Before to jump in to the little town, let's take a look at the surroundings of Mamallapuram.(You can see the large version by clicking original under the note.)
Paddy (the rice in fields) is the main crop. It is raised in three crops. Viz the first crop is known as 'Kuruvali' ( the short term crop) with a duration of three and a half to four months from June to July to Oct-Nov. The second crop is called the 'Thaladi' has a duration of 5 to 6 months Oct -Nov to Feb -March. Third is 'Samba '(the long term) crop and has a duration of almost 6 months from Aug to January. Chief source of irrigation are the rivers tanks and wells . Tamil Nadu depends mostly on the water supply of Kerala and Karnataka due to decreasing rain fall. Some farmers committed suicide last year, unable to pay back loans to the bank.