Known alternatively as Besant Nagar Beach, or “Bessie” for short, Elliot's Beach sits at the south end of the Marina Beach shore. A former expatriate enclave during Chennai’s colonial era, today the beach attracts throngs of twentysomethings, as well as families looking to avoid the crowds at the more popular Marina Beach.The Basics
While you won't find water sports along this stretch of sand, what you will find are beautiful ocean views and several architectural landmarks, including the Ashtalakshmi Temple and the Velankanni Shrine, as well as an array of snack stalls and restaurants serving authentic South Indian cuisine. Another interesting landmark, the Karl Schmidt Memorial, honors a Dutch sailor who died while saving a swimmer from drowning in 1930.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Wear plenty of sun protection, even on overcast days.
- Chennai is a fairly conservative city, and most people will feel more comfortable in modest swimwear.
- The beach is not ideal for swimming, with strong tides at times.
Elliot’s Beach is located in the Besant Nagar neighborhood in southern Chennai, about a 30- to 45-minute drive from the main Egmore Railway Station and 20 to 25 minutes from Mylapore, depending on traffic. The nearest commuter train station is Indira Nagar, about a 15-minute drive inland from the beach.
When to Get There
Elliot's Beach is a year-round attraction, though travelers should be aware of fierce rainfalls and strong waves during the rainy months (June through October). It's at its most pleasant first thing in the morning (with great sunrises to boot) or around sunset, when locals flock here for evening strolls. The Ashtalakshmi Temple
Situated on the shore overlooking Elliot's Beach is Ashtalakshmi Temple, among the most spectacular temples (and, for that matter, architectural sites) in Chennai. Built in the mid 1970s, the temple features the goddess Lakshmi in eight different forms, spread across four floors adorned with colorful carvings of mythological figures, in the typical Dravidian style.