Thursday, October 15, 2015

Elliot's Beach (Besant Nagar Beach), Chennai

Elliot's Beach (Besant Nagar Beach), Chennai
Elliot's Beach (popularly known as "Besant Nagar Beach" or "Bessie") is located in Besant NagarChennaiIndia. It forms the end-point of the Marina Beach shore, and is named after Edward Elliot, British Governor of Madras during British Colonial Period. It has the Velankanni Church and the Ashtalakshmi Kovil nearby. In the colonial era, it was a fairly exclusive place limited to white people. It is located in the city limits and is well connected to other parts of city. The beach is popular with local college students and families. There are many restaurants near the beach.

There is a police outpost at the beach and the crowd is policed by means of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to prevent drowning mishaps. In 2010, there were 11 drowning cases reported off Elliot’s Beach. In August 2012, the government sanctioned two more all-terrain vehicles for patrolling the beach.
Locals fondly call this expanse of sand and sea Bessie Beach! Considering how polluted or messy many Indian beaches can be, Elliot’s Beach is fairly clean in comparison. This expansive beach is a great place to spend an evening walk along its sandy shores, peer into the dark waters of the surf-flecked sea. Sit by the sea shore in the moonlight and gaze up at the stars. If you like sunbathing or want a tan, you could stretch out on the golden sands when the sun is up. 
Elliot’s Beach is packed on weekends with college kids, locals and tourists making a beeline for its lovely environs. Sunrise here is magnificent when the sun’s rays lick the dawn sky in a spectacular burst of colors. On weekends the beach is packed with revelers, all wanting to enjoy the balmy sea breeze, the sandy beach and the push and pull of the sea. Enjoy a walk along its vast sandy, clean expanse with the milky moon shining down. 

Elliot’s Beach is well developed and is almost as or more popular than Marina Beach. The beach front is dotted with eating joints - from Tandoori food to fast food or ice creams, everything is available. You will also find joints dishing up South Indian food. And if you want snacks and coffee, there is Baristas and CafĂ© Coffee Day.
Karl Schmidt memorial
A prominent landmark on this beach is the Karl Schmidt Memorial. The memorial is named after the Dutch sailor who lost his life in the process of saving a drowning swimmer. It is one of the most notable landmarks on the famous beach.

Religious Places
At the southern end of the beach, is the famous Velankanni Church which was built in the honour of the Lady of Health, also famous as Madonna of Velankanni. It is also believed by the followers that the Lady of Health holds miraculous powers.
Another site of attraction is the Ashtalakshmi Temple which is around 20 years old and has modern style architecture, located on the southern end of the beach.

It is dedicated to the eight manifestations of the Goddess Mahalakshmi, also known as the Deity of Wealth and Peace. Besides this, there are temples of Tumbikai Aazhwar (Ganesha), Guruvaayurappan, Chakrathaazhwar & Narasimhar (on either side of the same idol), Aanjaneyar & Dhanvantri.