Friday, September 26, 2008

Mahabalipuram - Archeological Site

The above photos are from the bus window between Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram, where there are ancient temples built in the sand on the shore of the Bay of Bengal.  "Mahabalipuram was already a centre of pilgrimage when, in the 7th century Mamalla made it a seaport and began to make temples fashioned of rock.  ... It was through Mahabalipuram that many Indian colonists, who included sages and artists, migrated to Southeast Asia.  The proper name of the site is 'Mamallapuram', after Mamalla, an honorific of the Pallava king, Narasimha Varman I (630-668), who created the earliest of it monuments." Dept. of Tourism, Tamil Nadu

The Five Rathas
"These rathas (actually Vimanas) perpetuate the forms of the temple in use when they used to be made of perishable materials.  A Pallava who must have been something of an art critic or art historian decided that these styles should be preserved in eternal rock.  Outside Mahabalipuram except in Kazhugurnalai, there is nothing like these rathas anywhere in India."
Carolyn reading the Dept of Tourism pages to edify her companions.
She's still reading to them.
Krishna, wearing a new outfit that comes with a very long scarf (she hates long scarves), and the day is incredibly hot (scarves suck on hot days)
The Five Rathas are fantastic!
Still reading to Krishna and Gopal, whether they like it or not.
Mahishasuramardhani and the Adivaraha Mandapas
View from the top - so close to the shore
The Shore Temple - on the beach
Can you see how the water and wind have corroded the stone?
On the other side of the fence surrounding the Shore Temple

Needless to say, the tsunami of 2004 overwhelmed these sites, and the community has done their best to restore the sites and their surroundings.  To me it was not evident.


Dexter said...

These photos are very cool. Looks like an amazing place. And the photos of you reading made me laugh. I know how you like enlighten everyone.

Miss you.

Anonymous said...

Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

Admirable said...

Nice pics....I will be visiting Mahabalipuram this month.


Agn! Sharman said...

All Inclusive charges for the car for a one day tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai City
(includes 15 hours and 200Kms of car hire, driver’s allowance, parking at various tourist destinations at mahabalupuram and on the way)

Tata Indica….: Rs.2150/-
Tata Indigo….: Rs.2550/-
Toyota Innova..: Rs.3350/-
Toyots Qualis..: Rs.3100/-
Ford Fiesta….: Rs.3450/-

Other rates and extra charges as per rates at