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Old 4th August 2010, 12:20   #46
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Sami - Thanks
MX6 - That's a lot of information.


Star - Thanks for letting me know which Ratha that was.
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Old 4th August 2010, 12:50   #47
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Arjuna's Penance is considered the largest open-air bas-relief in the world. Carved on the side of a cliff is an elaborate depiction of one of the scenes from the epic Mahabharata. Arjuna is doing the penance to obtain a special weapon (Pashupatha Astra) for the Kurukshetra war. The 30m x 12m cared area is split into two by a fissure that depicts a river. It is believed that during Pallava times, water flowed down this crack into the tank below.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-arjunas-penance.jpg

Part of this water outlet got broken and is available (shown below).
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-water-outlet-fixed-top-snake-kings-head.jpg

Animals and supernatural creatures are carved around Arjuna along with sculptures of gods Shiva and Vishnu.

Lord Shiva granting the Pashupatha Astra to Arjuna
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-lord-shiva-granting-pashupatha-astra-arjuna.jpg

When Shiva appears, then his Gana should follow
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-when-shiva-appears-his-gana-always-follow-him.jpg

More Devas appear as the witness for Lord Shiva granting Arjuna's wish
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-more-devas-appear-watching-lord-shiva-arjuna-meet.jpg

Elephant Family
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-elephant-family.jpg

Lord of Snakes
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-lord-snakes.jpg

A Thinking Sage, probably Guru Veda Vyasa
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-thinking-sage.jpg

A monkey family
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-monkey-family.jpg

This is called Krishna Mantapa
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-krishna-mantapa.jpg

Story depicts Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhana hill to protect the villages from warth of Indra, king of gods.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-story-depicts-lord-krishna-holding-govardhan-mountain.jpg

Gokula reminds one of Cows, Milk and Childhood acts of Lord Krishna
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-gokula-where-milk-flows-like-river.jpg

There is a huge stone, which is often referred to as Butter Ball. It is amazing to see how such a rock stays on the inclined surface.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-butter-ball.jpg

View from the top of the rock
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-view-top-rock.jpg

Rocks forming a cave
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-rocks-forming-cave.jpg

Some Temple, we did not visit this as we were already tired and hungry
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-some-temple.jpg

We were like Lambs (or goat) getting roasted in hot sun, we were sweating and de-hydrating a lot. No signs of the rains, but lawns were lush green, i would say well maintained.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-lamb-actually-goat-continue-get-roasted-alive.jpg

Some makeshift shops around
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-some-make-shift-shops-around.jpg

I also tried some serious birding, but this is all i could manage..Garuda.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-i-also-did-try-some-birding-best-i-could-manage.jpg

now over to Lalu for his signature pictures. Once he uploads his pictures, let us all go for lunch and drive towards Tranquebar.

Reply to MX6's OT : I had read during my childhood that, when the Kurukshetra war ended, Pandava's were aged between 65 to 72 years old. Bhima had cruelly killed several people (100 kaurava's and their many of their children). Bhima's character since the birth has been one known for the size, strength, impatiance, hurried action, aggression and fulfilling the vengence. Once the war is over, Bhima had to tone down and wash off his sins committed during his life and several war he fought. So he performed a puja which is known as Bhima Ratha Shanti, which brought peace to his mind.

Mortals among the Hindu community believe that they can emulate the Mighty Bhima and bring peace durign their old age by performing similar ritual.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th August 2010 at 13:03.
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:30   #48
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I will post the next set of pictures by night.

The information about Bhima Ratha Shanti is new to me, and thanks for sharing these wonderful piece from history.
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Old 4th August 2010, 14:56   #49
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Did you visit Thirukadaiyur or thirukadavur enroute to Tranquebar? That temple has lot's of history attached to it as well.
Anyone planning for a tranquebar visit, do drop by in that temple there.
I'd been to all these places almost 17 - 18 years back. Looks like yesterday!

That belt of TN is full of Shiva temples of great significance.
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Old 4th August 2010, 17:37   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Did you visit Thirukadaiyur or thirukadavur enroute to Tranquebar? That temple has lot's of history attached to it as well.
Anyone planning for a tranquebar visit, do drop by in that temple there.
I'd been to all these places almost 17 - 18 years back. Looks like yesterday!

