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Marina Beach, Chennai Overview

Situated in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, 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 also the most crowded beach in India with almost 30,000 visitors a day. 

With a white sandy shore that looks as though extending to infinity, the landscape of Marina Beach is a mesmerising and serene sight to behold. The beach has a primarily sandy terrain and is dotted with plenty of merry-go-rounds and shops selling souvenirs. You could take a walk along the Marina beach with your near and dear ones or even all alone and enjoy the cool evening sea breeze along with a hot plate of crispy sundal and murukku. Watching the sun crawl upwards into the sky or even disappear into the ocean from the beach, is an awe-striking and enchanting experience.

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Restaurants near Marina Beach

Being a tourist hotspot and a local favourite, Marina Beach and the surrounding area of Mylapore has a lot to offer gastronomically. Here are a few places you definitely should drop into while at Marina Beach:

1. Zuka Cafe: This chic cafe in Mylapore is a great place to indulge your sweet-tooth in. They are known for their Hot chocolate and brownies, a 4.4 starrer on Zomato. Average cost - Approx INR. 1000 for two.

2. Bistro 1427: Pocket-friendly and vegetarian, this bistro is coming up really well owing to it’s affordable hearty meals. A definite go-to if you’re visiting during FIFA or the IPL season! Average cost - Approx INR. 700 for two.

3. Libarrel: As the name promises, this bar is going to be liberal when it comes to the barrels. A full-bar at an affordable price. Their exciting cocktails and extensive liquor collection will put a perfect end to your day, without burning a hole in your pocket. Average cost - Approx INR. 1000 for two.

4. Sundari Akka Sea Food Stall: What it lacks in aesthetic it makes up for in the food. This stall at Marina beach is always in demand. Fresh seafood served traditional Chettinad style. Average cost - Approx INR. 200 for two.

5. Nagaraj Kulfi Stall: Selling cool kulfis in the heat of Chennai is Nagaraj anna. His popular kulfis sell till 1 AM. You might have to wait upto 20 minutes for the legendary 30 Rupee kulfi - delicious and thick.

Major Attractions along Marina beach

If you are into architecture, the Marina beach road is home to some of the most famous and beautiful British buildings like the University of Madras, Senate-House, Chepauk Palace, Presidency College, P.W.D office and Ice House. There are many statues of Tamil scholars, the Victory of Labour and the Mahatma Gandhi statue which are considered as splendid pieces of art. All these structures are located on the promenade road which was constructed way back in 1884. There is also a 49 meter high Old Light House which provides a panoramic view of the city from its top and is the only light house in India with a lift.

The aquarium in the Marina beach is known for its extraordinary and rare collections of both tropical sea fishes and fresh water fishes. It was the country's first aquarium and was established in 1909. There is also an Ice House which is situated within the Aquarium and is used to store ice brought from Great Lakes in North America. Another sight worth seeing here is the Velankanni church and the Ashtalakshmi temple which is always filled with tourists. Other structures along the coastline include a statue of Robert Caldwell, Kambar, Illango Adigal, Bharathiar, Kannagi, a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, G.O Pope, Annie Besant, Bharathidasan, Thiruvalluvar, Swami Vivekananda, Avvaiyar, Veerama Munivar, Kamarajar, Periyar and Sivaji Ganesan.

Best Time To Visit Marina Beach

The ideal time to visit the beach is from November to February. During this time the weather is pleasant and you are spared the hot and humid climate that Chennai is infamous for. Morning and evening hours are cooler and more pleasant.

Nightlife at Marina Beach

Chennai has a lot to offer for all the night-owls. Most of the lounges and bars are affordable, with the prices ranging from INR 1200 to 3000. It’s vibrant and upbeat bars and pubs are dispersed throughout the city. Certain places, like Illusions, allows only couples entry, so be sure to check in with the place before you visit. Moon and Sixpence, The Leather Bar, and Pasha are some of the hottest spots that localites to frequent, especially on the weekends.

Shopping At Marina Beach

Street food vendors are aplenty at the Marina Beach, and you can buy a variety of snacks to munch on. Other than that, knick - knacks are also sold here quite abundantly.

Tips For Visiting Marina Beach

1. Carry sunscreen, sunglasses and water bottles
2. Wear comfortable footwear
3. Swimming is not allowed in the sea owing to the dangerous tides. However, designated pools are present in the beach area where you can swim.

History of the Beach

The Marina Beach has an interesting history attached to it. Before the Madras Harbour was built, what the beach was nothing more than a strip of mud infested with mudskippers. The beach was formed a s a result of regular sand deposits towards the present day road until 1881, when the harbour was built. The pristine beauty of the Marina beach was first noticed by Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff, who was the governor of Madras and he commissioned the building of a boulevard along the stretch of sand. From 1881 to 1886, the beach was diligently worked upon and in 1884 it was christened the Madras Marina by Elphinstone himself. A number of structures were added to the Marina beach's coastline from the 19th century onwards.

How To Reach Marina Beach

Marina beach stretches from St George Fort to Besant Nagar. If you are travelling by your own vehicle take the North Beach road which leads right to the beach and runs parallel to it. If you are at the Mofussil Koyambedu bus stand you can take a Chennai corporation bus to get the Marina beach. Buses from Coimbet to Paris and from Paris to Marina beach are available as well.

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Marina Beach Reviews

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Sravya Vemuri

on Marina Beach 4 years ago
The beach has a wide shore area. Apart from a scenic view of the sky and water meeting, there are a good number of wholesale stores on the beach road. For a fitness enthusiast, it is ideal to go for (Read More)walk along this beach road in the early mornings. There are washrooms and toilets in the place. However, cleanliness is an issue. There is a great improvement over the years, but the scope remains large for further green initiatives. There is free parking facility as well.

Anam Shaikh

on Marina Beach 4 years ago
Marina Beach is the longest natural urban beach in the country. Bathing and swimming is illegal at Marina beach since the undercurrent in the region is very strong and there are no lifeguards station (Read More)ed here. Apart from enjoying on the beach, there are many historical monuments built at the junction of pathway stand. Some of them include Annadurai and MG Ramachandran memorials, statues of heroes from Tamil culture, Indo Saracenic buildings, monuments of Tamil scholars, patriots and famous personalities including Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose. One of the most remarkable effigies is the Triumph of Labor by Debiprasad Roy Choudhary. Various stalls of food items including murukku, sundal, ice-cream and other South-Indian snacks are located in its vicinity to curb the cravings of the foodies. An aquarium, situated near the beach, comprises of some of the most astonishing and splendid range of tropical sea and fresh water fish. It gives you a chance to be familiar with the aquatic life and see what God has blessed the sea life of Chennai with. And then south to its location is situated the Ice House, which was used for storage of ice brought from great lakes in North America during the time of British. The sun is unforgiving, carry sun-screen and stay hydrated.
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