Chennai and Mamallapuram.

Before my arrival in India, I had the impression that there was nothing to do in Chennai.

A friend’s father, Mr Chandra, proved me wrong.

The beach in Chennai, Marina Beach, is one of the longest beaches in India. This beach runs for 13 kilometres. I believe the locals just refer to it as Chennai Beach.

We did not stop to see this beach – just drove past it slowly. Mr Chandra said this beach will be crowded in the evenings.

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Chennai is home to the tomb of St. Thomas. His remains are at Basilica of the National Shrine of St.Thomas, or Santhome, for short.

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There is a museum next to the tomb which houses several important relics.

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Get out! An actual relic used by St. Thomas!

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A relic used by St. Francis Xavier (left)

It was then a 2-hour drive to Mamallapuram. This town is 60 kilometres from Chennai.

Yeah, I know. I have not heard of this place before I came to Chennai! I couldn’t even pronounce it properly without my tongue tying up in knots. Please see Wikitravel page for more explanation.

Tickets to the 5 Rathas and the Shore Temple cost 250 INR.

First, we went to the 5 Rathas, a monument going back to the 7th century. The word “ratha” refers to chariots.

Each of these were carved out of whole stones.

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We went to the lighthouse and the carvings surrounding it are so beautiful!

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The Shore Temple was something quite beautiful as well. The crows there were trying to fly into the sea wind, but they were not strong enough, so they were suspended in the sky. HAHA.

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