Chennai, India – Day 7 – Heritage Day

Sunday was a day to take it easy.  Being so close to home, Ravi and Magesh decided to spend the day visiting with their families.  Jayanthi offered to take Barbara, Mats and I on a tour of heritage sites and we eagerly took her up on her offer.  We knew it was going to be a hot day in Chennai and the surrounding area so we decided we would get up early and leave the holel at 6:30 am to embark on our exploration of world heritage sites around Chennai.  Our plan was to visit Mahabalipuram, Fisherman’s Cove and DakshinaChitra.

We arrived at Mahabilpuram (Mamallapuram) before many tourists had arrived or shops opened up. The sea breeze was blowing so it was perfect for a stroll around the stone temples.  We learned the carvings dated back to the 7th century and were progressed through multiple generations.  We spent time exploring

ImageImagePancha Rathas (Five Chariots) – This is a group of monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi.  These are amazing structures carved from one single large piece of stone.

ImageThe Shore Temple – This temple had been underwater until 1978 and was recovered from the receding Bay of Bengal.

ImageKrishna’s Butter Ball – A large boulder precariously perched on a stone shelf

Our next stop was Fisherman’s Cove were we cooled our feet in the Bay of Bengal at the pristine beach in front the Vantana resort. It was only 10 am and already close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius.

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After the short respite we proceeded on to DashinaChitra, a project of the Madras Craft Foundation to preserve the cultures of the diverse people of India with an emphasis on Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

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We finished our tour about 1pm and it was really quite hot by that time so we decided to head back toward the hotel.  We stopped and had a nice lunch before returning.  As it was Sunday and hot, we all retreated to various relaxing activities before regrouping at 6pm for refreshments.  At 8:00pm Ravi and Magesh joined us for our call with our worldwide team to review our first week’s progress and plan for the upcoming week of synthesis activities.  We concluded by 8:45pm and headed off for the night.

It was Father’s Day and the next order of business was for me to check in with my family and thank my husband for all he has done to support our family and particularly the home support needed to depart on an adventure like this one.  Barbara also called her family to wish them a good day as her husband, Mark, is busily holding down the fort with two young children.  She also wanted to send a shout out to her Dad for a very special Father’s Day.  Behind every IBMer is a strong and very important team of family members and friends who make our work possible.  So in addition to all the Dads, thanks to all of you who are supporting us and our work!

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