- Country: India
- State: Tamil Nadu
- Ideal Trip Duration: 3- 4 days
- Nearest City: Chennai
- Best Time to Visit: November to February
- Peak Season: December & January
If Tamil Nadu is on your bucket list to travel, then you should know one thing.
It is not just a place of historic temples, hill stations, or handloom industry that you can see, but you can spend some quality time with your family at the beach as well.
I am sure you will be knowing or at least heard about Marina Beach in Chennai.
It is a lively beach with a long stretch of shore where you can walk, play with your kids, and ever try different snacks on the beach.
Chennai, where Marina Beach is located, is a vibrant city, offering an impeccable blend of ancient heritage and contemporary culture.
Marina Beach is considered a perfect landmark of Chennai, and you can see many tourists here from all around the world.
This beach in Chennai is the longest natural urban beach with a wide stretch of 437 m.
The turquoise blue water, the golden sand, and the stunning waves crashing on the beach are delightful view to everyone.
It is the most rousing beach through the summers when it is visited by more than 15000 to 20000 visitors every day.
Many people come to Marina Beach just to relax for a while, watching the sunrise and sunset. You can also find horses on the beach, and you can ride on them.
Many people enjoy horse rides here, especially kids who appreciate it a lot. Likewise, another attraction here is the Aquarium that exhibits different fishes and species.
The food stalls at the beach are very attractive, and the tourists can try delicious food.
Moreover, along the beach, there are statues and stimulating monuments. As you go along the pavement, you can find statues of prominent personalities like Subash Chandra Bose, Robert Caldwell, Ilango Adigal, Swami Vivekananda, Kamaraj Periyar, Kannagi, G.U Pope, and Annie Besant.
During the period between 1881 to 1886, Sir Mountstuart Grant Dugg, who was then the Govern of Madras, was greatly fascinated with the beauty of Marina Beach.
He then decided to build a walkway along the beach and left it open for the public in 1884. The walkway was layered with soft sand, and it was named the Madras Marina.
Before independence, this was the meeting place of the freedom fighters. The first aquarium in India was built in Marina Beach in 1909.
After the independence, statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Triumph of Labour were built near the beach.
The iconic sculpture of Triumph of Labour, portraying four men struggling to move a rock, was carved by Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, and it was mounted on Republic Day in 1959.
Later, in 1968, statues of Tamil Literature personalities of Kambar, Thiruvalluvar, Avvaiyar, Subramania Bharathiyar Veeramamunivar, and Bharathidasan was installed.
Likewise, another statue of a legendary woman, Kannagi, the central character of the Tamil epic Silapathikaram, was fixed in 2006.
You can find statues of many other popular politicians as well. Two other memorials named Arignar Anna, and Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran memorial was erected in 1970 and 1988.
The newest addition to the statues at Marina Beach is the memorial of two politicians, Jayalalitha and M Karunanidhi.
Look at the opposite side of the beach to see many notable buildings like Senate House, University of Madras, Chepauk Cricket Stadium, Presidency College, Queen Mary’s College, Vivekananda House, and the famous Dr. Annie Besant Park.
In the year 2008, the Madras Corporation made numerous enhancements as a part of renovating the area of Marina Beach. Hence, you can find fourteen galleries and a four-meter walkway.
The beach has 428 octagonal poles with lights in the shape of the seagull, intensifying the lighting of the beach better at night. The lighthouse of 49 m is also a striking feature of the beach.
The popular Marina Beach has been showcased in many movie scenes and songs.
Several events are conducted and celebrated at the beach, like Independence Day, Republic Day, Chennai Marathon, and Ganesh Chaturthi.
One of the chief festivals known as Kaanum Pongal is when you can see the major crowd. Marina beach is full of activity both in the early morning and in the evenings.
This beach becomes a fairground in the evening with several stalls selling artifacts, handcrafted centerpieces, traditional jewelry, and food items.
Kids also enjoy flying kites at this stunning beach. No entry fees are required to visit the Marina beach and can be visited anytime. The most preferred time to visit this beach is from November to February, as this is the most favored period to visit Chennai to avoid the sweltering heat.
How to Reach Marina Beach
By Road: The nearby bus stop to the beach is the Marina Beach bus stop. It has regular buses working between the rest of the city and the beach. You can simply rent a private car or take a taxi to reach the beach. It might be a little expensive for tourists if taking a cab, but it saves a lot of time.
By Air: The nearest airport to Marina Beach is the Chennai Airport. It is well-connected with the rest of the country as well as the world. The airport is approximately 18.6 kilometers from the beach.
By Rail: The nearest train stations to Marina Beach are Chepauk, Thiruvallikeni, and Lighthouse. Most of these stations are linked to Chennai Central railway station through local trains. It usually takes from 3 to 10 minutes from Chennai Central to one of these stations.
