In beaches across the world, you will find rows of people sunning themselves or children swimming in the shallow waters. The beach scene in
Fitness conscious citizens arrive early in the morning to watch the sun rise while burning off calories walking, jogging or even running on the beach. Yoga is also practiced here and sometimes, you find members of a Laughing Club guffawing away stress. Stalls with makeshift tables hawking freshly made juices and wellness products open at the crack of dawn. On Sunday mornings, much cricket is played on the vast sandy expanse. On January 1 every year, people arrive at the beach nearest to them, to watch the first sunrise of the year.
Evenings on the beach are a respite from the fierce heat of the day in this part of
The beaches in Chennai are incomplete without the hawkers - as is any beach visit without a snack. Some beaches have stalls of vendors selling anything from vegetable fritters to tender coconut water. There are also mobile vendors of ice cream, and sellers of murukku (a spiral-shaped crisp) and the ubiquitous sundal (a tossed salad of boiled yellow peas, coconut shavings, pieces of raw green mango and finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves).
Here’s a whistle-stop introduction to the popular beaches of Chennai.
The Marina Beach is the most popular beach in Chennai and allegedly the second longest urban beach in the world. It is a 12-km long stretch between Fort St. George and Besant Nagar. A series of buildings line Kamaraj Road that runs along the Marina Beach – the Police Commissioner’s office, the University Buildings, Presidency College, the Public Works Department office, the Vivekananda House (Ice House) - all harkening back to a bygone era. The credit for creating and naming the
When you cross
Elliot’s Beach in Besant Nagar used to be the hangout of those living in the locality and the means of livelihood for the fisherfolk. However, as the city inevitably expanded, Elliot’s Beach became an overnight alternative to the Marina Beach. The Schmidt Memorial stands on this beach and there are two shrines along this stretch – the
Thiruvanmiyur & Valmiki Nagar
Thiruvanmiyur lies beyond Adyar and Besant Nagar in
Beyond Kottivakkam, beaches like Covelong, are relatively unspoilt. Farmhouses, weekend homes and beach resorts line this stretch. While the concept of a private beach doesn’t exist, the houses and resorts along the coast have easier access to the beach than those traveling along the highway.
If you go further down the
A word of caution: There are strong undercurrents in the