1. To the Pallava Lands

@Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.

Why would I start with Mahabalipuram? It was not the first place I visited or the last. It is not even my favourite place. I have to admit that it never failed to keep me interested, but what is more interesting is it’s relation with the Pallavas. Kanchipuram was their capital, but Mahabalipuram, with no doubt deserves to be called their architectual capital. The rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram is the Pallavas’ greatest gift to the world.

Pallavas were always discussed after the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas, but I have found their legacy a class apart from the others. They were different and I have found something at Mahabalipuram which I never noticed at Thanjavur, Madurai or the other prominent capitals of the other South Indian Kingdoms. It was a perfect historical place with religion and spirituality added in an amount which is so balanced. In short, it had the perfect harmony.

You read the “The History of Tamil Nadu” and Pallavas always take a walk into your mind. Actually it never really left my mind. What you should always have is your camera though; and so as I walked with that capturing machine, what I had in mind was the rock and what was made out of it. The sun was furious and forced me into many soft drinks, but the shores of the wonderful fishing town was stronger.

The first thing to see is Arjuna’s Penance, depicting a story from Mahabharatha involving Arjuna. Varaha Cave Temple and a number of other cave structures follows it. There is a lot of open space around the rocks. The Sthalasayana Perumal Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and it is of the usual Tamil Nadu Kovil architecture as we compare it to the rock-cut structures all around. There is also a light house on a rock which has a stunning scope for photography.

Pancha Rathas or the Five Chariots form the best of them all. It has five structures carved of single stone. This is why you have to buy your tickets to get in and see this masterpiece. This is where the foreigners waste their time. Then you have the Shore Temple, a wonderful structure on the shores of Mahabalipuram. It has been undergoing some renovation and by the time I write this one, it should look near perfect.

Mamallapuram, as they call it these days, is an experience which stands apart. There is so much detail on every carved rock. It is a must for any History lover, especially the ones who spends time reading “The History of South India”, the people other than me, as I did it already. As regular buses are available from Chennai and Kanchipuram and as the roads are smooth with the exception of some speed breakers, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from taking a peek.

Diving out —>

TeNy

The journey begins here!

Here, your journey with me starts. I wish to share with you people, a few random places I visited. It is not written in any order and it is certainly not a review of tourist destinations which I want you to trust, as we are different and I don’t believe you are going to like what I enjoyed. It is about what I think about the place and what I want to share about it. It can be something special I encountered there, the people at that place or how that place influenced me. It can even be a simple description of what I saw or what has been going through my mind. The tone and style can change anytime and kindly don’t complain about it. Please forgive me for any possible errors as I am not perfect and I don’t have access to things from all dimensions. What I hear and what I understand can still be wrong.

Diving out —>

TeNy