This is a close-up of either monkey heads or lion heads at the Shore Temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal in Mahabalipuram during a day trip on Sunday, March 16.
There were originally seven temples, called the Seven Pagodas, by sailors. The Shore Temple, built between 700-728 A.D., is the only one that remains, although, according to our guide, when the tsunami hit in 2004, portions of another pagoda washed up on the shores near the temple.
The intricacy of the stonework is amazing. The blue-white flecks along the wall are the remains of original plaster used to protect the temple from the elements. I think the flecks are what really help this picture stand out.
Here’s a picture of the whole temple.