Day 1: Chennai To Mahabalipuram

Posted On Wed, 15 Dec 2010 15:40:00 +0000. Filed in cycling, tourofsouthindia. By Vaibhav Bhandari.

I landed at 1:30 am at Chennai airport. I decided to start the tour right from the airport except I had to wait at the airport until 7am, when my bike was scheduled to be picked up for delivery to goa. I slept royally (literally) at the baggage pickup area, woke up at 6:30am and then called the baggage guy to make sure his man was coming, well he said he will be there at 8. I took the opportunity to get ready, assemble the bike and saddle up.

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> > Pic 1. Assembled bike at the Chennai airport departures (my home for the early am) > >

So my baggage guy, turned out to be flaky and it was 9:30am and he didn’t show up and kept saying “20 minute sir”. So I decided to ditch him and called a new service through amazing JustDial and the guy told me he will be there by 10:00am and eventually showed up at 11:30am. But I sort of liked the guy he was honest.

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> > Pic 2. Shipping box to Goa from Chennai > >

Well, turned out that this this guy needs a bigger car to take the box and he offered me a ride until East coast ride so that I can start my tour easily. Well there was another hour of waiting for the car by the time the car showed up it started to rain and I had to take shelter.

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> > Pic 3. Welcome at the airport with a torrential downpour and subsequent use of a shelter > >

I had already started to work because it was 12:30am and I hadnt started the 40 km journey to Mahabalipuram. Well another glitch happened when the guy with car showed up, he has no place for by cycle. So I immediately decided to take an auto to East coast road, this auto dude was linger around us when we were standing waiting for the vehicle. Infact a bunch of auto folks came and were checking out my bike and had all sorts of questions for the bike and the tour. Well this auto-walla wanted to take me to Mahabalipuram and was forcing his way, he made me pay Rs. 500 at the gas station and would take rest when I get to Mahabalipuram. I got really upset, I called the Traffic poilce hotline and had him drop me at the east coast road. Infact we has a cop settle our dispute for Rs. 350.

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> > Pic 4. Starting at East Coast Road > >

Well that was a rough start Smile. But as soon as I got on the road all the hassles seemed worth it. The ride to Mahabalipuram was just amazing, with great views and a good road! I couldn’t ask any better now that the rain had stopped Smile.

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> > Pic 5. Amazing views on east coast road. > >

In two hours I reach Mahabalipuram (arbout 35kms), and I checked in my hotel around 3:30pm! Well rest of the day I have been enjoying great food, and the famous Mahabalipuram sculputures.

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> > Pic 6. South India Meal! > >

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> > Pic 7. Five Rathas > >

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> > Pic 8. Arjuna’s Penance > >

Mahabalipuram (Or Mamallapuram as its renamed) is a small tourist town with a lot of western tourist. Folks here indulge in sculpture, with very good sculpting schools.

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> > Pic 9. Sculpting is big in Mamallapuram > >

I wish I could get more of the town, it seems a great hang out place with lots of friendly locals and tourist. But hey tomorrow its 100km to to Auroville (correction: Auroville is before Pondicherry), where I stay with Rishi’s parents.

Onward, I must say!


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