I have helped by coming up with a list of tourist places near Chennai. Now that you have this list to help, get on with planning that trip along with your family. Chennai is one of the 4 major metropolitan cities of India and is mainly known for its rich culture, history and devotion of people towards Gods and Goddesses. Besides, it is also known as a place which is surrounded by beautiful locations which can be very good options as places near Chennai. Chennai is more than just the capital of Tamil Nadu and the home to museums and temples alike.
Who knew it has so many spectacular weekend getaways to bless its residents with? All set within 500 kms from the so called ‘travelers paradise’ these places aren’t that bad in giving you its own sense of heaven. Any time you need relaxation after a stressful week, pack your bags and let this list be your eyes. You can be spoilt for choice when you are to plan an escape from the busy city of Chennai so here is presenting a little sorted list of the better places you can choose from.
Tourist Places near Chennai Within 100 KmsC
This is a very small town by the sea shore but attracts hundreds of tourists every month. Most of the credit for this however goes to the beautiful Pulicat Lake where everyone can rejoice and refresh themselves. Other than that it is a good place for photographers with the tranquillity and greeneries which are extremely soothing to the eyes.
Best things to do: Pulicat Lake, Beach, Fort Geldria, Perumal Temple, Shiva Temple, Old Dutch Street and Pulicat Bird Sanctuary where you can spot a flamingo are the best places to visit
Where to stay: Le Raj Courtyard or any place in Chennai as Pulicat makes for a good one-day trip
How to reach: The best way to reach here is by car. Buses are also available and one can board a bus from Periamet Bus Stop, Everest or Periyamedu
Distance from Chennai: 55km
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mahabalipuram is where tourists find themselves at a sheer loss of words to explain the beauty of the place. The display of local art forms on each and every piece of importance looks awesome. The place provides one a glimpse into the Dravidian era and is famous for its typical architecture. While here, you can also visit Vedanthangal bird sanctuary, lying in close proximity from the place.
Best things to do: Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Tiger Cave, Krishna's Butterball, Seashell Museum, Sculpture Museum, Ganesha Ratha, Light House, Arjuna's Penance and Draupadi Ratha are amongst the best places to visit
Where to stay: Oceanside Hotel, Blue Moon Guest House or anywhere in Chennai as you can cover the place in one day also
How to reach: There are many state buses that one can catch from Chennai, however, hiring a cab would be a better option
Distance from Chennai: 59km
The silk town of India is also known as Conjeevaram and the traditionally crafted sarees are internationally known. There are a number of temples here which form the main attractions of this place. The place has religious, social and cultural importance and is perfect for a weekend of peace and quiet. Get in touch with your spiritual self as you visit this city of a thousand temples.
Best things to do: Visit Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchi Kudil, and don't forget to take back home a piece of Kanchipuram Saree
Where to stay: Vasanth Villa, Hotel SSK Grand
How to reach: Catch a bus from Koyambedu Interstate Bus Terminal or simply book a cab to Kanchipuram
Distance from Chennai: 75km
Tourist Places near Chennai Within 200 Kms
This is one of the best places to visit around Chennai and it is known for its beautiful sceneries as well the magical peace you obtain here. The Tirupati Temple is known to be the richest temple in the country and is a very important religious place as well. The Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam is a must visit along with the Venkateswara Temple. This is one of the best tourist places near Chennai within 200 kms.
Best things to do: Visit Sri Venkateswara Temple, Venkateswara Museum, Sri Venkateswara National Park, Regional Science Center, Narayanagiri Gardens, and Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park among many others
Where to stay: Pai Viceroy, Hotel Sindhuri Park
How to reach: You can find many state and private buses to reach Tirupati. ALternatively, if you don't mind splurging, you can even book a cab from Chennai
Distance from Chennai: 134km
The city of Pondicherry makes for a refreshing getaway from Chennai. Its French style avenues coupled with colonial buildings, churches and temples are the main attractions that this city has to offer. Its pristine beaches are something else altogether. You can simply laze on its shores and take in the tranquil beauty of the place. Its French cuisine is certainly the talk of the town. If you want to step back in time, Pondy is perfect for a time warp.
Best things to do: Visit Notre Dame des Anges, Our lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sacred Heart Basilica, Rock Beach, Serenity Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Museum and try French cuisine
Where to stay: Serenity Surf House, La Maison Radha
How to reach: Catch a bus from Koyambedu or hire a taxi to Pondicherry
Distance from Chennai: 171km
Nellore is a haven for those who love observing birds and their behaviour. This town has existed since the Mauryan reign and is a flourishing tourist hot spot nowadays. There are plenty of places to visit here. The architecture and history of the place makes it a significant landmark.
