One of the first monuments we saw was about 20 feet high and 80 feet long, containing over a hundred figures of gods, men and beasts. The monument includes carvings of a family of ten elephants, monkeys and deer.
In the same area, on a nearby hill, rests a HUGE boulder, named Krishna’s Butterball. Looking at the boulder, one would think that it should roll down the side of the hill, but the center of gravity s such that it remains dangerously perched on the side of the hill. Many have tried to move it, but it won’t budge.
At the southern edge of Mahabalipuram is a group of five free-standing incomplete temples. Four of them were carved out of a single long granite boulder. These temples are actually detailed replicas of ancient wooden structures. These temples represent the chariots of Arjuna, Bhima, Dharmaraja, Nakula-Sahadeva — the five Pandava princes of the epic Mahabharata — and their common wife, Draupadi.
But, my favorite place in Mahabalipuram was a monument known as the Shore Temple, perhaps because it was on the beach. We didn’t go inside the monument, but walked around the grounds nearby and took pictures with the blue waves as a backdrop. In early eighth century, work was begun on the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram. The Shore Temple was built with granite blocks. The design of the Shore Temple is significant because it is the earliest known example of a stone-built temple in South India. The Shore Temple also influenced the architecture of the Cholas, who succeeded the Pallavas as the dominant dynasty in the area now covered by Tamil Nadu.
After drinking coconut water straight from the coconut, and buying little trinkets at Mahabalipuram, we went to MGM Golden Beach Resort. It is basically a theme park with rides, a beach, and replicas of old monuments. Unfortunately we got there so late, it was dark and almost time for closing. But we decided to go in and just spend a little time walking around and on the beach.
One of the security guards helped us to and from the beach. Once we were on the beach, we didn’t feel like leaving. The stars were out. The breeze was blowing. But, soon it was closing time and they shut the lights off. The guard came to escort us from the beach to the exit of the resort. As we were leaving, Aunty and Ajay tried to pay the man for his help. However, the security guard refused. He said, “No, she (referring to me) is my sister.” Ajay put some money in the man’s hands, but he returned it. We were all a little surprised. Ajay said, “You are a unique man. Most people in India are not like you.” Then Ajay said something about us praying for the man. I tried to ignore it. I was too scared to pray for him. Plus, it was dark now. So, I figured we should just go home. But then of course, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me. He told me to ask the man if he wanted prayer.
So, I asked him (through the translation of Ajay and his Aunty). The man started to tell us that he had been bitten on his foot by a snake a while back and he was dying in the hospital, but Jesus healed him. However, there was still pain in his foot. So, we began to pray for his foot. We prayed a few times and the pain seemed to subside some. Not all the way, but the man said he felt a difference. Then he had us pray for his job. Then a friend of his also asked us to pray for his job situation. Then another man asked us to pray that the pain in his foot due to stepping on a nail would be healed. We prayed a few times and he said the pain was gone. Then another guard who had extreme pain in his leg asked for prayer. The first two times we prayed, nothing happened! I was a little disappointed. But, we prayed a third time and the pain began to reduce. So, we prayed a few times and began to see him get relief. Finally, another man asked for prayer for clarity of mind.
After the mini-prayer session, then men were very happy. We finally headed home.
Today, we started the day with some new friends coming over to meet us.
Then, because Mom was feeling a bit better, Mom, Ajay and I went to a few small craft exhibitions that are nearby. Somehow our trips to Chennai always seem to be timed to coincide with these exhibitions. It was fun to look around and buy a few trinkets. After dropping Mom off at home, we went to T-Nagar to buy a ticket for Ajay’s return to Bangalore. It seemed that all of the buses were booked. However, God is good and finally we found what Ajay was looking for.
We decided to go back to the beach for a last visit. This reminds me of something funny from our last visit to the beach that I forgot to write about. On the beach, Ajay prayed for me. As he was praying for me, I felt there was a form in front of me. I opened my eyes and a chubby little ten year old girl was standing there with a smile on her face, just staring at us. Then I closed my eyes. A few minutes later, I opened my eyes again and the little girl was still just standing there with a smile on her face, just staring at us. Again, I closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes a third time, I saw a bigger girl come and pick up the little girl and drag her away!
Anyway, back to today at the beach…we just sat, talked, and prayed. And we ate this special dessert they sell on the beach. It kind of looks and feels like cotton-candy, but it is not. It was very yummy.
God is so good to me. I enjoy site-seeing, but Mom and Dad really don’t. I also enjoy trying different kinds of food, but Mom and Dad really don’t. So, often I have to do these things alone, forego doing them, or drag Mom and/or Dad along. But, God provided my sweet brother Ajay to come to Chennai and spend time with me, so I could do all the things I enjoy doing. I am so thankful.
Again, I have updated the gallery with new pictures.
Scripture for the Day:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2.