On the last leg of our first Highway to Swades journey, we left the beautiful town of Pondicherry, and headed back to our starting point of Chennai. But not before we made a short stop at Mahabalipuram (details below).
Along the way, we also drove on the scenic East Coast Road leading up to Chennai – with heavy hearts, tired bodies, but happy with the wonderful experience and of course, with our fabulous car. We wrapped up the journey with a very special “Finish Party” at Courtyard by Marriott in Chennai.
Origin: Pondicherry, Union Territory of Puducherry
Destination: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Distance Covered: 152 kms
States Covered: Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
The Mahabalipuram World Heritage Site was the last visit on our drive of Highway to Swades, with us taking our last group photo of the drive, near Arjuna’s penance bas relief.
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries : rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.