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Old 30th July 2010, 11:28   #31
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Default Some more tidtbits:

a) Pallavas during their high period, went to Indian Archipelago and heavily influenced. Some of dyansties over there had Pallava 'varman' names indicating they are the descendents.

b) Pallava era ended with advent of Chola dynasty of Thanjavur

c) Mahendravarman himself has written two plays including the 'Mattavilasa Prahasana' a farse based on the differences between Buddhists and Saivaites.

Last edited by arindamray : 30th July 2010 at 11:31.
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Old 30th July 2010, 12:09   #32
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There are couple of best literary works in tamil called sivakamiyin sabatham (the Vow of sivakami) and ponniyin selvan (the son of ponni) written by Kalki (sadasivam). They are historical works which expound the happenings of Pallava and Chozha kingdoms and their respective wars. Both have an underlying current to the wars. The conflict between buddhism and shaivism.
Sivakamiyin sabatham is exceptionally a great work, real history that involves deception, intrigue, distrust, political imagery, suspense etc. It is very hard to find out who is the hero and who's the villain is in the novel. Brilliant representation of history without siding with any side. Kalki had taken the egalitarian view of various kingdoms and their underlying belief.
While Sivakamiyin sabatham was the chronolog of Pallavas vs the chalukyas, Ponniyin selvan was about the chozhas and pallavas and the chozhas conquest of srilanka.
Ultimately, shaivism prevailed over the spreading budhishm. Tamil Nadu became another shaivite hub, because of the mighty chozhas.
Sivagamiyin sabatham extolls the honour amongst past kings, even when they dealt with their sworn enemies! But like every era, that too came to pass. And the glory faded to oblivion.
When one reads such work, one would be surprised at what kind of people existed and ashamed at how we are now.
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Old 30th July 2010, 14:25   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Before I start off with the travelogue, let me thank
navan49 for answering my PM on weather
DigitalDragon for giving thumbs up to my accomodation booking at Mahabalipuram
Damu for suggesting the hotel in Pondicherry
and numerous other travelogue writers on these two places.
Your welcome Arindam. Hope you had an enjoyable trip.



Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Log for the onward journey:



This is awesome. Even though I managed to prepare one this one is quite exhaustive. Great effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Night we drove down to the Mahabalipuram Town for dinner, chose the restaurant 'Wave' on rooftop of Mamalla Heritage. The rooftop, with little garden, being swiped by the lights from the lighthouse, a cool breeze blowing across, a place to enjoy your relaxing dinner. Though it was advertised as a sea food restaurant, the choice of sea food was limited. We ordered some prawn and chicken items, but the prawns were little hard.

Reception of Hotel Mamalla Heritage
Attachment 395988
When we visited this resort, there was no rooftop restaurant. Only the beach side dining place was there. Good that they have improved.
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Old 30th July 2010, 14:43   #34
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Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
I have the same views as SVB. Especially in pic img 1245 she looks like a copy of you. My daughter is also more like me. I always tease my wife about that.
Great pics and nice narration.
Thanks TB. I narrated the comments from Star to my wife, and she agrees. Though I am not good at finding the similarities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
There are couple of best literary works in tamil called sivakamiyin sabatham (the Vow of sivakami) and ponniyin selvan (the son of ponni) written by Kalki (sadasivam). They are historical works which expound the happenings of Pallava and Chozha kingdoms and their respective wars. Both have an underlying current to the wars. The conflict between buddhism and shaivism.
Sivakamiyin sabatham is exceptionally a great work, real history that involves deception, intrigue, distrust, political imagery, suspense etc. It is very hard to find out who is the hero and who's the villain is in the novel. Brilliant representation of history without siding with any side. Kalki had taken the egalitarian view of various kingdoms and their underlying belief.
While Sivakamiyin sabatham was the chronolog of Pallavas vs the chalukyas, Ponniyin selvan was about the chozhas and pallavas and the chozhas conquest of srilanka.
Ultimately, shaivism prevailed over the spreading budhishm. Tamil Nadu became another shaivite hub, because of the mighty chozhas.
Sivagamiyin sabatham extolls the honour amongst past kings, even when they dealt with their sworn enemies! But like every era, that too came to pass. And the glory faded to oblivion.
When one reads such work, one would be surprised at what kind of people existed and ashamed at how we are now.
Thanks MX6, for giving this information.

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Originally Posted by DigitalDragon View Post
Your welcome Arindam. Hope you had an enjoyable trip.
This is awesome. Even though I managed to prepare one this one is quite exhaustive. Great effort.
When we visited this resort, there was no rooftop restaurant. Only the beach side dining place was there. Good that they have improved.
Yes DD we had a enjoyable trip (barring may be the hotel in Pondy).

