythological
  • Visiting 7th Century Built monuments & temples – Rock-cut architecture, Shore temple, Lighthouse, Tiger caves, Arjuna Penance, All the Chariots (Rathas), Lighthouse, Mahishasura Mardini cave, Varaha cave, adhi Varaha cave temple, Ramanuja mandap, Varaha mandap, Thirumathi cave and so on.
  • Walking around 2004 incident unearthed 2000 years old Subramaniya temple excavated site
  • Looking at wonders of nature – Krishna Butter Ball, Sea Shell Museum
  • Shopping seashells, stone sculptures and handicrafts

And much more..


  • Package A – Up to 6 to 8 Hours package price – Rs.6000 for 1 to 4 Persons and Rs.1500 Per Person (6 to 100 Years) for every additional Person. No fee upto 6 years.
  • Package B – Combo of Curation and AC Vehicle – Rs.11000 for 1 to 4 Persons and Rs.1500 Per Person (6 to 100 Years) for every additional Person. No fee upto 6 years

To pay:

Please contact 9176088725 / 7550042234 / to book.

High level plan: 1. Pay to register. 2. Get the confirmation, 3. Meet the curator at venue 4. Curated trip to monuments and temples given in the ‘Places’ section.

Photo album: Click here


Cost Inclusions: Curation, Sightseeing as per plan published

Cost Exclusions: Entry or Camera or Video fees including Foreigner / any food & beverages / optional items / anything other than inclusions.


  • Venue, Curator details, etc. will be shared once the registration is complete.
  • Sequence given is indicative. Itinerary is subject to change
  • To make payment:
  • FAQs, Terms and Refund rules – Further, trip specific terms are given as below.
  • Package booking terms: 100% to be paid for booking.
  • 100% money will be refunded if KeyTerns is not doing the trip or if the guest informs the curator before 24 hours of trip start time.


  • Tiger Cave: Our trip starts with the visit to Tiger Cave, a fine rock-cut monument complex. It gets its name from the carvings of the tiger heads on the mouth of a cave which forms a part of the complex. Curator may pose a question and answer. Is it a sculpture of Tigers or something else? Why was ‘so called’ ‘tiger cave’ built? Is it incomplete? Do you see two elephant heads and what could they have been? Do you see one Lingam with three different designs and what do they mean? Do you see a nice storyboard sculpture where ‘Asura’ is indicating to stop the attack while the Goddess is chasing him and what’s the story?
  • Saluvankuppam

We now take you to another interesting excavated site. Do you know that a 2000 years old temple complex was discovered by a team of archaeologists left exposed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami? Was it just a Pallava-era shrine? How did they conclude that it could have been 2000 years old? What materials were used? Interact with the curator during the trip to get more. What deity was worshipped in this temple 2000 years back and what was the evidence?

  • Shore temple

Do you know that the Shore Temple complex was named as ‘Seven Pagodas’? What does it mean and where are the rest of the temples? Who built the Shore temple? What’s the significance of the architecture? Is it unique?

  • Arjuna’s Penance

Arjuna’s Penance is one of the magnificent monuments of Mahabalipuram. This wonderful base air relief dates back to the mid-seventh century. Standing tall at a height of 43 feet, the monolith was carved on the face of two huge adjoining boulders, making its length around 96 feet. The majestic structure cannot be made out in photographs, it deserves to be praised by one’s own eyes. Now, you see a stunning sculpture of a depiction of an instance in the Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’. Do you know the Arjuna Penance story? Curator will narrate. Do you know that there is another story around sage Bhagiratha and what’s that?

Along the wonderfully carved sculpture, you will see the sculptor’s touch of humour amid the holy – a cat mimicking Arjuna’s penance to a crowd of mice. Are you serious & curious to see that now?

    • Pancha Rathas (Five Stone Chariots).

    Pancha Rathas is a monument complex at Mahabalipuram. Pancha Rathas is an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture.The ‘Ratha’ temples are cave temples made of rocks. The rathas are regarded as the five rathas of Pandavas, the eminent characters of the Mahabharata.

    • Krishna Butter Ball – natural or god’s creation or human made or alien made:

    We will visit this amazing wonder. This monolithic granite rock found in Mahabalipuram India, is over 20 feet in height. With its width almost equal to its height, it looks spherical in some angles but not a perfect sphere. It weighs over 250 tons and miraculously stands on an extremely small, slippery area of a hill. What’s the other name for this rock ball?

    Do you know that this rock was the inspiration to create the famous dolls and what they are?

    • Lighthouse

    Next in the plan is to climb up new and old Lighthouses. They are stunning for photography and marvellous to see around from the top of them. The new lighthouse with a circular masonry tower made of natural stone was constructed in the 19th Century. Do you know that Mamallapuram was one of the oldest trading ports with foreigners and a 7th Century built old lighthouse is evidence?

    • Sea Shell Museum

    Next stop is at the optional Sea Shell Museum, which is the largest seashell museum in India. It houses over 40,000 specimens of rare and unique seashells, fossils, shark teeth and whale fins which offers visitors an amazing visual treat and a unique perspective.

Curator profile: Trip is curated by Vijay, an Archaeologist, Historian, Excavation Specialist, Researcher and a Wildlife Short film maker. He is doing his PHD in Archaeology. He is passionate in Heritage and Culture, is dedicated and has received several recognition, appreciations, certifications for his work.
*Appreciation for our Archaeologist*: Archaeologist Vijay curated Mahabalipuram trip for a group of 8 from USA recently and got super good TripAdvisor feedback as attached.

Latest reviews on Heritage trip

– “It was one of the best experiences. …Vijay (archaeologist) was able to paint a wonderful picture around history, art, religion, science. Kudos.” “It was really a mind blowing experience to know our past culture in detail and ancestors’ artistic talents on each sculpture.” More on KeyTerns TripAdvisor page.

– “Last weekend I went for a one day tour to Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram, an UNESCO Heritage Site, 7th Century Built monuments & temples. It was wonderfully organized by KeyTerns team Srini and Balaji. The trip was curated by Vijay, a young Archaeologist, who explained the Pallava kingdom history in-depth in an awesome way. Even though I have been to Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram earlier, this trip was quite different. It was highly informative and so entertaining, and I learned loads of historical information about the Pallava kingdom, Mythology and their mind-blowing architectural style. Thanks and kudos to the Keyterns team.” – Bala (

About us: KeyTerns is a thematic travel designer and an organiser of fixed schedule, personalised, corporate and educational travel in Nature – Offbeat, Heritage – Culture and Spiritual – Well-being.

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Inspired by: KeyTerns derives its name from the super bird “Arctic Tern” that travels from the Arctic to Antarctica covering around 90,000 km per year.


#Mahabs, #Mahabalipuram, #Mamallapuram, #Pallava, #UNESCO, #ShoreTemple, #RockCut

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