Mamallapuram is a millennia-old archaeological settlement considered a World Heritage site by UNESCO

On Saturday February 8, 2020, the students of the Amala Annai Higher Sec. School (Mambakkam, Tamil Nadu)—a compound constructed by the Cuomo Foundation’s contribution—visited the historic site of Mamallapuram. The outing was part of an extra-curricular program aimed at cultural awakening of the students. For the pupils from the only green rural school in the state of Tamil Nadu, this was an opportunity to seize the importance of a nearby archaeological site, famous and celebrated around the world.

Mamallapuram is a seaside village located 40 km from Mambakkam. This fishing settlement is home to an archaeological site of primary importance to the country with a series of monuments, erected from the 7th century AD on and carved out of the rock. These artificial caves decorated with sculptures and bas-reliefs pay homage to the Hindu gods—Shiva, Vishnu and Krishna—while celebrating the heroes of the Mahabharata, the great epic of Sanskrit literature. The site, recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, remains a highlight of the Indian statuary.

This special meeting with History, organized in parallel with other extra-curricular activities focusing on eco-citizenship, thus completes a versatile program which advocates the preservation of Nature and Culture.

During the outreach event at this port site—one known since the ancient Greece—the 140 students of Mambakkam made acquaintance with the cultural and religious heritage of their region. This special meeting with History, organized in parallel with other extra-curricular activities focusing on eco-citizenship, thus completes a versatile program which advocates the preservation of Nature and Culture. It was also a message conveyed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received Chinese President Xi Jinping on the same site barely three months ago. In the morning of that historic summit, which brought together two leaders representing 40% of humanity alone, the Indian Prime Minister was spotted collecting waste on the beach at Mamallapuram, in the name of the war he had declared against plastic.

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