The most famous beach in Chennai, Marina Beach is a natural urban beach along the Bay of Bengal. The beach is stretched out to a distance of 13 kilometres making it the longest natural urban beach in the country, second largest in the world and the most crowded beach in India with almost 30,000 visitors a day. The beach hosts daily picnic-goers and sea lovers. One can spot families and kids enjoying the warm waters and indulging in other fun activities on the sandy shoreline. Many food stalls cater to hungry visitors each day.
Breezy Beach lays in the remote and serene neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar in Chennai. Being smaller and less polluted, its a perfect for those who shy away from crowds. This beach is not as popular as Marina or Elliot's beach but is just as amazing. Evenings are very pleasant and breezy here, and in recent years, lots of tourists have been attracted towards this beach for its beauty. Those looking for an amiable, refreshing and breezy place to chill out and have fun, the Breezy beach of Chennai is the place to be.
Elliot's Beach aka "Besant Nagar Beach" or "Bessie" is located in Besant Nagar, Chennai. It forms the end-point of the Marina Beach shore and is named after Edward Elliot (who was once the Chief Magistrate, Superintendent of Madras and Governor of Chennai during the British times). This mesmerising beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the city of Chennai. Located towards the south of Marina Beach, an incredibly calm and tranquil place, it does not offer much activity hence, is an ideal spot for long walks.
One of the most popular attractions in Chennai is Guindy National Park. Ranked as the eighth smallest National Park in India, Guindy National Park is spread over 2.70 km square in the Protected area of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. Maintained by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the park is an excellent picnic spot in Chennai with friends or family. What is interesting about Guindy National Park is that it is the only park which is located inside a city in India.
Considered as one of the cleanest and beautiful beaches in Chennai, VGP Golden beach is a highly sought-after leisure and picnic spot in the city by family and friends. This beach is a part of the VGP Universal Kingdom, which is a famous amusement park and lies on the East Coast Road. This mesmerising beach is an appealing part of the Bay of Bengal, with its smooth and silver sand situated on Marina, the second longest beach in the world. Visitors can enjoy the warm waters and indulge in some fun activities on the sandy shores.
Also known as Adyar Poonga or Adyar Eco Park, Tholkappia Poonga is an ecological park established by an initiative of the Tamil Nadu government. Situated in the Adyar estuary of Chennai, the park has over 160 species of trees and is visited by tourists and localities alike. The flora and fauna who call this park home make it a wonderful educational cum recreational spot in Chennai. Many schools and groups of children conduct day visits to learn and enjoy a leisurely picnic here.
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Opened in November 2010, Semmozhi Poonga is the first botanical park of Chennai. Boasting over 500 species of plants, the collection includes herbs and medicinal plants as well. The entire park has been divided into 8 zones with an individual theme. The park is one of the most popular tourist spots of the city owing to its charm, beauty and bounteous nature. Like other parks in the city, it serves as a wonderful recreational and educational venue for adults and children alike.
Under the administration of the Chennai Port Trust, Royapuram Fishing Harbour is one of the most popular fishing grounds in Chennai. Located in a region which is famous for seafood, this harbour surely has its name among the busiest fishing hubs of Tamil Nadu. If you visit the Royapuram Fishing Harbour, you will almost always find the place crowded with different types of fishing vessels. The harbour has many spots which serve as little as excellent picnic spots across the shoreline. Visitors come to catch a glimpse of the fishing activity and enjoy the serene sunset as well.
Muttukadu Lake in Chennai is famous for its boat rides. On a daily basis, expect to see people of all ages with their friends or families come to enjoy a leisurely boat ride. The calm and cool environment near the lake serves as an excellent picnic spot in Chennai. The lake is well maintained and the activities properly run. For those who are a little more adventurous, speed boat rides are also available.
One of the most popular picnic spots in Vandalur, the Arignar Zoological Park is an amazing place to discover the flora and fauna of the region. A favourite weekend spot with both children and adults alike, the Arignar Zoo is situated at a distance of 32 kilometres from Chennai city. Housing as many as 138 different species of organisms, this destination is every nature lover's paradise. The Park is also home to a variety of animals such as Himalayan brown bear, lion, tiger, elephant and Indian civet cat.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Time Required: 3-4 hrs
Entry Fee: Adults- INR 50
Children below 2 years- Free
Children aged 2-12 years- INR 20
Cameras- INR 25
Zoo round (Adult): INR 100
Zoo round (Child): INR 50
Located on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal near the village Covelong, Kovalam Beach was given the name 'Covelong' by the British due to their inefficiency of pronouncing "Kovalam". A perfect retreat amidst palm trees and silver sand, Covelong Beach was once set up as a port by Saadat Ali for Carnatic Nawabs. From the centuries earlier to the times after, the Beach has been transformed into one of the best excursion and picnic spots. The village nearby has India's first Surfing School. The beach offers a plethora of water activities to its visitors. Be sure to catch the amazing sunset as well before you leave.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee: No entry fee
Lying on the boundary of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake is the second largest lagoon in the country. This fantastic destination is a natural beauty and also serves as a habitat for birds under the name of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. The lake is separated by the Bay of Bengal by the barrier island of Sriharikota, which is also a rocket launching centre of India. Situated in the midst of scintillating virgin charms and cutting edge technological hotspot, the Pulicat Lake has something for everyone.
Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee: Free
Situated in the city of Kancheepuram, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary covering a total area of 30 hectares. This sanctuary is a popular migratory home for around 40,000 different species of birds from all over the world. It is said that such a vast number of birds are attracted to this location because of its various small lakes that prove to be a fertile feeding ground for the birds. The birds can be seen eating, swimming, homemaking, diving, squawking or simply perching on the trees.
Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : Adults: INR 25,
Children: INR 5,
Parking: INR 10,
Camera: INR 25
Sadras is an exquisite beach resort that is quite popular among picnickers and day-trippers. This beach resort is located 13 kilometres outside of Mahabalipuram. There are an old ruined Dutch Fort and a Dutch cemetery with finely embossed headstones. It is intriguing to explore some of the Dutch history in the region as well as that of India itself.
How many of these picnic spots in Chennai have you visited? Let us know in the comment section below