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curious attraction in Mahabalipuram, Krishna’s Butter Ball is a giant balancing rock, perched on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics. This colossal boulder, which is about five metres in diameter, is perilously resting at an angle of 45 degrees. The rock boulder is surrounded by beautiful lush greenery.
In Hindu mythology Lord Krishna had an insatiable appetite for butter, and as a child, would often sneak a handful from his mother’s butter jar. Situated on a hill slope near the Ganesh Ratha, this massive natural rock boulder is attributed to a ball of butter the young Krishna would steal, hence its name, Krishna’s Butter Ball.
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The rock’s awkward position makes it quite popular with locals and tourists alike as it makes for an interesting backdrop for some whacky photographs. It’s a common sight to see visitors placing hands under the stone while posing for pictures, which looks as though they are holding it up. Brave-hearts may sit under the cool shade of the rock and can have their photographs taken. Local kids have discovered that the slippery hillside nearby also makes a great natural slide.
Interestingly, the Pallava kings tried to move this huge rock boulder with the help of their elephants but they failed in their attempt.
There are no documented legends attached to how Krishna’s Butter Ball came to rest in this particularly precarious position. From one angle, this free-standing granite stone appears to have been sheared off some larger formation, but there is no evidence of any nearby location where it might have originated.
Getting to & from Krishna’s Butter Ball
Krishna’s Butter Ball is located just north of Ganesha Ratha. The best way to get here is on foot or bicycle. A self-guided walking tour of the ruins in Mahabalipuram is an excellent way to see the sites including Krishna’s Butter Ball. Alternatively, you can speed up the tour on a bicycle which can be hired for the day in town.