On October 21st 2019, I get to visit the Shores of History. It’s none other than Mamallapuram! . After Xi Jinping(President of China) visit, there has been a drive inside everyone, isn’t it?! So did I. Right at that moment my classmates decided to go there for a short excursion.
It took some rough 2 1/2 to three hours from Guindy to reach there. On the way, we get to see lots of resorts, restaurants, and especially nurseries(you can get some plants while you go back home). How nice is that?!..
I went with this bunch of “more than 20 years physically but less than 16 years mentally kids”. Yeah! That’s my class in the picture. So, It’s not exactly a solivagant trip.
If you are curious about what is so nice about going there? It is that, you can get to breathe in some fresh air and get to see some colorful flora and fauna, and can feel the constant sea breeze.
On the day we went, its pretty wet. Too much rain and water everywhere. And sadly, we went on Monday, so there wasn’t any crowd, we were the only crowd. My advice, don’t go to Mahabalipuram during a rainy monday.
Our 1st stop was at Tiger Cave. Entry fee was 20rupees. You could reach there 15 min before reaching Mamallapuram shore temple as Tiger cave is located exactly in Saluvankuppam.
If you ask me, if it is necessary to visit it? Yes. It is a beautiful cave-like structure carved out of stone. Very aesthetic! It was an intriguing structure with mythical tigers being carved outf from a huge rock. Apart from that, there are fun rides close by, which we didn’t get to ride because we crossed that age. But, if you are taking kids along with you, let them have some fun.
A three minutes walk from there to the right, there is a small temple. You can’t get to notice the Lingam at the center on a first glance, only the Nandhi will let you notice it. Both the stone cut cave and the temple have something in common. It’s the way their base is so low from the land level.
While we were walking around, I also noticed something which got me more and more curious about. I started to observe even after we left the tiger cave. I constantly get to see the same species of butterfly, I saw it once and then again dashing fastly and sometimes graciously unlike what normally butterflies do. When I looked above it was a whole lot of butterflies and what so different about this is, they all belong to the same species, the red and black butterflies flying so high, not sure what is the name of that species. Trust me, you can get to see them everywhere along your trip.
Photo Courtesy: Bala
By 12 pm we reached Shore Temple. The architectural wonder of Pallavas, Cholas and many other structures, example – Tanjore big temple, built by our forefathers, have always made me feel so proud, gives me goosebumps. How cool is that we are the children of the splendid architects and how sad we lost our skills and knowledge buried along the time. It is that naked feeling of our soul being ripped out from us. It is such a powerful structure that makes the foreigners and world architects in awe. But being a daughter of this soil, it put a drop of sadness at times.
The Shore temple, one of the world heritage sites of UNESCO was built during the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century. The Shore temple is a lonely temple as it the only existing pagoda of the 7 pagodas. It is the only structure that remains to tell the history. So, make sure to give it a hug when you visit it. Moreover, it has been carrying the badge as a prominent landmark since the time Mamallapuram was an active port. Naturally, it worth a lot more on historical notes.
There is a lot more to see around in Mamallapuram, one of my favorites is the lighthouse. It offers a whole new view. Even though you have to climb some stairs and catch some breath, it worth all of them. When you look above from there, the view of the entire town makes you feel so small. The sea, the land, the marvelous historical structures amidst the chaos of man-made structure makes you feel like you are part of something palpable after all.
I have mentioned already that it was a rainy day. Rainy day and rocks make a lot of fully loaded Takeshi’s Castle incidents, where people slide and slip and roll. You can make a variety show in this spot. Especially the butterball, which makes the finest fun out of people on rainy days.
It’s a mysterious and magical piece of rock that is reluctant to fall. No matter how hard you push push push he won’t budge. Maybe we should bring Dwayne Johnson and Arnold, make them try pushing it. If you use some footwears with grip sole you can climb up so easily. And ladies, please be realistic, stop climbing a rock while wearing heels.
Usually, you could find a lot of people near butterball. Especially school kids. It’s a hotspot for taking school kids for excursion. Contemporary school kids, are too cool for school, aren’t they? I have also previously visited Mamallapuram for my school trip when I was doing my 10th grade, 2011. We used to wear a dull boring uniform, pleated hair, asking for photographers to take photos for 30rs. Back then that 30Rs is very expensive for us! But at present, kids are like not struggling like we did. They are in cool casual clothes and are so independent, if you look at the picture, those kids were probably 6th grade and all of them had smartphones. I felt really old at that moment. 22 years and felt like I am from stone age while standing next to them. No… I felt like I was in another dimension all together.
After that, we spent like 15 minutes on the beach. There were typical horse riding activity waiting for us to have some ride but we didn’t. I am sure the horses aren’t interested in us too.
It will be nice to sit and watch people going crazy after seeing the waves.
In Mamallapuram, there are lots of places to go around and take selfies and photographs. But, it would be even nicer if you hire a guide who can tell you the all the historical facts and stories while you look around. If your pride hurts to hire one. Learn history before visiting there. You will definitely feel bored if you roam around the town not knowing anything about its history.
Final note, you could encounter kind people selling foods, snacks, and fruits. Try to have some. They have been waiting all day so that you won’t have to long for food. Stop, take a moment, have some raw mangoes and pineapples. Make those people happy.
These people are waiting to have tourists just like you over there. So does the architectures which are waiting to be looked at and touched by you. So go out roam around and befriend the Shores of History.