Tamil Nadu is known especially for its blue beaches and sunny skies. Some of south India's nicest beaches dot Chennai's long seafront. The Marina beach is a 12-km long stretch of fine sandy shore and is known as thePride of Chennai, the Kovalam beach is quiet and far away from the distractions of the city and the Elliot's beach is the preferred destination for those with a clean atmosphere in mind.
A short 20-minute drive from Chennai City, VGP Golden Beach Resort offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere in today's stress-driven world. 58-km south of Chennai is the Mahabalipuram beach, famous for its unique 7th century Shore Temple.
Marina Beach is located on the eastern side of Chennai, adjoining the Bay of Bengal. Watching the sun set and rise from the beach is an enthralling experience. Though bathing and swimming can be dangerous, as the undercurrent is very strong, even then people come for swimming here. In the evenings, the beach is virtually a fair ground with various kinds of entertainment and food stalls lining the beach
With its natural sandy beauty and spacious promenade and beautiful gardens, the beach is a major attraction for tourists visiting Chennai. It has acquired a South Indian aura with vendors hawking wares ranging from shell and glass baubles to kites and fruit juices. The Marina, however, is large enough to accommodate all visitors as well as the hawkers and is often the venue for important state functions.
Elliot Beach This beach is located in Besant Nagar. Formerly a popular bathing beach, today, it is the favorite rendezvous of the younger generation. Good roads, pavements, illuminated sands, makes a visit to this beach a real pleasure.
Kovalam Beach Kovalam or Covelong as it was known earlier is a small fishing village located 40 kms from Chennai on the way to Mahabalipuram. Now it is a luxury beach resort. There was a fort built by the Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali.
Mamallapuram 58 kms, south of Chennai, has a beautiful beach spanning a distance of over 20 km. An erstwhile port of the Pallava dynasty the place abounds with stone carvings, caves, rock cut temples also attract tourists. A crocodile farm, snake. venom extracting centre, schools of art and sculpture and a wide choice of resorts along the beach draw holiday-seekers all round the year.
While travelling from Chennai to Mahabalipuram visit Dakshinachitra - a heritage centre. Here traditional crafts persons and folk artists work and perform in the reconstructed period settings of 19th century homes, streets and workspaces of the Southern States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Kanyakumari Beach At the southern most tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kanyakumari, an important pilgrim center. Kanyakumari is famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially on full moon days. The beach itself is a beautiful sight with multi-colored sand. There is a lighthouse from where one can get a panoramic view. The Government museum offers a good collection of sculptural art crafts of Tamil Nadu.
Poompuhar Beach Yet another beach resort created in memory of erstwhile "Kaveripoompattinam", a legendary Port city, washed away by the sea. The present complex was designed on the basis of the information available in the Tamil epic 'Silapathikaram'.
The historical happenings depicted in Silapathikaram and the land marks mentioned therein are brought back to life here in stone. The Department of Tourism offers conch and shell type accommodation here.