Beaches & water points along ECR: From Chennai to Puducherry

1. Nettukuppam Beach, Chennai:

Situated at almost northern-most tip of Chennai, Nettukuppam enjoys the solitary symphony with the clean sea water and cool breezes. Mostly deserted and not being visited much by the people except the locals, If you are a photography-buff, this place is for you. The beach offers a vantage point from where one can enjoy the contemporary and former history of the city. It does not only offer the historical perspective but also, one can see the geographical differences over the period.

Nettukuppam beach, ChennaiNettukuppam broken Bridge

Nettukuppam Pier or the broken bridge is the famous spot for the locals to sit there enjoy the spray of the water waves that hit the piers of the bridge. Absence of fast-food vendors and much visitors except on weekends make the beach spotless and the water is also cleaner compared to other beaches of Chennai. It offers a good view of Ennore Thermal power station, Ennore creek and other natural sights including modern city buildings and the subsiding away from the city. It is not advisable to go there to see the sunrise because tides are usually very high.

More Info:

Nearest railway station: Ennore (3 Kms), local trains to Ennore are available from Chennai beach and Chennai Central stations.

2. Tiruvottiyur Beach, Chennai:

Again not so much popular among the visitors except famous Tiruvottiyur temple visiotors, this beach is still visited by many people even on weekends. It lies 7-8 Kms south of the Nettukuppam pier along the bay of Bengal. Though it is a clean beach but being one of the most under-developed area of Chennai, the surrounding of this beach does not offer good supplementary view other than the vast lonely sea.

More Info:

Nearest railway station: Tiruvottiyur/Wimco NagarEnnore (2 Kms), local trains to Ennore are available from Chennai beach and Chennai Central stations.

3. Royapuram Fishing Harbour/ Chennai fishing harbour:

Housing more than 500 fishing boats and hundreds of them coming and going out in the sea every hour during a busy day Chennai fishing harbour is one of the busiest fish market in Chennai, famous for fresh and different varieties of favourite fishes. In 2004, the harbour suffered a great loss by the Tsunami but reconstruction and great enthusiasm of local fishermen who come from near by village of Chepauk could let the harbour loose its name and fame.

Chennai Fishing harbourChennai Fishing Harbour

One a busy day, the harbour gives a feel of an armada of small fleets exchanging sea-space and hundreds of Indian tricolour kissing the humid air of the Bay of Bengal. The environment there is always chirpy and full of horns and fisherman’s murmurs but its still a different world to experience.

More Info:

Nearest railway station: Tondiarpet (2 Kms), local trains to Tondiarpet are available from Chennai beach and Chennai Central stations.

4. Marina Beach, Chennai:

This beach, running 13 kms along the shore of a city, is the second largest urban beach in the world.

Marina beach and Chennai port in the backgroundMarina beach and Chennai port in the background

Marina beach is one of the busiest beach crowded with vendors, locals and visitors. Especially on weekends, the beach is crowded with thousands of people from all walks of life. However, in the recent news, Marina beach has earned a defamation of being dirty and smelly due to lot of vendors and pollution. Apart from the beach, the Govt. has tried the beautification of the long beach by installing some decorative landmarks along the beach which are worth taking a look. Most of these landmarks are statues of the leaders and a few landmark structures. These statues include our national father Mahatma Gandhi and of prominent Tamil leaders of the past.

Besides, these artificial structures, former historical landmarks could also be seen around like light house on the Marina beach, Marina swimming pool, Napier bridge and memorials around.

More Info: 

Nearest railway station: Chepauk (500 meters), local trains to Chepauk are available from Chennai beach and Chennai Central stations (Chennai Park stations).

Places to see around:

MGR Memorial, Anna Memorial, Statues along the beach road running parallel to the beach, Swimming pool, Napier bridge over Kuvam river (1 Km) etc. 

5. Gandhi Beach, Pondicherry:

It can be said that Marina beach is so long that people call this beach, now-a-days, by different names in different areas. It can be be said that Gandhi beach, a part of its mother Marina beach, is an extension of Marina to the south towards light house area, where Marina beach is called by the name of Gandhi beach because of a statue of Gandhi over there. This beach houses the famous light house of the Marina beach from where one can get the full view of the city and the sea.

More Info:

Nearest railway station: Light House (500 meters), local trains to Light House are available from Chennai beach and Chennai Central stations (Chennai Park stations).

Places to see around:

Light House, Marina walk, Gandhi statue, Chennai Citi Centre mall (1 Km) to the west etc. 

