Friday, February 5, 2010


January 20th, 2010
Sunny Daze

Today was SO much fun! It was hot and sunny and we were at a BEACH RESORT (the perfect place to be when it is hot and sunny, of course)!!
With Morgan and Shannon as my new roommates I ended up waking up early, not bad. I went to breakfast and walked on the beach, thinking I would get my feet wet before we left. Not being used to the ocean, practically my whole leg got wet when a few big waves surprised me. It’s never the ones you expect. The waves that look huge crash early and the ones that you don’t pay attention to splash you silly. 

["mornin', Pacific Ocean"]
[fisherman work next door to the resort]

Anyway, off we went to see the sites in Mahabalipuram (I thought this was only the name of the monuments, but I guess it is the whole town, there are just lots of ancient temples and things here).
First we went to a big cluster of rock carvings from the Pallava Dynasty. Now there were three big important dynasties in the south, the Pallava, the Chola (inventers of the gopurams at temple entrances, like the one I saw…), and the third one is a very long and hard word that starts with a “V.”
So the Pallava is the oldest, the dates are something like 3rd-9th century.
At this first site we saw mostly stuff from the 7th century. 

[dis one is NICE]

Also, there was “Krishna’s butterball” a giant rock that is just balancing on a hillside. Krishna is one of the incarnations of Vishnu (the protector). Vishnu has 10 incarnations, but Krishna is known as the playboy one. There’s a story about the boy involving a butterball, so this giant rock is named after it! Our guide Stanley says it was not carved, which is believable based on how misshapen it is, but Harley says a few guidebooks he read say it was carved. I happen to believe Stanley, but you can decide whatever you want!

[calendar worthy]

[look at the little BABY hanging nearby!]

And carvings galore!

[a pretty roof on a carved cave]

[those notches were how they split big hunks off of rocks back in the day]

[yo just me and a temple carved 1.4 thousand years ago. no big deal.]

[Parvati, pretty sure she is Vishnu's wife. the giraffe in the background makes me wonder if they used to live in southern India?]

[hello Spinx! no one knows if they were inspired by Egypt or invented separately. spooky.]

Next we went to these ancient temples called the Five Rathas. I believe they were copies of wooden ones that were used to parade through the towns on holidays. I tried to take it least one photo of each of the five. Count with me…






*Teeny tiny worry that I missed number five and this is actually number three from a different angle. :/

[not just a baby but a freakin' newborn!!]

Finally there was the Shore Temple. It used to actually be right on the shore, but the government wanted to protect it, so now there is a fence and stuff.
It showed a lot more wear and tear than the others, perhaps due to its seaside location. 

[majestic, eh?]

Also, inside one of the parts of the temple is a phallic symbol representing Shiva. I got to teach Bryan that phallic means “penis-shaped” which was pretty hilarious. He told me he would have gotten me one of those if I were his Secret Indian Friend.
Here’s a photo.


We got home about 12:30 and the rest of the day was beach-tastic!! I don’t even like swimming that much, but I was so EXCITED to jump in! Hence this quote from my very own lips, “I have never been so excited to swim in my entire life!”
We ordered pizza by the beach first, which took a very long time. Afterwards, all the girls wanted to lay down and tan so only me, Andrew, and Kayla went body surfing in the ocean. It was so fun! We also tried out the pool for a bit, but since a foreign man told Andrew diving was “forbidden” he didn’t like it too much. Then we played a short, unscored game of beach volleyball.
A very very fun day. 

 [cow parade on the beach!]Ind

Finally, as it started to get dark, I began my paper. They are due tomorrow, you know.

Then there was dinner with Dr. Julius and his family (Sheela, Christopher, and Jocelyn). Oh, and Carl—Harley’s son—with his wife Jamie. Carl came here to a fancy physics school to learn about the physics of glass. Hehe.
After dinner, Jocelyn had brought his guitar so we were convinced to go outside and sing songs. We sang a bunch of Christian songs, Bryan sang My Heart Will Go On, Chris and Jocelyn sang their Eye Care Musical Message Commercial, and Janice (Harley’s wife) had a solo too.
It was very fun!
Plus, Megan had the great idea of going around and thanking the Julius family for specific things. They loved it.

Instead of going to bed, I stayed up nice and late writing my paper. You’ll be happy to know it was not as late as some people.


  1. Wow Christie! The places you've gone and the things you have seen!!


    Love the picture of the beach with the cows on it and the temples are amazing.

  2. Thanks, Mom! Glad you are still reading and commenting :)

  3. i think i would have loved this day, if i was there. how cool! the temples had to have been so much fun. i love the big stone elephant. i want to jump on him.

    the poor phallic symbol seems to have been mutilated...either that or the artist SUCKS. i bet it's confused for a stool now.

  4. It was fun, and WARM and historical!

    Heheheheheh it's really old, okay?! Probably just wear and tear........ or something.