Arjuna’s Penance


Arjuna’s Penance is approximately 30 m long and 9 m high relief that is made on two massive boulders. It is one of the most popular popular 7th and 8th century stone carvings at Mahabalipuram. The carving has figures of Gods, semi divine creatures, beasts, birds and animals like elephants and monkeys. The figures engraved on the rock depict the artistic skills of the sculptors.

This relief is named after Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata. Two notions are attached behind the theme of constructing Arjuna’s penance. It is believed that here Arjuna performed penance to attain lord Shiva’s weapon. The other notion states the story of King Bhagiratha bringing the river Ganges down to earth.

Timings – Opening & Closing:

Monday – Friday: 7.00 AM – 7.00 PM ,

Saturday: 7.00 AM – 7.00 PM ,

Sunday: 7.00 AM – 7.00 PM ,

Public Holidays: 7.00 AM – 7.00 PM


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