Krishna’s Butter Ball

What will happen if you keep a spherical object on an inclined plane? You may say it would roll over. What if I say you are wrong? You may argue that the plane is not inclined enough. What if I still say you are wrong? You may not believe me. You may say that I am saying one of the fundamental rules of physics is wrong. Well, seeing is believing, isn’t it? Just visit Mahabalipuram (now called Mamallapuram), and you will see the nature defying all the laws of physics!

Krishna’s Butter Ball is a huge spherical boulder whose diameter is about 5m, and lies on a smooth surface, on one of the rocky slopes of Mahabalipuram. What makes this rock a natural wonder is its self balancing nature! The rock itself lies on a very slippery and rocky surface. However, the rock has not moved an inch since it was discovered! Heavy rains, storms, cyclones, earthquakes, all were unsuccessful in moving this rock.

It is a common sight to see few visitors slipping, losing balance and sliding on the very same rocky surface where the boulder lies. While walking around this huge rock, you will realize how slippery the surface is. You can also see some kids sliding through the very same rocky surface. However, the boulder itself is steady, very steady! It is a real wonder how a rock can stay on such a slippery surface!

It is also said that earlier, due to the weird position of the rock, it was feared that it would roll down any moment. Hence there were efforts to move this rock to a safer place, so that accidental roll down of the rock would not cause any injuries/fatalities. However, all the efforts went in vain as no one was able to move the rock. It is also said that when all efforts failed, even elephants were brought in to pull/push the rock, and (perhaps not surprising anymore 🙂 ) even those attempts had failed!!

The rock’s weird position makes it quite popular among the visitors. You can find many curious visitors going around the rock, wondering how is it possible for the rock to be so stationary! Giving up to find the reason, they start capturing it in their cameras, many of them giving different poses that would try to define the special rock! One of the common poses is as if they are trying to push the rock down from the top side of the rock. Another common pose is on the bottom side of the rock, placing their hands on the rock as if they are lifting it! People do get creative at such places, isn’t it? 🙂

Almost all architectures (natural like this and other man-made carvings) in and around the town are named after famous characters and incidents of the epic Mahabharata. In line with the same, this rock is called Krishna’s butter ball, referring to Lord Krishna’s favorite food, butter!

The rock provides enough shade from the scorching sun even during the noon time. However, are you daring enough to take shelter under the rock? Are you daring enough to take a nap underneath? Visit the place, try it out, and let me know 🙂


Krishna’s Butter Ball

Where to stay?

  • Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram

Distance Chart

From Distance (in km)
Chennai 60
Pondicherry 100
Bangalore 350
Madurai 420