Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram Lighthouse

Mahabalipuram Lighthouse

Before we head back to Bangalore, we decided to stop at the Mahabalipuram’s old lighthouse. India’s oldest lighthouse, built around 640 AD by Pallava king Mahendra Pallava stands next to the newer and modern lighthouse. The credit for this visual treat goes to the department of lighthouses and light ships which felicitated the re-opening of the lighthouse for the public, ending a decade-long ban over fears of terrorist threats.

Before we head back to Bangalore, we decided to stop at Mahabalipuram’s old lighthouse Also known as Olakkanesvara Temple, it is India’s oldest lighthouse, built around 640 CE during the reign of Pallava king Rajasimha This lighthouse/temple is categorised as one of the “Group of Monuments” at Mahabalipuram that were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 Currently, the Pallava era lighthouse is a protected monument, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India Olakkanesvara Temple The blue gated entrance to the lighthouse is situated a few meters away from the main Mahabalipuram hillock entrance However one can also visit the lighthouse from the hillock through connected internal paths Just outside the entrance one can find a huge wall relief almost similar
Tiger Cave

Tiger Cave

The Tiger Cave is not really a cave and tigers do not live here either. It is a rock-cut Hindu temple complex with carvings of tiger heads around the structure, located in the hamlet of Saluvankuppam near Mahabalipuram. These rock-cut structures with tiger-head like shapes are believed to have been constructed in 7th century by Pallavas.

Well, let me begin by clearing the air first that the Tiger Cave is not really a cave and tigers do not live here either It is a rock-cut Hindu temple complex with carvings of tiger heads around the structure, located near the coastal village of Saluvankuppam near Mahabalipuram These rock-cut structures with tiger-head like shapes are believed to have been constructed in 7th century during the Pallava reign Among the many sculpted wonders of Mahabalipuram, Tiger cave is one of the lesser visited monuments Located at about 5 km drive from the Shore Temple also makes it somewhat inaccessible I guess auto rides should be available to this place but I had my car around so that was a
Panch Rathas

The monolithic Pancha Rathas

One of the most crowded places in Mahabalipuram, the Five Rathas or Panch Rathas are five monolithic temple structures built by the Pallavas in early 7th century AD. The buildings displaying exquisite carvings are named individually after Draupadi and the five Pandava brothers.

The Pancha Rathas complex is arguably the most crowded place in Mahabalipuram The Five Chariots or Panch Rathas are five monolithic temple structures were built by the Pallavas in early 7th century AD These structures are a part of the Monuments of Mahabalipuram which I have covered in a separate article The buildings displaying exquisite carvings have been named individually after Draupadi and the five Pandava brothers though there is no historical basis for it whatsoever What is even more strange that the Ganesh Ratha found on the Mahabalipuram hill was earlier known as the Arjuna Ratha and the one now called with that name used to be Nakula Ratha
Krishnas Butterball

The curious case of Krishna’s Butterball

I woke up at dawn to explore one of the most mysterious ancient artifacts found in South India. Krishna’s Butterball is a gigantic granite boulder resting on an extremely small and slippery area of a hill in the historical town of Mahabalipuram. This precariously balanced 250 tonne boulder is believed to be a bolus of butter, the young Krishna would steal. The rock continues to defy gravity and has been sitting on this 45-degree slope since mankind started keeping records.

Today I went to explore one of the most mysterious ancient artifacts found in South India Krishna’s Butterball is a gigantic granite boulder resting on an extremely small and slippery area of a hill in the historical town of Mahabalipuram The boulder is approximately 6 meters high and 5 meters wide and should be easily weighing around 250 tons This precariously balanced boulder is believed to be a bolus of butter the young Krishna would steal as told in mythological stories The rock continues to defy gravity and has been sitting on this 45-degree slope for 3 billion years or even more The quaint town of Mahabalipuram slept as I drove at the break of dawn to explore the mystery behind
Monuments of Mahabalipuram

Monuments of Mahabalipuram

Today we go on a tour of the monuments of Mahabalipuram. The city of Mamalla, named after the title of Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman-I, was a sea-port during the time of Periplus and Ptolemy. Today it is a town studded with rock-cut caves, monolithic shrines, cave sanctuaries and structural temples. The open-air museum also includes the largest open-air rock relief in the world. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram, were accorded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1984.

