Expedition-leader Monty Halls commented “Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man made attributes. The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with fifty dives conducted over a three day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field. This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation.”
The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by a British traveler J. Goldingham who visited the South Indian coastal town in 1798, at which time it was known to sailors as the Seven Pagodas. The myths, still repeated by local fishermen and priests today speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore. The myths also state that a large city once stood here which was so beautiful that the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day.
Investigations were carried out at 5 locations in 5 to 8 m water depths, 500 to 700 m off the shore temple. Investigations at each location have shown the presence of construction stone masonry, remains of walls, a big square rock cut, and scattered square rectangular stone blocks. Most of the structures are damaged and scattered in a vast area, providing substratum for barnacles, mussels and other sedentary organisms.
The discoveries made by the joint SES-NIO expedition appear to confirm that there is substance to the myths. Said Hancock: “I have argued for many years that the world’s flood myths deserve to be taken seriously – a view that most Western academics reject. But here in Mahabalipuram we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong.” The scale of the submerged ruins cover several square miles and at distances of up to a mile from shore.