Beginning of main content
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars, activities and vacation rentals. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

Tiger Cave

See some of the legacy of the Pallavan dynasty at this stone-cut temple complex, which features caves, ancient inscriptions and ferocious tiger sculptures.

The Tiger Cave is a rock-cut Hindu temple cave from East India’s Pallavan Empire. Tour this ancient religious site and study carvings of mythical creatures.

The Tiger Cave complex was built sometime in the 7th or 8th century under the commission of King Narasimhavarman I. Historians believe the king gave speeches from the cave’s “mantapa," or platform.

The site was also a shrine dedicated to the goddess Durga, who is usually depicted seated on a tiger. As you approach the temple, observe the depictions of the Yali, a tiger-like creature of Hindu mythology. These depictions are set around the mouth of the building, while on another side there is a single sculpture of the creature. It is these carvings that give the cave its name.

Continue through the grounds to the Athiranachanda Cave. This striking looking structure has wall inscriptions in ancient Pallava-Grantha and a Shiva Linga statue, a phallic tribute to Lord Shiva. In addition to the two cave temples, find relief sculptures depicting everyday life in the 7th century.

The Tiger Cave is located in a lush parkland maintained by the Archeological Survey of India and is a popular picnic spot. Enjoy a moment's peace on the green lawns under the shade of lanky palms and twisting casuarina trees. Let the kids run and play among the rock-covered landscape.

There is more history to be uncovered within a short walking distance of the caves. A few meters away is the excavation site of an ancient brick temple that is estimated to be over two millennia old. If researchers are correct about its age, this would be one of the oldest temples in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The Tiger Cave is located 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Mahabalipuram. Get there by taxi or drive and use the parking lot. Although there is no entrance fee, there is a small charge for parking.


Guide to Exploring around Tiger Cave


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Tiger Cave

See all 937 Properties near Tiger Cave
Ideal Beach Resort
Ideal Beach Resort

Ideal Beach Resort

East Coast Road, Devangri Village, Kovalam Road, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Offering direct access to the beach, this Mahabalipuram Beach hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tiger Cave, Mamallapuram Beach, and Mahishamardini Rock Cut Mandapa. Krishna's Butterball and Ganesha Ratha are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach -Member ITCHotel Group ¥11,064
    WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach -Member ITCHotel Group

    WelcomHotel Kences Palm Beach -Member ITCHotel Group

    No 53, Devaneri Village, East Coast Rd, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Mahabalipuram hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Mamallapuram Beach, Tiger Cave, and Krishna's Butterball. Mahishamardini Rock Cut Mandapa and Ganesha Ratha are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Mamalla Beach Resort
      Mamalla Beach Resort

      Mamalla Beach Resort

      108, Kovalam Road, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Mamallapuram Beach, Tiger Cave, and Krishna's Butterball. Ganesha Ratha and Varaha Cave Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Meya Beach Walk Hotel ¥2,128
        Meya Beach Walk Hotel

        Meya Beach Walk Hotel

        34, Shore Temple Town, Kings Nagar, East Coast Road, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Nestled on the beach, this Mahabalipuram Beach hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Mamallapuram Beach, Mahishamardini Rock Cut Mandapa, and Krishna's Butterball. Ganesha Ratha and Varaha Cave Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          BAY INN ¥3,875
          BAY INN

          BAY INN

          70/2, Salavan Kuppam, ECR, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Mamallapuram Beach and 3.1 mi (5 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road. Krishna's Butterball and Ganesha Ratha are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Capital O 30679 Joe Beach Resort
            Capital O 30679 Joe Beach Resort

            Capital O 30679 Joe Beach Resort

            7 Maheswar Teron Path Upper Sosoal, Chengalpattu
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Chengalpattu, this hotel is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Tiger Cave and within 6 mi (10 km) of Old Mahabalipuram Road and Mamallapuram Beach. Krishna's Butterball and Varaha Cave Temple are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              JoeBeach Resort
              JoeBeach Resort

              JoeBeach Resort

              108, East Coast Road, Mahabalipuram, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                This Chengalpattu resort is on the beach, 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Tiger Cave, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Mamallapuram Beach and Mahishamardini Rock Cut Mandapa. Old Mahabalipuram Road and Krishna's Butterball are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram ¥7,957
                Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

                Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram

                57, Covelong Road, Kanchipuram District, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Nestled on the beach, this Mahabalipuram resort is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Krishna's Butterball and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Old Mahabalipuram Road. Mamallapuram Beach and Ganesha Ratha are also within 10 minutes.