This place in South India is very much talked about regarding its beauty. Finally i got a change to know why. I could not plan much for this trip as compared to other places where i always do extensive research. I could just note down the various sites to visit. However, one fine Saturday i was in Mahabalipuram. And of course, i am back to self, travelling alone. As soon as i got down, i was greeted by a person in English wearing a Lungi and offered stay for a lesser price. He took me to a decent accommodation and indeed the price was less and it was near to the sea shore. I got fresh and started off with the Itinerary and my companion, my Sony Camcorder with a 12 MP Camera..
I hired an auto for the entire day, and started off after having some heavy breakfast. As i did not prepare much for this trip, i had to rely on the auto driver. The first monument that i came across is a small Mantapa right in the middle of the road near the Bus Station. The pillars are sculpted with the images of Lord Vishnu. It is clearly a very old one and probably there was one more idol in there then. Today you will find auto rickshaws put inside this for shade. This Mantapa does not stand alone. This is actually in front of the Sthalasayana Perumal Temple which is right behind the main bus stand. The main entrance is currently closed and visitors have to an alternate on the side. I then moved inside the temple complex.
This ancient temple was built in the 14th century by the Vijayanagara Emperors from Chandragiri and underwent renovation in the 19th century. This temple covers an area of about 4 acres with the Rajagopuram seen from a distance. The large walls of the main entrance of the temple shows its prominence and part of it is still intact. There is this stone door where nice design is carved on either side. The wall is decorated with horses and people with folded hands in act of worship. There are two idols of Vishnu with the conch and the wheel on top of the Gopura. The doors are wooden and embossed with flower shaped attachments on them.
This temple is also named "Mamallai" and "Kadal Mallai". The main deity here is in a reclining posture facing east and sleeping on the floor. An image of Pundarika Muni is also housed in the sanctum. The Devi idol is placed on the floor in a separate sanctum. There are shrines to Andal and Rama also. The walls of the temple is a typical signature of the Vijayanagara architecture where there are various mythological stories and flower vases carved beautifully. This is just the beginning of a great experience ahead.
After spending for about half an hour here, i moved on to the Krishna Mandap.