Trekking Near Chennai: 10 Best trekking placess around Chennai

Here is List of best weekend gateways from Chennai up to 300 Kms. These places include trekking places around Chennai and places for long drives and road trips from Chennai.

Sunset-at-Nagala-dam-nagalapuram-trek

An easy trekking place not much far away from Chennai, just within 100 km. Nagalapuram western trek can be either covered in one day from Chennai or you can spend a night camping the wild also. Here is more detail on Nagalapuram trek

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-4

Tada falls is around 95 km from Chennai. There are many pristine pools on the trek way. It can be covered in one day from Chennai like Nagalapuram western Entry trek. Here is a detailed guide on Tada falls trek.

Yercaud hily road and mountains before sunrise

Yercaud hily road and mountains before sunrise

Yercaud is a hill station in Salem District of Tamil Nadu. Yercaud is another famous hill station in Tamilnadu situated at almost 5000 feet in western Ghats range. This place is famous for the honeymoon, different kind of fruits and coffee. There are many small hiking places around the town along with the leisure walks. Some of the places are Lady’s seat, Kiliyur falls etc. Read about the Yercaud road trip here.

water-stream-on-nagala-east-trekking

 

Again situated almost 90 km from Chennai, this trek can be covered in one day or on two days trek, there could be night camping too. 8 to 9 kilometers of trek distance can be covered in 6-7 hours. Here is more details on the nagalapuram east trek.

Mahabalipuram, Five Rathas along ECR

A UNESCO world Heritage site. Just 40 Kms from Chennai along scenic ECR. One can stay on the cottages on the beach; enjoy dance festival in December; see monolithic temples & sculptures; get the view of the sea from the lighthouse. Here is the Guide on traveling Mahabalipuram world heritage site.

10866060_1501393686749658_1978604300516509808_o

 

Pondicherry is one of the most famous cities along the Bay of Bengal. Famous for its French culture, this city is also called “French Riviera of the East”. One can find a mix of beaches, bamboo cottages, boating, sunrise, old harbours, beach islands etc in this city.

  • Gingee Fort from Chennai (160 km)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-7

 

Around 150 km from Chennai, this surviving fort is a nice place for photography and a nice hiking place. This fort is situated in Villupuram district near Pondicherry. There are many parts of this fort like the lower fort, upper fort, Queen’s fort, Kalyana mahal etc. More details can be found here…

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-8

 

Yelagiri is situated at a height of 2800 feet amidst four mountains. The Climate here is average throughout the year so there is no particular season go there. This hill station is perfect for weathers. More detailed traveling guide could be found here….

  •  Pulicat Lake Bird-watching around Chennai (60 kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-10

 

There are 16 islands in this lake with camping options available. Not much far from Chennai, this place is ideal for photography, Ferry travel and Bird watching. More travel details can be found here….

  •  Alamparai fort near Chennai (110 Kms)

View-from-Alamparai-fort

 

A perfect destination for offbeat location again on East Coast road from Chennai. This fort is situated along the Bay of Bengal and is perfect for one day outing and photography. Travel details can be found here….

  • Pichavaram Mangrove Forest from Chennai (235 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-5

 

Second largest mangrove forest in India after Sundarbans. This piece of nature is still not exploited by much people. A perfect place for camping, boating in the mangroves backwaters, awesome photography and weekend outings. More traveling details about this place can be found here….

  • Hogenakkal falls from Chennai (340 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-2

 

Hogenakkal falls situated on river Kaveri is one of the magnificent falls in Tamilnadu. Driving to this fall is also very scenic with fields, wilk worms plants and countryside India. apart from that, coracle ride and fresh fried fishes are very famous at the falls. More traveling details about hogenakkal falls can be found here….

  • Chembarambakkam Lake around Chennai (25 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-1

 

Situated almost inside the Chennai city, Chembarambakkam Lake is ideal for one day outing with family and kids an for photography. More traveling details can be found here….

  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary near Chennai (90 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-6

 

A bird sanctuary situated almost 75 kilometers from Chennai and spread over 75 acres in Kanchipuram district, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is ideal for one day outing. This place is also ideal for nature photograpy and bird watching in the morning during sunrise. More traveling details about Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary can be found here….

  • Kanchipuram near Chennai (75 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-9

 

The capital of Pallava kingdom has a lot of medieval temples which can still take you back centuries ago. The silk capital of Tamilnadu is almost just 2 hours from Chennai. More traveling details can be found here….

