Beaches in India

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Marina Beach information

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is a natural urban beach in the city of , India, along the Bay of Bengal. The beach runs from near Fort St. George in the north to Foreshore Estate in the south, a distance of 6.5 km (4.0 mi), making it the longest natural urban beach in the country and the world's first longest natural urban beach. The Marina is primarily sandy, unlike the short, rocky formations that make up the Juhu Beach in Mumbai. The average width of the beach is 300 m (980 ft) and the width at the widest stretch is 437 m (1,434 ft). Bathing and swimming at the Marina Beach are legally prohibited because of the dangers, as the undercurrent is very turbulent. It is one of the most crowded beaches in the country and attracts about 30,000 visitors a day during weekdays and 50,000 visitors a day during the weekends and on holidays. During summer months, about 15,000 to 20,000 people visit the beach daily. The Marina is a natural urban sandy beach along the Coramandel coast on the Bay of Bengal. Primarily sandy, the beach spans about 13 km (8.1 mi), running from near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south and is the longest natural urban beach in India. The average width of the beach is 300 m (980 ft) and the width at the widest stretch is 437 m (1,434 ft). Marina beach is a major tourist attraction of the city. People visiting make a point to visit the beach. It is also the main place for the local people to escape from the summer heat. The beach is popular for its shops and food stalls run by about 500 shops run by about 1,212 vendors. The memorials and statues, morning walk, joggers' track, lovers' spot, aquarium, and the like make it a hangout for people of all ages. Kite flying and beach cricket are common sports at the beach, and there are also facilities for pony rides. Beach cricket at the Marina dates back several decades. However, City Police has banned it at different points due to its interference with traffic and beach walkers. The sea is generally rough and waves are strong. There are fishermen colonies present at both ends of the beach. There are also joyrides, merry-go-rounds and mini giant wheels along the stretch, although they are installed without permission from any government agency. There are two swimming pools along the stretch—the Marina swimming pool and the Anna swimming pool. The Marina swimming pool was built in 1947 and is located opposite the Presidency College. The pool is 100 m long and 30 m wide, bigger than the standard Olympic pool size of 50 m × 25 m and is 3 to 5.5 feet (0.91 to 1.68 m) deep. It is maintained by Corporation of Chennai. It underwent renovation in 1994 and 2004. The Anna swimming pool is located opposite the clock tower building of the University of Madras and virtually remains hidden behind the Anna Square bus terminus. The pool is said to be the first Olympic size pool to be built in Tamil Nadu. It was constructed in 1976 with a diving board. However, the diving board was removed later during a renovation. The pool is 4 to 11 feet (1.2 to 3.4 m) deep. It also has a toddler pool that is 2.5 feet (0.76 m). Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) conducts regular coaching camps at the pool. The oval-shaped skating arena at the beach has an outer railing and standing area for people to watch from. As part of the 'Chennai Forever' initiative by the Tamil Nadu government, a 34-foot (10 m) tall, artificial waterfall was installed in September 2005 at a cost of ₹ 1.5 million. A visitor centre near the Cooum River mouth on the Marina, similar to the Marina Barrage Visitor Centre in Singapore and San Antonio Visitor Center in the United States, has been planned as part of an initiative to create awareness of the need for clean waterways.In 2008, two floating fountains with spray height of 100 feet with colour lights for night view were planned to be installed in sea waters off the beach. In 2010, the Chennai Corporation procured new cleaning equipments to clean the beach at a cost of ₹ 8.011 million. These included a sand-cleaning machine capable of cleaning 15,000 m2 area in an hour procured at a cost of ₹ 3.267 million, three skid steer loaders to clean narrow lanes commissioned at a cost of ₹ 2.652 million, imported lawn mower, ride-on mechanical sweeper, tree pruner and hedge trimmer. An automatic ticket-vending machine at a cost of ₹ 170,000 was also commissioned at the Marina swimming pool for managing the crowd. The corporation also planned to construct two more public conveniences at the beach. About 150 corporation staff, including a junior engineer, maintains the lawns and service lanes on the beach. As of 2013, the 3.1-km stretch of the beach from the Triumph of Labour statue to the lighthouse has 31 high-mast lamps. All along the length of the promenade, stone statues adorn the roadside area of the beach starting from the Triumph of Labour statue, the first statue erected in the beach, near the memorials at the Anna Square to Mahatma Gandhi statue near the lighthouse. Most statues are of national or local legends while others have symbolic significance like the Triumph of Labour statue. The statues along the promenade are (from north to south): Robert Caldwell (erected on 2 January 1968), Kambar (erected on 2 January 1968), Ilango Adigal (erected on 7 November 1971), Triumph of Labour (erected on 25 January 1959), Bharathiar (erected on 2 January 1968), Kannagi (erected on 2 January 1968/re-erected on 3 June 2006), Subhas Chandra Bose (erected on 15 December 1997), Thiruvalluvar (erected on 2 January 1968), G.U.Pope (erected on 2 January 1968), Annie Besant, Bharathidasan (erected on 2 January 1968), Swami Vivekananda (erected on 12 July 1964), Avvaiyar (erected on 2 January 1968), Mahatma Gandhi (erected on 14 April 1959), Veerama Munivar (erected on 2 January 1968), Kamarajar, Periyar, Sivaji Ganesan (erected on 21 July 2006).


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