That belt of TN is full of Shiva temples of great significance.
No we did not. That stretch of the coastal road has a story of its own. Once you are in that stretch you can only pray that you reach the destination some how. More of that coming soon as the story progresses.
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Old 4th August 2010, 17:45   #51
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And there are enough temples of huge significance there for you to pray
Would love to hear your story and ofcourse see the photos.
Don't want to give a feeling of hijacking the thread. But then I'm full time at home and have nothing much to do.
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Old 4th August 2010, 17:51   #52
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@StarVegabond - The Butter ball is an awesome shot. it give an impression that the guys are holding the stone. its huge too.
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Old 4th August 2010, 17:56   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
No we did not. That stretch of the coastal road has a story of its own. Once you are in that stretch you can only pray that you reach the destination some how. More of that coming soon as the story progresses.
And add to it : Tirukoilur. Did you guys return via TVMalai if yes you should have seen this on the way.

Once it was raining Leh. Now its raining Mahabalipuram !

Great stuff guys. !
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Old 4th August 2010, 18:52   #54
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Excellent photos laluks and Star. There are so many which I liked so much! You really have gone to details in shooting those historical treasure.
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Old 4th August 2010, 18:59   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
And there are enough temples of huge significance there for you to pray
Would love to hear your story and ofcourse see the photos.
Don't want to give a feeling of hijacking the thread. But then I'm full time at home and have nothing much to do.
, You are right. There are many temples of significance there, only if those crazy roads let you travel. At times I was supposed to make road for Star to follow, driving blind to the already blind traffic.

No No..Mx6, feel free. I've learnt that you've got a sprained ankle. Get well soon. I have also learnt that you tried your hand at the levels in tone mapping etc..etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
And add to it : Tirukoilur. Did you guys return via TVMalai if yes you should have seen this on the way.

Once it was raining Leh. Now its raining Mahabalipuram !

Great stuff guys. !
ampere - dont speak a word about those roads. Me and Star will come hunting for you, the taunting times are still not over !! Will let you know more as the story progresses.

For now I can only reveal this much - Tranquebar here we come!! But never knew how much it takes to arrive
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Old 4th August 2010, 19:16   #56
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@MX6 : You are absolutely right, Tamilnadu is a Temple Heaven. Hindu belief itself talks about 33 Crore devas, imagine each one having atleast one legend/tale to share, it will be a several life time long listening or reading session.

I certainly interested to visit as many temples as possible during my life time, You are welcome to share your insights.
I suggest you to start a Temples in TN thread and share the valueable information so that people like me can use it.

BTW thanks for sharing about this temple where lord shiva saved Markadeya from the death or Yamaraj. may be next time while i travel to Pondicherry, i will visit there.


@V&V : in fact that is what i refer my wife and daughter as when i write a common e-mail to them. only difference is i use V&v to differentiate among them.

Thanks for your appreciation.

@sami, @ampere, @LDL @jacs, @rabnavaz, @arindam, @ashish, @hari, @mahesh : Thanks very much guys for reading, commenting, appreciating.

@ Lalu : You could mention to everyone about how much time we took from Mahabalipuram to Tranquebar, that would give them an idea of the pain and pleasure of the drive. You can do this after posting the Mahab pictures.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th August 2010 at 19:29.
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Old 4th August 2010, 19:20   #57
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Laluks, I am silent! Man You guys are going round.

Let the cat out of the bag
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Old 4th August 2010, 21:38   #58
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The Light House
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Arjunas Penance

The great Bass Relief
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Devaganas
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Cat and mouse praying
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Thinking Sage
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Lord of Snakes
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Elephant Family
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Power Puff Angels, all tired in the scorching sun, relaxing near Nandi.
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Mr. Ali our guide explaining. Star, Mrs. Star and his friend keenly listening.
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Bass Relief showing the fissure through which once water flowed
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Another Temple which was out of bounds
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Monkey family
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Krishna's Butter Ball (Balancing Rock)

Everyone trying to balance the butter ball
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We had some entertainment too
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Everyone posing
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This is the temple where Star did some serious birding to get his amazing and rare one of a kind Garuda picture. I could get only some pigeons!!
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With this we conclude the Mahabalipuram visit. We continued on to a restaurant nearby for a nice quick lunch and left Mahabalipuram by 2PM for our next destination Tranquebar.
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Old 4th August 2010, 21:46   #59
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This is one thing which I really appreciate in you guys. You drive from dawn, fry yourself in sun, visit all the places and still game
and as charged as ever to go further. Great spirit!

