Around 11 a.m. we went to see the large rock known as the Descent of the Ganges. In India, it is called Arjuna’s penance. The animals gazing in wonder at the divine gift of water are carved with great skill. A cat is making an attempt to meditate while rats and mice dance around it.
After seeing this wonderful sight, we went to see the five Rathas, which are cut from single block of stone and carved in the shape of procession chariots. Each chariot is a small scale depiction of a temple. They bear the names of the Pandava brothers and their wife Draupadi.
When we had finished seeing these sights, it was 3 p.m. and we went back to our cottage, had our lunch and took test until 5 in the evening.
After 5 p.m., we left for the beach where we had hears, there was the famous-shore temple. It is built among the waves of the sea, but it is well guarded from the furious assaults of the sea by a rocky platform. The temple is symbolic of the maritime ambitions of the Pallavas.
This small building is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and has two pyramidal towers on it. Facing the sea is a polished stone linga which reflects the rising sun. The whole scene is poetic in nature.
Not far from the ‘Descent of the Ganges’ is the Krishna Mandapa, which depicts Krishna lifting the Mount Govardhana. Mahishasuramardini Mandapa is another admirable bas-relief of Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta, and of Durga fighting the demon.
Mahisha situated to the right of Aijuna’s rock is the sixth chariot known as Ganesh Ratha. We saw these minor sights on the next day morning and left for Sriperumbudur, to pay our homage to our departed Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the memorial which is erected there.