  • Horsley Hills from Chennai (278 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-11

 

Almost 250 kms from Chennai, Horsley hills is a wildlife sanctuary. Most of the people drive ther ein the morning to see the sunrise and clouds. More traveling details can be found here….

  • Mamanduru Trekking from Chennai (152 Kms)

trekking-places-and-trips-around-chennai-12

 

There are a lot of trekking spots around Mamanduru. More trekking details can be found here….


Pondicherry: Auroville, Bamboo Cottages, Rock Beach & Old harbour

Auroville beach, pondicherry, open all the time, is famous for being calm, bamboo cottages and quiet  turtle walk along the beach during sunrise.

Pondicerry ECR Sunrise Auroville beachSunrise at Auroville Beach Pondicherry

After getting down at the main bus stand, we decided to take an auto-rickshaw to the beach. Although while coming from Chennai, one can directly get down at Auroville beach itself because the beach is the first point of the city of Pondicherry, that’s gets encountered.

Since it was Christmas and new year time, it was getting harder for us to get a cottage at reasonable price. After walking around and inquiring at almost every hut, we finally got settled for Rs. 200/ night at a cottage facing the beach. After putting in our bags, we decided to explore the area a little bit more.

Aquarium at the cottage Aquarium at the cottage

Soon, we were asked by the owner if we would like to avail his catering facilities. Most of the times, dishes offered at the cottages are fresh fishes and shrimps brought from the sea. I am a vegetarian and I had to decline his offer. It was a perfect afternoon and we decided to soak our selves in the bay of Bengal. Soon we were in our shorts and we were ready to enter inside the bay of Bengal.

Bay of Bengal

The sand of Auro beach is coarse sand and sometimes when you are pushed down by the waves, the sand becomes abrasive. However, we did not realize that due to the warmth of the fun at the beach. 

 As the evening approached, beach got more crowded. Auro beach, unlike other near by beaches, does not change its topography with the time and remains even so, it becomes easier to take dip in the sea and find yourself standing at an even ground. With the  afternoon approaching the waves start roaring and getting higher. However, still the sun was bright in the sky and sand was still warm.

Fun at auro beach

After having loads of fun, we decided to retreat to our cottages. Most of the cottages serve warm water on demand. After changing our clothes, we went out to see the city at the night.

The Bamboo cottages or huts:

After paying 200 per night for four persons for a bamboo cottage, it was time to settle in. The cottage was a bamboo cottage supported by four bamboo columns fixed in the ground. A bamboo stairway leads to the cottage. A cottage has the basic facility of light, a fan, a mosquito-net or mosquito-repellents along with light weight sheets and mattresses.

After having dinner, we again took a walk at the Auro beach. It was dark and nothing could be heard or seen except the roar of the sea-waves. Around 10 in the night, we returned to our cottages. The wind was high and waves were really making a lot of sound. Since, we were tired, it did not take us long to sleep under the cold breeze from the sea sipping in our cottage through the bamboo pores.

There were a lot of mosquitoes and  along with applying mosquito-repellent cream, we had to put on the repellent bars to save our selves from the mosquitoes. But as the night dropped in, there were lesser traces of mosquitoes.

Cottages at Auro beachBamboo cottages as seen from the Auro beach

Sunrise at next morning:

It was colder in the morning while winds were still high. We decided to, then and there, go to the beach to watch the sunrise. There were not so many people on the beach except the local fishermen and some visitors. It looked like we were too early but on the other hand, it also gave us a lot of time to walk along the lonely shore for length.

The shore was full of sea-shells washed away by the high tides of the night. In the night, the tides fall back while shells remain lying untouched at the beach.

Turtle walk during sunriseShells lying on the Auro beach before sunrise

 We also saw some fisherman settling down their fishing nets and venturing into the sea for fishing. It was also fun to watch our own steps getting left behind on the lonely Auro beach before the sunrise.

Fisherman getting ready in the morningFisherman at the Auroville beach

Sunrise:

Sunrise at Auro beach is fully captivating and breath-taking. One can not take his eyes of until the sun is seen coming out of the clouds. Along with the changing colors of the sun, everything around us changes its color, be it the waves, the water, the sand, the sky or the clouds. And its, mesmerizing to watch how the beam of sun-rays appear out of the sky and kiss the ocean.

sunrise at auro beachSunrise at Auro beach

How long I stayed watching the sun appearing out of the clouds, I do not remember. For some time, it’s totally a different world. It was not a surprise to see, more and more people gathering to watch the sunrise and we decided to move on to the lonelier part of the Auro beach.

