Chennai, the erstwhile Madras or Madarasapatinam, is the capital city of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the Coromandel Coast, at the eastern shores of the country. Chennai is also the hub of Carnatic music, and simultaneously incorporates a spirited theatre backdrop as well. It is equally famous for Bharata Natyam (the traditional dance style of Tamil Nadu) schools and other educational institutions and academies. The Tamil film industry, which is said to be the second largest film business in India, is also based in Chennai.
Mahabalipuram is an ancient port city that is also situated along the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu. Also known as Mamallapuram, the city of Mahabalipuram is believed to have been built by the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th century. One of the most famous and most visited destinations of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram is approximately 58 kilometers away from the capital city of Chennai. Mahabalipuram is a well-known paradigm of Dravidian style architectures and monuments.
Mahabalipuram is located very close to Chennai and hence it is easily accessible by road. This ancient city has no railway station and Chengalpattu (CGL) placed at a distance of about 31 km from Mahabalipuram is the nearest train station with direct rail connectivity to Chennai. On reaching Chengalpattu, one can hire a taxi from the station to reach Mahabalipuram or board any of the numerous buses that ply to the place.
Mahabalipuram is well-connected and easily accessible from other parts of the state, especially from the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. Many private and government run bus services are available to travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram is well connected with Chennai by daily bus services. These services, which are run by both government and private operators, are the most popular and common means of travel from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. An ordinary bus plying along this route will cost up to Rs 100 per ticket. Moreover, there are many other types of buses like A/C, non A/C Volvo, air bus and others that offer comfortable journey to the place. Since the time taken for the journey is less, even the elderly and families with small kids can opt to travel by bus.
An alternative mode of journey is to travel by a cab. Tourist taxis can be hired to travel to Mahabalipuram from Chennai. It will cost a traveller around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 for a round trip. This is highly recommended while travelling with infants, elders or invalids.
Air travel is not a feasible option to travel as there is no airport in Mahabalipuram. Moreover, the distance between both cities is very little, thus leaving no scope for air travel.