Marina Beach is a great place to hang out and watch the world go by, and many city tours stop here. Expect to see kids flying kites, locals playing cricket and munching on snacks from the food vendors, open-air markets, and fortune-tellers hawking their trade to passersby. If you get there early enough in the morning, you can watch fishing boats heading out to sea.
Things to Know Before You Go
Wear plenty of sun protection, even on overcast days.
Chennai is a fairly conservative city, and most women feel more comfortable in modest swimwear.
The waters along Marina Beach have strong riptides, making swimming quite dangerous.
How to Get There
Located on the Bay of Bengal in the city of Chennai, natural Marina Beach extends for just over 8 miles (13 kilometers) from close to Fort St. George to Besant Nagar in the south. Nearby local train stations include Chepauk, just inland from the northern part of the beach; Tiruvallikeni; and Light House.
When to Get There
Marina Beach is best visited first thing in the morning (if you want to watch the sunrise or see fishing boats launching for the day) or around dusk, when the temperatures start to cool down and locals come to stroll and buy snacks from street-food vendors. Note that the sea can be rough throughout the year, but particularly during the rainy months of June through September.
The Statues of Marina Beach
Marina Beach is full of statues of famous figures. These include: Mahatma Gandhi; Swami Vivekananda, founder of the Ramakrishna Mission; Subhas Bose, an instrumental leader in the Indian Independence movement and the prime minister of the Provisional Government of Free India; Thanthai Periyar, the father of Tamil Nadu; and Annie Besant, a prominent early member of the Theosophical Society.
- San Thome Cathedral
- Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light)
- Little Mount & St Thomas Mount (Chinnamalai & Parangi Malai)
- Kapaleeshwarar Temple
- Government Museum
- National Art Gallery
- Fort St. George
- Ripon Building
- Valluvar Kottam
- St. Mary’s Church
- Besant Nagar
- Elliot's Beach (Besant Nagar Beach)
- Armenian Church
- Ashtalakshmi Temple
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