India, 23d of March 2013
For some reason, I could never really manage to get the name of this place right. The Indian name seems to be Mahabalipuram but I suspect that the Britishers never managed that either since it became Mamallapuram in English. Since I could not speak the name out I used to say something starting with “ma”, ending with “-am” and a jumble-mumble of random sounds in between. Basu always found it funny and made me repeat it. Now I realise that it’s not as complicated a name as I thought it to be.
Anyway. It’s a tourist favourite for the Chennai-dwellers and foreigners tourists alike and I went there for a day-trip with four Indians in a car. There were plenty of Russian looking girls in shorts and some of my gentlemen male companions were willing to exchange me for another better looking foreigner. Temples swallowed by the sea that you can’t see, the last one still standing on the sand close to the shore, more temples elsewhere and fresh coconut milk to combat the heat, and monkeys and a lighthouse, restaurants on the beach at the end of the westernised hippie-style street, industrial scale Buddhist sculptures and a huge rock looking like it’s going to roll down any day, all of that under a baking sun that never shines away. It was a great little day trip with my brand-new Chennai crew.