Restaurants, watering holes and discotheques have been opening with increasing frequency and while the absolute numbers aren’t much, they’re more experimental than most Indian metros. While in Chennai one can drop into one of the following places
Georgetown in the north of the city is considered the oldest neighbourhood and is associated with the nearby port. The whole area is an intense experience and a hive of commercial activity. Not too many tourists visit this part of the city, which is unfortunate because if Chennai’s heart is to be found anywhere, it is here. This is where the Sowcarpet area is located, in addition to one of the city’s most famous thoroughfares, Mint Street.
- Chennai Marina Beach
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. However there are “beach police” who ride on horses and keep an eye on the people and look out for any trouble. 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. 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. The beach is relatively less crowded in the early mornings and more pleasant. Walk along the Marina in the evening to cool off and eat crispy “sundal” (boilt, spiced lentils), freshly caught fish and Murukku(a type of dry noodles). 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.
- Breezy Beach- Valmiki Nagar (Thiruvanmiyur)
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. It can get really crowded during the weekends as well.
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. It is less polluted and environment friendly. Those who look for a calm, cool and breezy place to relax, this beach is the best place in Chennai.