To the Coast of Coromandel
Mamallapuram Travel Blog› entry 5 of 22 › view all entries
The last few days with the Nesbitts were lovely. We rested, relaxed and talked. On Saturday we went to Connaught Place to meet Skalsang, our guide in Ladakh last time we were here. He's studying hard in Delhi for various civil service exams, in the hope of a job for life. It was good to hear all his news.
Delhi Airport was shrouded in fog on Sunday morning, so the flight to Chennai (Madras for Raj era types) ran 2 hours late. But our booked taxi was still waiting to take us the 60km south to Mamallapuram on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Normally it's quiet here, but it was Republic Day on Monday, and so a long weekend. Thousands from the local towns thronged to the south beach where there were dozens of small shops, a little funfair, horserides and simply a chance to stand and watch the sea. The crush to get home from the small bus station at 6.
Our remaining days in town have been spent sightseeing among the intricately carved temples and shrines, walking the beach, and watching. And a brief trip to the nearby Madras Crocodile Bank Trust/ Centre for Herpetology, a world-renowned crocodile conservation and breeding organisation with 100s of crocs. It was really fascinating, with the added attraction of the Irula Snake Catchers Industrial Cooperative Society in one corner. The Irula catch snakes and here they milk their venom harmlessly for serum. More fascination!
Off to French Pondicherry soon.