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Marina Beach, Chennai
The Marina Beach is a beach situated to the east of Chennai at Kamarajar Road, 3 Km from the city centre along the Bay of Bengal.This beach is among one of the longest beaches in Asia. Marina Beach stretches from Fort St. George all the way to Mahabalipuram around12 km long. The improvement of this beach was set by Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in the early 1880's. The Marina Beach is the Chennai's major tourist attraction today, comprising of golden sand, good surf and a shimmering clean blue sea.
The Marina Beach used to be famous for its beauty, good atmosphere, and rich ecosystems. However, from the middle of the 20th century, the beach and water has become polluted. An increase of plastic bags, human waste and other pollutants have transformed many parts of the beach polluted. In recent years, many voluntary organizations have taken up the project of cleaning up the Marina Beach and the water for protecting the ecosystem. The Olive Ridley turtle nests near the Neelangarai section of the beach are protected. However, a visit to the Marina Beach is an essential condition for any tourist visiting Chennai.
A notable feature of the beach is the set of stone statues that decorate the roadside area of the beach. Most statues are of Indian or local legends like Mahatma Gandhi, Kannagi, and Thiruvalluvar, while others have symbolic meaning like the Statue of Labor. A beautiful garden and Memorials for M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) and C. N. Annadurai, former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu are present on the beach. Recently, a statue of the famous actor Sivaji Ganesan was also installed.
In addition to this, Marina Beach has a mock water fountain to its splendour. You can also see 'The Aquarium.' The place has some of the most exotic collection of tropical sea fishes and fresh water fishes and a swimming pool in the locality. The southern end of the beach is marked by a Light House, which provides a bird's-eye view of the city
The Marina beach is a main attraction for tourist visiting Chennai. In the evenings, the beach is virtually a fair ground with various kinds of entertainment and food stalls lining the beach. One can even shop around the beach, with neighbouring vendors trading goods ranging from shell, artificial ornaments, glass baubles, kites and some good marine foodies.
The Marina beach, however, is vast enough to accommodate all visitors as well as the hawkers and is often the place for vital state functions. There are also conveniences of pony rides at the beach site, which is a focus for the children's interest in the most.
How to get there:
Marina Beach is easily accessible from every part of the country, by air the Chennai international airport is 20 km from the beach. The Chennai central railway station is about 3 km away. By Road State transport department and private buses are linked with major towns and cities. Rickshaws and taxis are also available from major parts of the city.
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