These 5 Spots In Town Will Make You Love Chennai Even More
There’s very little that we don’t love about Chennai. The people, the culture, the neighbourhoods, the food and even the year round weather (yes ok it’s rather hot mostly but the rains now are amazing) are all things we heart. However, those are just everyday things that contribute to why we love this city. Chennai is more than just a collection of its parts. So to give you a sense of why we love our fair city, here’s a list of five quintessentially Chennai places that will make you fall in love with the city.
The smaller of the two beaches in Chennai, Elliot’s beach (also commonly known as Bessy), has a lot more activity and things to do. There are eateries all along the beachfront promenade and on the sand, lots of open space with room to throw frisbees, play football and run around (there are strict rules against playing sports on Marina), and a long enough coastline for you to just sit and enjoy the waves. There’s even the picturesque Schmidt memorial right in the middle of the beach for you to take photos of (or photos on!)
One of the few lighthouses in the world with an elevator (thank god!), the Marina lighthouse is the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the city and of the longest urban beach in the country. The view from the top is particularly beautiful during the mornings and evenings. It’s also special because it’s one of the few lighthouses to be powered entirely by solar power, thanks to solar panels on the roof. Timings for the beach are from 10am to 1pm in the morning and 3pm to 6pm in the evenings.
There are cricket stadiums and there are cricket stadiums and then there is the Chepauk stadium (aka M. A. Chidambaram Stadium). The oldest continuously used cricket stadium in the country is a must-see for any cricket fans. Hell, I’m not even a cricket fan but just being there to watch a Chennai Super Kings match was a euphoric, out-of-the-body experience. Feeling your body tremble as you walk in to a packed stadium of more than 30,000 fans cheering on the home team is unreal. Definitely something you don’t want to miss.
The second oldest museum in India is a sight to behold. Over the years, lots of money has been spent to develop the museum and make it state of the art. But that’s not why it’s garnered so much acclaim worldwide. Outside of Europe it boasts the world’s largest collection of Roman Antiquities and has some of the best kept archeological artifacts in human history. It’s very well maintained and the entry fee is nominal, making it the best place for a gripping history lesson or even a casual day out with friends and family.
If you’ve lived in Chennai long enough, you’d have been to the Wild Garden Cafe at Amethyst, a cool green oasis in the heart of the city. Amethyst is the brainchild of Kiran Rao, whose passion for art and antiques is evident in the way that she transformed a granary warehouse space in Whites Road into the beautiful cafe that it is today. This old-world colonial-style mansion is flanked by lush greenery and houses a cafe, a boutique, and a flower shop. The Wild Garden cafe serves juice, coffee, sandwiches, pizza, and pasta, apart from a daily special menu and a selection of delicious cakes, brownies, cheesecakes, and other baked goodies.
You can head to the boutique upstairs (aptly named Upstairs At Amethyst) for some retail therapy. Kiran personally curates the eclectic collection of clothes and accessories that are made by a number of designers and labels from across the country. Read more here.