A sea side town Mahabalipuram - South India

The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for its seashore which has an interesting group of ancient rock temples displaying the Dravidian style of architecture. The shore temples give a more ancient look and feel, older than they actually are, perhaps because of the wear and tear caused by the sea and brine.

This coastal town - is hot, humid round the year, but a treat to the eyes, mind and the shopper in you. If you are looking for a great photography expedition this is the place to get picture perfect shots. The shopper in you can revel in the multitude carvings and statutes. The main road is dotted with tiny tiny shops in a long row on either side of the road offering antiques in wood, stone and clay. Some pieces I came upon were truly heart stopping stunning! And indeed bought some too. Splendid sculptures. Beautiful statues made of granite stones. Handicrafts made of soapstone, sea-shell articles and jewelry to pine for. One needs time to explore, mull and decide on what one must buy. Time was a luxury I did not have this trip unfortunately.

It was during the rule of the Pallavas, many poets, dramatists, artists, artisans, scholars and saints emerged making the Pallavas the pioneers of new styles both in art and architecture. These creative energies reside to date in this small temple town especially when you see the multitude paintings on sale.

The spectacular beach of Mahabalipuram attracts thousands of tourists all through the year. The beach forever is crowded and packed with families literally lined shoulder to shoulder along the shores in their daily clothes as they wait for the water to rush up their legs while others escape the waves only to return for another bout. Either way, there is no end to the laughter as the sun sets and the ebb and flow draws nearer, it takes with it the memories of those who had enjoyed it as they part ways. There are other things to do while in Mahabs - a crocodile farm, snake venom extracting center, a school of art and sculpture, the annual dance festival among the many attractions for the tourists and travelers alongside the beach. Not surprising hence why tourists flock to Mahabs.

I was equally amazed to discover this place being a popular dating destination for many lovebirds. Most of them were in their private world of love and passion in corners, behind the rocks, in the trenches, and inside the caves declaring their undying commitment for each other. One such couple even approached me to take a picture of theirs on their mobile camera phone-while they melted into each others eyes.

The combination of beach and rocks AND the awesome monolithic structures makes Mahabalipuram very special. A day is simply not enough to explore this historical site. A return journey hence becomes a must. Mahabalipuram is barely an hour from Chennai, very very doable .


rajindermakkar said...

Phew...u sure travel and pack in plenty into one day!!!

john said...

Hahaha its true how the beach watchers queue up to watch the surf and tentatively wet their toes:)

Shweta said...

Talk about how one takes things in the backyard for granted-despite living in the south I have never been to Mahabs:(

sanjiv said...

The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram consists of ten mandapas (pavilion) besides seven monolithic rathas (chariots), so called because they resemble the big temple cars in which the images of the deities are taken out in procession. The mandapas, are remarkable for the shape and design of their pillars and roll cornices and for the blending of figure-sculpture with architecture. Finest achievement of the Pallava style I would say.

ashish said...

The solidity of the masonry of the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram is vouched for by the fact that for over 12 centuries it has withstood the pitiless onslaught of the monsoons, the battering of sea waves and the treachery of drifting sands.

Mike said...

I am sure this blog is a huge learning curve for many Indians reading about India:)

Dr. Sohrab Arora said...

Wow. I HAVE to visit this place some day. Last time I went to pondicherry, we had an option to spend one extra day at pondicherry or go to mahabalipuram. I wish I had chosen the latter one!
It sure looks as the dream destination for photography!
Awesome blog, this... U can write a book now! treasure trove for an indian traveller.

Anon said...

hey, bery nice blog…really like it and added to my bookmarks. keep up with the good work


melinda said...

A good place to tan and roast warm golden:) I had been there and ate something and fell so badly sick didnt remember much from tat trip- this blog was a good reminder for me:)

ashish said...

Hmmm never been to Mahabalipuram. Always had this perception that southern holiday spots were not all there on infrastructure and supporting activities-very sleepy !

Neeraj said...

wow, just added this place on my 'to visit' list :)

navneet_kul said...

A good and vivid description of beach and the area its nearby. Besides this if you visit goa then you will enjoy the same beauty and pleasantness.

Mee said...

@rajindermakkar - LOL

@John - I found it very endearing:)

@Shweta - :(

@Sanjiv @Ashish @CM- O yea absolutely!

@Mike - *grimace* dont like the spotlight:(

@Dr. Sohrab Arora - thx for the vote of confidence, will stick to blogging for now:)

@Melinda- O I am so sorry:(

@Ashish - to the contrary, go out there and explore, there's lots to see in the South

@Neeraj - good choice!:)

@navneet_kul -Goa is like a very familiar comfort zone for me:)

I Love Mahabalipuram said...

Hi, We have just set up a facebook page for love of Mahabalipuram! Please like and share! And let us know if you want to contribute as well and I will provide you admin rights.

Hope to see you on there and be in touch!

I Love Mahabalipuram Admin

snigdha G said...
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