Day 17. Mahabalipuram

Overnight – Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay

Shore Temple & Rock Sculptures. Begin your exploration of South India with a guided tour of the ancient port of Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site This laid-back coastal town south of Chennai is world famous for its 8th century shore temple and other historical marvels. The massive rock sculptures carved into softly sloping hills, monolithic temples, ancient manmade caverns with incredible sculptures and the world’s largest bas-relief in stone, all combine to make Mahabalipuram a living museum.

Vying with this splendor is a beach and the picturesque Bay of Bengal. The famous Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) Temples, the Penance of Bhagirath (also known as Arjuna’s Penance), the Shore Temple, the massive bas-relief Descent of the Ganges and the eight Mandapams (Shallow halls carved out of sheer rock) are all located within the small coastal community. Return to your resort for lunch at any time during this touring as all sights are relatively close by.

Guided Walk on the Beach. Late afternoon – Enjoy a guided walk down the beach as this allows you to mingle with the local fishing community and their colorful wooden boats. You will see a variety of activities going on – many of the fishermen are returning from their day’s work and they are going through various processes of pulling their boats up on the beach and organizing their nets and other gear. The fish are stacked into plastic bins which are then weighed right there on the beach. Now the negotiating takes place.

You will witness women repairing nets and a lot of other similar activity. Boats will be coming ashore, and some of the larger boats will actually head out at this time of day. Photo opportunities abound, including the famed 8th century Shore Temple, from which you are only a stone’s throw away.

Shore Temple & Rock Sculptures. Begin your exploration of South India with a guided tour of the ancient port of Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site This laid-back coastal town south of Chennai is world famous for its 8th century shore temple and other historical marvels. The massive rock sculptures carved into softly sloping hills, monolithic temples, ancient manmade caverns with incredible sculptures and the world’s largest bas-relief in stone, all combine to make Mahabalipuram a living museum.

Vying with this splendor is a beach and the picturesque Bay of Bengal. The famous Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) Temples, the Penance of Bhagirath (also known as Arjuna’s Penance), the Shore Temple, the massive bas-relief Descent of the Ganges and the eight Mandapams (Shallow halls carved out of sheer rock) are all located within the small coastal community. Return to your resort for lunch at any time during this touring as all sights are relatively close by.

Guided Walk on the Beach. Late afternoon – Enjoy a guided walk down the beach as this allows you to mingle with the local fishing community and their colorful wooden boats. You will see a variety of activities going on – many of the fishermen are returning from their day’s work and they are going through various processes of pulling their boats up on the beach and organizing their nets and other gear. The fish are stacked into plastic bins which are then weighed right there on the beach. Now the negotiating takes place.

You will witness women repairing nets and a lot of other similar activity. Boats will be coming ashore, and some of the larger boats will actually head out at this time of day. Photo opportunities abound, including the famed 8th century Shore Temple, from which you are only a stone’s throw away.

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