Since I was a little kid, I remember asking my parents very often if we could go to the top of the Marina beach lighthouse and enjoy the view. But the lighthouse remained close to the general public for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, since November 2013, it has been re-opened to the public, and I was very eager climb up to the top on my visit to Chennai!
On New Year’s eve, I finally managed to get that chance. Surprisingly, even though there were many visitors everyday, the lighthouse premises was very clean and well-maintained. Just for ₹10 (₹25 for non-Indians) and an extra ₹25 if you have a camera, an elevator takes you to the viewing gallery on the ninth floor! The view is absolutely amazing! Remember that Chennai doesn’t have many skyscrapers, and this viewing gallery could easily be one of the tallest viewpoints close to the city centre. The view of the beach was incredible and one could see almost all the other famous landmarks of Chennai – Central Railway station, Chepauk Stadium, Multi-speciality hospital’ dome, LIC building etc. And not to forget the December breeze was very pleasant at this height.
The best part was that there was nobody rushing you to get out of the viewing gallery quickly. So, you can have all the time you want and enjoy the view as much as possible! And for an extra ₹10 (or ₹25 if you are not an Indian citizen), you could have a walk through the interesting museum to learn all about the lights and reflectors of the light house through the years!
Whenever I travel to a city, I try to find a nice elevated viewpoint just to have a bird’s eye view to get a feel for all the people’s activities and the rhythm of the city from up above. Now I have found that spot for Chennai! I would say visiting the lighthouse will soon become a must-do thing for people visiting Chennai.