As we got into Mamallapuram very late at night
the next day was a free day for laundry, shopping, exploring and visiting
the beaches on the Bay of Bengal. before we . Took the laundry down
so I could sleep past the 9 am deadline. Didn’t want to bother with breakfast
then, so just lazed about before we went to the Neelam Restaurant, linked
to the Mallama Hotel.
Walked across the street to a shop where I saw some
simple Indian cotton tops. The guy kept showing me item after item as I
tried them in a cubby hole in the back of the store...HOT! I finally got
2 tops and a scarf, and talked him intpo throwing in a second scarv that
I liked. The guy was also a jewelry designer and kept showing me stuff,
but I wasn’t interested and the prices were high. Wasdn’t keen on bargaining
for pieces I would never wear.
While I was in that shop, Bill was next door chatting
with the owner. He sold stone carvings, brass, copper, etc. Told me I had
to go and check the stuff out as he promised the guy. I looked around and
wasn’t interested until I saw a brass and black bowl. Couldn’t guess the
function. It was a meditation and healing bowl. When you rub along the
rim with a wooden baton, it emits a humming sound followed by the occasional
clang of a bell. You can also feel vibrations up the arm, supposedly the
healing function of the bowl. I couldn’t resist and bought it.
Went back to the room to cool off and then went out
just before sunset to walk down to the Bay of Bengal beaches. OMG!
The sea of humanity walking to the beach. It was a tough walk on sand with
stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs and food on both sides of the walk.
Saw a couple of people walking on crutches and wondered whether they made
it all the way.
We noticed another raised well-groomed area with paths
next to our walk and wondered why there was so few people there. Tried
to find a way in but all the gates were locked. Next day we visited this
fenced off area and learned that it was actually the Shore Temple.
We plowed on. When we got to the beach, it was covered
with people. It was Sunday, and school was out for the summer.