Must Visit

Marina Beach

4.3 / 5 81 votes

About Marina Beach

Weather:

Ideal Time: 2-3 hours

Open Time: Throughout the day

Cost: Free

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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. Marina beach has statues of heroes from the Tamil culture such as Anna and MGR, a salute to their never-ending efforts to make Tamil Nadu a fast growing city of India. In an attempt to make this beach the hotspot for tourism, an aquarium has also been constructed on the Marina Beach.

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 a breeding ground for olive ridley sea turtles as well. 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.

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.

Major attractions of Marina beach

The stripline of the Marina beach is lined with a number of attractions and beautiful architectures that you can visit on your trip here. 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.

Activities at Marina Beach

Being a popular spot among tourists and locals alike, a number of different events and celebrations are held at the Marina Beach from time to time. The annual Independence Day and the Republic Day ceremonial parades and air shows are held along the promenade along with the unfurling of the national flag in the Marina. Annual idol-immersion event following the Hindu festival of Vinayaka Chathurthi takes place at the Marina beach, where most of the idols of Lord Ganesh kept on display during the festival in the city are immersed in the sea. The beach is also the venue for several marathon and walkathon campaigns throughout the year conducted for various causes. In addition to these, arrangements for kite flying, beach cricket, swimming pools, skating arena and artificial water fountains are situated at the Marina Beach as well.

Top Hotels near Marina Beach

  • Dhans

    Starting from INR 2,975

  • The Leela Palace Chennai

    Starting from INR 7,100

  • The Raintree, St. Mary’s Road

    Starting from INR 4,410

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. 

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. 

Shopping in 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

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. 

Marina Beach Reviews

3 months ago by Sravya Vemuri

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 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.

3 months ago by Anam Shaikh

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 stationed 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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