Chennai, IndiaIndian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in Chennai. Chennai is in the south east of India. palak paneer, a dish I should learn how to make. And I enjoyed the chance to have lots of garlic and butter naan. However, I may have turned a few eyes by eating the naan on its own as opposed to using it to scoop up curry; what can I say, I enjoy good bread! Mamallapuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built between the 7th and 9th centuries. There are a variety of temples and shrines. The picture at right is a rock formation called "Krishna's Butterball" which looks like it's about to roll down the hill but in fact is quite sturdy: "Legend has it that the Pallava rulers attempted to move the boulder with help of elephants, but to no avail." (yatra.com) In the nearby park are many shrines and engravings, including the picture at the beginning of this post where I'm standing in front of a giant relief sculpture called Arjuna's Penance.
Another historical site in Mamallapuram is the Five Rathas, shown at right. A ratha is a chariot, and these are five shrines shaped like chariots. What's really amazing is that these five shrines were all carved out of a single slab of granite that was covering the entire site. That's right, they didn't carve each one separately, all five of them were carved from the same slab of granite. Shore Temple, built in the 8th century, and still standing. I dipped my feet in the nearby Indian Ocean for the first time.