And further to that, you have brought up your kids in the same mould.
All the better!
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Old 4th August 2010, 22:22   #60
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SUN was scorching, Heat was intense, Legs were tired, Kids were exhausted, Stomachs were hungry, Throats were thirsty, Watch was showing just short of 1 pm.So we decided to call it the time to end Mahabalipuram site seeing and take the lunch break.

Our guide took us to a resturant Coral on Kovalam Road. This has good parking space and has AC dining area as well as non AC open dining area. We chose the AC and had good lunch consisting of mineral water, Veg soups, egg biryani, jeera rice, curd rice, jeera rice, dal fry and soft drinks / lassi / tea as needed.

I would rate this resturant as value for money as the bill came to RS 800/- for 5 adults and 3 kids. Ambience of the resturant is just normal, occupancy rate was moderate, service was good.

Lunch took us about 1 hour. and we were back on the road by 2 PM.

While having lunch, i realized that i had forgotten at home the receipt of the advance payment made at Bangalroe branch towards the Bunglow on the Beach accomodation. The instruction was to show the receipt on arrival. I then called up the lady at bangalore office and confirmed that we would still welcome at the bunglow without the receipt.

Destination was Tranquebar, We were almost 1.5 hours behind schedule as per our original plan. Our route was Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Cuddalore - Chidambaram-Tharangabadi (or Tranquebar).

Google maps shows this distance as 214 KMs. Our plan was to drive this distance in ~ 3 hours.
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Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry distance was 96KMs, it was a breeze drive on ECR, Traffic was low to moderate, We covered this distance ~75 minutes. We had planned to re-fuel at Pondicherry as fuel rates would be low.

Attached below are some pictures on the way..

Lalu as usual setting the pace
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-01-mahabpondi-ecr-1.jpg

Pondy @ 71 KM
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-02-pondi-71-kms.jpg

ECR is a great road, some images..
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-03-ecr2-road-images.jpg

This was the first time i was driving on East Coast road
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-04-ecr3-road-images.jpg

Pondy @41 KMs
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-05-pondi-41-kms.jpg

with this i have driven both on Eeast Coast as well as West Coast roads.
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-06-ecr-4-road-images.jpg

Some landscapes on the ECR
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-07-landscapes-ecr.jpg

ECR Toll booth @ 1KM
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Pondy @ 16 KMs
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-09-pondi-16kms.jpg

Grand entrance to Pondy
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-10-grand-entrance-pondy.jpg

This is the only thing we saw in pondy this time, we will come back again
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-11-entry-topondi.jpg

Drive through Pondicherry town was full of traffic and hence very slow.

Busy Streets
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-12-busy-streets.jpg

Busy Policeman..lookout for his uniform and cap
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-13-busy-policeman.jpg

It took us almost 45 minutes to exit the town, just before the exit at an IOCL station we re-fueled @ RS52, my ANHC drank 33.43 ltrs. The fuel economy was 14.26 KMPL over 477 KMs. We started from IOCL station at 4PM.

The next 110KM drive almost took 3 hours (avg speed of 37KMPH), Roads were narrow, with lots of blind turns, full of speed breakers (avg 3 speed breakers per KM), frequent pot holes, rough edges, two wheeler riders and bicycle riders going in parallel, priivate bus drivers driving in the middle of the road not allowing overtaking, Slow moving trucks etc.

Attached below are some pictures on the way..

On way to Chidambaram
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-14-way-chidambaram.jpg

Ducks & Ducks Everywhere
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-15-ducks-ducks-everywhere.jpg

Green fields on the way
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-16-green-fields-way.jpg

Water bodies on the way
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Some factories and railway bridges on the way
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-18-some-structures-way.jpg

We saw atleast one temple per village..here is one example
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-19-some-temple-way.jpg

Some parts of this stretch, i managed to stay ahead of Lalu
Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni-20-star-ahead-lalu.jpg

Last 40KMs were a narrow, single lane road with very rough edges that might cause a tear in the tyres, it was virtually a stop and go.

Eventually after 3 hours we reached our destination Bunglow on the Beach at Tharangabadi (or Tranquebar) by 7 PM. We were almost 3.5 hours behind schedule. We had planned to spend the evening on the beach or a visit Velankanni and come back, all these plans went for a toss.

Instead we had a very tired and irritated bunch of kids, two ladies having headache, two drivers with very sour and tired legs, one guy still having high sprites, that was my friend from mumbai.

I had driven 585 KMs, total drive time of 11 hours (avg distance of 53KMPH) , Our day was already 17 hours long, but day was not over yet for all of us.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th August 2010 at 22:35.
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