Chennai is a bustling metropolis of 8 million people and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Previously known as Madras, the city is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. Chennai chaotic and overwhelming, but also very colorful, and energetic. Running in Chennai, like other major cities in India, is a challenge. You can’t just run out the door in an average neighborhood and expect to be able to run on the road or sidewalk. Rather, there are designated running/walking areas that are most suitable for running.
The best places to run in Chennai are along the east coast beaches, with the Marina Beach and Elliott’s Beach promenades along the Bay of Bengal. There are also some decent roads and areas for running just west of there in the Adyar and Besant Nagar neighborhoods. For a hill challenge and great views, run up St. Thomas Mount. We’ve also researched some of the best ‘run parks’ in Chennai, such as in the Anna Nagar and T. Nagar neighborhoods. See the adjacent overview map for location of other parks in Chennai with decent paths for running.
A couple of other notes about running in Chennai: the public transport system is good, consisting of buses, trains, and a metro. Most of our recommended routes are accessible via transport. Also, be aware of the Chennai’s heat, and the abundant rains of monsoon season. Finally, some parks and running spots have designated hours and/or require the purchase of an access pass.