Dear friends, this is a surprise post!
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 in spite 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. 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…..
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 craftsmanship 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……