The mighty Boxing Day tsunami has revealed what archaeologists believe to be the lost ruins of an ancient
city off the coast of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The 30-metre waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand
to unearth a pair of elaborately carved stone lions and a stallion near the famous 7th century Dravidian
temple on the coast at Mahabalipuram, south of Madras. Indian archaeologists believe these granite
beasts once guarded a small port city that may have been submerged since the last Ice Age.
The two metre high lion statues, each hewn from a single piece of granite, appear breathtakingly lifelike.
One great stone cat sits up alert while the other is poised to pounce. Two man-made foundation walls
also remain visible beneath the murky waters, now measurably shallower. The tsunami also de-silted a
large bas-relief stone panel that had been buried in sand for centuries, close to the shore temple.
The half-completed sculpted elephant was effectively scoured clean by the great waves and now attracts
mobs of visitors who touch its eroded trunk as a good luck talisman.