Marina Beach

Relaxed walks, pretty sunrises, elaborate entertainment, traditional Indian street food and historical landmarks make this one of Chennai’s liveliest beaches.

Marina Beach is a fascinating combination of nature, architecture and entertainment. This long stretch of golden sand overlooks the Bay of Bengal, with glorious blue-green water lapping at its shores. Marina Beach presents a breezy respite from Chennai’s searing heat and is a place enjoyed by local residents and tourists alike. Come here to experience scenic sunrises, dip your feet in the ocean, try typical street food and spot architecturally impressive landmarks.

Escape the bustle of Chennai’s city streets, go for a stroll on the beach and feel the soft sand between your toes. Wake up early to marvel as the sun rises over the Bay of Bengal and casts a captivating light over the city. Watch as fishermen paddle out into the ocean on colorful wooden catamarans. Wade in the warm water, but avoid swimming as strong currents and rip tides are common.

In the late afternoon the beach becomes a hive of energetic activity. You’ll see countless games of cricket, kids flying kites, fortune tellers, tightrope walkers and stunt performers. Browse the fish markets and be sure to try classic Indian snacks. Enjoy roasted corn on the cob smeared with a dressing of lime and chili powder. Go to the southern end of the beach and climb to the summit of the lighthouse for sweeping city views.

Wander along Marina Beach Road (aka Kamarajar Promenade), a beachfront boulevard lined with monuments and striking buildings. Check out the Triumph of Labour statue, Annadurai Memorial and MGR Memorial at the beach’s north end. Look for statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Subramaniya Bharathiyar, a famous Tamil Nadu poet. Admire the 19th-century Vivekananda House, which puts on art and multimedia exhibitions.

Marina Beach runs south from Fort St. George. It’s about a 10-minute drive from the city center. Chepauk, Thiruvallikeni and Light House train stations are all a short walk from the beach. Alternatively, take one of the city’s affordable taxis or auto-rickshaws. You might want to combine your beach time with a visit to nearby Chennai Citi Centre, a shopping mall with numerous fashion outlets and a large food court.

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