I can hear the sound of waves crashing on the shore. The moist, salty air flays my hair into the air as I walk towards the lovely beach in Mahabalipuram…
Drive to Mahabalipuram
In the morning, a couple of hours drive is all it took for us to reach the quaint town of Mahabalipuram. The roads from Kanchipuram are a pleasure to drive.
It was easy to find the Chariot Beach Resort, where we would be staying for the duration of our trip in Mahabalipuram. A huge signboard announces the resort to the passerby’s. The entrance gate leads into a long driveway and unto the resort building where a lady received us with garlands made of seashells.
Once we were finished with the formalities of checking in, we had our lunch and headed right away towards the windy beach. Please be aware that I am not talking about the public beach, that experience would be a lot different.
The little town of Mahabalipuram is blessed with a glistening coastline with clean private beaches on the one hand and a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites and medieval temples on the other.
Mahabalipuram is a very ancient town, seeped in history & mythology. The town was largely developed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I in the 7th century AD. The history of the town however, goes much beyond the Pallava dynasty when it used to be a popular seaport since the 1st century. The town flourished and was brought into limelight in the 7th to 9th century during the Pallava rule which gave them the heritage sites, the primary reason I was there.
The resort is clean and well maintained. Apart from a bar and two restaurants, it also features an inviting swimming pool.
Buggy rides to the beach were available from the reception area, but we chose to walk. As we strolled towards the beach, I realized that the resort also serves independent cottages for visitors looking for more privacy.
We were at the beach in no time. The beach heightens my senses. The music of the waves of the ocean make me forget myself. Mani watched me reluctantly as I was drawn into the cold blue waters. As the waves hit me, I could feel the rough texture of the sand as it deposited itself on my feet.
Once my initial excitement petered out, we found a nice place to sit on the sand. It is hard in such a mystical surrounding to stay in the present. With each wave hitting the shore my mind was already starting to slip away into nothingness.
We lay down on the sand, next to the water’s edge, making a head stand of my camera backpack. Looking at the vast blue sky, I felt so connected to the earth as my body settled into the ground.
As we sat there, gazing out into the horizon, taking in the vastness of the seascape, a young boy in his teens came along looking for casual tourists if they wanted to ride a horse. We didn’t ride it but we did made friends with the handsome creature.
Music of the Waves
Looking for prospective clients, the boy rode off with the horse and we were back on our makeshift mattress on the sandy beach. I closed my eyes, listening to the consistent ebbing and flowing of the waves crashing on the shore. Just like the sharp sound of clanging bells at the temples, the sound of these waves hammered away, driving out all my tensed thoughts . I could hear nothing… nothingness was good.
On my left, far away into the horizon, I could see a faint silhouette of the pagoda of the Shore temple. We will go there tomorrow, but for now I let my mind wander.
We sat there for a long time, under magical skies, immersed in the music of the strong waves of the Bay of Bengal.
Sunset at Mahabalipuram Beach
Behind us, the Sun had quietly slipped away into oblivion. It was starting to get colder now. The few tourists that were, were starting to leave, leaving us alone with the raging sea.
As the evening drew to a close, we took a last walk along the water’s edge, letting the cool waves gently wash our feet. Mani’s jeans were fully drenched, my cargoes were too.
As evening turned into night, we walked back to the resort. The lights had come on and it looked lovely in the night.
The historical town of Mahabalipuram is an enchanting place to explore age-old stone carvings and century old temples, but in-between the sweaty hikes, one can immerse themselves at the peaceful beaches along the quite town.
Thanks for reading. Please leave me a comment if you liked the post or follow my story as I visit the last remaining pagoda on the shores of Mahabalipuram.