The Marina Beach, named after the Italian word ‘marina’ translates into a promenade facing the sea, and is the place every Chennaite will relate to about living in Chennai. Holding the spotlight for being the second longest urban beach in the world, the Marina stretches nearly 13 kilometers along the Indian coast, and is the preferred hangout for weekends and festive holidays or rather a place for many moods.
A sea-shored culture with busy crowds, the Marina beach raves about street food galore, gully cricket, kite flying, galloping horse-back rides, ferry wheels for children, morning walks, heritage spotting, reading clubs and many others. Walking past the golden-sandy shore and the foamy sea waves, Marina has always been a tourist attraction spot, and is a crowd-puller for locals and children alike.
Civic amenities like jogger’s track, aquarium, memorials, iconic statues of eminent leaders, swimming pools, skating arena, floating fountains, walkways, restrooms, well-maintained lawns, mini open-air theatre galleries with seating, and the Lighthouse makes the Marina a sure place for people to beat the heat waves. With safety patrols always on guard, Marina is a safe place with restrictions on swimming during high tides.
Surrounded by heritage buildings, a walk along the Marina beach would reveal the history of the city, the timelines of people, and a by-gone culture. For historic tours, nearby the Marina Promenade, take a tour of the Santhome Cathedral Basilica – the oldest Gothic Church in Chennai, explore the artisan works of South Indian temple architecture at Valluvar Kottam, walk through the Victoria War Memorial, and explore the finest paintings of the Victorian era at the Fort St. George – the first English fortress in Chennai.
A trip down the Marina beach is never complete without visiting the Lighthouse for a 360-degree aerial view of a visually encompassing sight, overlooking the seas, and the city coastline. Open 6 days a week from 10:00am-1:00pm and 3:00pm-5:00pm, tickets are priced at Rs.25 for adults and Rs.10 for children, and remain closed on Mondays. Also, the swimming pool is open from Tuesday – Sunday, and is closed on Mondays and costs Rs.15 per hour from 6:00am –10:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm.
Ideally, the best time to visit the beach is during November –February, as humidity scales down, and temperature is comfortable for viewing the crack of dawn and pleasant evenings. There are no entry-fee or holidays, but crowds are restricted with prior notice during times of heavy rainfall. Easily accessible by the road, the nearest metro is a 10-minute walk from the beach, and is well-connected to the rest of the city via bus, taxis, and trains.
The road is designed with lanes for cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles, making it easier to navigate around the beach promenade, and a dedicated parking lot is provided for private and public transportation. The parking ticket is Rs.20 for six hours, and shacks are open every day from 10:00am –11:00pm and for Instagram worthy sunrises, the horizon over the Marina is sight to behold, and very truly, the beach never gets old, and there is no Chennai, without Marina.
Tamil Nadu 600005
Directions: Google Maps
Phone: 1800-425-31111 (Tamil Nadu tourism)