For the log, I created the template once and I just do the data entry for few columns, rest are automatically calculated. I am yet to find out how to calculate the time difference in minutes from two times in hh:mm format. Any excel gurus?
And as I said, it helps me better in planning the trips better. Not only for the same route, but for the equivalent routes. Say for example, I can use the average speed in GQ in any other completed portion of the GQ, and likewise.
The rooftop restaurant is in Mamalla Heritage, a hotel in Mamallpuram town, and not in the Mamalla Beach Resort.
BTW, the restuarant is in the 4th floor and there is no elevator. We were little skeptical for my mom to take those many flights of stairs. But once we were there, no regrets.

Last edited by arindamray : 30th July 2010 at 14:45.
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Old 30th July 2010, 21:13   #35
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Default Mahabalipuram Attractions - Shore Temple

The next morning after breakfast (complimentary), we went out for sightseeing. We got delayed for the breakfast, though it was supposed to be ready by 7:30, when the last items (tea, coffee) reached the buffet table, the clock was striking 8:30. Obviously we kept having the items as and when it was reaching the table.

The monuments at Mahabalipuram can be grouped as follows according to the mode of their construction:
(i) monoliths - free standing temples cut out of solid rock, most of which are locally styled rathas (chariots)
(ii) caves - excavated in hill-scarps and used as temples, also called mandapas (canopies)
(iii) temples - the term is being used here to denote built up masonry temples
(iv) bass relief - sculptured scenes carved on the hill edges
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1251c.jpg

Our first stop was Shore Temple - a masonry temple built in Narasimhavarman II Rajsimaha's time.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1252c.jpg

The main temple faces east (towards the sea) and enshrines a broken fluted Shiva linga. Behind this shrine but connected with it is a cell, wherein is enshrined a figure of anantashayee Vishnu.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1258.jpg

The waves of the sea used to beat against the temple wall, and the saline air is corroding the temple. ASI has taken up the conservation, and used the boulders to stop the sea long before the temple, also planting casurina trees to curtail the speed of the breeze. Good work!!!

You will see some lion structures in all the places
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1257.jpg

We also met this fellow there
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1260c.jpg

Moving out of the Shore Temple, we proceed towards the five rathas. On the way, we see (without getting down from the car)

The lighthouse
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1262.jpg

Model of Arjuna's Penance (the actual one is much more grandeur)
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1263c.jpg

and the Dharmaraja Mandapam
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1264.jpg
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Old 30th July 2010, 21:55   #36
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Hello Arindam,

I am also planning a trip to Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry in November/December and am enjoying your travelogue.

Time permitting please recommend me the hotels in M'puram and P'cherry.

Waiting for more info and your pics in P'cherry.

K
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Old 30th July 2010, 23:31   #37
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Hi Arindam,
Long before, when I was a kid. I visited Mahabalipuram (also some parts of south India) along with my parents. As far as I remember, the guide or some people (can't recall exactly) told us that these structures are cursed. Previously, there used to be many more temples but since they are cursed, the sea engulfed many of those. As far as I recall, those structures/temples are grand. Could you shed some light on that?

By the way, beautiful pics. Congrats.
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Old 30th July 2010, 23:36   #38
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Default Five Rathas

This group of 5 free standing monolithic temple is hewn out of solid rocks. They were built during Narasimhavarman I's time, and earliest monumnets of their kind in India. the temples are associated, without any historical basis, with the Pandava's of Mahbharata.
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Old 31st July 2010, 00:03   #39
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Five rathas (from left to right in the picture - Draupadi, Arjuna, Bheema, Dharmaraja, Nakul-Sahadev Rathas)
Attachment 396532

Close-up of Nakul-Sahadev Ratha
Attachment 396533

Close-up of Bheema Ratha
Attachment 396534

Close-up of Dharmaraja Ratha
Attachment 396535

Bheema Ratha from a different angle
Attachment 396536

Sculptures adorning the Dharmaraja ratha
Attachment 396537

Dharmaraja ratha from different angle
Attachment 396538

Arjuna Ratha, Draupadi Ratha in the background
Attachment 396539

Arjuna Ratha
Attachment 396540

Passage in Bheema Ratha
Attachment 396541

Arjuna Ratha
Attachment 396542

Inside Draupadi Ratha
Attachment 396543

The lion
Attachment 396544

The elephant
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1268.jpg

Just the thought of these temples cut from monolithic rocks is very humbling.

Last edited by Rehaan : 1st August 2010 at 18:40. Reason: Hi - the images seem to have timed out. In future click "preview post" after uploading to prevent this. Please re-upload. Thx
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Old 31st July 2010, 00:14   #40
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Originally Posted by skartik2 View Post
Hello Arindam,

I am also planning a trip to Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry in November/December and am enjoying your travelogue.

Time permitting please recommend me the hotels in M'puram and P'cherry.

Waiting for more info and your pics in P'cherry.

K
Will be covering hotels in due course. Yet to cover M'puram in full details, then it will roll to Pondicherry, keep visiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy View Post
Hi Arindam,
Long before, when I was a kid. I visited Mahabalipuram (also some parts of south India) along with my parents. As far as I remember, the guide or some people (can't recall exactly) told us that these structures are cursed. Previously, there used to be many more temples but since they are cursed, the sea engulfed many of those. As far as I recall, those structures/temples are grand. Could you shed some light on that?

