were the forerunners of South Indian art.
Mahabalipuram with its picturesque location
on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon
is a happy combination of history, good beaches,
hassle-free tourism and fabulous fish and lobster!
Despite the many visitors, drawn by the former
Pallava dynasty town, the place is friendly,
relaxed, and the villagers are remarkably unperturbed
by the crowds. Mahabalipuram is renowned for
its series of charming rathas and the fantastic
carved relief representing Arjuna's
The magnificent Shore Temple, built by king
Rajasimha in the seventh century, is a unique
temple that houses the shrines of both Shiva
and Vishnu while the Varaha Cave is one of the
many rock-cut caves in Mahabalipuram. The Krishna
Mandapam has a bas-relief of Lord Krishna lifting
the Govardhan hill on his fingertips.
Astounded by the lucid workmanship
and creative expression through symbols and
metaphors depicted in the friezes, one wonders
wistfully, about the temples that lie hidden,
like some forgotten secret. Turning back to
the lively town, however, the sight of modern-day
sculptors is some relief as they chisel away
into the night.