Palms along the beachPalm trunks along the beach

After enjoying the sunrise at the beach, we decided to return to our cottage and see the city. After getting freshen up, we had our breakfast prepared by the owner and we left for the city. 

Morning breakfast under the cottage

fishing nets and boats at PondyAn abadoned fishing boat and net in the cottage complex

At Auro beach:
– Regular prices for cottages are around 250 per 24 hour stay and is further negotiable
– Watch the sunrise
– Do not venture much deeper along the beach in the night
– Take a turtle walk before the sunrise on bare foot
– Try local dishes made by the fisherman or the cottage owner
– Go to Auroville village, 4-5 Kms from, the beach

Rock beach/ Gandhi beach/Promenade beach in Pondicherry

Rock beach/ Gandhi beach/Promenade beach in Pondicherry has always been one of the most visited tourist spots of Pondicherry. The statues, cafes, rocks, waves striking against the rocks and a dockyard & harbor to the right always attracts the fascination of a tourist.

Rock beach

Promenade beach or rock beach or Gandhi Beach:

Just three Kilometers east to the main bus stand lies the rock beach. This beach is called by multiple names like rock beach due to rocks along the beach, Gandhi beach because of statue of  Mahatma Gandhi and also as “Promenade beach”. Popularly this beach is also called Pondicherry beach because of being situated in the heart of the city and being most popular among the tourist. This beach is easily reachable from main bus stand by shared autos.

Rock beach at Pondicherry
Rock beach, Pondicherry

It’s a different experience to sit at the rocks and let the waves drench you with water when they hit against the rocks. The blue water turns whitish and water is sprayed across. If you stay for little longer and watch carefully, you can also see crabs popping outside from  under rocks. Rocks closer to the sea are mostly slippery because they are wet and full of algae however. rocks at the upper part remain dry under the sun.

statue of Gandhi Jee at Gandhi Beach, Pondicherry
Statue of Gandhi Jee at Rock beach

Gandhi statue:

Gandhi statue is surrounded by eight granite rocks and the floor is made up of marbles. Its a sign of integrity here. There is a 24 hours open cafe near the Gandhi statue called “Le cafe”. People can enjoy the waves over a cup of coffee sitting in the shed, if its too sunny.

On Gandhi beach

Gandhi Beach has a wide pavements which is often used for walking, skating and cycling. Although the beach gets crowded in the evening but until afternoon if the sun is shiny and there are no clouds in the sky then, it might get hotter.

Another statue at Promenade beach, Pondicherry

Other statues:
Apart from Gandhi’s statues, there are other statues too, not only on the beach but across the city of Pondicherry and most of them either belong to the sailors or french nationalists or both.

Rock beach, Pondicherry
A deserted fruit shop in afternoon

To the Pondicherry harbor dockyard:

To beat the heat, we used cold coconut water while people also take beer because Pondicherry is a union territory and is exempted from certain tax so things are generally cheaper here. To our right was the harbor much deeper into the sea. We asked local people and could not get much information if it was legal to go or not.

on Pondicherry naval dockyard harbour

After a walk of 10 mins, we were at the port road, door of the port harbor and stopped by a guard. It appeared to us as though it was illegal however after paying some small amount, we were allowed to go to the port. The length of the harbor is more than 200 meters into the sea.

On Pondicherry harbour dock
On the dockyard

This harbor is not operation now and remains almost deserted. It was fun to see the waves hitting the pillars of the harbors and water splintering into smaller drops. Though it was little hot but standing just above the  sea and surrounded by the feet deep of water brought some coolness.

A fish at Pondicherry Harbour dock
Fish lying on the dockyard

To our surprises, we could see the fishes swimming from the dock above, down into the sea. Sometimes, a strong wave would throw small fishes on the dockyard. I could not believe it initially but strong currents really do that.

From pondicherry harbour
Shot from the Dockyard of Pondicherry harbor

I could feel closer to the sea than to land. It was really awesome to watch the birds flying and praying for fish; fishermen going into the sea; watching small fishes swimming from above; waves striking against the pillars of the harbor and looking down at the abysmal depth of the sea. To the right of the Harbor, there is also a light house called “new light house” because old light house now houses some governmental office.

Fishermen from Pondicherry harbour

The most exhilarating thing to watch was the city of Pondicherry. The city looked little smaller and we could see most of its sea-shore lines. Most of the buildings along the Gandhi beach are white and are govt. office. The streets still have french names and it looks puzzling to walk in an Indian city having french name and Tamil language.

