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Vol. XXXIII No. 18, January 1-15, 2024

Heritage Watch: ‘Beautifying’ The Marina

Driving by the beach the other day, this rockery caught your deputy editor’s eye. While much of the beach is in a shambles, this entirely artificial creation seems to be flourishing. You would normally expect anything put by a previous regime to be neglected by its successor in our State but not so this rockery. It was gleaming in the sunlight and further enquiry revealed that it is a working fountain in the evening.

The rest of our beach however is not so fortunate. The sands are quite dirty and the number of food stalls seems to have increased quite a bit. Stray dogs have therefore multiplied too, as have pigeons. The latter are a direct consequence of morning feeders who spread grain on the beach. While we have nothing against strays and birds, some control is advisable. It is ironic that the State Government is forever spending money on beautifying the Marina when it is neglecting what really would beautify the place – allowing Nature to flourish.

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  1. calicut krishnan subramaniam says:


    This expansive beach is Chennai’s most famous tourist attraction, though the undercurrent is too strong for all but the strongest swimmers. Look out for the “Kannagi” statue on Marina Beach, which tells the story of the legendary character from a South Indian epic. If you are a beach kind of person who feels differently about waves and water splashing against your feet makes you the happiest then you should visit Marina Beach. It is India’s longest and world’s second longest beach. Stretching for approximately 12 kilometers, this beach is located on the eastern side of Chennai. It adjoins the Bay of Bengal. You can watch the beautiful sunset and sunrise which is a unique and soothing experience for anyone. There are some recreational activities such as horse riding. This is very famous among the people who visit Marina Beach. Bathing and swimming are prohibited due to the strong undercurrent.

    It is the best place for relaxation during both summer and winter. Once it was considered number two in beaches all over the world. The iron bridge is the entry point from the War Memorial side. Madras University building shows up in front of the beach and the Ezhilagam forms part of a long stretch of road. Both Marina cricket ground and the Chepauk Stadium are adjacent to each other for the cricket lovers. Once upon a time the Bhuhari Hotel and Edward Elliot’s beach were the main attractions. And people enjoyed Masala Dosa and vegetable cutlet along with hot coffee for your evening snack with swimming pool side.

    One of the most beautiful places to visit near Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral Basilica is a flawless Gothic Church and is a fortune trove of engineering. Grandly rising 155 feet starting from the earliest stage, a height 112 feet by 33 feet, and a glorious haven estimating 62 feet by length and 33 feet by width, it is decorated with recoloured glass windows exempting the supporter Holy person Thomas and different messengers. These buildings hold great historical values and another one of the historical places to visit near Marina Beach is Connemara Library. This library is the pride of Madras. This place is preferred by avid book lovers and research scholars. In between all the actions on a busy beach road, young couples wait for darkness to embark and sit behind boats on the shore for an opportune moment. In all, it is fun frolic and fresh air.

    Marina beach is a place of cosmopolitan nature and different classes of people go around the beach sand. When a Tsunami struck around Chennai during 2016 people strolling for a morning walk were caught flat footed and the Horlicks they brought from home as a drink after a walk all immersed in the sea water. Triggered by an earthquake in Indonesia, a massive tsunami struck the Tamil Nadu coast on December 26 morning, a Sunday, causing massive damage to life and property across the state. It was indeed an unforgettable experience. The stretch of sand provides you an ample opportunity to get near the sea and enjoy the waves at a handshaking distance. The cricket loving people sit and chit chat there during cricket matches. Once Dutta Ray from Bengal was the Chief selector of the Indian cricket team. And the ardent fan inquired whether the Chief selector came all the way to conduct selection committee proceedings or just come for performing “Shradha” or the last rites.

    But the best of the best enjoyment was tasting Thenga, Manga Pattani Sundal. Children were longing to taste the Sundal in a paper made packet in the shame of a cone. Similarly the ground nut was available in different tastes, which includes steamed groundnut with salt water and with its hot nature is really tasty and relishing. People pick the stones and seashells as a pastime. Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the sandy shores of an ocean, bay, lake or river. As the gritty stuff gets in between your toes, you may wonder why beaches are distinctive sandy stretches and why sand looks and feels the way it does.

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