|Even today the
lower part of the famous relief "Arjuna's penance" is about 12 feet below the
ground level. It appears that this part of the coast was visited by a mighty tidal wave
which destroyed Mahabalipuram and its surroundings.
large quantities of stones lying near the temple, and others which are found partially
buried in the sea, indicate that other buildings must have existed here, which were
destroyed and overwhelmed by the ocean. During the last century this place received the
attention of the Government and steps were taken to
remove the drift sand, which had raised the level of the locality, and the discovered
monuments were preserved. It is likely that
there are more monuments, religious and -secular, lying buried underneath the high sand
dunes of the neighborhood.