Chennai’s only publicly open boating spot is at the Muttukadu Boat House on East Coast Road and is a must-see if you haven’t been.
Row, Row, Row Yours Boats For INR 100 At This Iconic Spot On ECR
What Makes It Awesome
Set just before Kovalam, the Muttukadu Boat House is located along the backwaters that lead into the Buckingham canal. The boathouse was initially pretty rundown and lackluster, but in 2009 received a massive facelift. The Boat House was rebuilt, and it now holds a restaurant, viewing gallery and clean restrooms. Not only that there’s a concrete jetty that extends into the backwaters, that offers a great view (especially during sunset), but more importantly makes it easy to get on and off boats.
Speaking of boats, there’s rowboats, motor boats, pedal boats, speed boats, and even water scooters. The rowboats, pedal boats and regular motorboats are the cheapest with rates per person around INR 100. Speedboats and the water scooters, however, are a little more expensive. All boats are operated by their staff, having said that if you want to try your hand at it they just might let you try your hand at it. The pedal boats are the most fun (and most tiring) if you’re in a group as moving forward is a group activity. We recommend going there in the evenings as boating when it’s hot is no fun.
The boat rides themselves are plenty of fun as there’s plenty to see in the surrounding backwaters. There’s plenty of fishermen plying their trade, water birds flying by, fish swimming around the boat and other such sights to look at, all while you feel the wind in your hair. The boat rides themselves last an hour, which is amazing value for money if you ask us. The whole backwaters glow orange during sunsets making evenings a great time to take photos.
Food-wise, there’s plenty of snacks and refreshments at their restaurant if you’re hungry (we recommend the sweet lime soda). There’s plenty of car parking space, along with a nicely done up walkway along the canal with park benches. In fact, if you’re on a date, we recommend coming here just to sit along the canal as its super quiet and peaceful, even when crowded. All in all, there’s a fun evening here, just try to make sure it’s on the weekdays as the queues are long on the weekend.