I was invited for a job interview in Chennai - and I immediately used that opportunity to visit some interesting sites in South India - Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry
The most famous site in Mahabalipuram - the UNESCO world heritage Shore temple - was rather underwhelming - the romantic shore temple covered with scaffolding as it was under conservation and repair
But I was totally blown off my feet at the sight of this majestic rock frieze! The elephant is life-size! So you can get a scale of the thing.
It's called 'Arjunas penance' ...but seems to be 'Bhagirathas penance' where he brought the Ganga down to earth to release the souls of his ancestors. You can see him here all stick thin and standing on one leg - and Lord Shiva has appeared in front of him to grant his wish
A (somewhat) modern marvel behind the ancient marvel - a British era lighthouse
Me - wondering why they missed out the lion on one pillar...
There are many amazing carved panels - this one of Durga killing the Buffalo demon (Mahishasurmardini)
A tender moment between Bhoodevi and Varaha
I loved the way the artists depicted normal everyday life in between all the gods and demons
I like how the short dude seems to be all uncomfortable and cross-armed as the big dude puts an intimidating hand around his shoulders
An Assyrian image in deep South India! The man-faced lion and the Griffin seem very Zoroastrian - possibly due to contact from the traders and kingdoms there?
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