It’s been ages back and then I think I was at Lil’M’s age when I have been to Mahabalipuram. Now though we stay just minutes’ drive from Mahabalipuram it took us nearly 2 years to visit the place. Lil’M love beaches, plays in sand but bit afraid of waters…
Whenever I ask her where do she wants to go or which is her favourite place…she says ‘beach’. This time we thought of taking her to Mahabalipuram which happens to be her first sightseeing too. Picnics are much fun but with a kid in crouching summer…it is bit tough too.
I packed popcorn for snack, took homemade juice and water in ice box along with pulihora and chicken fry for lunch. Just 5 kms before reaching Mahabalipuram, you get ‘Tiger Caves’. We halted there for 30 minutes and then started again. The place is bit lonely and you can see small vendors like coconutwala, women selling flowers, a cool drink stall and a mobile ice cream stall. The shore is not very clean, but you can see rock-cuts everywhere. In the centre you can see a big rock-cut with tiger head like shapes….Lonely place….not mostly visited by people I think so…
From there we started to Mamallapuram which is now called as Mahabalipuram. By the time we reach the place it was almost lunch time and we had our lunch in the car. Light clouds started to come as we stepped out to roam. We stopped at ‘Shore Temple’, this place has been declared as world heritage site by UNESCO. You just get bowled over by the charm of the place…the ancient architectural work is so beautiful, that you can’t stop staring the place for long and long. There is something about the place which speaks of the times it has gone through….It is said the copper domes at the top of the temples play as light house for the ships during 7 and 8th centuries…Shore Temple is 5 storied nearly 110 feet high and is made of granite. The outer walls are carved with nandi’s and lion’s.
Moving around we reached beach, which is just from the temple….Though Lil’M was scared to hell to step in the water in the beginning….but by the end of the day she was fully drenched. Stretching my legs I enjoyed the beach view by snapping some pics around…You can find small shops which sell beaded jewellery, shoe maker, cap seller, bangle shops, shops which goodies made with sea shell, small handicraft shops, ice cream and juice joints along with some shops which sell fried sea food.
I did not find any good place to sit, relax and eat near the temple and beach. So if you are planning to go and that too with kids then it is recommended to carry food.
The best time to visit is in the months of November and December. But if you are visiting in summer then plan to arrive before 4 in the evening to get good look of the temple and enjoy time in the beach.
I recommend this place if ancient history and archaeological places are of your interest. Good place to plan a picnic with friends and family.