A few moments to spare in the sea sands of Marina Beach, Chennai
Deep blue seas often acquire the shades of a lost friend or lost lover, and sometimes a lover or friend who comforts us in our losses. Waves compete with the shores to reach new destinies. These wordings look like the lines of a poem. Yes, ocean itself is a lengthy poem with so many lines to decipher…..Some catch the hidden meanings easily, while a few others never succeed, and that’s the real mystery. While alone at sea shore, restless thoughts strike the shores of mind like restless waves weaving hundreds and thousands of stories, filled with happiness and sorrows or a combination of both. The roaring waves also bring back some of the memories from past.
Now Marina Beach is one of the most sought destinations of Chennai city. It’s the same place from former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the beloved leader of millions of common people, was laid to rest. Now whoever reaches the sea shore wants to see Memorial of Jayalalithaa first, situated near to Anna Memorial. Now also you can see many people in tears in eyes and flowers in hands, in front of the smiling picture of Jayalalithaa. In the outer gate, Amma Prasadam is given to the visitors who visit the memorial, which consists of Pongal and a bottle of mineral water.
In the evenings, Marina beach acquires an eternal beauty and you can see tourists on the beach sand. The prime area for tourist recreation, the sands of Marina beach also include Memorials for C. N. Annadurai, M. G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa, former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, in an area known as Anna Square.
Marina beach & the sea shore of love
The sea shore extends to 6.5 kms and the beautiful name, Marina resembles a beauty young lady. Similar to the simple name, its meaning can also be decoded simply – A small harbour; a place where small boats find their destinations at sea shore. When this beach was given this simple name decades ago, no one might have imagined that Marina is to become the heartbeat of the metro city in the distant future. Now hundreds of visitors visit this place daily, and a major tourist destination of the main city.
The place is filled with air of joy and romance, and it tells story of several unsuccessful love stories too. Many lovers who set off in love boats from the shores of Marine beach have reached their destination, while a few others lost their way somewhere similar to ship wrecking in the storm of circumstances and destinies. Yet everyone loves to sail to the new destinies of dreams, love, mysteries, adventures and many more. You can see plenty of love birds in the sea shores, who dream together for a better tomorrow. May be a hot destination of lovers, Marina beach turned to a wonderful tourist destination in the recent times.
Marina beach linked with some historic events of Tamil Nadu
Marina is not just a vast simple shore which provides recreation to all. Many historic visuals are seen in the road parallel to Marina beach. The grand building of Madras University faces the sea, and when windows of hostel rooms are opened, you can see far spread Marina. Parthasarathy temple, Famous Presidency College and Queen Mary College are located near to sea shores.
Anna Memorial is situated just near to beach, and it was constructed to keep the memory of MGR, the popular star of Tamilians alive forever. The memorial along with park is well explicit architectural skills and lighting arrangements. Labour statue is near to it. In the beach road, statues of more than 11 leaders associated with Tamil history are also placed, a contribution of rulers of yesterdays for younger generations – Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vivekananda, M. G. R, Sivaji Ganesan, Kambar, Thiruvullavar, Bharati Dasan, Subramanya Bharathi, Kannaki etc to mention a few.
Horse rides and many more …
You can see riding horses in the sand beach of Marina. For an elder people, a horse ride may cost 100 Indian rupees, and for kids, it’s 50 rupees. The beach turns crowded in the weekends, and horse rides too.
If you sit in the sea shore of Marina beach, you can’t see sun set, but only rising sun due to geographical features. Same is the case of almost all beaches of Tamil Nadu, except the one at Kanya Kumari, where the nature is blessed with both sunrise and sunrise, the single destination in our country to witness this natural phenomenon. Yet sand changes to slight reddish tints in the evenings. A big shore of 6.5 kms with a destination for celebration of events with two options – You can observe the deep blue seas from sea shore or have a walk through the seashores to closely observe the sea culture of Tamil Nadu.
The changing face of Marina beach
Eiffel tower of Marina beach – This lighthouse at Chennai is quite common in song sequence of Tamil movies. The lighthouse is 45.72 metre high, and not easy to capture its full charm in a selfie. When you climb the steps of lighthouse, and watch visuals from above, Marina beach looks very small. Like the folds of a blue saree, the ocean beauty flaunts her charm. Crowds resemble ant groups from the top. But at heights, charm of sea slowly diminishes too.
In the evenings, the whole shore will be filled with people and lamps lighten around. The face of Marina changes in a short interval of time, with light flashes. If the sea is silent, shore gets a festival charm. The space will be filled with palm readers and those who try to sell their goods; a commercial face of Marina beach in the late evening, when the place is conquered with busy crowd. Certain games are also arranged in the sea shore for fun, such as balloon games. When you see the silent charm of Marina, you may not wonder if you turn a 5-year old kid with balloons in hand.
There are many people who earn a living with small businesses and games on sea shore, and most of them target on elderly people than children, who still love old balloon games of Marina beach. After all, kids of today lack interest in such simple tricks, isn’t it? There are hundreds of lives on Marina beach, who solely depend on such small time business, to earn a living and teach their kids. Many of them are homeless, and they sleep in the lap of sea mother. There are a few people, who go for daily jobs at day time, and reach Marina beach in the evenings to sell their goods. There are a few people who meet the expenditure of education through small-time jobs at the sea shore.
Local tea shops at sea shores
Marina beach which extends to kilometers long is similar to the local tea shops which open in the evenings. There are varieties of snacks available in the sea shore of Marina beach. You can find variants of corn dishes, green peas, Panipuri, groundnut, sugarcane juice and green mango and many more. Green peas cooked with salt, and later mixed with green mango pieces – A variety snack available in the local shops of the beach. Fishes of different types marinated with masala are also placed in such local shops.
Beach patrolling is seen in Marina beach. To ensure the safety of visitors, policemen riding in horses are also seen. Yet they never interfere in the privacy of visitors. They often use their whistles to restrict people from going to deep seas in the late evening. Clouds may return in the evening, but the visitors like a lover in a romantic mood never allow them to leave.
At the end of the beach, cut outs of several film stars are placed. They are placed in stands in different styles. Photographer is ready. You can stand with any film star and capture a photo. When you have a walk across the beach and come back, the print is ready. Among all actors, Rajinikanth is still the evergreen hero and the procedure to take such shots has not lost the charm yet. You can also go to Anna Memorial of M. G. R and park in the evening.
Image source: Wikipedia
Also read a few more articles on tourist locations outside Kerala. Click on the images in the gallery to read