Our holiday was to be in Puducherry. As it ended, we decided to extend it and visit my sister at Hyderabad. We booked a taxi for Chennai where we were supposed to board a train for Hyderabad. On way to Chennai from Puducherry via the coastal highway we reached Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram as it is now called.
Mamallapuram has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage site. The five Rathas or chariots( they are more like Buddhist Chaityas and Viharas and nothing like a chariot) and the Shore temple are much visited attractions. The Rathas are named after the five Pandava Princes. The real purpose is not defined but one of the story suggests that the chief architect to Pallava Dynasty‘s King Narsimhavarman I made these as scale models for king’s approval. These are carved out from single granite rock like the Ajanta Caves. The Shore temple is the only surviving temple of the Seven Pagodas. This is built in five tiers and unlike the rock-cut rathas. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the two main deities of Hindu Religion. The Shore temple, so named due to its location on the shore, is however deteriorating due to salt-laden sea breezes.
The beach (with a light house) is very popular among the sun-bathers and is crowded most of the times by the tourists. I however like to cover myself up before going out in such harsh sun!!
Having visited a slice of history and getting awed by the then architecture, we started our journey towards Chennai again. Short of reaching Chennai we came across a Crocodile breeding centre and our curiosity got the better of us and we had to visit. They even let us hold the baby crocodiles which was again not very appealing idea and I promptly excused myself to click photographs instead!
All in all a beautiful place to visit and enjoy!!