I love traveling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures and traditions. Each time I watch some travel show on tv, I wish I could be that guy who goes to a new city each week and tastes all the best dishes off the menu of restaurants! All that being said, I have come to realize that Im also deeply rooted to home. Im a true blue chennai girl (chennai vaasi as we may say). Basically I just simply love my filter coffee, kutcheris & CSK!
Chennai as a city is well renowned for its cultural charm, from age-old traditional temples in Mylapore to the high-tech IT parks in Siruseri, we've got it all covered. So its needless to say that the city containing more than 4.3 million people from various cultural and demographic backgrounds, caters to each person in a different way. Yet if there had to be one common unifying factor for each chennai-ite it would undoubtedly be our beaches! But even so, each person identifies with the beach in their own way. There are those who live right across the shore near the coast itself, some who go each weekend to play cricket or volleyball, some who routinely go each day to walk along the beach, some of them even with their pets and others who go to enjoy the occasional sea breeze on a cool evening after an exhausting day's work. Just driving along beach road is a joy which is indescribable, be it a short drive in marina or a long drive along ECR (East coast road) even uptill Mahabalipuram. Its almost certainly the only time anyone would think of lowering their car windows & switch off the air conditioning to experience the cool breeze, as we sadly but perennially face the scorching heat.
Being placed on along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, we enjoy not just one beach but many beaches along the coast. Starting with the city's most coveted beach, the “Marina Beach" which holds rank as one of the world's longest beaches, extending from Fort St. George in the north till somewhere near “Besant nagar beach" in the south, which is also the second most prominent beach in the city, then there is 'Elliots beach' & the very many other coastal fronts in each area along ECR. The beach is a common attraction with some takeaway for each person here. While the main attraction at any beach is the breeze, breathtaking view of the sun's rise or fall across the sea and essentially just standing at the shore while getting soaked by the lapping waves, the peripheral attributes like the food stalls, toys & kites keep everyone entertained. Children love the beach not only for the waves or the sand, but also for goodies to buy or the cart wheel they can ride in, some of them after having thrown a full fledged tantrum with fake tears & what-not to convince their concerned parents who are forced to oblige in time. Shooting a few balloons with a gun loaded with fake bullets and taking a round on horse-back is thrilling prospect for most. Youngsters see the beach as a hangout spot, college friends of mine even rave about certain foodstalls on the beach for its cheap yet tasty noodles. Today food stalls are galore in the beach serving up anything and everything from cotton candy, sandwiches, panipuri and noodles to every possible brand of ice-cream. Though all these new items adopted from other places seem to crowd the place and attract buyers, certain things like the 'sundal' & 'mulaga bhaji' can be considered as the city's staple beach food & are never to be missed. If you happen to be there in the evening, you may even encounter some psychics and palm astrologers who will not leave your side until you get at least one reading from them. The 'lighthouse' in marina beach is a significant landmark, which was supposed to be one of the tallest buildings in the city 3 decades ago and is very much in vogue now after being reopened for the public recently.
I cherish morning drives to marina beach with my parents as my favorite, as the peaceful surroundings & a brisk morning walk along the shore can do wonders to refreshen your day and mood.
On one hand, marina servers as a home for the impoverished home-less & vagabonds to rest in during the night. On the other hand, there are several exclusive-luxury beach resorts with state-of-the art facilities & private beach access, providing a relaxing experience and a platform where events like get-togethers, parties and even weddings are held. In such diversity lies our unity.
First Featured on https://traveltreasurer.wordpress.com
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