Photographer's Note

In the background of this photo is the Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram, built in the early 8th century. Mahabalipuram, more often nowadays known as Mamallapuram, is a small town, or large village, about 50 km south of Madras (now Chennai) in Tamil Nadu state (formerly Madras state).

I arrived at Mahabalipuram in October 1987 by local bus from Madras, where I had arrived the day before after an overnight journey by train from Hyderabad (occasionally spelled Haidarabad).

Mahabalipuram may be a small place, but it is packed with fantastic temples of various sizes, their walls usually covered with sculptures and friezes of superb quality. It is no doubt one of the culturally most important places in India.

Not surprisingly tourism has had an impact on life in the streets of the town. In my diary I described my first impression of Mahabalipuram:

"I couldn't walk many metres without being followed by beggars or salesmen. There were snake charmers with a mongoose on leash, "holy men" with a monkey on leash, small children trained to cry like actors, "temple guides", postcard peddlers, necklace peddlers, drug peddlers, money changers, stone carving trainees trying to sell samples of their work. Everywhere I went, as soon as I stopped to look at something I had them virtually climbing all over me, refusing to leave me alone."

Gradually I found more peace of mind and learned to appreciate the overwhelming beauty of the art treasures of Mahabalipuram, which in its entirety is listed by the UNESCO as a World heritage site.

My greatest pleasure while in Mahabalipuram was to watch the temples and rock art carefully, sometimes without even bringing my camera, which made me feel more relaxed and focused on the art. As far as photos were concerned I preferred those with a human touch, like these persons about to invite their children for a short horse ride.

By the way, a large majority of photos from this place posted on TE are registered as Mamallapuram, with Mahabalipuram as a supreme runner-up. But I also found this little town called Mahabali Puram, Mahaballipuram, mahamallipuram, Mahavalipuram, Malalappuram, Mallalapuram, Mamallpuram, and MAMLAPURAM.

According to Wikipedia it is also known as Mamallapattana. To my great surprise there are no photos from there on TE.

By the way, India is known as Bharat in various local languages.

As usual this photo was scanned from a Kodachrome slide. At the last minute I decided to skip my planned workshops and use them for my next post.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11514 W: 562 N: 22189] (96538)
  • Genre: Gente
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 1987-10-00
  • Versión de la foto: Versión original
  • Date Submitted: 2021-01-28 0:33
Viewed: 0
Points: 46
  • None
Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11514 W: 562 N: 22189] (96538)
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