After a refreshing tour of the Shore Temple, we made our way towards the hillock at Mahabalipuram, said to contain numerous heritage monuments These group of monuments are compiled of rock-cut caves, monolithic shrines, cave sanctuaries and structural temples from different eras These precious historical gems were accorded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1984 The cool breeze of the morning was gone The Sun was harsh but bearable as we reached the hillock I wonder if December is so hot in these parts, how terrible would the summers be The legend of Mahabali Mythologically, Mahabalipuram is said to have been
Shore Temple

The last Pagoda of Shore Temple

We drove to the Shore Temple at dawn to witness the pristine structure, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. Overlooking the shore of the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the oldest temples in Southern India. Constructed in the Dravidian style that reflects the royal taste of the Pallava dynasty, its sanctuaries are dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.

It was still pitch-dark as we drove towards the Shore Temple to explore the unique structure dating from the 8th century AD Overlooking the shore of the Bay of Bengal, the Shore Temple is one of the oldest temples in south India Constructed in the Dravidian style, the temple reflects the royal taste of the Pallava dynasty Every day it draws thousands of people from different parts of India – the reason why we were awake at the break of dawn on a vacation Having my car around for the trip turned out to be quite helpful as we didn’t have to go hunting for public transport at these awkward timings
Mahabalipuram Beach

Musical Waves of Mahabalipuram Beach

We sat under magical skies, immersed in the music of the strong waves of Bay of Bengal. 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 cool their tired heels at the beautiful beaches along the east coast.

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 [ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”95″ exclusions=”1635,1634,1636,1638,1643,1640,1642,1641,1632,1637,1639,1631,1644,1645″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_pro_blog_gallery”
Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple

The Kovils of Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple

I have an affection for stones. Crazy as it might sound, while in Kanchipuram, I dropped by at the Kanchi Kailasanathar temple at the break of dawn. to walk among the oldest mad-made art in the temple city. Located in one of the busiest cities of Tamil Nadu, the temple was commissioned in the 8th century by Rajasimha, the greatest of the kings of the Pallava Dynasty.

Kovil is the Tamil term for a distinct style of Hindu temple with Dravidian architecture Today I explore an 8th century sandstone temple, hidden away in a corner of the temple city of Kanchipuram, that has seen so much history and still stands today to tell us, heritage hunters, stories that have weathered away in the winds of time Bangalore to Kanchipuram Towards the fag-end of 2017, we were on our way towards Mahabalipuram to spend a few days of leisure on the peaceful beaches along the east coast Along the way in Kanchipuram, we had planned a detour for a couple of days to explore the city that is said

Weekend in Ooty

Ooty, a vast sea of breathtaking landscape, dense forests, mesmerizing flowers and flowing tea gardens. Udhagamandalam?? Not a lot of people are aware that the real name of Ooty, one of the most popular Hill Station in India, is Udhagamandalam. Ooty is a paradise on Earth and a delight for nature lovers. Elevated at around 3000 m above sea level, this bouquet of  hills has […]

Ooty, a vast sea of breathtaking landscape, dense forests, mesmerizing flowers and flowing tea gardens Udhagamandalam?? Not a lot of people are aware that the real name of Ooty, one of the most popular Hill Station in India, is Udhagamandalam Ooty is a paradise on Earth and a delight for nature lovers Elevated at around 3000 m above sea level, this bouquet of  hills has a lovely weather round the year Ooty the “Queen of Hill Stations” is a located in the Nilgiris in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu  Nilgiris is India’s first International Biosphere Reserve blessed with a fascinating ecosystem of the hill ranges of Nilgiris and its unique bio-diversity covering a tract of over 5000 square kilometers The Name ‘Nilgiris’ means Blue hills (Neelam – Blue and Giri – Hill or Mountain) The name,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.