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Top Beaches and Temples in Chennai

Located in the Coromondol Coast, Chennai is the second-longest beachfront of any municipality on earth. It is a city of heritage, culture and tradition. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is considered the gateway to South India. With a rich history of 350 years, Chennai is one of the Indian cities that has managed to preserve its ethnic charm. You can call it a modern yet traditional city. People proudly say “Namma Chennai” means Our Chennai. Yeah, once you visit, you will tell the same too.

One of the oldest cities in India, Chennai is beautiful with beaches, sculptures, parks and historic landmarks.

Attractions

Beaches

Marina Beach

With a length of 12 km and a width of 985 ft, Marina Beach is the world’s second-longest urban beach.  It is adorned with flower beds, statues of Tamil heroes and the Samadhi of unforgettable heroes like MGR and Anna. You can have a pleasant evening here, strolling around and having delicacies like murukku and sundal. You can also visit the aquarium here.

Elliot’s Beach

Located in Besant Nagar, this beach is popular as the night hangout place of the youth of the city.  It is much quieter than Marina. However, it can get crowded during the weekends. You will find the Ashtalakshmi Temple and Velankanni Church at the end of the sandy stretch.

Breezy Beach

If you are looking for a calm and peaceful place to unwind, Breezy Beach is the place to be. Located in Valmiki Nagar, this sandy expanse is less popular and less crowded than the other two in Chennai.

It must be noted that the beaches in Chennai are unfit for swimming and bathing, due to its strong undercurrents. There are no lifeguards to be found here. However, ‘Beach Police’ is there to take care of the common people visiting the beaches. Swimwear is not to be worn here.  

Religious Sightseeing

Churches

Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas

Built by the Portuguese during 14th to the 15th century A.D., the church got its name from St. Thomas, the skeptical disciple of Jesus Christ. There is also a museum nearby, the main attraction of which is a 16th century map of South Asia. People belonging to Christian faith attend the Mass in the church.

St. Mary’s Church

This is the first church built by the British in India. It is also the oldest Anglican church of the East.  Given the precarious position of the British in India, the church features thick walls and battlements for defense in case a siege breaks out. The church is adorned with frescoes, glass windows, teak plaques, etc.

Temples

Ashtalakshmi Temple

Located on the shores of Bay of Bengal, the temple is popular not only for its shrine but also for its architecture. Its appearance is different from the other temples in Chennai because it is a much modern structure built only 25 years ago.  The deity of the temple is Goddess Lakshmi.

Marundeeswarar Temple

The deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. During the festival period, the deity is taken out on a procession. Devotees throng at this temple during the time.

Apart from these attractions you can have some more fun by paying a visit to the amusement parks, Dash ‘N Splash and VGP Golden Beach.