8 Best Beaches in Chennai for a Breath of Fresh Air
The city of Chennai is blessed with a long coastline spanning 40 km from North to South. A whiff of fresh air greets Chennai residents at the beaches around evening time. People spend hours at the beaches chatting up with friends, playing games or getting their feet wet.
The weather is humid in the summer months from March to June. Sea breeze provides relief to residents from midday. On some days, there could be a delay in the onset of sea breeze pushing the Mercury levels further up. The sea breeze would be active by evening making the beaches pleasant.
The Top 8 beaches in Chennai Are as Given Under.
1. Marina beach
2. Elliot's beach
3. Thiruvanmiyur beach
4. Palavakkam beach
5. Neelankarai beach
6. VGP Golden beach
7. Uthandi beach
8. Ennore beach
1. Marina Beach
Marina is the most famous beach in Chennai and it is crowded on all evenings. It would always bustle with activity as one can see vendors selling bhajjis (a fried snack), fried fish, ice creams, sundal (a local delicacy made from chickpeas, coconut, mango etc.) and much more. There are many attractions for kids such as pony rides, merry-go-rounds and toy shops.
Marina beach is a favorite place for morning walkers. Early morning is an excellent time to be in Marina beach to enjoy the beautiful landscaping. Sunrise in Marina is always special, as our closest star would climb up in a leisurely pace from the Bay of Bengal.
2. Elliot's beach
This beach is a favorite spot for young working executives and students. There are several restaurants around this beach with Koshys being the iconic one. It is also called Besant Nagar beach.
The regular visitors to this place would recognize the desolate white arch, constructed as a memorial for Karl Schmidt in the year 1930. Schmidt drowned and died while trying to save a girl. Efforts are underway to make this a heritage structure once it completes 100 years of existence.
The Broken Bridge
It is worth mentioning about an offbeat attraction near Besant Nagar beach. Take a walk along the Besant Nagar beach towards north. A broken bridge would greet us near the mouth of the Adyar river. The broken bridge offers stunning views of the city's skyline. This has served as a backdrop for many Tamil movies.
3. Thiruvanmiyur Beach
This beach is also called Kottivakkam beach as it touches both the localities. When we travel from the city side, this would be the first beach on East Coast Road. The beach is crowded during the weekends and getting car parking space is difficult. It has a narrow street with several stalls selling Bhajjis, chips and ice creams on all evenings.
This is a walker-friendly beach with restrictions on vehicle movement in the morning hours. This beach gets active from 4.00 am. It becomes hot after 7 am as we have few trees offering shade from the blazing sun.
4. Palavakkam Beach
Palavakkam beach is on the East Coast Road (ECR) south of Kottivakkam. This gets crowded during weekends and it has better parking facilities. Morning walkers prefer Thiruvanmiyur beach over Palavakkam beach.
There are stalls selling bhajjis, chips and ice creams. The stalls are lined on one side of the approach road. One should not miss channa masala (made from chickpeas or channa, garlic, chillies, tomato etc.) being sold here. Trust me, Channa Masala and sea breeze go well together.
The creepers (Beach morning glory) form a carpet on the northern end of Palavakkam beach. From the northern side of Palavakkam beach. the fishermen sell their fresh catch every morning. Fresh fish is another motivation for us to visit the beach.
5. Neelankarai Beach
This is a small beach attracting visitors from Neelankarai, a posh residential area in ECR. While coming from city, one needs to take a left turn at Kapaleeshwarar Nagar arch in Neelankarai. This road leads us to the Neelankarai beach. There would be moderate crowd with some parking space for cars and bikes.
An Offbeat Attraction
The Casuarina drive is a posh residential locality in Neelankarai with plush bungalows and ornate gardens. This is perhaps the most opulent residential locality you would find in the whole of Chennai. As we travel back from Neelankarai beach towards ECR, we need to take the first left to enter Casuarina drive. One can go for a slow-paced drive or a stroll.
6. VGP Golden Beach
VGP Golden Beach is a theme park with many rides and activities. The beach is at the end of the theme park and only people entering the theme park or the guests of VGP resorts can access this beach. So one has to club theme park and beach together.
Dashing cars, giant wheels, roller coaster and water rides are a few of the attractions. The restaurant inside has a special family dosa that is so large that one would be sufficient for a family of four. There is a garden restaurant outside the theme park by name "Annachi Kadai" with private glass enclosures for each customer group.
Earth casts its shadow on the atmosphere and is visible as a dark blue band opposite to Sun at dawn or dusk. It was an accidental capture of the faint Earth's shadow when I took a picture of Uthandi Beach.
7. Uthandi Beach
This is very much at the Southern end of Chennai Metropolitan Area. This beach has little crowd on weekends and it is difficult to see a soul on weekdays. Uthandi is one of the cleanest beaches in Chennai where one can walk bare-foot for a rejuvenating feel. This is my favorite among all beaches in Chennai, being a hidden gem.
A Channa masala stall would be there only on weekends and please remember to relish the same. Uthandi is also developing as a happening residential locality. There is a park inside the residential colony and one can pay a visit on their way back.
8. Ennore Beach
North Chennai beaches are not as popular as their southern counterparts. The beaches north of river Cooum face the threat of sea erosion and so sea walls are built along the coast to minimize the erosion. The rocks in the sea walls give the beaches in North Chennai a distinct identity.
Beaches provide fresh air and relief from heat. No matter where you stay in Chennai, you are never far from a beach.