Thursday, 28 July 2011

2. Take in Marina Beach

If you want to enjoy the quiet of the beach, head there before 7 a.m. The pavement and lawns will be still packed with people keen to keep fit or shed weight. Walk to the shore, walk alongside the waterfront; lookout for leftover snacks, plastic and bottles. Only experienced swimmers may get into these waters; the shelf here drops sharply and the drownings take place every week. if you walk south, behind the Light House is a roadside fish market.
The Marina comes alive in the evenings when thousands of people head here, mainly on weekends. Hundreds of hawkers sell snacks, toys and kitsch. If you have a tough stomach, try the 'sundal' ( boiled, salted gram mixed with onion and mint) or the molaga bajjis (large chillies dipped in basin flour and deep fried).  Some stalls offer fried fish.
At the north end are the crowd-pullers! The resting places of MGR, a popular actor who had a huge fans club and went on to become a politician and then a chief minister of this state and that of his mentor, Annadurai. Walk around to get a first hand feel of the amazing devotion that people have for their heroes!
Tip: Avoid ill-lit places on the Marina at night. Many people visit it after dinner to enjoy an ice cream and the breeze. Most stay on till midnight.

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