Ancient temples and a clean toilet

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April 3rd 2005
Published: April 3rd 2005
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Magnificent Shore TempleMagnificent Shore TempleMagnificent Shore Temple

This temple has survived hundreds of years of harsh seaside weather, including the recent Tsunami
Today we flew to Tamil Nadu - a state in the south of India. Specifically we were headed for a little town called Mamallapuram just 50kms south of the capital Chennai.

We had to catch a taxi from Chennai to Mamallapuram so we got to see a bit of Chennai. It was amazing - quite a culture shock. There were cows everywhere - on the street, in the alleys, standing in the doorways of shops, and sometimes even in the middle of the road. Since cows are sacred here, people make way for the cows rather than the other way. Thus we found the taxi quite often performing some last minute swerves to avoid a rather stubborn cow mooing in the middle of the road.

It was also quite sad to see the level of poverty here. There were beggars and poor people everywhere. It made us realise just how blessed we are in Australia. I guess when you see the needs here in India you realised just how little we actually lack in Australia.

We arrived at Mamallapuram and were surprised to discover and incredibly beautiful hotel waiting for us with amazingly a clean toilet (an incredible
Bull carvingsBull carvingsBull carvings

Bulls are sacred in India, and this temple makes no apologies. Bulls everywhere.
rarity here in India, even in hotels). The best part was this 4-star equivalent only set us back a measly $28 australian. I love the exchange rate!!

Our first destination was a ancient temple built on the beach shores. This was amazing - a temple carved out entirely from rock dating back 500 years but still in pristine condition. It was really beautiful and also incredibly tranquil since it was on the edge of the beach.

Unfortunately it started to pour immediately after we saw the temple, so we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep and lunch. We love eating here because everything is so cheap. For lunch we had something called a Thali - which is basically a indian vegetarian buffet all for the lovely price of $2 per head.

That night we went down to a restaurant near the water to feast on fresh crabs. Unfortunately they were out of crabs so we had to settle for prawns. These were so tasty - smothered in hot, spicy curry that I can still taste (Melenie can still taste it too since shes been vomiting quite a bit). And the price you ask?? All up, we left the restaurant having filled our stomachs to extremes for the tidy sum of $5 in total.

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Cleanliness is next to godlinessCleanliness is next to godliness
Cleanliness is next to godliness

If you don't get it, cows are considered holy (god-like)
Local rock carving industryLocal rock carving industry
Local rock carving industry

Rock carving is a major industry in this city. Ever second guy is carving something.
Masala PrawnsMasala Prawns
Masala Prawns

All this an more was only $1
Pure Ghee SweetsPure Ghee Sweets
Pure Ghee Sweets

Ghee is Lard. Saw basically 100% fat.

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