Chennai Tour Packages
About Chennai :
Spreading from the mouth of the Cooum river in the north to the Lighthouse in the south, the Marina Beach is a 12-kilometer uninterrupted stretch of golden sands and foamy sea. Often regarded as the second longest beach in the world, this urban stretch in the coastal city of Chennai has a significant history that’s as old as the city.
Before the 16th century, the changing landscape of the coast was too premature to transform itself into the sandy beach that is seen today. There’s also evidence that when Fort St. George was built in 1640, the sea lay very close to its walls, lapping waves onto its ramparts. It was later, with the setting-up of the harbor, that the shore start accumulating sand thereby distancing itself from the sea. It is said that Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff, a British official, was captivated by the serene coast during his visit in 1870s. Later, upon his return as Governor General of Madras in 1881, he built a promenade along the beach with extensive layering, thereby modifying the landscape. The beach was thus given a facelift and an Italian name meaning harbor.
The 19th-century saw several landmarks being built along the promenade, facing the sea. Some of the most significant ones are the University of Madras, Lady Willingdon Institute, Queen Mary’s College and the All India Radio. Most of the city’s Indo-Saracenic architectural masterpieces can be found along this stretch, making a ride along this road incredibly scenic. The country’s first aquarium, built in October 1909, is currently being renovated from its dank interiors to accommodate a state-of-the-art facility. One significant building close to the beach is the Ice House – erected in 1842 to store large blocks of ice imported from America. Following the construction of local ice factories, it was later converted into a home for Brahmin widows. The Ice house was renamed Vivekananda House in 1863 and now hosts several art displays and religious discourses.