Welcome to the longest beach of India, Marina Beach, comprising of golden sand, good surf and a shimmering clean blue sea. This beach is counted among one of the longest beaches in Asia. Its 12-km long stretch was made beautiful by the wonderful facelift given by Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in the early 1880's, and is Chennai's major tourist attraction today.
Leisure & Entertainment Activities At Marina Beach
Marina beach is located on the eastern side of Chennai, adjoining the Bay of Bengal. Watching the sun set and rise from the beach is a fascinating experience. Though bathing and swimming can be dangerous, as the undercurrent is very strong, even then people come for swimming here. In the evenings, the beach is virtually a fair ground with various kinds of entertainment and food stalls lining the beach.
With its natural sandy beauty and spacious promenade and beautiful gardens, the Marina beach is a major attraction for tourists visiting Chennai. One can even shop around the beach, with local vendors hawking wares ranging from shell and glass baubles to kites and fruit juices. The Marina, however, is large enough to accommodate all visitors as well as the hawkers and is often the venue for important state functions. There are also facilities of pony rides at the beach site, which attract the children's interest the most.
Attractions Around Marina Beach
Some of the most beautiful buildings in Chennai such as the University of Madras, Senate-House, Chepauk Palace, Presidency College, P.W.D office and Ice House are located on the beach drive. At the other end of the beach is the new lighthouse. In between, sentinels on the promenade, are several statues of Tamil scholars and two splendid bits of sculpture- the Victory of Labour and the Mahatma Gandhi.
Close to the Marina beach is the aquarium, which has some of the most exotic collection of tropical sea fishes and fresh water fishes. The aquarium gives a chance to have a closer look at the aquatic life. The Ice House, which was used to store ice brought from Great Lakes in North America, is south to the Aquarium.
Anna And MGR Samadhis:
Situated on the beach, the Anna and MGR Samadhis, which are the memorials of the most popular, former Chief ministers of the state; attracts a good chunk of crowd everyday.