Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 16:24 (UTC+0530)

Mamallapuram —

We awoke in this little fishing town that has become slightly overrun with tourists. On the sandy beaches fishermen still patch their nets, kept company by prowling dogs and lazy cows. We strolled around and found a small local temple clad in gold and decorated with murals of Hindu gods. Not far away was a Shore Temple, more popular with tourists, that was carved into stone, the figures eroding with the passing years.

On our stroll today we were under a blazing sun directly overhead, casting only small shadows under our feet. We passed roaming cows being fed by shop keepers, bunches of goats that pruned the hanging roots of banyan trees, and innumerable dogs lazing or scratching at a flea. Occasional thunderous chugging sounds came from the popular Royal Enfield 350 motorbikes, the gorgeous Harleys of India.

At the Pancha Rathas we found more delightful stone carvings playfully arranged. Near the Light House we saw many locals in colorful costume, and even more locals around Krishna's Butter Ball, a giant stone marble that may be just about to roll over everyone.

Heading back to the hotel for some shade and rest we saw a local man, standing on a stick he tied to a power pole, doing some ad hoc electric work up in the live distribution wires. It seems these folks like to live on the edge!