6. Adyar estuary and water-front, Chennai:

Adyar Estuary is unique in itself. Finding such a natural habitat where a river barely meets the sea and creates a natural green world which is rare to find, even imagine, in a metropolitan city.

Adyar Estuary at evening

Adyar Estuary: One of the best places for Sunset and Sunrise

Adyar Estuary is formed by river Adyar and the bay of Bengal which leads to formation of creek and mangroves around the meeting point. These mangroves are habitat to migratory birds ; absence of pollution (industrial area) and presence of religious and educational institutions, gardens and ecological park have essentially helped the area in preserving its beauty. Broken Bridge at Adyar estuary is one of the favourite places of the photographers to shoot the modernity with historic nature, the mud land, the green space and high rising buildings in the  background. Peculiarity of this place is it offers sunrise as well as sunset view too.

More Info:

Nearest Stop: Besant Nagar Bus stop (2 Kms) local buses connect this place to Adyar bus depot (3.5 Kms)

Best place for sunrise and sunset Photography

Places to see around:

South side of the river (Besant nagar side): Broken Bridge, Adyar river mangroves, small islands in the river, Bird-watching, Theosophical society

North side (Across the river): Adyar creek and ecological garden 

7. Elliot beach/ Besant nagar beach, Chennai:

It can also be said that Adyar estuary is the north extension of the Elliot beach. Elliot beach is sometimes also referred as one of the cleanest beach of the Chennai. As mentioned, this part of Chennai is not so polluted and mostly inhabited by the richer part of the society. All these factors attracts more lovers to this beach including presence of good restaurants along the beach.

Elliot beach or Besant nagar beachPeaceful Elliot beach

This beach also hosts some of the festivals like Pongal, food festivals, new year fireworks or some concerts.

More Info:

Nearest Stop: Besant Nagar Bus stop (2 Kms) local buses connect this place to Adyar bus depot (3.5 Kms)

Places to see around:

Annai Velankanni Church, Restaurants along the beach road, Shopping area along the beach

8. New Beach, Kottivakkam, Chennai:

As its name suggests, new beach is comparatively newer to the people. In my opinion, this beach is even cleaner than Elliot beach. Much of the Vendors park their stall near by road which keeps the beach clean.

New beach near Kottivakkam along ECRSerene and clean New beach near Kottivakkam

  The road long the beach is sometimes used by the Police to test the ride of new riders for driving license and trend of people jogging and taking evening walk in peaceful surrounding is also seen. Just like Elliot beach, residences around this beach is inhabited by the richer part of the society so the near by area also remains clean.

More Info:

Nearest Stop: Kottivakkam Bus stop (500 meters). Beach is to the east of the stand.

9. VGP Golden beach, ECR, Chennai:

It is, though, a private beach but open to everyone who has an entry permit to VGP Golden beach resort. Because its a private beach, the maintenance is taken care by the resort authority and so this beach is clean and far from the heart of the city.

10. Muttukadu Backwaters boating, Chennai:

If you want to feel the charm of backwaters without going to Kerala and watch the sun set behind the tall sky-scrapers of the south IT-revolutionized Chennai, this place is perfect for you.

Muttukadu Boating PointBoating and Sky scrappers in the background

The vast-spread backwaters and with a variety of  boating to choose from, Muttukadu is an ideal choice for family outing on weekends. Get more information about Muttukadu Boating

11. Olive beach, Chennai:

Maintained by Vivanta- Taj group, this beach is a private beach adjacent north to the cavelong beach towards Muttukadu.

Coco Beach only available to the resort

12. Cavelong Beach, ECR, Chennai:

Cavelong beach is unique because of its crescent shape and the presence of rocks on this beach which makes the beach more magnificent.

Kovalam beachCavelong Beach

Besides rocks abounding with old and green algae and waves washing them every other minute on the crescent beach, it is also famous for fried fish and sea-diving. 

What to do there?

– Walk along the clean shallow beach for miles and miles, turtle walk.
– Photograph the crescent-shaped beach filled with fishing boats and fishing nets
– Take a ride into the turquoise sea by negotiating with the fisherman, you can also go for group outing, it is called sea-diving in that area. Fisherman provide the life-jackets and take the people a few Kms off the shore for around half an hour- Its a life-time experience.Click here to read more about sea-diving…..


 13. Mahabalipuram Beach:

Mahabalipuram is famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famous for its Centuries-old Shore temple, five Rathas, Monolithic rock sculptures, a century old light house and caves. Its a must visit place of Tamilnadu.

