Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Named after one of the Pandava brothers, Arjuna's Penance is an enormous ancient relief carving etched on two huge boulders that dates back to the 7th century. The inscription describes scenes from Hindu mythology and daily happenings from South Indian life at the time, with an artificial waterfall pouring from the carved hands of male and female "nagas." In addition to numerous other carved animals, you can't miss the life-sized carvings of elephants, shown protecting their young. The longer you look at this impressive sight, the more new details you will notice, right down to the small mice around the elephants' feet. Add Arjuna's Penance to your Mahabalipuram travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Mahabalipuram online trip builder .
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Arjuna's Penance Reviews
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4.5
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  • Walking through this nice place we come along this huge bas-relief. Size approx. 30 by 6 meters, carved into a natural rock face. Pretty nice to see.
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  • The world's largest bas-relief (27x9 m) describes the penance of Arjuna, who for 12 years remained in a position of meditation until Shiva gave him listening. At the center of the relief you notice a species of snake, which is the Ganges.
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  • Good sculpting. Shows how our ancestors had this skill of chipping stones and creating wonderful structures to narrate epic stories. Also, Visit lighthouse behind. Museum is not so good because the items are not many. If you have limited time, you can skip it.
  • Sculptures of Gods, forest animals is beautifully portrayed in the rock . One can also find sculptures of sages doing rituals in front of the temple. Easily visible from the road
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