Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday Field Trip

Can you say Mahabalipuram? Try it 5 times fast... grin!
A fellow student, Meissa, a Slovenian yogi living in Amsterdam, took me and Xenia for a Sunday exploration. We went to... Mahabalipuram, a small town on the coast known for its stone cutter artisans. Here are some of the sights we enjoyed:This is an India totem! It is rising from a temple carved from the granite of a hillside.
We stopped at the crocodile place on the way and met sharp toothed scaly guys from all over the world. The crocs were interesting, too. There were families enjoying the zoo and the kids all wanted to look at us and practice their English with us.

This is us. Meissa let the little girl nag her into buying four plastic beaded necklaces for 100 rupies. I think they look pretty good on us, don't you? That's Xenia on the right, she was my first room mate. The blue sky behind us was lit over...

The beach! We went to the Ideal Resort and sat under palm trees on the Bay of Bengal. These two herds were being shepherded home. The herders followed behind carrying baby goats in their arms. Too cute. And yes, cows hang out wherever they want around here. The whole country is free range.

I realize this is out of focus, but I was zooming in to frame the dancer with the stone panel backdrop. The stage was set up in town in front of this temple. All kinds of people came out for the performance. She danced with her eyes and her head going side to side. She wore these red finger extensions to accentuate the mudras when she danced. And she smiled the entire time.

Tomorrow is Pangal, the Tamil New Year... I am wondering what I will see, hear and smell in this land that stimulates the senses.


  1. Awesome pictures! I loved the kinetic angle of the totem, the way it's leaning towards you.
    Glad you have "peeps" to hang out with - they look very nice (gack! I sound like a mom)
    Cows on the beach - reminds me of the upper Outer Banks, about 20 years ago, when herds of cows traipsed that area freely. It is very disconcerting to come upon a large crowd of people in the fog, only to discover they are, in fact, cows. Do cows need sunscreen?

  2. Only when they don't mooooooove fast enough! :)

  3. Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.