Krishna Butter Ball: 250 Ton Boulder that Defies the Laws of Physics


The Krishna Butter Ball is a large boulder located in Mahabalipuram, a town in the Kancheepuram district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This giant boulder is one of the town’s tourist attractions, as it seems to defy the laws of physics. This rock seems to be balancing off a small surface area on the slope of a hill. It has neither slid down this hill, nor budged when attempts were made to move it. There are a number of stories that seek to explain how this unusual phenomenon is possible, though none of them seem to have answered the question satisfactorily.

Butter Ball History

Krishna’s Butter Ball was originally known to the locals as Vaan Irai Kal. Translated from Tamil to English, it means ‘Stone of the Sky God’. This name provides one tale as to how this boulder came into being. According to one explanation, it was the gods who placed this boulder in Mahabalipuram. The purpose of doing so was to show the might and power of the gods to the inhabitants of that town. A more modern explanation substitutes the gods with extra-terrestrials who visited the area thousands of years ago.

According to some sources, the ‘Stone of the Sky God’ became known as Krishna’s Butter Ball as a result of a local tour guide’s ‘re-branding’ of the boulder. According to Hindu mythology, the god Krishna, as a child, was fond of eating butter, and would often steal handfuls of that food from his mother’s butter jar. As the giant boulder at Mahabalipuram looked like a dollop of butter that the god had dropped, it was conveniently given the name Krishna’s Butter Ball. This name has stuck ever since.

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