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Top 8 Beaches in Chennai - From the Most Famous to the Least Crowded

Updated on October 11, 2019
Babu Mohan profile image

I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.

Broken Bridge near Elliot's Beach
Broken Bridge near Elliot's Beach | Source

Chennai City is blessed with a long coastline spanning 40 km from North to South. A whiff of fresh air greets Chennai residents at the beaches. People spend hours at the beaches chatting up with friends, playing games or getting their feet wet.

The weather in Chennai is humid in the summer months from March to June. Sea breeze provides relief to residents from midday and makes the beaches more pleasant in the evenings. No matter where you are in Chennai, you are never far from a beach.

The Best 8 Beaches in Chennai

1. Marina Beach

2. Elliot's Beach

3. Thiruvanmiyur Beach

4. Palavakkam Beach

5. Ennore Beach

6. Neelankarai Beach

7. VGP Golden Beach and

8. Uthandi Beach

Marina is the most famous and therefore the most crowded beach in this list. If you prefer less crowded beaches, the last 4 in this list are worth considering.

1. Marina Beach

The artificial rock fountain, Marina beach
The artificial rock fountain, Marina beach | Source

Marina is the second longest beach in the world, and it is the most crowded beach in Chennai. Its attracts the maximum number of tourists. Street food is a main attraction with vendors selling bhajjis (a fried snack), fried fish, ice creams, sundal which is 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 watching the beautiful landscaping and Sunrise.

2. Besant Nagar Beach

Carl-Schmidt Memorial
Carl-Schmidt Memorial | Source

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. The regular visitors to this place would recognize the desolate white arch, constructed as a memorial for Karl Schmidt in the year 1930.

The Broken Bridge - An Offbeat Attraction

A walk along this beach (also known as Besant Nagar Beach) towards north takes one to a desolate and abandoned broken bridge. Near the mouth of the Adyar River, the broken bridge offers stunning views of the city's skyline.

Caution

Swimming in the sea is dangerous even for trained swimmers because of the undercurrents that can strike with little notice. Many lives have been lost in drowning incidents reported from Chennai's beaches. One can get their feet wet in the waves hitting the shores but not venture into sea.

3. Thiruvanmiyur Beach

Source

It is called Thiruvanmiyur Beach or Kottivakkam Beach since it touches both localities. When we travel from the city side, this would be the first beach on the East Coast Road. It is the most crowded among all the beaches on ECR. It has a street full of stalls selling street food on its northern end. This is a walker-friendly beach with restrictions on vehicle movement in the morning hours.

4. Palavakkam Beach

Source

Palavakkam Beach is on the East Coast Road (ECR), south of Kottivakkam. This is the second most visited beach on the ECR. While at Palavakkam Beach, one should not miss channa masala (a snack made from chickpeas or channa, garlic, chillies, tomato, etc.). The spicy channa masala is more delicious amidst the caressing sea breeze.

The creepers (Beach morning glory) forms a green carpet around the sand dunes in Palavakkam Beach.

Need Fresh Fish? Visit Palavakkam Beach

In the northern side of Palavakkam Beach, few fishermen and women sell their fresh catch every morning. The quality of the fish one gets here is superior because it is fresh from the sea.

5. Ennore Beach

Sea walls in North Chennai beach
Sea walls in North Chennai beach | Source

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.


6. Neelankarai Beach

Source

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.

Casuarina Drive - 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 and tastefully done residential locality you would find in the whole of Chennai. One can go for a slow-paced drive or a stroll on this road near Neelankarai Beach.

7. VGP Golden Beach

Source

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 the few attractions inside the theme park. The restaurant inside has a special family dosa that is so large that one dosa 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.

8. Uthandi Beach

Accidental capture of Earth's shadow at Uthandi beach
Accidental capture of Earth's shadow at Uthandi beach | Source

Earth casts its shadow on the atmosphere visible as a dark blue band opposite to Sun at dawn or dusk. I captured the faint Earth’s shadow unintentionally when I took a picture of 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 spend sometime there.

Beaches provide fresh air and relief from heat. So head east to find the nearest beach when you are in Chennai.

Beaches and Nearby Localities

 
Nearby Localities
Marina Beach
Core Chennai regions around Mylapore, Triplicane, Nungambakkam and western suburbs
Elliots Beach
Besant Nagar, Adyar, southern suburbs around OMR and GST road.
Thiruvanmiyur Beach
Thiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam and Palavakkam
Palavakkam Beach
Kottivakkam and Palavakkam
Neelankarai Beach
Neelankarai, Vettuvankeni and Injambakkam
VGP Golden Beach
Injambakkam & OMR
Uthandi Beach
Akkarai, Uthandi & OMR
Ennore Beach
North Chennai regions including Ennore, Thiruvottiyur and Washermenpet

Please leave your valuable comments.

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    • Babu Mohan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Babu 

      5 months ago from Chennai, India

      Yes Rajan Singh Jolly. Marina beach has a lot of energy and character.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Chennai is endowed with some lovely beaches. I love the ambience of Marina beach. Thank you for sharing.

    • Babu Mohan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Babu 

      5 months ago from Chennai, India

      Thanks Eman for your encouraging words.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      5 months ago from Egypt

      A very well written and detailed article and so beautiful nature.

    • Babu Mohan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Babu 

      6 months ago from Chennai, India

      Thanks Liz for your valuable comments.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 months ago from UK

      This is an interesting, well-structured article with great illustrations.

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