Travel Postcard: 48 hours along Chennai's Coromandel Coast
By Ajay Kamalakaran
CHENNAI (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore a segment of India's Coromandel Coast? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short stay in the area overlooking the Bay of Bengal, near the city of Chennai.
8 a.m. - Kick off the weekend with breakfast at Murugan Idli Shop, Chennai's favorite breakfast haunt located at a stone's throw away from the Besant Nagar beach. Feast on steamed idlis, masala dosas and vadas, while taking in the traditional Tamil ambience. Wash it down with south Indian filter coffee.
10.30 a.m. - For the quintessential south Indian experience, drive 25 kms (15 miles) south of Chennai on the East Coast Road to Dakshin Chitra, a "living" museum that recreates traditional villages from the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The sights, sounds, smells and even the unique vegetation of each state are there. You can also find ethnic handicrafts.
2 p.m. - A late lunch at Bayview Point, the sea-side restaurant at the Taj Fishermen's Cove resort on Cove Long or Kovalam as the local fishing community calls it. The fresh catch is prepared to suit all palates and the bar is well stocked.
4 p.m. - The clear and cool Bay of Bengal water is inviting. Enjoy a swim but be wary of the strong winds coming in from the east. Most lifeguards will have one tale or other from the 2004 tsunami. There's a treasure trove of sea shells during low tide.
8 p.m. - Want to do your part to help endangered wildlife? The smallest species of sea turtles, the Olive Ridley, return to nest on the same beach they are hatched and you can go on a walk to protect them from crabs, sea gulls and other predators. If you're lucky enough to see some eggs hatch on a moonlit night, you can steer the babies into the water.