What’s the Longest Beach in India?
Whether you’re planning a trip to India or just interested in geography, you might be wondering what the longest beach in India is. If so, you’ve come to the right place!
India has an extensive coastline, spanning just over 4,670 miles. With such a vast coastline comes some idyllic and record-breaking beaches that are well worth a visit.
In this article, we’ll go over some facts about India’s longest beach and review things to do, places to eat, and where to stay around India’s famous Marina Beach.
Marina Beach: The Longest Beach in India
Marina Beach in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, is located along the Bay of Bengal. It’s the second-longest beach of the world at 8.1 miles long, behind Cox’s Bazar Beach in Bangladesh.
It’s one of the most popular beaches in the country, attracting 30,000 beach-goers a day and up to 50,000 on weekends and holidays.
When you think of a beach day, you will no doubt think about basking in the sun and cooling off by going for a swim. However, swimming at Marina Beach is legally prohibited because the undercurrent is powerful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go swimming, as the beach has two swimming pools—the Marina swimming pool and the Anna swimming pool.
Though swimming is illegal, many thrill seekers still venture into the water. But unfortunately, it’s estimated that approximately five people per month drown at Marina Beach, making it the most perilous place to swim in Tamil Nadu.
If you visit Marina Beach, it’s wise to stay on land and soak up the sun and the local attractions surrounding the area.
Best Time To Visit Marina Beach
The best time to visit depends on your preferences. If you want to go at the best possible time in terms of weather, you’ll want to visit between November and February.
This is the time of year when the temperature isn’t too overwhelming, and humidity is at its lowest. The average daily temperature is between 69F and 80F for these months. However, you’ll want to keep an eye on weather forecasts if you plan on visiting in November, as it is one of the rainiest months, with an average of 13 days.
On the other hand, if you want to beat the crowds, you’ll want to visit in the warmer months, between April and August. Temperatures can reach 100F, and the humidity makes things rather muggy, so remember to bring plenty of water and sun protection.
Things To Do
If you’re planning a trip to Marina Beach, Chennai, you don’t have to limit yourself to seaside activities. There are several attractions and local cuisine located on or near the beach. Below are just some of the highly-rated sights and restaurants to visit.
Originally called the Ice House, Vivekanandar Illam is located on Marina Beach. It’s an exquisite heritage building that used to store ice in the 1800s when the ice business was booming.
In 1963, the building was renamed Vivekananda Illam after monk, philosopher, and author, Swami Vivekananda, who stayed in the building in the late 1800s. It is now celebrated as a sacred place for all students of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings.
You can visit the site from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily (closed on Wednesdays).
While visiting Vivekananda Illam, you can enjoy a painting exhibit displaying the cultural heritage of India from Vedic times to the advent of Sri Ramakrishna. It also has a photo gallery dedicated to the legacy of Swami Vivekananda, featuring over 120 exhibits. You can even view the room Swami Vivekananda stayed in, which offers a breathtaking view of Marina beach.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
Also known as St Thomas Cathedral Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Thomas, this stunning piece of architecture is located steps away from Marina Beach in the Madras neighborhood of Chennai.
Santhome Basilica is touted as one of the must-see attractions for travelers visiting India, since it is one of the only three churches in the world built on the tombs of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The neo-Gothic style of architecture is another appealing feature, showcasing beautiful stained glass windows and a 183-foot spire.
The cathedral is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with no entry fee. It’s a wonderful spot to spend a few hours soaking up the history and culture of Chennai without affecting your budget.
You can’t visit Marina Beach at Chennai without stopping to try some local cuisine. A lot of the top-rated restaurants at Marina Beach are seafood-focused, for obvious reasons, though there are many options to choose from.
If you want a taste of authentic idli, a Tamil Nadu staple, you’ll want to visit Murugan Idli Shop. They offer mouth-watering idli and piping hot dosa accompanied by various chutneys, side dishes, and podis. The restaurant is located on Marina Beach, so stopping in for a quick bite is easy.
Suppose you have seafood on your mind after spending your day beside the ocean. In that case, you should make your way to Surf Turf for a fine balance between Continental favorites and delicious local dishes. You can enjoy a delectable meal at this seaside cafe while listening to the waves crash along the shoreline of Marina Beach.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a quick treat to cool you down after hours in the sun. Amirtha Ice Creams offers a variety of ice cream products admired by locals for their quality and taste.
Of course, you can also take a walk along the beach and try any food from the hundreds of restaurants and street vendors offering local delicacies along the beach.
Places To Stay
Whether you’re looking for a high-end stay with plenty of amenities or a cheap place to rest your head after a day of adventures at the longest beach in India, Chennai has something to fit your needs and budget.
The Leela Palace Chennai
If you want a luxury stay, look no further than The Leela Palace Chennai. This five-star hotel offers ocean views and plenty of amenities, including a beautiful library, exquisite restaurants, and a relaxing spa.
It’s a mere eight-minute ride from Marina Beach, so you won’t need to worry about extensive travel time when staying at Leela Palace. Plus, if you’re looking to visit less busy beaches at Chennai, Pattinapakkam Beach is within walking distance.
The Park Chennai
The Park Chennai is a mix of high-end and budget-friendly. It’s located closer to the center of town, so if you’re looking to experience some culture in Chennai, it’s a great spot.
The hotel is approximately a 25-minute ride from Marina Beach, making it easy to catch a cab whenever you’re ready to start your beach day. You can also enjoy some amenities during your downtime, including two highly-rated restaurants, a lovely outdoor pool and bar area, and a modern lounge and nightclub.
Raj Palace Sundar
Are you looking for simplicity that’s still good value for money? Then the Raj Palace Sundar is a perfect choice. You can get a room for under $30, freeing up your wallet to spend on the great food and entertainment surrounding this centrally-located three-star hotel.
It’s only a 15-minute ride from Marina beach, or if you’d rather walk to soak in some sights, it’s about 45 minutes. The walk will take you past Santhome Cathedral Basilica and the Chennai Lighthouse, so you can knock those attractions off your list!
When the day is done, you can stop by for a bite in the hotel’s restaurant or enjoy dinner in your room with round-the-clock room service.
How To Get To Marina Beach
Depending on where you are in Chennai, you can get to Marina beach by taxi or on foot. There are also several public transit options, like the bus, train, or metro (subway).
If you want to take the bus, you’ll have to do a little research to see which route is the best option for you. Or, if you’d rather travel by train, you can hop on the MRTS, which travels from Chennai Park Station in the city center to Chennai Beach Station, just north of Marina Beach, roughly every 15 minutes.
Another option is the metro line, which is your best option if you’re traveling to Marina Beach straight from the airport. The Blue Line travels from the airport to Wimco Nagar Depot from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays. A metro train is never more than ten minutes away, so you won’t have to worry about missing your ride to the beach.
The metro is also a great option if you’re doing some sightseeing around the city, as a day pass is only $1.20 plus a 60¢ deposit that you’ll get back upon returning the pass.
Conclusion – The Longest Beach In India
Whether you’re planning a trip to Chennai or are passing through the area, you have to plan a visit to Marina Beach.
From beautiful ocean views to delectable cuisine to fascinating attractions, there’s something for everyone at the longest beach in India.