Five years in Namma Madras and Me not having visited Mahabalipuram was a shame not just for me, but for my entire extended clan. I know that it was unjustified but then better late than never, right? So yes, my friends and I set out on a trip to Mahabs on a chilly Sunday morning.
Mahabalipuram is a coastal town near Chennai which is known for its Rock cut temples and sea shore. It was an ancient port town which was the port of contact for trade connections with South East Asia. It has exemplary historical identities that were carved during the Pallava Rule.
I have been to Mahabs before but that was a trip to a resort there and not to any of the tourist spots that were famous. So this time around I was determined to visit the maximum places and have my own kinda fun.
So we guys had breakfast in a restaurant in Uthandi and sped away to Mahabs. About 30 minutes of drive later there we were!! A bustling town that rakes in revenue in the form of tourism. I had always thought that this place was overrated by people, but then how would I know that I would be proved wrong like this?
Our first stop was the Shore Temple. It was a lovely place and my favourite of all the places that we had visited in the town. It was a temple on the sea shore and was picturesque. The area around the temple was neatly laid out and designed and was a very pleasing sight for the eyes that were sore of the city way of life.
Our next stop was the Five Rathas. These are structures that resembled Chariots and were actually carved out of a single stone. These are named after the Pancha Pandavas ( Dharma, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva ) and Draupadi of the Mahabharatha. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so. The way these structures stand today is a testimony to architectural marvel of those days.
There was also a Sea shell museum and an Aquarium there. Man! I totally loved the sea shell museum. It is said to be the personal collection of one person and it was damn lovely. The guide who was in charge of the sea shells was amazing and patient enough in explaining the speciality of few of the collections kept there. ( Watch out for Breath Mary while you are at it, peepals) .
We then broke for lunch and loitered around for a while there in the lawns adjacent to the Varaha Cave and Arjuna’s penance.
Arjuna’s penance was our next destination. This place is said to be the place where Arjuna receives the Pasupatastra from Lord Shiva and also where Ganga falls on to Lord Shiva’s head and flows. This place has very intricate carvings and are very much descriptive of the mythological event.
We then proceeded to the Maritime museum and another archaeological artefact museum which were very much interesting to check out. People who dig maritime stuff and related old time tech will absolutely adore the place.
Light house was the penultimate stop for us and that was so crowded for we had reached there at the perfect time. The view from atop the huge structure was breathtaking and we could catch a glimpse of the IGCAR also.
Will a trip to Mahabalipuram be complete without a beach visit? Never! So off we went to the Beach and had the customary Feet-wetting ceremony in the cold waters of the Bay of Bengal. That was it. That did tire me out after about 6 odd hours of total enthusiasm. All that I remember now after that point was that somehow I managed to get back to my place and am typing this post about the memories that I had managed to make during the day.
Mahabalipuram is well connected and pretty famous in the Coromandel coast guys. Worth a visit if you dig historical places. (Oops! Pun)
Will I dare another visit? Ohhhhhh Yesssssss!!!!! 🙂 🙂