City of Pondicherry from Naval dockyard port

Walking on the pillars of the harbor:
After relishing the view of the whole city standing along the rock beach and having some photography time, our swinging mood asked for some more adventure. Call it to the naive blood gushing through our veins or the confidence built over the new swimming lessons that I had freshly taken. I decided to walk over the pillars of the harbor and just above the sea. I could not walk much deeper. The deeper I walk, the more fierce the wind was. Moreover, the pillars were very slippery and It was hard to maintain the balance or even stand against the winds and the waves hitting against the pillars. Though that was fun to be there but I would not recommend anyone to take that risk.

Walking under the Pondicherry harborOn the supporting pillars of the harbor

Important things to do on the Gandhi beach, Pondicherry:

– Rock beach/Gandhi beach is just 3 kms from Main bus stand and shared autos can be taken from the bus stand for the beach
– Le cafe at the beach is open for 24 hours and they offer some nice variety of coffee.
– Beside the beach, there are good shops selling antique things are worth taking a look
– Walking in the street named in french convention with french architecture is surely a nice thing to do.

Pondicherry: Chunnambar backwaters Boating & Paradise beach

After watching a vivid and colorful sunrise at the Auro beach, it was time to experience the Chunnambar backwaters boating and Plage paradiso island also called paradise beach in Pondicherry.Plage Paradiso island or paradise beach is an isolated beach from the main land by the Chunnambar backwaters. Thus to reach the paradise beach, one has to cross the Chunnambar backwaters to reach there.

To paradise beach from Chunnambar backwaters by boat:

A regular boat on a regular basis takes around 15-20 minutes of the time to reach on the island of paradise beach. These boats leave from Chunnambar boat-house which is situated on the Pondicherry-Cuddalore highway, around 7 kms from the main city of Pondicherry. We took an Auto-rickshaw for 100 rupees to go there.

Boats at chunnambar backwaters

Boats at the Chunnambar backwaters and Cuddalore highway in the background

After buying the tickets for 30 rupees, one can ride the designated boat and get down at the beach and then after staying for an hour or two, one can return by the same boat. Boats keep plying from one bank-side to another bank of the backwaters and their avarage frequency is 20 mins between the two.

Chunnambar backwaters is said to be very deep and life-jackets are necessary for every one on the boat, the cost for which is included included in the ticket-price. Once the boat leaves the Chunnambar boat house, one can see the clean backwaters and their under-stream currents. The 20 min journey to paradise beach is really exciting and filled with fun.  I would say that the backwaters and the paradise beach are heaven for fun-lovers including photographers, sports-lovers and even family outing.

Boating on chunnambar backwaters

On the way, you would also see a lot of speed boats and boats of different sizes, filling up the backwaters of Chunnambar with their presence. There is a large mangrove and palm forest along the left shore of the Chunnambar backwaters. These mangroves and palm forest, after the monsoon, are full of greenery and are a treat to our eyes. Its a regular sight to see people filming and shooting photographs. The ride is surely full of amazement while the biggest amazement wait on the other side of the backwaters.

As you approach closer to the paradise beach, you can see the beach appearing out of the waters. Even you can also see the point where the backwaters and the sea meet. Excitement reaches to its peak when the first glimpse of the paradise beach meets our eyes.

Paradise beach:

There are a few huts at the paradise beach which sell normal snacks and cold-drinks. Except those huts, the beach is not commercialized and still safe from the vendors thus pollution.

After getting down at the sea, one can clearly see the point where the sea and the backwaters meet each other. This point is said to be the perfect fishing ground because in these backwaters sometimes, fishes from the sea venture out.

Sand of the Paradise beach is soft in nature, unlike coarse sand of the Auroville beach. Thus making them a perfect ground for sports and having fun. However, the under currents at the beach are strong and it is not advisable to venture deeper into the sea. The sand at the Plage paradiso appears as a mixture of golden reflection over silvery sheet beside a turquoise water vessel. The vividness of the colors and the peace are a treat to our soul.

The beach is truly paradise in sense that the water color is really blue; sand is golden and silvery; Besides sands are also soft; there is no rush or any sign of busy city-life; there are tree at the far along the beach and they all in confluence make it a true paradise.

Huts at Paradise beach Huts at the Paradise beach

After having a lot of fun and peace time together, I personally felt rejuvenated and for a moment, I did not want to go back. However, we had to eventually. So, we stood at the bank on the wooden platform waiting for our ferry while wondering the beauty around.