By the way, beautiful pics. Congrats.
Quoting from the ASI book: "... local fishermen would have us believe that there were more temples on the shore that have gone under the sea within the past few centuries, though the recent underwater sounding failed to bring exact evidence to this belief so far."

So looks like more of a myth rather than fact. Even I have heard similar things, even heard that during Tsunami when the water had receded first, people could see few of them. But I would like to go by the ASI book.
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Old 31st July 2010, 00:46   #41
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Arindam. When was the ASI book printed? Because ASI along with Navy, themself found 2 submerged temple and some caves in 2005 after the tsunami. Seems the water receded first exposing half a km of sea bed where in local people could see structures. Then the tsunami crashed on to the lands. exploration post that has revealed 2 submerged temples.
So that makes it 3 with one existing on land. So the myth of 7 Pagodas is 3/7th true!

Also find link for interesting read.
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl22...0005812900.htm

Last edited by MX6 : 31st July 2010 at 00:49.
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Old 31st July 2010, 00:59   #42
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Arindam. When was the ASI book printed? Because ASI along with Navy, themself found 2 submerged temple and some caves in 2005 after the tsunami. Seems the water receded first exposing half a km of sea bed where in local people could see structures. Then the tsunami crashed on to the lands. exploration post that has revealed 2 submerged temples.
So that makes it 3 with one existing on land. So the myth of 7 Pagodas is 3/7th true!

Also find link for interesting read.
The secret of the Seven Pagodas
Really interesting.
The book is published and copyrighted in 2006.
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Old 31st July 2010, 23:54   #43
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Default Hill area

Next we move towards hill area, which has the major attraction - Arjuna's Penance.

Two large boulders with a narrow fissure in between have been chosen to represent a series of rows of gods and goddesses.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1290.jpg

The name came from the figure near the cleft where a sage stands on his left foot deeply engaged in penance. To his right is a four armed Siva.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1294c.jpg

The group of elephants so faithfully true to nature, are real masterpieces that enhance the charm of this wonderful carving. The young ones nestling in the space between the legs of the parent and playing with trunks show the delightful delineation of life.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1299c.jpg

The cleft is occupied by gracefully carved figures of Nagas and Nagis with hands in adoration.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1292c.jpg

Close by is a tiny but realistic carving of a group of monkeys, a family consisting of the father, mother and child.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1296a.jpg

To the left of Arjuna's penance, is Krishna mandapa, with scenes from life.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1288c.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1289c.jpg

Between Arjuna's penance and Krishna Mandapa, there is an incomplete Mandapa called Panchapandava Mandapa.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1295c.jpg

To the right of Arjuna's penance is Ganesh Ratha (sorry no picture), and further right is a huge boulder known as Krishna's butter ball - immovable, but precariously balancing.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1300.jpg

By the time we have finished the Arjuna's penance, it was 11:15, and we had to check-out at 12:00, so rushed through and could not visit the other places.

I would recommend keeping one complete day for these UNESCO heritage site, and start early to avoid the heat. The monuments open at 6:30 am.

So with this we complete the Mahabalipuram, rush to hotel, get the baby ready, settle the bills, and roll towards Pondicherry.

Last edited by arindamray : 31st July 2010 at 23:58.
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Old 1st August 2010, 00:28   #44
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Default Mamalla Beach Resort

Before I move on to Pondicherry, let me do a short review of the place we stayed in Mahabalipuram - Mamalla Beach Resort.

The property is located on ECR, a km before the Mahabalipuram town if one is coming from Chennai. The rooms are sea facing, you can see the sea through the casurinas and coconut trees.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1303c.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1304c.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1306c.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1307c.jpg

The dine in area is even closure to the sea.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1305.jpg

Rooms are neat with AC, TV, Dressing Mirror, and a wardrobe.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1312.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1313.jpg

The bathrooms are also very spacious.
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1311.jpg
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1310.jpg

They have a swimming pool next to the reception area
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1314.jpg

They also have a children's play area
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1315c.jpg

Few swans in the resort, they kept my daughter amazed for quite some time
After 10 long years - Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry-img_1250c.jpg

Except for the complimentary breakfast which got delayed, service is also decent with smiling staffs. Overall a nice experience.

The standard double room are Rs 2250/- (includes breakfast) net of tax, with a small discount thrown in I feel it was value for money.
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Old 1st August 2010, 06:39   #45
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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
For the log, I created the template once and I just do the data entry for few columns, rest are automatically calculated. I am yet to find out how to calculate the time difference in minutes from two times in hh:mm format. Any excel gurus?
And as I said, it helps me better in planning the trips better. Not only for the same route, but for the equivalent routes. Say for example, I can use the average speed in GQ in any other completed portion of the GQ, and likewise.
Best solution for this would to be a Garmin GPS device. All these details, plus a lot more you get, by downloading tracklogs from the device on to you computer.
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