Krishna’s Butter-Ball – Travel Stories (1)

Mamallapuram is a place in South India situated ~ 60 km south of Chennai (Madras). Travel time by car takes approximately an hour from Chennai. Historically Mamallapuram was a busy seaport and now a tourist attraction. Tourists flock the place to view famous rock carvings and temples (rathas) which were carved in granite during 7th– 8th century. It is one of the many world heritage sites in India and also an archaeological site of the Tamil Nadu state.


Butter ball

Apart from the carvings, there is a large ball of stone balanced on hilly slope positioned as if it may roll down any minute.

Krishna's Butter ball  (photo: Saba-Thambi022015)

Krishna’s Butter- Ball  at Mamallapuram (Front view)                                                           (photo: Saba-Thambi022015)

Tourists taking photos at the butter-ball (Photo: Saba-Thambi Feb 2015)

Tourists taking photos at  Butter-Ball                                            (Photo: Saba-Thambi Feb 2015)

According to the tour guide, the rock has been there for many centuries. During British occupation in the eighteen hundreds the rock was tested against gravity to see if it could be rolled away from its position. They also used roped elephants to pull it down but the ball never moved an inch!

The locals coined the rock “Krishna’s butter ball” as Lord Krishna was notorious for stealing the butter balls in his younger days. Even though the rock looked like a ball from one side, the view from another side tells a different story.  The side view reveals the elongated part the rock hence the center of gravity well and truly balancing the rock without falling!

Side view of the Butter-Ball (photo: Saba-Thambi)

Side view of the Butter-Ball (photo: Saba-Thambi)

Nowadays the rock has become an attraction where tourists pose for photos as if they were preventing the rock from sliding down the slope. The rock was never free to take a photo without anyone in the background. It was also providing shade for the tourist to stay away from the hot sun.

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