There is a small town called “Mamara Plum” in Tamil Nadu on the southeast coast of India. It used to be a seaport and found ancient coins of China, Persia and Rome. In 1984, the temple complex of Mahabalipuram was listed on the World Heritage List. However, this landscape full of South Indian customs and full of sculptural history is rarely known to Chinese tourists. Until recently, after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Modi held a second informal meeting in the town, the town of Mahabalipura began to attract more tourists.
Many temples are carved from stone
The ancient temple complex in the town was built in the 7th to 8th centuries. On the way to the ancient temples, the reporters of the “Global Times” saw a natural scenery around the ancient temples, quiet and peaceful, and the sound of seagulls accompanied by tall and low coconut trees seemed to be in a paradise. After entering the entrance of the ancient temple group, it is a not too wide main road. There is no strong commercial atmosphere around it. It is just a local residence, a small shop selling daily necessities, and the stone carving shop piles up unfinished works. Most of the tourists are natives, and there are few Western and East Asian faces. The locals are very enthusiastic about the reporters. Wherever the reporters go, they can see the local people holding Chinese brand mobile phones. They hope to take photos with reporters. Many local people said that they have never been to China and would like to know what China is like.
The first temple on the main road is the Sayamana Bram Temple. The roof of the temple hall is painted with bright religious patterns. The colors are bright, and the men and women can see the wax and blessings. Behind the temple is a huge open-air stone relief, about 10 meters high and about 30 meters long. The name is called A Zhouna, also known as the origin of the Ganges. The relief stone is carved on a piece of natural giant granite. There is a naturally formed crack in the center of the rock. The locals call it a crack that represents the Ganges water that descends from the sky. Around this rift are humans, gods, Shura, snakes, and animals, as if depicting the sacred moments of sentient beings. The floating sculptures of animals are lifelike, deer, tickle monkeys, hordes of elephants, and the locals call these vivid images of the worship of the believers.
Next to the stone sculpture of Ajuana is the Krishna Temple. The temple was carved in a cave, not too big, carved out of a whole stone, and most of the temples here are like this. The entrance to the temple is a large column of side-by-side carved animals such as sheep or lions. There are also various gods and animals carved in the cave. The locals claimed that this temple used to hold public rituals.
Going forward is the five chariot temples, referred to as the five-car temple. These five chariots are the best example of the 7th century Palava architectural art. They are carved from five whole pieces of granite and depict the chariots of the five ancient Indian heroes. The five temples are lined up side by side, with the most middle one standing in front. The tour guide called this a very typical form of Indian architecture. There are sculptures of elephants and lions around the temple.
There are some interesting stone attractions in the world, such as the Norwegian trail stone, the flying stone of Anhui Huangshan Mountain, the Fengdong stone of Fujian Dongshan, etc., which attracts many tourists to enjoy, but the town of Mahabalipuram The Rishner boulder is particularly eye-catching.
This stone is called “Krishner’s Butter Ball” (pictured). The stone weighs 250 tons and sits on a smooth rock slope of about 1.2 meters and 45 degrees. Its contact area with the ground is only about 0.4 square meters. Although it seems to be crumbling, as if to roll down at any time, the locals claim that the stone has stood still for 1300 years. King Palava has allegedly moved the strongest warrior in his army and ended up failing. The second attempt occurred in the early 20th century, when local rulers worried that the boulder would roll down and destroy the town below the hillside, so the seven elephants pulled it and it did not succeed. In the past more than 1,000 years, even natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes have failed to move this boulder.
This stone is a huge granite stone. The local tour guide said that the stone has a magnetic force and can attract the stone. He showed the reporter a stone in his house, saying it was the same material as the boulder. The reporter saw two pieces of iron on the stone and was firmly sucked.
There are also speculations about how butter balls are formed. Some people think that it is the gods who put the rock there. Some people think that it is formed naturally. The erosion, water flow, wind blowing, etc. form a ball stone. Today, there is no reasonable and authoritative statement to explain its source.
It has been suggested that it is impossible to shape the shape of the Krishna butter ball by erosion, water flow or wind blowing, because this stone seems to be a complete sphere from the hillside, but on the other side, half of the stone is like a human being. The cut is the same as the knife, and the section is very smooth. As for the other side of the boulder, what was cut off, it is still waiting for people to explore and discover.
Thousands of stone carving artists
The local rich stone carving culture has also made a group of outstanding sculptors. The villagers usually have many stone sculptures of various sizes. The local villagers also regard carving as the main means of making a living. In the town, you can see a shop selling carvings, some selling original stone carvings, and some selling more refined stone carvings after processing. According to local people, there are thousands of sculptors in the town, and some members of the family are engaged in carving.
On the way to the village, the reporter saw a stone carving artist’s shop on the side of the road, a small house of about 5 square meters, and extended the tent to the outside. The stone carving artist carved the stone under the tent. According to local people, these stone carving artists earn 800 rupees a day, about 80 yuan, which is a relatively high-paying job in the local area, but the work is very hard. The villagers are proud to say that the town of Mahabalipura is already a famous hometown of carvings in India. Their works are not only purchased by tourists but also exported to other countries. The owner of the stone shop said that it is hoped that more Chinese tourists will learn about the charm of the local stone sculptures through this leader’s summit. They can also export stone carvings to China.