The stunning visuals of the monuments at Mamallapuram, which served as a backdrop to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tête-à-tête, brought thousands of visitors to the world heritage site on Sunday.
While many braved the scorching sun, some tourists chose to catch a glimpse of the moon rising over the Shore Temple in the evening.
“This is where President Xi stood, exactly where you are standing,” a middle-aged man said to another, leading to banter and laughter as they walked to another spot.
Many took photos at the spot where Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi stood shaking hands. A few tried to replicate the scenes shown in the media. There were quite a foreign nationals as well. Many lazed around on the spruced up lawns, especially the patches sporting Korean grass. The atmosphere was one of a large picnic.
While many were content to catch a glimpse of the art and sculptures in the monuments that adorn the ancient port town, a few were disappointed as they could not see the Shore Temple lit up, like when Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi met. “We just came to see if things have improved. Not much. The lights that were put up for the event have been taken away,” said Pradeep and Latha, residents of Guduvanchery.
Hari Krishnan, a sculptor near Tiger Cave, visited the Shore Temple with his wife. “We came to see the lighting. I hear they removed it last night itself. They switched on the lights three days before the summit,” he said with touch of disappointment.
Srikanth, who works in an IT company, was not too happy with the cosmetic changes undertaken for the summit. “I regularly visit these monuments. Just look at the Shore Temple. The ASI needs to maintain it in a better manner,” he said.
Elsewhere in the town, business was back to normal. And, the scenic East Coast Road witnessed heavy traffic.