Krishna’s butterball is an interesting tourist destination in Mahabalipuram, a town 60 kilometers away from Chennai. The name of the rock originates from the Hindu mythology where Lord Krishna who was known for his fondness of butter and would often steal some from his mother’s kitchen. This rock is attributed to a bolus of butter that Lord Krishna would steal as a child.

People think that the ball will roll down but, it does not!


The’ butterball’ is a giant granite rock, which is spherical in shape and is 6 meters high and 5 meters in diameter is perched at the end of the smooth slope quite astonishingly. One look at the rock and its position and you will think that it is about to roll down from the slope. However, the rock’s position is quite firm and people even go and take shelter underneath it. It puts forward the most intriguing question one can ever come across as to ‘How can a 250-ton rock be perched on the edge of a slope, on a base which is less than 4 feet?’ The idea of the rock being a natural formation is highly improbable as the erosion of water and wind could not possibly leave the rock in such a shape with no of rocks of nearly the same size around.

Great spot to take awesome snaps!


The rock’s awkward position is a great photo opportunity for tourists and people regularly take photographs here. It has also been an inspiration to develop dolls, known as Tanjavur Bommai with a spherical base so that they would tilt but would never fall!

Several attempts have been made to remove the rock from its original position but has proven futile. In 1908 the Governor of Madras Arthur Lawley tried to move the ball from it position with the help of the pulling force of 7 elephants, and was also tried earlier by Pallava King Narasimhavarman.

This still remains a mystery!


So the mystery intrigues all as to what caused its existence and how is it in the same place for the last 1200 years. Who exactly put it there, or is it simply a show of power from the divine? The name of the rock in Tamil is ‘Vaanirai Kai’ which translates to ‘Stone of the Sky God’. See it for yourself and decide, it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions around Chennai. The best time to visit Mahabalipuram is in spring (February to March) as the weather is at its best during the whole year.

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