Important things about the plage paradiso beach:

  • You can take your football/Volleyball with you
  • Boating takes on the avarage 20 mins from Chunnambar boathouse to Paradise beach
  • Avarage boat ride costs around 30 rupees
  • Chunnamabar backwaters and boat-house is situated at the Cuddalore highway, 7 Kms from the Pondicherry.
  • An auto would cost around 120 rupees.
  • Boating Tariff for half an hour:
    • 2 Seater Pedal: 25
    • 4 Seater Pedal: 40
    • 1 Seater Kayak: 10

Chunnamabar backwaters news:

Paradise beach on Chunnambar is coming up with a boxful of plans on this new year. Every new year, thousands of tourists flock at Paradise beach, Chunnambar to celebrate the new year. Keeping the upcoming new year in view, the tourism department is focussing more on tourists amenities like boutique shop, dining pavilion, beautified riverside etc.

Chunnambar Backwaters

Chunnambar Backwaters

Chunnambar backwaters are located south of Pondicherry on the Cuddalore road, To reach the Paradise beach, one has to take a boat ride from the Chunnambar boat house to the paradise beach. Recent heavy lashing along the east coast of India completely washed away many intact buildings of the Chunnamabar backwaters. Seeing the new year at hand, the tourism department has started working day and night.

It is expected that by January end, there will be new guest rooms, toilets and ticket counters. Besides these basic amenities, the project also includes electrification, landscaping, an entrance arch, paved pathways and three boat jetties.

From January end, tourists visiting the Paradise Beach will also be taken to the Arts and Crafts Village at Murungappakam located on the Cuddalore Road. However, the mode of transportation from Chunnambar to Murungappakam is not decided yet.

A part of the construction works related to public amenities like the construction of main reception, dormitory block, kitchen facilities, a dining hall, and toilets are complete. The work on beautifying the landscape is going on. These work will include the construction of amphitheater, restaurants, coffee shops etc. The four-acre Arts and Crafts Village is modeled on the lines of the Dilli Haat and can provide accommodation for more than 50 artisans to stay and work at a time.


New Houseboats for Chunnambar backwaters:
Chunnambar backwaters and paradise beach, one of the most visited and famous beach in Pondicherry is going to see its next version of tourism. PTDC (Pondicherry Tourism Developent Corporation) has decided to introduce Kerala style house boat services on Chunnambar backwaters from January, 2016. Introduction of the Kerala style houseboats has been marked with January seeing the upcoming peak season of tourists.

Pondicherry houseboat facilities:

Though a Kerala style houseboat, these houseboats will be built by a Chennai based company on the Paradise beach itself. The double decker houseboat is expected to have all the latest and modern facilities with 30 feet by 30 feet dimension. Besides, the lower deck of the houseboat is also expected to have three fully air-conditioned bedrooms with attached bathroom, dining room and living room. On the otherhand, the upper deck is expected to have ample space for social gatherings and meetings like corporate meetings and group parties accomodating up to 50 people at a time. This will help PTDC attract the corporate world customers situated in the nearby Metro Chennai where a lot of IT industry are settled.

Chunnambar Backwaters

Chunnambar Backwaters

The houseboat will also have life jackets, life buoys or small lightweight plastic boats, 24 hours electricity back up and back up of ground staff and communication facilities with the head office at the land. Like Kerala houseboats, the houseboats at pondicherry will also be equipped with modern kitchen. A guest will be served with a welcome drink, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Traditional cuisines from Pondicherry and Tamilnadu will mostly be served in lunch and dinner. However, there will also be a focus on continental cuisines for the tourists who are looking for a change of taste.

Pricing, Chunnambar houseboats:

Pricing of the upcoming houseboats at Chunnambar has not been disclosed yet. However, the plush boats can be hired privately at 10,000 rupees per day and you can take full 24 hours cruise in the Chunnambar backwaters.

Cruising:

Most of the cruising will be done during the day time. From the upper deck, one can the palm and coconut groves along the banks of beackwaters. The houseboats will take a round trip on backwaters starting from Chunnambar backwaters to Pudukuppam beach. Pudukuppam beach is situated 13 kms by road to the south of Pondicherry town. However, on water, this distance will be of 12 kms. The houseboat will take a break at Pudukuppam before returning back to Chunnambar backwaters. In the breaktime, passengers can get down as well. The houseboat will return to the Chunnambar backwaters by seven in the evening.

Boating

Boating in Chunnambar backwaters

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.