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram shore templeMahabalipuram beach and the Shore temple in the background

Due to presence of rocks and dynamic topography of the Mahabalipuram beach, it is not advisable to go deep in the sea.Know more about Mahabalipuram here…..


14. Mudaliarkuppam boat house on Odiyur lake:

This is a recent project started by the Tamilnadu Tourism by calling it with the name of Raindrop boating House. This is a water sports facility located along the scenic East-coast road, 35 Kms south of Mahabalipuram on the way to Pondicherry.

Odiyur lake along ECR  Odiyur lake along ECR

Size of Odiyur lake is much larger than Muttukadu boating backwaters. And to top of it, Odiyur lake is more serene and believed to be the major source of fresh water to the near by cities. Moreover, the lake houses many kinds of birds and there is not much crowd here.

15. Alamparai fort:

Once living its life full-fledged during Mughal empire, Alamparai fort was influenced by the French culture whose main centre have been Pondicherry, almost 50 Kms from there. it was gifted by the Mughal Nawab to the French Government. However later, a war between the British and the French was the reason of the destruction of the fort.

View from Alamparai fortBay of Bengal from the Alamparai fort

It s believed that the fort also had a dockyard inside the bay of Bengal for trading facility. Now a days, the ruins of the fort can still be seen in the near by water-fronts. The fort is still surrounded by the high walls and watch-tower. This place is gaining popularity in tourism lately.

Places to see around:

Remnants of the fort, high fort walls, brick steps, mausoleum, watch tower, Nature around, view of bay of Bengal etc. 

16. Serenity beach (Kottakuppam, Pondicherry):

As the name suggests, Serenity beach is one of the most untouched beaches in Pondicherry because it’s in peripheral of the city. Surrounded by the palm trees and minimal habitation, this beach is perfect to take a break from the city life.

Serenity beach, PondicherrySerenity beach, Pondicherry

Places to see around:

A unique location along the Bay of Bengal in the heart of the city where there is solitude and serenity.

17. Auroville beach, Pondicherry:

Auroville beach is famous for Bamboo cottages, foreigner tourists and Auroville village. This beach is situated at the northern-most point of the Pondicherry city.

Sunrise at Auroville beachSunrise at Auroville beach, one fine day

One would first encounter this beach which is situated at the northern tip of the city. This beach is perfect for the sea- bath and from mid-night till the morning, shore is washed by a lot of shells.

More Info:

Auroville Beach is one of the most famous beaches of Pondicherry. Auto-rickshaw can be taken from anywhere to reach this beach.

One of the best locations for watching sunrise

Places to see around:

Bamboo cottages, morning walk on the beach when beach is full of shells, fisherman nets and boats leaving for fishing early morning, Auroville (A famous township near by)

18. Promanade Beach or Gandhi Beach, Pondicherry:

It is one of the most popular and frequently visited by the local people and the tourists. It stretches over 1500 meters. On the southern end lies the statue of the most popular French Governor of the region, Monsieur Dupleix. Beyond the statue of the governor is the new pier that stretches along 284 meters.

Gandhi beach and its rocks, PondicherryWaves striking to Black rocks at the Promanade beach

The port also stands near the coast. A 4.25 meters tall statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands on the Promanade facing the Gandhi Maidan which lies in the middle of the boulevard. The statue is surrounded by eight tall monolithic structures. An evening stroll along the shoreline of the Promanade Beach is a common phenomena among the residents of the region. And in the evening during the high tides, people enjoy sitting at the rocks for the water spraying out of the sea when waves hit the rocks.

More Info:

Promanade Beach, locally called Gandhi beach is in the heart of the city and not far from the main bus stand.

Places to see around:

Museum, park, local market, Le cafe at the beach, statues, Pondicherry harbour etc. 

19. Plage Paradiso Beach (Chunnamber River), Pondicherry:

This beach is famous for golden sand-beaches with deep blue waters creating a magnificent sight for the visitors. After a long sunbath you can also rest in the cool shades of the palm trees. Walking on the soft sand and the waves washing out the sands under your feet is an experience to be enjoyed.

Chunnambar boat house and back waters along ECRChunnambar backwaters, On the way to paradise beach

This beach forms an island away from the main land separated by the backwater which is used for water- sports recreation and for fishing by the local fisherman.

More Info:

Can be reached by taking a boat from Chunnamber boat house. 


Also Read:  Best photography Places & shooting locations in Chennai

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About trekkerp

Author of The Girl from the Woods and a Travel writer from India looking forward to collect quirky tales from around the world

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