Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chennai Marina Beach - Free recreation for everyone

Chennai Marina Beach - A place where the "law of diminishing marginal utility" fails miserably. Irrespective of the number of times that I visit, Marina Beach provides the same comfort, cheer and peacefulness. What a wonderful place on earth, it is? Despite the staggering crowd, you are always assured of one thing - free recreation !

(Also read: Panambur Beach in Mangalore - Extremely beautiful)

The sands of Marina Beach is always filled with people, like bees in a beehive. You can see people from all walks of life - people of varied economical background, people from different cities, speaking different languages, and belonging to different age groups. Evenings in the beach are more pleasant and lively. You can see several students/youngsters hanging out with their friends, people chit-chatting, kids actively playing, and folks taking their evening walk. Though it is heavily crowded, you can still have some quiet moments with your friends and family.

Sitting along the shore and watching the waves which never give up - we tend to forget our worries. The beach not only provides "free recreation", but there is also a number of commercial outlets. You get all sorts of food items to eat - coffee/tea, soft drinks, ice creams, popcorn, and a variety of snacks (fried fish, nuts, bajji, murukku, sundal etc.,). 

In addition to the eateries, there are attractions like carousels, horse rides, and shooting. The other attractions in  Marina are the memorials of late Chief Ministers Anna Durai and MG Ramachandran, who managed to find spots to "sleep forever" in beach. 

Adults and kids are equally excited to get to their feat drenched. Kids enjoy building sand castles. Sit on the beach for a few minutes, you'll be approached at least by a few guys selling sundal/murukku or ground nuts or cotton candy. You can see people offering services to predict your future by palm reading or through parrot astrology. There are spots for photo shoot-outs with popular movie stars and politicians. There are shops/hawkers selling toys, balloons, flute and hand made articrafts with shells.

You may be tempted to take a dip in the ocean. But, swimming in the ocean is banned. Still, youngsters try to take a dip in the ocean despite the ban and police patrol. Government has recently introduced "all-terrain" vehicles for police patrol. There are dedicated swimming pools for the passionate swimmers. I heard that there is also a membership program for "regular" swimmers. (Also read: Brownstone Apartments Swimming Pool)

There are restrooms in the beach which are maintained reasonably well. There is sufficient parking space for two-wheelers, cars, and even tourist buses. You can easily spend 2 - 3 hours in the beach. Kids definitely like the Marina Beach, more than adults.  (Also read: A visit to Arignar Anna Zoological Park - Vandalur)

The eateries in the beach make the place untidy. People may not be throwing trash on the center of their living room - but, they cool-ly throw them on the beach. The quality of sand is very bad. There are NGOs who try to clean-up the beach once in a while. However, I consider such activities "as correction" instead of "prevention". Littering Marina beach should be considered as a crime. Government should not be just focusing on keeping the pavements clean and developing gardens near the beach - but also to keep the beach sand clean. The eateries in the beach are "unregulated" and hence, they do their fair share of polluting the sand and the water. I don't see many trash bins in the beach. There were a few of them - but were close to the road. (Also read: Heavy rains turned Chennai to Venice)

Despite the limitations, I still love to go to Marina Beach - because of the beautiful waves, the crowd, and the free recreation mother nature provides.


  1. Good to see you enjoying Marina Beach..

  2. I just stumbled upon your site / blog, while searching for places to jog in the morning (in Chennai). You are doing great reviews of places in Chennai. I have enjoyed reading your review articles. Thank you.


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