Despite being somewhat templed out, we could not (and were glad we didn't) miss the beautiful granite carved cave temples at Mamallapuram. Another reason we had to go: Stefano Beccari. Our friend Beatrice's brother spends his Swedish winters in Tamil Nadu carving away at granite and marble and getting other artists from around the world to do what they do best at his Global Stone Workshop.
Stefano, Pongal or the new year and harvest festival, the Mamallapuram dance festival, rock temples/caves/chariots or rathas, birds and an Eagle temple in the surrounding area kept us busy for a week.
|From the lighthouse|
|Arjuna's Penance - nothing sorry about these carvings!|
|Holy cow. What a relief.|
|My girl Durga|
|Five Rathas (chariots) looking like sandcastles|
|Shiva's vehicle: the sacred nandi|
A visit to Creative Sculptors/Global Stone Workshop with Marc trying his hand at a new medium.
A Creative Sculptors/Global Stone Workshop gallery "vernissage" complete with chai and burfis for refreshment.
Apparently a pair of eagles from Varanasi show up at Vedagiriswarar temple in Thirukazhukundram everyday at around noon. We paid our dues by climbing approximately 550 stairs. We didn't spot any eagles but there were plenty of monkeys!
|Ambassador taking us there|
|Temples from the temple|
Mind your head for incoming poop from the painted storks and pelicans at the Vendanthangal Bird Sanctuary.
Pongal or the new year's festival/harvest celebration was in full swing with special kolams for the occasion. Sweet rice boils over pots, cows are adorned with flowers and painted, pottery is broken for good luck and people pour in from villages to visit temples and picnic along the beach.
Each night ended with some Bharatanatyam at the dance festival right beside the Shore Temple. She was my favorite. But what's the deal with the Tamil Nadu minister's inflated ego?