A quick visit to ancient site of South India-Mahabalipuram, today’s Mammalapuram

Dear friends, this is a surprise post!

As you know I had taken a long round of pilgrimages to South India in the month of Dec’12 between 13th and 18th. Blogging did not stop in those days inspite of travelling.

 I also went to Madurai and KanyaKumari between 26th and 29th Dec’12.

Photos were shared with you of Pondicherry, Thanjuvar and Kanya Kumari. However, after that a lot of activities of the blog have kept me preoccupied since then. But that does not mean that we leave our task undone. Today I showcase some of my Mammalapuram pictures, which was visited on our way back to Chennai from Pondicherry.

Pictures of Madurai are still pending and shall be shared with you soon.

Mammalapuram was not our pilgrimage site, it was rather from the perspective of seeing India’s glorious past and appreciate its culture, architecture and art. It is a World Heritage Site.

This place falls in between Pondicherry and Chennai and can be seen with four to five hours in hand.  We had less time than this yet we managed to see 5 Rathas and Arjuna’s penance site. The other sites were left out.  If only we knew beforehand that we could  manage the Shore Temple also, we would never have missed it. But the driver was panicking and hurried us and bundled us to the airport as soon as he could in haste!

Anyhow, whatever was seen was breathtaking and marvelous. The Dravidian architecture carved out of hard rocks and granite are worth at least one visit if we are near Chennai or Pondicherry. The Pallava dynasty built it around 5th century. Mahabalipuram as it was called earlier,  was once a prominent port of South India and it still reflects very strongly the dignified and prosperous past of rich Dravidian history of Southern part of India.

One suggestion for the would be travellers to this place. Please keep in mind when you visit this place that Mammalapuram is very sunny and hot all the year round. In summer the heat is blistering and can take its toll. So it is better to see this wonderful place during winter times between November and February or else take all precautions to beat the heat.

Steps back into history…..


Five Rathas





















Arjuna’s penance



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My favourite place, Arjuna’s penance

The local life and flavour



Mammalapuram is still the best place for stone idols and carvings. Temples from far and wide in the world place orders for idols in this city. Stones of mainly black or gray color are used for making idols. There are so many good shops that exhibit local fine sculpting artistic skills. We stepped in a shop only to appreciate the crafsmanship and please the shopkeeper. We soon discovered that all the items in the shop were made by the father of the shopkeeper. Out of respect for the unknown face, we bought some superbly carved things.

His girls came back running from school after it got over to be with their mother. It was a very sweet sight to see the younger one, who was brimming over with love and happiness for her mother as she came storming in the shop to embrace her tightly.

I was very happy to see this momentous event and felt good that the girls were being sent to school for education for their better lives in future. The younger one was  irresistible and deserves a place on my blog to show us what ecstasy is. Her smile was truly infectious….




Pure Delight and Loveliness……

10 Responses to A quick visit to ancient site of South India-Mahabalipuram, today’s Mammalapuram

  1. Dear Sarikaji,
    Thanks for the surprise post and for showing such old and beautiful architecture and art of Mahabalipuram.
    Really loved it.
    The girl is too sweet. Her smile is very innocent and eyes are too pure and sparkling.
    Pranaam with lots of love.

  2. spiritinlife says:

    Most welcome Nirav. Can you see the clarity and purity in her eyes? I can see my own reflection in them!

    • Her eyes remind me Yoganandaji’s words…
      ‘Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts’

      • spiritinlife says:

        What a wondeful saying remembered by you at the right time as said earlier by Paramhansa Yoganadaji. Let my ……….that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts”.
        Will try to follow the last line.
        Thanks for this kind gesture.

  3. Asim says:

    Remembered an analogue to Michelangelo,”Statues are inbuilt in the woods,we just have to remove the unnecessary woods out of it.”
    The same we need to remove the matter on us to reveal the innermost atman… 🙂
    another analogue..remembering Indiana Jones…you in hat reminds me..
    Lots of regards and reverence aunty…

  4. spiritinlife says:

    Very well said, Asim, I am impressed by you!:) You said something which we should ponder upon. In Vedanta, the analogy is given by that of a lump of clay. It is the same thing, the fact is that we are already that, all we need to know is that we should cast away unwanted thoughts under whose heaps our mind has got distorted. And the glory shines forth.That’s all.
    And your mind thought of this while you saw the pictures of superb structures of rock carvings, very nice Asim. It went in the right direction
    You in hat reminds me, Indiana Jones? Not familiar with this. She must be a singer but don’t know the lyrics. You got to expand on that.
    Lots of love from Aunty.

  5. Asim says:

    Thank you for the humble words..but still i have a long way to go to really realise what i said.. 🙂
    Am trying till success..
    No relative of Norah Jones,aunty..he is main protagonist of spielberg’s film having adventures related to ancient heritage/civilisation..just as you are having..See this photo

  6. Meena says:

    Dear Sarikaji,

    What is significance of Arjuna’s penance? What is this picture telling us? Thank you in advance for your time.


  7. pandey2 says:

    Pure Delight and Loveliness…… 🙂

    Loved your remark about the littler girl while you responded to Nirav “Can you see the clarity and purity in her eyes? I can see my own reflection in them”

  8. Deeply impressed by the Humane aspect of yours Guru Ma. Your thoughts are too deep and so compassionate. Seldom do people think of local artisans, respect for their work, their livelihood, their kids and social status. Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam !!!!!!!!

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