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
"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.