Beach Watch Note Although Chennai beaches are both beautiful and inviting, they are not swimming beaches, due to strong under currents present along the shoreline. Swimming should not be attempted there. There are no lifeguards and rescue equipment is not provided at any of these beaches. People should avoid wearing swimwear or similar attire in the city beaches as such clothing is not appropriate there and will attract stares.
Chennai has several well known beaches:
Marina Beach, is 12 km long and offers excellent opportunities for walks and has a very wide sandy foreshore. Its width is up to 300 m (985 ft). The Marina of Madras is the second longest urban beach in the world. it is an elegant promenade with flower beds along its lanes. Along the shore, there are many buildings built during the British colonial rule. The South Beach Road runs past the Madras University, the Senate House, the Chepauk Palace (Nawabs of Carnatica once held their court here). It is the most popular gathering place for locals, especially in the evenings and on weekends. It can also get very crowded at those times. Watching the sunrise from the beach is an experience by itself. It's not a swimming beach, though you will see people fully clothed taking partial dips. Other lesser known places in the Marina: Anna Square: Dr. C.N. Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was a very respectable personality among the people of Tamil Nadu. It is located in the center of a park and the entrance is attractive. Though listed here Anna Square is not a must see place.
Edward Elliot's beach, is spread along the coast down south from Marina. It is also the night beach for Chennai youth. This beach is comparatively quieter and it is located near Besant Nagar. At the end of this beach are the Velankanni church and the Ashtalakshmi temple. Good roads, pavements, walking track illuminated sands, makes a visit to this beach a real pleasure.
Breezy Beach is located in the quiet neighborhood of Valmiki Nagar (Thiruvanmiyur) in Chennai. It is smaller and less popular than the Elliot's beach. This beach is not as commercialized as the Elliot's beach, and is hence more quiet and peaceful. Evenings are very pleasant and with gentle breezy here, Lots of tourists are attracted towards this beach. Since the residential area around this beach is occupied predominantly by young professionals working in the IT/ITES industries, this beach has turned into a hot-spot for them. Those who look for a calm, cool and breezy place to relax, this beach is the best place in Chennai.
Covelong as it was known earlier is a small fishing village located 40 km (25 mi) from Chennai on the way to Mahabalipuram. Now it is a luxury beach resort. It was here that the French General Labourdonnais landed his troops in 1746. Later it was taken by Robert Clive in 1752 and destroyed. The Beach is separated from the mainland by the canal running from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. Taj Group of Hotels runs the Fisherman's Cove Resort with rooms in the main buildings and cottages and the sandy beach here. Sunbathing here attracts much less attention than in the city beaches.
The coastline of Tamil Nadu stretches even further south, there are large number of hidden, untouched and uncommercialised beaches off the East Coast Road.
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