In the midst of everything that matters
Trip to Mahabalipuram – 01
Travel isn’t an escape… and yet it is. If subliminal urban charms like mall-hopping, weaving in and out of intense traffic, racing with city-bred stress, and posturing in the virtual world need to be distanced, one needs an escape. However, every escape brings you nearer a few other charms that your mind may have forgotten to appreciate.
Some of these almost forgotten charms are what I experienced at Chariot Beach Resort. I walked out from my room and was on the beach in less than three minutes where, as I looked at the waves rushing towards me, a helpful staffer pointed out that on my left in the distance was the Shore temple with a part of it submerged and to my right some distance away was Kalpakkam, a village that has the Madras Atomic Power Station and the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research. I was right in the middle with mythology, culture, and the past on one side and a symbol of contemporary scientific temper on the other… and the vast sea of undiscovered moments in front of me. Now this is what I call ‘The Real Escape’.
Coming back to the resort, as this post is primarily on the resort where I stayed… the rooms are spacious (and my room had a roofless shower as well with palm leaves gently swaying to protect me from the sun or stray bird droppings), the massive pool goes on until you mutter ‘wow!’, the life-guards are friendly, informative and helpful, the walk from the resort to the beach is well-lighted, the spa is next to the beach, the spa manager is a great conversationalist and tells you a lot about Kalaripayattu, the meals are sumptuous (I loved their appam and stew), the adventure course in the campus exhilarates, the multiple dining options and event options make you hum with pleasure, and the views from everywhere are calming.
The room service is prompt and these people are willing to go out of their way to make your stay comfortable. I felt I was in the lap of every modern amenity but always reaching out for the quaint and the exotic. A stay here is what soothes the nerves and makes the brain bounce back to its receptive stage.
Choosing a room here is simple… you can have a pool view room or one that has windows opening towards the beach that is next to the resort. Cottages, suites, deluxe and standard are the way the resort defines them – but listen, irrespective of your choice of a room, you are always near the beach wind that beckons you.
What matters when you travel is how well you are connected to all that you had planned to do and all that pops up to surprise you. This beach resort has all the elements to give your frayed nerves a breather, your inner creative instinct slowly opens its eyes and once again starts humming thoughts that you had assumed were fading out fast, and you are full of experiences that are going to stay with you for a long time.
Yes, everything I thought of and even those that I could not have thought of, happened in a matter of just three days. These include rides on a catamaran to see the submerged temples, a long walk on the beach to reach the shore temple, climbing up to an ancient lighthouse with its modern version right next to it, clicking pictures of people and expressions that one sees only in this region, having food that tickles your palate in ways that it is completely unaccustomed to, coming face-to-face with a massive boulder that is precariously balanced and yet doesn’t roll down, getting into the heart of a part of our own mythology, exploring work on soapstone, understanding nuances of wood-carvings, marveling at the creative interpretations of sea-shells, and of course knowing that after every outing that tires you there is always the comfort of the wonderful beach resort that you have wisely chosen.
Yes, I did love every moment spent in Mahabalipuram and if only you will read the other linked posts, you will know why.
12 January 2018