Mamallapuram

‘Rock’On Mahabalipuram!

‘Rock’On Mahabalipuram!

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The streets of Mahabalipuram are a photographer’s delight. The city is famous for stone sculptures. You can get your sculpture done within 3 months and get it delivered to your place just by giving your photograph and your measurements. The murals of deities, elephants, bhuddha’s are a very common sight. It is an eye feast to look at the workmen at work, carving intricate designs on the stones. I got to speak to one such person, Surya , who was diligently making a Ganesh idol. It took him 3 months so far to make the below idol and it would fetch him 35,000 INR. These idols are made  using the machinery as well as traditional hammer and chisel. It gives altogether a different experience to stand among numerous idols which are going to make it temples where we are not allowed to go even 5 steps nearer. After a brief visit to the workshops we headed to the Arjuna’s penance.

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Mahabalipuram – ‘The Maha Destination’

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The boat jetty/flight of steps and the miniature shrine and the Varaha sculpture at the basement of the Shore Temple, which were discovered by the ASI between 1990 and 1993, were flooded. Controversies and debates among the archaeologists and historians still persist on the existence of similar structures, submerged into the sea.

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Ruins Of Alamparai Fort on East Coast Highway

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We were not ready for the pathetic state the Alamparai fort was in.  As per Archaeological survey of India board it was built some time in 17th century and was a trading post during the Mughal period and changed hands many times between various powers till India got independence. What appears is that after independence the fort totally lost its significance as a trading outpost as more modern Chennai and other ports in South India gained prominence.

The fort though in a very scenic location, near a natural lagoon and the adjoining village is inhabited by fishermen.  But the fort is an example of the pathetic attitude we have towards our historical monuments.  Full of sand in a very bad shape the fort is more of ruins and a source of bricks for the locals than anything else. There was not a single guard or tourist beside us, though we saw some bikes parked near the entrance which instead of a magnificent gate like most forts was just a big gaping hole in the wall. The parapet was broken at many places and one portion of the wall was lying on the ground. The whole wall had hundreds of bushes growing on it and at many places bricks were missing. It appeared they were being regularly removed by locals to construct their homes.

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Mahabalipuram – Chennai Weekend Gateway

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This temple is considered in a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built in 7th century. It is one of the oldest South Indian temples built in Dravidian style. The complex spreads out over a square platform, and comprises three temples, of which two are east and west facing Shiva temples, and the third a Vishnu shrine in the center. The temple has vast open are at the western side. Rows of Nandi form the perimeter wall for this temple. The Shore temple is the lone survivor out of seven such temples , the rest having fallen to the ravages of sea.

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The Temple Bay

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One of the most photographed temple because of it’s location is actually a set of two temples set next to each other with a slight angle. The temple premise is walled with carvings of bulls(‘nandi’) sitting atop. The two temples are medium sized with typical Dravid architecture.

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