There was a time when Chennai was yet another city and was still to see the metropolitan stature and there was a time when Chennai had a progress as one of the biggest cities in India in terms of Information Technology and culture. In between these two massive temporary distinctions of Chennai lie the luckiest of the generation born in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These people saw the translation of television being luxury expensive iPhones being common even with children. These people saw Chennai get its first apartments and also saw the tile houses being present in locations like Adyar and Purasawalkam. People had played cricket both on the streets and on computers and play stations.
When it came to something like a vacation, and that too for a day, these people had very limited options. Those were the days the only shopping mall available in the city was the Spencer Plaza. Spencer Plaza was not hangout place as today’s malls are. However, there are a few places that was an absolute delight for the people of the Chennai so where considering going on a picnic for one day. An ideal picnic from Chennai was usually these places. Let us look at this timeless the lights for the millennial generation of Chennai.
The east coast road was not hotspot for real estate in those days. It was the time when the east coast road was full of villages and the number of resorts and theme parks where quite less in number. A drive to Mahabalipuram would mean that you would have to encounter villages right from Thiruvanmiyur. However, what lay at the end of the journey was quite a delight. The beach at Mahabalipuram is quite different from the urban beach. Chennai is quite uses in the Marina Beach. The temples on the seashore was something that delighted the children of that day. In addition to this, wonders like the butter ball, the five rathas and even the Lighthouse and seashell museum made the visit to Mahabalipuram worth all the travel time. Mahabalipuram is not known for fancy places like moonrakers and Radisson Resorts, but the unpolish beauty of the Pallava capital and Port make it a great experience for the kids of Chennai in those days!
The Madras crocodile Bank
There are so many people that the city of Chennai can take pride in. One such person is the herpetologist Romulus Whitaker. His uncanny commitment towards conserving the reptiles of India has resulted in the creation of the Madras crocodile bank on the east coast road. There might have been crocodiles that you could see in the Vandalur Zoological Park, but the collection in here was way too bigger than what you could see in any other place, not just in Chennai but in the whole subcontinent. The giant saltwater crocodile that can be found in solitary confinement and the massive King Cobra which is one of the very few to be found in captivity are the main attractions of this place. One of the reasons that the kids of those times adapted to the oncoming of the discovery channel and the National Geographic is because of the presence of this theme park.
VGP Golden Beach
To every city, there is one place that might have intensely introduced the concept of theme parks. It was Essel World for Mumbai, and Appu Ghar for Delhi. In the same tune, it was VGP Golden Beach for Chennai. It is often regards to be the first theme park in South India and it was the brainchild of one of the greatest machineries and industrialists of that time, Dr. VG Panneerdas. The theme park features a lot of joy rides and a swimming pool as well. When the swimming pools in the city where is just confine to 5 star hotels, it is such an immense Joy for the middle class of Chennai to experience these amenities in a place where all the children could have fun in their own way. This place also feature a restaurant that attaches to the theme park and it was credited with the fame of serving the world’s largest dosa.
Muttukadu Boat club
Booting is one of the most relaxing activities and needless to say, there was a club of robust boating enthusiasts in Chennai. This was based out of the Madras Boat Club, which was nothing more than a gathering of affluent and elite people. This made boating one of the most luxurious hobbies in Chennai… With the exception of places like pattinapakkam and kasimedu. It was at this point in time that one of the rarest backwaters on the eastern coast was made into Boat Club where the middle class of Chennai could come and enjoy their weekend in some cool boating on row boats, or pedal boats, or motor boats and for the adventurers, even high speed water scooters.
These places might just be words for a normal reader, but for a true blue traveler of the 1990s, these places are evergreen and nostalgic in emotions. Until these people live, the memories of these places will continue to ring a bell of pleasure in their Minds forever!