January 12, 2011

Mahabalipuram- Sun, Sea and Stones...!!


My first visit to Chennai ended up being a trip to Mahabalipuram via Chennai. To be more precise I hardly visited any place in Chennai and instead covered the whole of Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram, earlier known as Mamallapuram was supposedly the port town of the Pallava kingdom. It is known for its amazing sculptures and marvellous temples.



 A lovely drive down the East Coast Road took us to the hot and humid Mahabalipuram. Being a weekend, there were swarms of tourists at this World Heritage site. Mahabalipuram is famous for its stone carvings and sculptures which were carved centuries ago. The most famous and the must visit ones amongst them are the shore temple, Arjuna's Penance and the Five Rathas. The shore temple is a beautiful piece of art located close to the sea. Over the years it has undergone a lot of wear and tear and the sea has eaten into many parts of it. However it still holds a charm which attracts many tourists. Arjuna's Penance depicts a scene from the Mahabarata and the Five Rathas are dedicated to the five Pandava brothers. Cave temples are the other attractions and they display a lot of history through the lovely carvings around it.



After a lot of walks, climbs and photoshoots we explored a bit of Mahabalipuram and found many shops selling stone carvings, souviniers, artifacts etc. We also found many sculptors chiselling different types of stones into lovely sculptures.



After that it was time for some fun and we headed to the beachfor a dip in the Bay of Bengal. The beach looked deserted with very few people around. We however had no qualms about that and waded into the waters. After a few minutes of splashing and playing, we were advised by two life guards to not venture into the waters as the tides were pretty strong. That was indeed a disappointing end to an otherwise lovely trip.




The government and the UNESCO has taken many measures to preserve the fabulous sculptures and temples of Mahabalipuram. A lot of it has been taken away by the cyclones, tsunamis and the sea itself. Keen travellers ought to visit this heritage site before the Bay of Bengal gobbles it up completely.

Signing Note: Sit besides the sea and chisel away to glory.

Route: Chennai- Mahabalipuram
Distance- 56 Kms. 

37 comments:

  1. Perfect timing!!! I just posted a review of a book on Mahabs in my blog and here in your blog I see that you've just been to Mahabs!!! Great pics da!!! U seemed to have enjoyed a lot!!!
    My 100th post - Dedicated to all

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  2. Thats fabulous busha...what a coincidence...!! Thanks dear...it was a lovely trip to mahabs.

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  3. good one....so many historical destination
    exxpecting an "international post"soon

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  4. thanks maya...the international one is coming soon...!!

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  5. wow!! nice niranjan..I like the way its presented!!.. good job!!
    prabha

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  6. I am sure you had a great experience and your work is really good. Man, your blogs made me feel that I just was there as I read it... Keep up the job buddy.....

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  7. Thanks bro...we ought to go there sometime..

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  8. Such a shame that I missed the place when I was living so close to it...your pictures are great, would surely the place soon when I am around next time...

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  9. Thanks Siddhartha...its definitely worth a visit. Thanks for dropping in. Hope to see you often. tc

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  10. I have been here in Jan this year..and liked it....the blend of sea and the history is so enchanting!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  11. A nice, lovely post! Thank you Niranjan:)

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  12. That first picture almost made my jaws drop. :)Is that boulder a free standing one?
    This post brought to mind a history lesson from school. The year before last, we wanted to go see this place but it didn't work out :(. It was nice seeing these pictures. Good post, Niranjan.
    Lovely lighthouse too. Is that made of stone too?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. The boulder looks like a free standing one, but i suppose there is support beneath it. Yup, the lighthouse is also stone made.

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    2. That makes me feel better. :) That boulder does look like it roll down any minute.
      So cool. That lighthouse fits very well with its surroundings. :)

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    3. The boulder is known as Krishna's Butter ball. :)

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  13. This is one place I have also been to :D thoroughly enjoyed your pictures.

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  15. Mahabalipuram is awesome. We had shoot there about 4 years ago, but I still remember with almost vivid details.

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  16. Wonderful - Being a Chennaite- i have not visited Mahabalipuram so far. But your post really tempts me to make a visit. Tks a ton. Loved your description.
    Look fwd to more travelogues from your side.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, glad you liked it. Head there soon.

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  17. The pictures do bear out that it was a lovely trip!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it indeed was, except that the heat was quite harsh.

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  18. Beautiful coverage! I like your post Niranjan.

    You have missed the Tiger Caves I guess! Next time don't forget to visit that place too! It is few Kilometers before Mahabalipuram in Chennai Mahabalipuram East Coast Road.

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  19. It is indeed a beautiful place... esp. at sunset, the shore temple makes a beautiful sight

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