44th World Chess Olympiad: What to do when you aren’t catching a game? Here’s our ready reckoner:

If you’re planning to visit Mahabalipuram for the 44th World Chess Olympiad and aren’t sure how to spend your free time between games, we’ve got you covered!

Romal Laisram Published :  22nd July 2022 01:51 AM   |   Published :   |  22nd July 2022 01:51 AM
Thambi (right) the official mascot of the 44th World Chess Olympiad welcomes you to Mahabalipuram!

Thambi (right) the official mascot of the 44th World Chess Olympiad welcomes you to Mahabalipuram!

With the 44th World Chess Olympiad right around the corner, if you are planning to visit Mahabalipuram for the upcoming chess extravaganza, here’s what you can do when you aren’t catching a nail-biting game at the venue. We’ve put together a bunch of things to definitely check out if you have some time to spare. Indulge in some great food, history and experiences unlike anywhere else in India and take in some of the most spectacular Pallava architecture while you’re at it.

Must eat
Searock Restaurant on GKM in Fisherman’s Colony is our pick for the best seafood in Mahabalipuram. From the freshest catch of the day to special dishes made on request, we suggest you ask the chef to prepare a fish curry in the local style — fiery, sour and absolutely delicious. There’s enough of continental fare, other meat dishes and vegetarian options too for you to choose from (Meal for two: INR 500 without alcohol). If you’re looking for something a little bit more special, there’s always the award-winning five star restaurants: The Wharf at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay; C Salt at Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa; and KoKoMMo Tiki Shack InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort; all within a twenty-kilometre radius.

A spread at Searock Restaurant
A spread at Searock Restaurant 
One of the many temples in Mahabalipuram
One of the many temples in Mahabalipuram

 

Must see
The Pallava temple complexes in and around Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram should definitely be on the top of your list of must-visits, but the area has quite a bit to offer otherwise too. Around 50 kms away from Mahabalipuram is Alamparai Fort in Alamparai which served as a sea port since ancient times. It was also known as Alamparva and Alampuravi and the fort was constructed during the rule of the Mughals in Tamil Nadu that extended from 1736 CE to 1740 CE. There’s also DakshinaChitra, a cultural park; Crocodile Park or The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology right beside Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa and in the same direction towards Chennai, 35 kms away, The Cholamandal Artists’ Village.

Surf Turf at Kovalam
Surf Turf at Kovalam

 

Must experience
if you’d however like to experience something instead, head to Surf Turf, 20 kms away, at Kovalam for a surfing experience like none other. There’s also the Covelong Classic 2022: Surf, Music & Fitness Festival between August 5 and 7 at the same location. And if that doesn’t pique your attention, there’s also The Alampara near Marakkanam (60 kms away) that offers a fun glamping experience, great food; and surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding and standup paddling on a lake nearby. That said Puducherry is only around a 100 kms away and if you’ve got several hours to spare, this union territory with its French influences could be a great detour too. En route Chennai, however, there’s MGM Dizzee World (25 kms) and VGP Universal Kingdom (35 kms) — two of Chennai’s best amusement parks, the latter of which also houses the country’s only underwater aquarium experience, VGP Marine Kingdom. And like that’s not enough, the whole route down ECR, all the way to Chennai, is studded with some of the best beaches on the Eastern Coast, including Kovalam Beach: that is now officially a Blue Flag beach — one of only ten beaches to bag this honour in the country.

romal@newindianexpress.com
@elromal

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