Sunday, 7 February 2010

Pondicherry and Mamallapurum

Saturday 6 February: Officially Puducherry but to everyone else it's Pondicherry or simply Pondy. Old French colonial town with little to offer except cheap alcohol and a statue of Ghandi. No beach, no televised rugby and for 'Rue de la Canal' read 'Open Sewer Street' - bit like Calais in a heatwave. Saved by good old BBC Scotland's on-line rugby commentary.
Monday 8: Bus to delightful Mamallapuram. Lots to see and do - UNESCO World Heritage Site with excavated caves, sculptured and rock-cut temples, relief carvings plus a beach, lily-filled lake, good restaurants and plenty of low-budget accommodation - a backpacker destination.
Sea Shore Temple is just that. Arjuna's Penance an immense carved boulder - penance in Hindu meaning willingly suffering to subsequently receive Godly rewards. Not without humour a cat is also carved in penance as mice look on in amusement.
Five Rathes (chariots) Temple is remarkable in that it was chiseled from a single piece of stone and at two rupees the Sculpture Museum is worth every penny (about three pence).
Photos of Pondicherry and Mamallapuram.

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