Archive for June, 2011

Kids, they are gifted to earth. Its always intresting to watch their expressions and activities, sometimes it even gets difficult to handle them 🙂

Recently did a shot for a family friend of mine, sharing few of them here.
Master. Prasanna, 2.8 years old from Nicobar island.
His creativity is from north pole to south pole and ofcourse a big chatterbox.

The Mahabalipu​ram Shore temple
The Mahabalipu​ram Shore temple

Though Being a Chennaite, staying a bit close, I had never visited the magnificent place. My friend Shivaram arranged a trip with his friends on a week end.

Shore temple at dawn

Shore temple at dawn

Alone I Stand

Our bikes roared through the Chennai East Coast road, we reached by 6.30. But it was late, we couldn’t be there for sun rise. The climate was so cool initially but showed no mercy later 😦 the sky was simply awesome blue with wonderful cloud formations everywhere. It has been a very long time since I have shot under such beautiful sky.

To my surprise the entry fee for shore temple was Rs. 10 and there was no entry for our cameras, however tripods weren’t allowed inside so had to leave them at the counter. Also the same ticket can be used to enter FIVE RATHAS as well. We came to know this from a hawker, selling butter milk. Lucky our friend had those tickets in his pocket.

About Mahabalipuram:

Mahabalipuram (as called today) was variably known as Mallai, Kadal Mallai and Mamallai in ancient history of 6th – 8th Centuary A.D. This was one of the Pallavs ports. A majority of these monuments seems to belong to Narasimha Varma and his successors. Many minor carbings lie scattered in the place shows witness or the pallavas architecture, art & religion patronage.

Alike my last to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, I could see this place is also maintained so neat and clean by the archaeological survey of india.

Butter Ball:
Teh Localites call it as butter ball, where a huge rocks stands still on a slopy hill. Its all the theory of center of gravity 🙂

Butter Ball

Butter Ball

Butter Ball - side view

Thirumurthy temple/cave:

There is a small temple next to it is a small cave like structure known as thiru-murthy, that is Shiva, Brahma abd Vishnu the 3 hindu gods. This place is also called as Bheema’s Adupu (3 stones kept together to balance a vessel for cooking). Bheema being a gaint in hindu mythology, its believed he used these rocks for cooking. I over heard this from a tourist guide explaing about this place.

Thirumurthy temple

Break fast at a road side shop, Not as taste as a usual road side, it as jsut sort of okie.

It was alomost going to be midday and the sun was at its peak. We settled under a shady tree next to a woman selling buttermilk. Its was super cool for such a hot climate. when we ask how mcuh she said 30 bucks, but we had only 5 buttermilk and its only 25 bucks. she said okie then take mangoes for balance. haaaa her intention was to get Rs. 30 form us some how.

Next was the five rathas,

Panch is a Hindi world which means ‘Five’. These fine rock temples are located in a sandy compound. These five Rathas are the perfect examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. There are built in the shaper of pagodas and they look similar to that of the Buddhist shrines and monasteries. Rathas in English means chariots. There chariots are constructed with Towers, The cars of gods, multipillared halls, and sculptured walls which are chissled out minutely.

The Rathas have an association to the great epic Mahabharata which describes the heroes of Mahabharata with their wife Draupadi which is termed as pancha pandava rathas. The five rathas are

(i) Draupadi’s Ratha
(ii) Arjuna’s Rath
(iii) Nakul – Sahadev’s Rath
(iv) Bhima Rath and
(v) Dharamraja Yudhistar’s Rath

Five Rathas

Getting there:

Mahabalipuram is hardly 2 hours drive from chennai alond the ECR road.
From CMBT, Koyembedu: 568C (AC MTC bus) or any bus going to Puducherry, Kalpakkam, Cuddalore or Chidambaram (Look for the “ECR” sticker on the windscreen; these buses aren’t AC but they reach faster)
From T Nagar: 599 (AC MTC bus)
Hop ON Hop Off bus service:
Tamil nadu tourism has recently launch Hop ON Hop Off bus service which starts from tamilnadu tourism office at Walajah Road, Chepauk (near cheapuk cricket stadium). Service starts from 9AM. It cost Rs 250 AC and 24 hrs validity. Advantage of this service is you can get down at any spot along ECR and once you are done, board the next bus with the same ticket. Its worth you can check out diffrent tourist spot along ECR.

Spots to check along East Coast Road:

Mayajaal
MGM dizze world
Dakshin Chitra
Crocodile Bank
Nithya Kalyana Perumal temple
Tiger Cave
Muttukadu Boat house
Cholamandal Artist Village

Few creations from Mahabs:

Mahab, a wider view

A self catch
A self catch