It's known for its rock carvings. It's some 65 km from Chennai. It's known for the Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Arjuna’s penance, and the Mandapams. Mahabalipuram is the coastal area of the east coast of India, so it's also home to some fine beach stay places. But it's essentially the rock carvings that capture the imagination of the traveller. Since it's on the east coast, the Bay of Bengal area, the sea is always rough and not really a destination for sea surfers or the likes.