Blogs from Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia - page 11


Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram February 1st 2006

Pondicherry and Mamallapuram. Setting up for spending the weekend in Chennai. Since I am word-deficient, here is what Jan had to say: I'm woefully behind at this, but it's been a jam packed trip. We were still in Madurai when I sent my last. Forgot to mention we were all blessed by the temple elephant there. For Rs. 10, she rests the end of her trunk on the top of your head, sometimes patting and sometimes slightly rocking. We had many encounters and conversations with pilgrims and tourists alike. Will add specific comments to photos when I get that together. John -- I mean Hambone (he says only his mother and I call him John) -- and I have made several valiant attempts to transfer my photos to his portable hard drive, but it won't talk ... read more
Raveshwaran -- 1 Room School
Indian Trains
Pondicherry -- biking

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 25th 2006

After a restless night, the bastard Europeans kept me awake with their shit music and general, merry attitude I ventured to the bike hire stall with Andrew. Hired a superb little bicycle, it had a bell and aluminous green tassels hanging from the chassis, nice. It was called, Jet - as powerful as an OX. Frantically pedaled 17km to the Crocodile bank, I was warned by Steve that it’s a grueling journey but didn’t expect it too be that tough. Though it was worth it, lots of species of turtles (splinter was not their master) and crocodile were flaunting their stuff. We had an opportunity to get a picture inside a crocodiles mouth but weren’t brave enough. Took an amazing video of a little turtle swimming. After all of that reptilian fun we ventured back to ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 23rd 2006

Did the tourist thing and made my way to; Five Rathas, they are rock-cut temples that resemble chariots, Arjuanas Peanane, a huge with animal and carvings of deities - quite impressive and the romantic Shore temple. After spending 3 months exploring various forts and temples they have all but lost their appeal, although, the village has impressed me; palm trees, sand covered roads, quaint road-side stalls selling sweet bananas, lassies and fruit juice and a huge collection of beach-side restaurants with the “catch of the day” on show. Ate at a rather interesting Indian restaurant and had a delicious South Indian Thali, and of course, I ate with my fingers. Headed for the beach, read Moby Dick and swam like a mad-man. Met my good man Steve Gallagher, a set-designer and no relation to Liam in ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 21st 2006

Mamallpuram is beautiful little coastal village 60km away from Chennai. It is famous for its ancient rock carvings. Took a taxi from Chennai airport and arrived in Mamallpuram at midnight. Tamil music was blearing out of the taxi. My first impression of the south: humid, different language, less hassles and nicer smells. Wandered aimlessly around the village looking for a place to stay but the guesthouses were either closed or charged "tired-dirty-western" rates, no thank you. Eventually I stumbled across a young man who was sleeping in an internet cafe, so I joined him. Slept underneath a computer, clutching my belongings, wrapped around a mosquitoe neat while being eaten alive by the brave, I must have tasty blood. After the best sleep of my life the helpful young man showed me into my room where I ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram April 4th 2005

Oh dear!! The holiday was going so well until ... food poisoning stuck. The unfortunate victim in this case was my beautiful wife who we suspect was attacked by some marauding germies hiding in a samosa. The day went as follows. It all started out bright and sunny. We woke up extra early and headed out to the first site - the Five Rathas. This was exquisite collection of rock carvings depicting Indian mythology and local animals. They quality and size of these carvings was amazing - considering their age, they looked amazing. After this, we headed on to Arjunas Penance, another set of rock carvings this time done in the side of a cliff. Once again, we were amazed. These indians were obviously clever chaps, considering they carved these using simple rock tools - no ... read more
Dogs live here
More carvings
She really likes elephants

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram April 3rd 2005

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 ... read more
Bull carvings
The dog enjoys the company of the sacred cows.
Cleanliness is next to godliness

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram April 3rd 2005

Now I suspect we look very much like tourists, because everywhere we walk, wer'e approached by groups of tour guides offering their services. Unfortunately a simple no is never enough to get rid of them. Instead, saying no seems to indicate that other guides and shop vendors should also approach, shoving their wares and services in your face. Its difficult to keep your cool in these situations - you try and be polite and say no, then no again, then no for the third time - but they keep coming, like a team of ants swarming to a ham sandwich on a picnic rug. We have discovered though that the simplest thing to do is simply yell at them - 'Get lost' or 'Leave me alone'. It worked the first few times. I guess they don't ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram February 16th 2005

Our first experience with the Indian bus system was quite fun. We were thrown off of two buses (not literally) before we managed to get onto the correct one. After a very peaceful bus ride down the eastern coast, we arrived at the small town of Mamallapuram. This place is quite amazing. It is a beautiful coastal town that is full of ancient Hindu architecture and art. The majority of the people here are stone carvers. They all work by the streets and spend all day chunking away at pieces of granite, marble and various other stones. The craftsmanship far outshines anything we have seen in India. I even prefer the carvings to the marble inlay work in the Taj Mahal. The stonework is an ancient tradition that dates back thousands of years. Throughout the village ... read more
Streetside Stone Carving
One of the Five Rathas
Bean with the local fishermen

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 24th 2001

Here is a compilation of some of The Sounds of India: The loudest horns used as frequently as possible. That truly unappetizing sound made by collecting phlegm in the back of the mouth, usually made just before spitting. HHHHHHckhttt! The beating of laundry on a rock, usually near our bedroom window and always at about 6:30 am. Something - anything - on a loudspeaker full blast. Mamallapuram: world-famous for its shoreline temple. But what's not in the guidebook is the eyesore of a chain-link fence ,keeping out the non-Indians who've decided to pass on the $10 entry fee (!!!) Indians pay 10 rupees (about 25 cents). I couldn't possibly satisfactorily describe how disgusting the trash and effluence was, literally FLOWING across the beach. Fortunately, we had already gotten lunch out of the way, where we happened ... read more
Arjuna's Penance, Mamallapuram
Rickshaw, Chennai (Madras)

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