Other Tourist Attractions near Marina Beach Chennai
Chennai is also famous for many historic temples, and many tourists visit this beautiful temple, located about 1.4km away from Marina Beach.
Constructed by Pallavas during the 8th century, the Parthasarathy Temple is devoted to Lord Venkat Krishna.
Also known by the name Arulmigu Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple is located at Tiruvallikeni also identified by the name Triplicane.
The central shrine inside the temple includes the deity of Parthasarathy or Venkata Krishna, and the secondary shrine is of Vedavalli Thayaar, with that of Narasimha and Ranganatha.
This temple also has incarnations of Lord Vishnu like Narasimha, Rama, Varaha, and Krishna. Sri Parthasarathy Temple also has other shrines built by the Cholas and Kings of Vijayanagara.
The colored gopuram is one of the major attractions of the temple. You will be enthralled by seeing the carved pillars with intricate works on them.
The temple also rejoices in a floral festival from mid-February to mid-March. This festival is held at the water tank, positioned within the grounds of the temple.
Sri Parthasarathy Temple is. Therefore a remarkable representation of history, tradition, and art of Indian history gathered together.
The temple is open every day, and tourists can visit the shrine from 0530 am to 1200pm and from 0400pm to 0900pm.
This Multimedia Cultural Museum in Chennai is just 400m from Marina Beach.
Vivekananda House is always known as Vivekanandar Illam in Tamil and is one of the popular landmarks in Chennai.
From 1897 to 1906, this museum was associated with the Sri Ramakrishna Math when Swami Vivekananda remained in the house for nine days when he returned from the west.
At present, this notable house comprises a technologically smart museum known as “Experience Vivekananda.”
You can learn about Indian Culture, the lifestyle of Swami Vivekananda, and his messages through virtual and augmented reality, 3D/4D effects, along with innovative Son et Lumiere elements.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
Santhome Cathedral Basilica is only 1km from Marina Beach. This is a significant monument, faithful to St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. St. Thomas was also given the task of dispersal the Lord’s teachings.
Santhome Basilica is considered to be one of the most popular pilgrimage tourism places in Chennai.
This Roman Catholic Minor Basilica constructed in honor of the Patron Saint of India is also renowned as St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica of the International Shrine of Saint Thomas.
It is the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore. It is also labeled as a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
- Fort St. George
In 1640, the British East India Company built Fort St. George. This fort was the first fortress in India founded in the year 1644.
It portrays the famous St Mary’s Church (an ancient Anglican Church), a museum (contains antics and artifacts from British Rule), and Wellesley House (paintings of the Fort Governor). Recently, it has developed a residence to the administrative offices of the Tamil Nadu Government and the Legislative Assembly. With a small entry fee for the ticket, you can see this beautiful fort.
The name Kapaleeswarar is a blend of two words, Kapalam, meaning head, and eswarar, meaning Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the magnificent religious sites of the city.
The famed Kapaleeswarar Temple is majestically set in the Mylapore region of Chennai. This cultural wonder attracts a vast crowd who come to experience its astounding spring festival.
It is assumed that the Shiva Lingam in the temple is Suyambulingam which means it is self-established.
It is also known by the name Vedapuri, as the four Vedas have revered Lord Shiva at this promising place.
This temple also has another name called Sukrapuri as Sukracharya offered his prayers to Lord Shiva at this place to regain his eyes.
Kapaleeshwarar temple is located at a distance of 1.7km from Marina Beach.
The Government Museum of Chennai, popularly known as the Madras Museum, was established in 1851.
Being the second oldest museum of India (after Kolkata’s Indian Museum), this museum is a gem in itself.
As a rich source of the finest masterpieces of art, archaeology, anthropology, numismatics, and much more, the Madras Museum promises to entice one and all. An entry fee is needed to enter the museum.
The rate is Rs.15 per person for adults, Rs.5 per person for children (Above 10 yrs. of age), Rs.2 per person for school children (Between 5 to 12 years of age), Rs.10 for still camera, and Rs.75 for the video camera.
Guindy National Park
Another attraction near Marina Beach is the Guindy National Park which is about 12km from the beach.
It is a small national park spanning over an area of 2.70 sq. km. You can see different species of fauna together with the tropical dry evergreen forest.
Next to the national park, there is National Children’s Park, and this place has been one of the favorites among families and kids.
The snake park is another attraction here. The working hours are from 0900 am to 0530 pm.
- STD Code: 044
- Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
- Major Festivals: Independence Day, Republic Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Chennai Marathon & Kaanum Pongal
- Nearest Tourist Information Center: Contact:04425333639
- Nearest Hospital: R.R Multispecialty Clinic | Contact – 044 2848 5678
- Nearest Police Station: Police Station Marina | Contact – (044) 24985602