The 44th Chess Olympiad is all set to begin at Poonjeri village in Mamallapuram – a UNESCO heritage site, located about 50 kilometres from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram, has always been a spot people visiting Chennai look forward to stop by.
Historically, the place was one of the port towns of the Pallava dynasty. Several temples and monuments were completed during the reigns of Narasimha Varman I and Narasimha Varman II.
Here is a list of things that you can do while you are there:
The Shore Temple is well-known for its architectural beauty. The view of the temple when the moon is up against the sky is picturesque. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple complex has one large and two smaller temples. Located by the sea, it is one of the oldest historical structures and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As interesting as this sounds, this site is also called Krishna’s Butter Ball. It is believed that no number of kings and elephants could move this boulder. You can see a host of people standing near the ball, trying to superficially move the ball, failing which they pose for the camera!
Mahabalipuram is host to nine cave temples that are famous for their depictions from the Hindu mythology. Home to a sculpture of the deity Vishnu in the incarnation of a boar, the Varaha Cave, also known as the Adivaraha Cave Temple, is a rock-cut cave temple from the 7th century. The other caves include Mahishasuramardhini and Kotikal.
The Lighthouse in Mahabalipuram is one of the must-go places. The tall structure stands among other historical sites, beckoning you. While you must climb a huge flight of stairs, the end of those steps leads to an amazing view. Standing atop, you can see the sea as well as other scenic sites of the tourist area.
While you are in Mamallapuram, the living museum of DakshinaChitra can be a place on your to-go list. Located on the road to Mamallapuram, the museum is the hub of cultural activity representing various lifestyles of South India. It has a collection of historical houses with relevant exhibits. Various handicrafts are also sold at the museum. The museum will also be home to a children’s literature festival from August 6 this year.