Our holiday was to be in Puducherry. As it ended,  we decided to extend it and visit my sister at Hyderabad. We booked a taxi for Chennai where we were supposed to board a train for Hyderabad. On way to Chennai from Puducherry via the coastal highway we reached Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram as it is now called.

Mamallapuram has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage site. The five Rathas or chariots( they are more like Buddhist Chaityas and Viharas and nothing like a chariot) and the Shore temple are much visited attractions. The Rathas are named after the five Pandava Princes. The real purpose is not defined but one of the story suggests that the chief architect to Pallava Dynasty‘s King Narsimhavarman I made these as scale models for king’s approval. These are carved out from single granite rock like the Ajanta Caves. The Shore temple is the only surviving temple of the Seven Pagodas. This is built in five tiers and unlike the rock-cut rathas. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the two main deities of Hindu Religion. The Shore temple, so named due to its location on the shore, is however deteriorating due to salt-laden sea breezes.

The beach (with a light house) is very popular among the sun-bathers and is crowded most of the times by the tourists. I however like to cover myself up before going out in such harsh sun!!

Having visited a slice of history and getting awed by the then architecture, we started  our journey towards Chennai again. Short of reaching Chennai we came across a  Crocodile breeding centre and our curiosity got the better of us and we had to visit. They even let us hold the baby crocodiles which was again not very appealing idea and I promptly excused myself to click photographs instead!

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All in all a beautiful place to visit and enjoy!!


About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
Gallery | This entry was posted in Architecture, Beautiful India, Destinations, Historic India, Tamilnadu, Travel India and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Mamallapuram

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. imexcited says:

    Great photos although I am not a fan of crocs either. I would love to see Mamallapuram, hopefully my hubby will take me there next time we visit India.


  3. tmso says:

    Amazing. How old are they?


  4. Interesting photos. Thanks for sharing.


  5. rutheh says:

    Wonderful slide show, Shoma!


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