English News


Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram surpasses Taj Mahal in attracting foreign tourists

Tamil Nadu's Mamallapuram beat Taj Mahal in attracting the maximum number of foreign tourists (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@Samiksh61031470)

The historic town Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu district is again in the headlines after it hosted the second informal summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2019. This famous tourist spot listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site has beaten Taj Mahal in the number of foreign visitors as per Indian Tourism Statistics 2022.

According to the report released by the Ministry of Tourism, 1,44,984 foreign visitors came to Mamallapuram which is located about 60 kilometres from Chennai, in 2021-22. In terms of percentage it attracted 45.50 of the foreigners.

The site is home to a collection of 7th and 8th Century Hindu religious monuments. Among the 40 ancient temples and monuments are Descent of the Ganges, a giant open-air rock relief; Pancha Rathas, monolithic pyramidal structures, each carved from single separate piece of stone and named after the five Pandavas; 10 rock-cut cave temples dating back to 7th Century; and the Shore Temple.

Agra’s Taj Mahal came second in the list with 38,922 foreign visitors. Other monuments in the list are UP’s Agra Fort (13,598); and Delhi’s Qutb Minar (8,456); and Red Fort (5,579).

In 2021 the five top States for domestic tourist visits were Tamil Nadu (115.33 million), Uttar Pradesh (109.70 million), Andhra Pradesh (93.27 million), Karnataka (81.33 million) and Maharashtra (43.56 million). The report said: “These five states accounted for about 65.41 per cent of the total domestic tourist visits in the country.”

The Indian Tourism Statistics 2022 was released by the Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27 in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan.