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Beaches in Chennai

 Elliot's Beach or Besant Nagar beach

Until not so long ago, the City's bathing beach it is now another `lung' of Madras, popular with a crowd less in love with the water. Pleasant, safe for swimming, ideal for lazy lounging and picnicking. A stone memorial to a Danish sailor, Karl Schmidt, who lost his life rescuing a drowning swimmer, is a landmark.

About a kilometer to the north of the Elliot's beach is a nice, clean and quiet stretch of the beach, behind the Theosophical Society headquarters. Here, the river Adyar meets the sea. This place can be of interest to bird-watchers - a variety of birds like egrets, pond-herons and flamingoes are seen here.

To the south are the new shrines of the City, the Ashtalakshmi Temple - the country's newest shore temple to the eight forms of the goddess Lakshmi - a Ganesh Temple and the Velankanni Church said to have the same miraculous attributes as the mother shrine in the south


 Marina Beach

Marina Beach Stretching two miles, from the mouth of the Cooum River south of the Fort, till the northern boundaries of the 16th centurey Portuguese town of San Thome, is this magnificent beach drive and promenade. To the east of the road is the promenade, well-kept gardens and a wide beach with claims to being the world's second largest. At the north end of the beach is Anna Square, the serene resting place of Dr C N Annadurai, who founded a populist party that ushered in anew the ancient glory of Tamil and the Tamils. His Samadhi is marked by a beautiful park, a striking memorial sculpture and daily crowds paying homage. At the other end of the beach is the new lighthouse. In between, sentinels on the promenade, are several statues of Tamil scholars and two splendid bits of sculpture - the Victory of Labour and Mahatma Gandhi. Madras's Aquarium is also on this beach. Across the road are several important buildings of Madras. The University campus has Indo-Saracenic of the 1930s blending with perhaps one of the country's finest buildings in this hybrid style, Senate House, built by one of the founders of the modern version of this school of architecture. R F Chisholm, in mid-19th century. Chrisholm's PWD buildings front striking Chepauk Palace, once the home of the Nawabs of the Carnatic, but now government offices whose exteriors still reflect Nawabi splendour. Presidency College, another Chisholm masterpiece, was the nucleus of the 125-year-old University of Madras. Vivekananda House, now a hostel, was once a storehouse for imported ice, then home of Swami Vivekananda when he visited Madras. The long and impressive Office of the Director-general of Police, another 19th century construction, was built as the City's first Masonic hall.

 
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