Best things to do: Visit Narasimha Swamy Temple, Venkatagiri fort, Kotha Kodur Beach, Mypadu Beach, Penchalakona, Ranganatha Temple, and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary
Where to stay: Hotel Yesh Park, Bhavani Guest Inn
How to reach: One can reach here by a train or catch one of the many state or private buses that operate daily
Distance from Chennai: 175km
The beautiful waterfall is situated in the midst of lush greenery and forests. Locals say the water is full of healing powers. It is known to be the tallest falls in Andhra Pradesh and is known for Lord Siddeswara Swamy Temple. One can also spot a number of wild animals in and around the area. It is home to the Slender Loris, Mouse Deer, Golden Gecko and Sambar, among other animals. If you like adventure, the place offers trekking, bird watching options as well as jungle safari. If you are looking for one of the relaxing places near Chennai, look no further.
Best things to do: Trekking, camping, bird watching, and jungle safari
Where to stay: Pai Viceroy, Hotel Sri Venkataramana Residency
How to reach: Take a bus till Tirupati and from there hire a cab to reach Talakona Falls
Distance from Chennai: 191km
3 hours and 16 minutes away is the temple town of Thiruvannamalai and a most popular one too. Nestled at the foothills of the Anamalai hills, the town holds the greatest spiritual attraction for most visitors. If you’re looking for a spiritual retreat then Thiruvannamalai is the best place to bring you at one with yourself.
Best things to do: Arunachaleswarar Temple, Arunachala Mountain, Ramana Ashram, Virupaksha Cave, and Agni Lingam
Where to stay: Rainbow Guest House, Sathya Guest House
How to reach: Catch a bus from Koyembedu to Thiruvannamalai
Distance from Chennai: 196km
An ideal weekend getaway from Chennai, the fort city of Tamil Nadu, as it is affectionately called, Vellore has the perfect blend of rich cultural heritage and picturesque scenery. The architecture here is reminiscent of the ancient Dravidian civilisation while the lush greenery sporadically broken by brown pastures makes for beautiful contrasts.
Best things to do: Vellore Fort, Jalakanteswara Temple, State Government Museum, Srilakshmi Golden Temple, Archaeology Survey of India Museum
Where to stay: Regency Sameera Vellore by GRT Hotels, Khanna Fiesta
How to reach: You can easily catch a bus from Chennai railway station bus stand and reach Vellore in approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Distance from Chennai: 136 kms
Tourist Places near Chennai Within 300 Kms
If the heat and noise of the streets in Chennai have gotten to you, please consider this place as your retreat to get a good time of massages and relaxation. Get the adrenaline running by going on treks or participating in adventure sports. This hill station in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu is a picture perfect representation of resplendent beauty complete with green valleys, rose gardens and orchards. The Yelagiri summer festival is the most celebrated in the month of May with flower shows and dog shows taking centre stage. The Punganoor Lake Park, Jalagamparai waterfalls and a trek to the Swamimalai Hills are just some of the most popular places of interest where you can wile away your time. Home to more snakes than humans, it has thick forests spread over a vast of 30 kms through which runs the village
Best things to do: Visit Jalagamparai Waterfalls, trek, boat on Punganur Lake, and visit Vainu Bappu Solar Observatory
Where to stay: Zeenath Taj Gardens, Dolphin Resort
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Jolarpettai(24km). From there, you can take a local bus to Yelagiri. Alternatively, take a bus heading to Tirupattur and get down at Jolarpet. From there, take a local bus to Yelagiri
Distance from Chennai: 231km
This quaint hill station is located at an altitude of 4,100 ft. The folklore associated with the place is quite interesting. The natural beauty, interesting museum and lake will give you much needed rest and relaxation. Located around 276kms from Chennai and can be reached by train. There are only a few living options so book fast. You can always book yourself a room at A.P. Tourism’s Governors’ Bungalow, or choose to stay at Chittoor Cooperative Society guest house.
Best things to do: Go out for walks, soak in the calmness of the hills, visit Horsley Hills Zoo, and Horsley Hills Top Point for a panoramic view
Where to stay: A.P. Tourism’s Governors’ Bungalow or Chittoor Cooperative Society guest house
How to reach: Take a APSRTC that goes till Madanapalli. From there, hirre a taxi to Horsley Hills
Distance from Chennai: 261km
Tourist Places near Chennai Within 400 Kms
If you love the allure of green hills, Nandi hills is just the place for you. If you’re looking for a fun day of activities there’s cycling, biking, and trekking to immerse yourself in. If you feel the sunset and sunrise are an absolute enthralling phenomena in itself, Nandi Hills is undoubtedly your sorted vacation destination from this list of weekend spots from Chennai. The place will wrap you up in its welcoming beauty and scenic view.
