What should we do for James’s birthday? The shopping area can’t hold our attention for long.
I know… More stuff to haul 12,000 km… Hmm, the lighter, the better.
How about the 7th century rock carvings and cave temples up the street? How ’bout those teeth!?
I (Dena) am rolling on slow waves of happiness. This is the good stuff. And I, the guy behind the camera above, am just blown away by the art of technology attitude behind the thing, it’s a cool place to go but there’s also no shortage of cool breezes from the Bay of Bengal at the tops of all the cool stuff, well, weird stuff for sure and the weirder the better so, yeah, cool!
Mahabs is another place that draws Indian tourists from all over the country.
What’s it all for?
This has to mean something to somebody, right? Too bad I don’t read this language.
I keep imagining it all as astronomical measuring tools in grand scale. I know for a fact there’s a place like that not too far from here. I mean, look at this:
There’s a place with a sun (maybe):
Opposite what I think may represent a moon. Or fire and water? Or…
I (Dena) know this one!
Shiva lingum as the birth of the universe (below, silly!).
This thing! The meaning of the huge scene is debated, but I especially love the lady on the left’s hairdo and the stretching cat under the elephant tusks. The serpent-woman is a Naga. By the way, the elephant? It’s life-sized, as are the human figures.
I’m figuring this for a shallow basin to hold a Shiva lingum and then…the oil bath?
Or is this a giant oil lamp? Or an astronomical measuring device?
This one is definitely nautical. Yeah, it’s a Second Order Fesnel that had the coolest wind-up clock mechanism (above) inside the tower leading to this (below) incredible light.
This is an active lighthouse and cool looking, it made me (James) homesick, wait, Home?
Some of the carvings are sculptural; others are geometrical.
The scope and scale of this place are enormous.
Huge. C’mon, doesn’t that look like a sandworm?
On the other hand, even the simple pieces take my breath away.
These monkeys aren’t part of the big scene behind them. They’re just hanging out alongside, doing their own thing.
This kitty has a flat back and I wonder if he was a throne.
When I start to photo-direct, James is a great model.
In 2004, a tsunami pulled the water back by a couple thousand feet before raging back. When it was done, it had removed tons of sand covering older figures and monuments. Welcome back.
The stone carvings aren’t just ancient, though. As we’ve mentioned before, the Western Ghats are mountains made of marble and granite. They beg for the chisel.
And the descendants of the temple builders keep the skills alive. Some have added power tools to the mix, but there’s a lot of work going on with mallets and chisels and picks.
For the most part, the subject matter is traditional.
But the crafters have different skills, different specialties, and different amounts of expertise.
Even with the same elements used over and over, there are fascinating differences.
Of course, birthdays are also about chilling. We managed that handily as well.
We’re staying just off the beach.
Right behind the Rastafarians.
The view from our porch.
We took far too many pictures to put them all in this post. Go to Flickr. Seriously. It’s worth it.