Indian divers have found more evidence of an ancient port city, apparently revealed by the Indian ocean tsunami. Stone structures that are “clearly man-made” were seen on the seabed off the south coast, archaeologists say. They could be part of the mythical city of Mahabalipuram, which legend says was so beautiful that the gods sent a flood that engulfed six of its seven temples.
Other relics were revealed when the powerful waves washed away sand as they smashed into the Tamil Nadu coast.
The Archaeological Survey of India launched the diving expedition after residents reported seeing a temple and other structures as the sea pulled back just before the tsunami hit. Experts say a lion revealed by the tsunami is from the 7th Century.
The new finds were made close to the 7th Century beachfront Mahabalipuram temple, which some say is the structure that survived the wrath of the gods.
“We’ve found some stone structures which are clearly man-made,” expedition leader Alok Tripathi told the AFP news agency.
“They’re perfect rectangular blocks, arranged in a clear pattern.”
The ancient “gifts” of the tsunami are expected to be presented to an international seminar on maritime archaeology in Delhi next month.
Other discoveries made at Mahabalipuram earlier this month include a granite lion of a similar age to the temple that experts believe had been buried for centuries before the tsunami shifted the sand.
Archaeologists have been working at the site for the last three years, since another diving expedition discovered what appeared to be a submerged city, including at least one temple.
The myths of Mahabalipuram were first written down by British traveller J Goldingham who was told of the “Seven Pagodas” when he visited in 1798.
The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore.
Structures are clearly visible in the murky waters
The myths also state that a large city which once stood on the site was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day.
Chances of being real, a solid 99%.