Mamallapuram is a small coastal city a bit south of Madras (Chennai), famous for a series of elaborate stone carvings and various caves and temples. Here are some photos from the town:
Some of the many carvings and in the background the city's old lighthouse.
The whole complex of temples, caves and carvings are strewn across a fascinating landscape filled with rocks, boulders and little canyons and densely forested. You can see the ruins of a small temple at the top of this hill.
Me in a silly pose by the so-called Butter Ball one of the largest boulders, balancing in a seemingly impossible manner on the downwards slope. Or is it really me holding it back?
Here can be seen a cave, some carvings and some boulders in the same picture. The reliefs are all exceptionally well made, much more than 1000 years ago.
The Shore Temple - the oldest stone temple in all of India. Originally it was constantly being hit by the waves of the ocean, but now a protecting stone dyke helps preserve the ancient temple, but also removing a bit of dramatic effect.
It wasn't all culture. Mamallapuram is one of the few places in Tamil Nadu with anything resembling nightlife, however much the cops try to strike down on it for constant bribes. Here we managed to get into a private birthday party at the smartest new lounge in town. Here Mike is seen dancing with the birthday boy.