An account of Pongal, the Tamil new year celebration: The firework, a big fair & musical night at Besant Nagar beach in Chennai.
Musical night stage set-up at Besant nagar beach on Pongal
I was not aware that there would some kind of fair, fireworks and musical night in the celebration of Pongal, the Tamil new year at Besant Nagar beach in Chennai. Only thing I knew was that Besant Nagar beach was one of the most famous beach in Chennai because of its cleanliness and being in posh area.
I was along with my group of friends and when we reached at the beach, we tried to go inside the water but I think that day going inside the sea was not allowed.
On Besant nagar beach, Chennai
There were bamboo barricades along the beach and police were on patrol with beach motorbikes. To my surprise, there was even a helicopter hovering in the sky. We did not care much and enter inside the water. That could not last longer and soon we were threatened by the police personals to come out of the water. Because of the crowd, I think that day going inside the sea was not allowed. We had to retreat back to the beach.
My Friends at Besant nagar beach
Then we saw a stage being set-up at the beach in one of the corners. We decided to go there.
Musical night stage at Besant nagar beach
There were announcements on the large speakers and it was crowded everywhere. We were surprised to see everything. That was my first visit in Tamilnadu. Evening fell and there were fireworks in the sky. The firework lasted for more than half an hour. Every thing was lightened under the fire. That was fun to watch the firework.
After the firework, soon the stage was set on fire. The pongal musical night celebration started with dhol. The same dhol style that we hear now-a-days in bollywood movies. The dhols are really inviting and almost everyone was dancing to the thump and sticks of the dhol. The dhol was being played by a gang of almost 50 men standing in a row and that was really magnificent to see.
After the Dhol dance, there were some traditional and culture performances. People were just awe-struck to those. But I liked the behavior of the Tamil People. People at the front were sitting and they were even offering seats to the non-Tamilians. Even I was offered to seat on the bare beach.
The musical night lasted for 2-3 hours. Then we decided to have dinner. So we started doing time-pass on the streets of Besant nagar. We would enter shops even we are not going to buy.
Inside a shop at Besant Nagar
It was time for dinner then. We walked to the Besant Nagar bus stand and had local cuisines on the Banana leaves in traditional style with our hands. It was really delicious and tasty or call it to our dance at the beach, we were hungry.
Traditional Tamil dish on Banana leaf
There was also a small but beautiful temple at the Besant Nagar bus stand. We wanted to sit and relax at some peaceful place but that day was crowded so we decided to go inside the temple. The temple was a different world totally insulated from the crowd of the outside world. We sat there for sometime.
Temple near the Besant Nagar beach
Then we decided to move on. The local trains of Chennai are famous for running on time and we finally returned to our destination enjoying the night view of the city of Chennai from the over-bridge local trains.
A local train station at Chennai
Happenings in Chennai can be found online here