So far I have spoken a little about “Books”, a little more about “Movies” and a great deal about “and then some”. However, nothing much was said about “Places” except in the title of this blog. I decided to put an end to this unfair treatment doled out to the category. Here I am posting some snaps and reminiscences from our visit to Mahabalipuram (near Chennai) last Diwali.

The specialty of Mahabalipuram is the stone carvings. You don’t need to know where to go to see it. Just enter Mahabalipuram and you can see many, by the roadside.

Temples in Mahabalipuram have amazing carvings that ooze perfection to the minutest detail.

Mahisha Mardini Cave is one tourist spot with several stones like the above, that tell an entire story in one frame.

Stone cave on one side of the Light-house. You don’t have to go far into the jungle to see this. Just enter a gate by the road and there you are.

This beach was hit by the tsunami of 2004 and after the waves retracted, the tip of the gopuram of a temple emerged from the sand. Excavation is in progress to retrieve the temple (not seen in the above pic)!

If you wish to see all the landmarks in Mahabalipuram, you would take 3 days or more. Especially since you cannot do sight-seeing at one shot an entire day, as the heat would wear you down very easily.

Mahabalipuram is situated at a distance of about 50kms from Chennai, along the East Coast Road(ECR), and about 250kms from Bangalore. There are several roads to get to Mahabalipuram from Bangalore. One is Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Chennai highway – Kancheepuram – Mahabalipuram, which is the shorter route but the road through Kancheepuram is not desirably excellent. Another route is straight to Chennai and through the ECR to Mahabalipuram, in which case the roads are excellent but the distance could turn out to be more.

Photographs by R. Ramachandran