Often considered to be the pride of Chennai, Marina Beach, 13 km in length, is the second-longest beach of its kind in the world. A long stretch of soft sand, Marina Beach invites tourists to unwind, take a dip in the water and indulge in local snacks. The street facing the beach is lined with one illustrious landmark after another. These include Madras University, Government departments, Senate House, Presidency College, Cricket Stadium and Swami Vivekananda Memorial House and the building of All India Radio. It is said that it was the personal favourite beach of ME Grant Duff, the erstwhile British Governor of Madras (1881-86). Sunrises and pony rides can also be enjoyed here. 

The credit for converting this place into a tourist spot goes to Duff. He took the required measures to change the face of this place in 1880s. The historical monuments are built at the junction of pathways. These include Annadurai and MG Ramachandran memorials, statues of heroes from Tamil culture, Indo-Saracenic buildings, monuments of Tamil scholars, patriots and famous personalities including Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose. One of the most remarkable sculptures of the beach is the Triumph of Labor by Debiprasad Roy Choudhary. On the beach, one can enjoy a variety of South Indian snacks and ice creams. There is also an aquarium situated near the beach. It is home to some of the mesmerising species of sea and fresh water fish. One can also visit the Ice House, which has ice brought from lakes in North America during the British rule. The best time to visit the beach is between November and February. 

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