Travel has mostly been only on work and almost never just for the sake of travel. Chennai has its fair share of places that are enticing and inviting. Thalankuppam is one.
Thalankuppam is a small fishing hamlet, at Ennore, the extreme north of Chennai city. The Thalankuppam River, also called as the Kourtaliayaar, Mogathwaram, meets the sea this place. Around 200 years ago, this is the place the British would come to, sailing 17 kilo meters from Fort St. George and buy their lord’s favorite here. Even today, people flock in the early hours to buy loads of fresh fish. It has also won its place for climax shots in a few movies.
A few steps beyond the huge sand mountain of walking and the pier will be visible. Initially a few huge pipes pouring turbid water back into the sea can be found but they are actually continuously de-silting the other part of the sea- the passage for boats and other fishing equipment.
The pier is sort of an “L” shaped structure. The waves in this region are pretty high and hence it is difficult to judge the depth at the location. In the absence of a low tide, you can expect to get almost half drenched when you get to the pier. The walk to the end of pier is a bit frightening. Initially, you may feel wary since it is a really long distance to walk without any kind of support to hold on to. It would be almost like rope walking for a kilometer. The experience of walking above the rough waves is unique, even to those who have traveled by ships and boats.
The pier is also a fishing spot for the locals and is pretty clean. The waves crash and fight just a couple of feet below the place where you stand and sometimes even tease you with a few salty drops. The concrete structure is eroded off badly in quite a few places and water will be constantly crashing along the pier and causing a mini rain of sorts. But, the walk is worth it as the view from the end of pier is stunning (as were the views along the pier).
The place is serene and calm; you might even find a few romantic couples of the fishermen community hanging around. But the beach is also notorious for vandalism after 7 pm, but when the sun rises, it is the most beautiful place to be.
You cannot help but stop and listen every time you hear the roaring tide clashing against the walls of the pier. During high tide, as the ocean gushes under your feet and throws up a few specs of salt on your face, you can clutch all that you have (including your heart and feet) to step forward and come face-to-face with peace.
A sandy beach, broken piers, fishing boats and simple folk is what makes this small place a must visit destination. Looking back from the end of the Pier, it is an amazing view – a mile long broken pathway into the sea!