One of the major tourist spots of Chennai is the Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram which is located about 60 Km away from Chennai. The place gains its significance from the rocky beach and the monuments that date back to the Pallava reign of the 7th-8th centuries. Some of the must-see monuments are the Arjuna's penace which is probably the world's largest sculpted base-relief, the five Rathas or the chariot, the shore temple, the Krishna temple - one of the oldest temples, the light house from where one can get a stunning view of the surrounding areas. The famous Mahabalipuram dance festival which is usually in the months of January/February attracts many a visitors and participants from different parts of the country. There are numerous resorts, restaurants and hotels to stay and relax and enjoy the beauty of the rocky beach and the monuments. There is an entry fee for the visitors.
An apt picnic spot, the Tiger Caves serve as a great retreat for the nature lovers and is situated about 5 Km from Mahabalipuram in the Saluvankuppam region. The crown of carved tiger heads on a cave around the temple which sets it apart from the rest of the rocks and hence the name Tiger caves. The cave, the beach, the well maintained lawn with palm, casuarinas and other trees make the place an ideal and a must-see destination on the way from Mahabalipuram. The Archaeological Survey of India takes the responsibility of its maintenance.