June 19, 2011

Marina Beach - A Walking Tour

Marina beach located in Chennai city of India is arguably the second longest beach in the world. Chennai has a lot of malls, cinema halls, temples, parks and amusement parks. However, marina beach remains the most favorite destination for Chennaite for many centuries and it will remain the same forever.

Walking along the beach road either in the early morning or late evening would be an excited experience for any traveller. Although the Marina beach is technically longer, the stretch starting from Napier bridge to Light House is generally called as Marina beach.

1) Napier Bridge: Start your Marina beach walk from Napier bridge. Napier bridge constructed over the river Cooum is an important landmark of Chennai city. It was built by Napier, Governor of Fort St. George, in 1869. The Cooum river connects with the Bay of Bengal Ocean near this bridge.

2) Anna Square: After Napier bridge, the next landmark in Marina beach Road is Anna Square where the samadhi (tomb) of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state Anna Durai is located.

3) MGR Samadi: Next to Anna Square, MGR Samadi is the important landmark. It has the tomb of MGR, the former CM of Tamil Nadu state. He was also a leading actor of Tamil cinema.

4) Madras University: Opposite to MGR Samadi, the University of Madras building is located. It is one of the major landmarks in Chennai city. Some of the buildings in the University campus are heritage buildings dating back to the British period. The statue of Queen Victoria is also located inside the campus.

5) Uzhaipaalar Statue: The Marina Beach Road is famous for its row of stone statues. The oldest statue installed on the beach road is labourers' statue popularly called as 'Uzhaippaalar Silai' in Tamil language. It is located near MGR memorial.

6) Bharathiar Statue: After 'uzhaippaalar statue' the next landmark is Bharathiar statue. Bharathiar was one of the greatest poets of Tamil language and he was also a national leader. Opposite to his statue the heritage building of Public Works Department is located.

7) Kannagi Statue: If you move further from the statue of Bharathiar, you can find the statue of U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer. He was a great scholar who was instrumental in discovering a lot of old Tamil texts and books. The next landmark is Tilakar Thidal, the site where a lot of important gatherings addressed by many popular national leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Subramanya Bharathi, etc. were held. Today although the original site is not present, a plaque is placed in the memorial. Then, comes the famous landmark of the beach - Kannagi statue. Opposite lies the popular college of Chennai - Presidency college. Some of the buildings in the college complex are heritage buildings belonging to British period.

8) Vivekanda House: After Kannagi statue, there are statues of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Valluvar - the great Tamil poet who lived 2000 years back and G U Pope. Opposite to Pope's statue, the statue of Annie Besant is found. Near the the house where Swami Vivekananda stayed during his Chennai visit is located. The house having the statue of Swami Vivekanda outside is called as Ice House or Vivekananda House.

9) Avvaiyar Statue: After the statue of G U Pope, the statues of Tamil poet Bharathi Dasan and Avvaiyar - a mythological character as well as a popular Tamil poet lived during the Sangam age. Opposite to these statues the Queen Mary's college is located.

10) Gandhi Statue: After the statue of Avvaiyar, a new statue for the notable Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan was erected few years back. The Ashok Chakra statue is also located nearby. After that, you can find the most famous Gandhi statue. This is one of the best landmarks of Chennai city. The beach behind this statue is called as 'Gandhi beach' by people.

11) Light House: After Gandhi statue, only few statues such as Kamaraj statue and Veerama Muni statue are found. The last highlight in the stretch of Marina beach is Light House. Opposite to the Light House, the All India Radio Station and DGP office are located.

When you find time, try to explore this stretch by walking. You will definitely enjoy this experience.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Marina Beach
Site Type: Beach
Location:  Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The second longest beach in the world; a lot of statues, historical structures and heritage buildings alongside on the road

Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable from any part of the city
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

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  1. Recently I visited all these places in Chennai.Such as Marina Beach, Anna Square, MGR Memorial, Anna Durai Photo Gallery, Egmore Museum, Vivekananda House, took photos of Kapaleeswara Temple Gopuram, streets of Mylapore, GPO, HSBC, Beach Station, Madras University etc.Its a beautiful city worth exploring.

  2. very good beach in chennai i am time went my family

  3. very good beach in chennai i am time went my family