March 01, 2007

I was little disappointed by seeing the entry fee chart at Five Rathas compound. The entry ticket for an Indian citizen costs Rs 10 and for a foreigner Rs 250. I strongly feel that there should not be any difference between the entry fees. I went to European countries and found no difference in any kind of fees in any of their tourist places. It made me uncomfortable to see those tourists however purchasing the tickets with a higher fee because they came to India to see our historical and cultural richness !

Pancha Rathas (means five chariots) were carved during the rule of King Mamalla (Narasimhavarman I, A.D 630 - 670) in 7th century. These Rathas were individually named after Draupadi, Arjuna, Bheema, Dharmaraja and Nakul-Sahadev from the Mahabharata. One archeology site says "the site gives the delightful impression of a city of life-size model buildings, whose variety of roofs, floor plans, and columniation defines a veritable source-book of South Indian temple forms" about these five Rathas. Early evening light was just perfect, I regretted for light earlier, this time I was so happy. And was so happy taking photographs that I almost forgot that I did not see Shore Temple yet.

Entry ticket what you get from Five Rathas will be accepted at the shore Temple and vice-versa. But when I reached at the Shore Temple, the clock was pointing at 5:55 PM.Gate keeper gently asked me to come tomorrow as it was the closing time.I was refused to enter. For the time being I was so disappointed that I decided not to shoot anything. My wife suggested me to go to the beach instead. Thanks to her, I got so much of action in the beach to be captured. The weather was not so hot that evening, rather a cool breeze from the sea side passing by us. Lot of people were enjoying this fantastic evening by the sea. Fruit seller, ice cream vendor, souvenir seller, those horse owners every were in good mood. I could get some good photographs too. I was happy. As the sun was setting down in the west horizon, we could see the light house's light was falling on entire Mamallapuram. I took a risky job. I went behind the Shore Temple alone and stood over those granite rocks for sometime. It was an amazing sight to be observed. The changing color of the sky as a backdrop and the Shore Temple in a silhouette was a photographers dream.

Next day I woke up early in the morning. Everybody in the guesthouse were sleeping, I came outside silently and headed towards the beach. On the other side of the Shore Temple there is a fishermen village. I decided to shoot actions of those fishermen early in the morning.
The great light stays for very less time and so it was. I talked to this little girl , she was so full for energy and adorable that I could not resist myself to take some portraits of her.

I planned to start from Mamallapuram to Chennai at 11:00 AM, but before that, I thought, I would visit Shore temple and come back. Yesterday's ticket was expired, so I had to buy new tickets again. Not many tourists were there inside of the temple in the morning. the Shore Temple was built during the reign of the Pallava King Rajasimha (A.D. 700 - 728). It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India.Mamallapuram was a port city during the reign of Pallavas. Its pyramidal structure had undergone a considerable amount of wear and tear by the wind and water from the sea from time to time. It was learned that there were total seven pagodas earlier, six of them were immersed in sea a long before.

I was feeling something really out of the world. It was just like riding into a time machine and going back to those historical days. Inside the shore temple, the small alleys would give you the feeling of ancientness.

Overall , Mamallapuram is a city of history, culture and heritage in itself. History comes and stands still at Mamallapuram.


Location: Mamallupuram is 60 KM from Chennai . Mamallapuram is connected to Pondicherry via Bus. It is on the east coast of India by Bay of Bengal.
How to go: Nearest airport is Chennai. From Chennai Mufossil Bus stand, Keyambedu there are plenty of buses. Taxi or cab can be hired, but compared to Bus fare Taxi fare is huge.
Bus fare is Rs 22/- and Taxi may cost you upto Rs 500. Going by Bus may give an opportunity to mix with locale people and school children who travel by bus.
Best time to go : October to March. Take an umbrella wherever you go. All other times Mamallapuram is really hot. Your skin may turn into black !
What to see : Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penance, krishna's butter ball, Mahisamardini cave,Five Rathas. You can go to Kanchipuram from there if you base at Mamallapuram.Kanchipuram was the capital of Pallava reign.



Anand said...

Hey sandip tat was nice work.. hats off, expecting more in d future...

Chote said...

The portrait of the girl and the blue boat is breathtaking. The composition of the blue boat is pretty good and the colors are amazing.

Thanks Sandeep

kalyan said...

Some well captured & composed shots, especially the shot of the girl and the others too!

Priyanka said...

Sandip, Very Well Done..
Really Nice Pics.. with all the emotions and situations involved in it. Good job. Keep Up The Good Work.

Aditya Bhelke said...

Hi Sandip,
Firstly some much deserved appreciation:
Definately a nice post, nice photos as always.. capturing a lot in just one frame, emotions, history, nature.. a lot.

Now some criticism:
-I feel the post ends very abruptly.. the story remains incomplete.
-Also you are saying more about your experiences and feelings, than the place itself. Yes your experiences will help other travelers. But I guess saying more about the place itself will help.
-Also I would suggest a more point based approach, to make the post look professional and factual, than giving a story-like feel.

Sorry man.. don't hate me or hit me :)

Keep up the gr8 inspiring work.

Sandip Debnath said...

Hey , Aditya, thanks for the feedback. Let me see how it can be changed.

Sudharsan said...

Hey mate,

Read the story, I should say it was a good work. Needless to say, the photos were beautiful.

Look forward to more such posts.


Gary said...

Wow, very nice pictures man. Nice dat you caught some ppl off guard.

Sumpi said...

good job done man.but i feel that you have elaborated your story too much, because I think that the viewers always want to know the gist of a writing, thats why they may feel bore with your writing. I understand that you want to share your experience with others but you have to keep in your mind that you write here to entertain the viewers not to bore them. Anyway don't take it other way.because a good critic can only make a good writer.

shiva said...

Your story line is very inspiring... I want to do some shooting of my own sometime there!

Rakesh said...

Sandip..When i visited ooty i took a printout of your blog and now again i am carrying a printout while venturing out for mahabalipuram.
Needless to say that you give very good insight about what a person should do when reaching that place.

You have given enough information about the wrong bus you boarded but never mentioned about the right bus..

sushilsingh said...

Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, was the chief seaport of the Pallavas who

ruled most portions of South India from the first century B.C to the eighth century

A.D., and it is now recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and

sculptural achievements in India. The temples of Mamallapuram, built largely

during the reigns of Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasimhavarman,

showcase the movement from rock-cut architecture to structural building.
Please Visit For More Detail