Krishna’s Butterball is a curious tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram, a town about 60 km south of Chennai famous for its stone carvings. The “butterball” is a giant balancing rock, 5 meters in diameter, perched on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics. 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 bolus of butter the young Krishna would steal.
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 posing for pictures, which looks as though they are holding it up. The rock provides welcome shade if you dare to sit underneath it, and local kids have discovered that the slippery nearby hillside also makes a great natural slide.
Mahabalipuram is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram. Today’s Mahabalipuram is purely a tourist town and one of the major attractions around Chennai. People visit this place to see the magnificent rock carvings, temples, cave sanctuaries, giant open-air reliefs such as the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’, and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.
Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.