Arjuna's Penance, Mahabalipuram

Landmark · Tourist Spot
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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
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  • I remember this from 1984- very iconic but it's not that special, 10 min at the most. The surrounding countryside is far more interesting.  more »
  • A wonderful work of art and history. It is a sample of great craftsmanship, the figures of the elephants with a tiny baby elephant under them. A yoga pose, so many intriguing different carvings. The.....  more »

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