Chariots of Stone

From Mahabalipuram, India – Dispatch 3 of 3


In the midst of sand and spume there was only the sound of silence.

I was in ancient Mahabalipuram in South India on a sultry summer day in 1986.

A short walk away from the Shore Temple sprawled a tribute in stone dedicated to the heroes of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata.




Upon an embankment stood fashioned five “chariots” (never understood how these looked like chariots!)  carved in stone – monolithic structures each hewn into its own peculiar shape. From the mighty Dharmaraja Ratha which towers above the rest, to the oblong Sahadeva Ratha and the little hut-like Draupadi Ratha, each monument seemed to share a history of its own.

Only the thrum of the booming sea wafted in the cool breeze as I watched these stone sentinels that had seen thirteen centuries of winds and waves dashing against the ramparts of an ancient sea-port.

Commercial scratchboards weren’t available then – I therefore put my homemade scratchboard of hardboard, gesso and India ink to use, creating this work over a couple of days.


– Check out to get more insights into my new book Rambles into Sacred Realms: Exploring Divinity through Pen and Paint, where I invite readers to experience such adventure, humor and imagery illustrating my travels.


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