Best things to do: Trekking, bicycling, watching sunrise and soaking in the panoramic views
Where to stay: KSTDC Hotel Mayura Pine Top Nandi Hills, Mount Palazzo
How to reach: Take a bus or train to Bangalore. Once you reach Bangalore, hire a taxi to Nandi Hills
Distance from Chennai: 350km
Surrounded by a thick blanket of greenery (courtesy, forests), this place is perfect for a little introspection. The point where the brackish water joins the sea is beautiful. If you love photography and are a bird-watcher, this place is perfect for you. You will be able to set sights on a large number of bird species. You will enjoy the feeling of being cut out from the rest of the world.
Best things to do: Visit Muthupet Lagoon, see the mangroves and enjoy bird-watching
Where to stay: Hotel Star Residency
How to reach: Take a bus or train to Thanjavur and then hire a personal cab to Muthupet
Distance from Chennai: 358km
People from all over the country love visiting Yercaud simply because it offers one that much needed time to pause and relax, rejuvenate and while away one’s time without being preoccupied by thoughts about work and presentations. The green mountain terrain is splendid for those who wish to go sight seeing and trekking. Yercaud is untouched and thus immensely beautiful when one pays a visit to this place. The sweet smelling aroma in the air is just too good and we ought to include this place as a great weekend getaways from Chennai. Give yourself up to nature when you visit this magical town that’s surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, gardens, forest trails and hills made for trekking.
Best things to do: Visit Yercaud Town, Emerald Lake, Deer Park, Anna Park, Kiliyur Falls, Horticulture Farm, Bear's Hill and Bear's Cave
Where to stay: La Four Seasons, Premier Inn
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Salem Junction(35km). From there, you can hire a taxi to Yercaud
Distance from Chennai: 368km
One of the most serene locations around Chennai, this is a couple of hours drive from the main city with about 70 hairpin turns. There is nothing much to do over here except for absorbing the natural beauty and peacefulness of the place.
Best things to do: Soak in the natural beauty and unwind here, visit Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, and Arappaleeswarar temple
Where to stay: Silverline Retreat Hotel, Ulo Hill Palace
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Salem(59km). From there, one can hire a taxi or take a local bus to Kolli Hills. One can even catch a TNSTC from Chennai to Kolli Hills
Distance from Chennai: 369km
A tiny windswept town in Tamil Nadu, commonly known as Tranquebar is a Danish village that reminds you of the various settlers that made India their home, once upon a time. An ideal weekend getaway for those who wish to explore historical and cultural heritage and architecture. Affectionately termed as the “village of the dancing waves", in Tranquebar there is sea, sun and sand and enough time for you to lay back and enjoy.
Best things to do: Fort Dansborg , Zion Church, Danish Museum and many many remnants of the Danish colonisation on every corner of the town.
Where to stay: Neemrana's - Bungalow on The Beach, Hotel Tamil Nadu (budget guesthouse run by Tamil Nadu State Tourism)
How to reach: Tranquebar is 6 hours from Chennai. Apart from private buses, government buses ply daily from the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal. You can also opt for the overnight Nagore Express from Chennai to reach Tranquebar.
Distance from Chennai: 283 kms
Tourist Places near Chennai Within 500 - 600 Kms
Also known as the ‘Scotland of India’ this place has a lot to offer starting from activities to natural beauty and delicious cuisine. This is definitely one of the most opted for tourist places near Chennai within 500 kms with its exotic locations, luscious greenery and trekking options. The Coorgi Chicken curry is like heavenly food on the taste palette and historians also find fuel over here. September to May is the best time to visit this place.
Best things to do: Trek to Tadianamol Peak, visit Namdroling Monastery, Talakaveri Temple, Mallalli Falls, Iruppu Falls and Raja's Seat
Where to stay: Hill Woods Cottage, Karkera Comforts
How to reach: The nearest station is Mysore(120km). From there, one can take a local bus or hire a taxi to reach Coorg
Distance from Chennai: 578km
Tall pine trees surrounding green valleys and fields makes Ooty resemble an English countryside and not a pretty little hill town in Tamil Nadu. A chaotic city centre is blissfully balanced out by quieter neighbourhoods. Ooty, 'Queen of Hill Stations', is your perfect blend of Indian hustle and bustle, Hindu temples, beautiful gardens and lakes and charming Raj-era bungalows.
Best things to do: Botanical Gardens, Rose Garden and Thread Garden, St. Stephen’s Church, Tribal Research Centre Museum and Nilgiri Library, Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake and Ooty Lake
Where to stay: Paradise Perfect, Leopard Rock Wilderness Resort
How to reach: Coimbatore (88 kms away) is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty and one can take a taxi from the airport itself to Ooty. Alternatively you can also take an overnight bus from Chennai and reach Ooty in 8 to 9 hours.
Distance from Chennai: 547 km
Rameshwaram is a place that holds the highest religious significance for Hindus. It is also a quaint little beach town that offers unmatched experiences. Once the southernmost point of sacred India, today is a scruffy town connected to the mainland by a bridge. The train ride over Pamban Bridge is considered a bucket-list experience by some. A low-key adventure destination, and the neighbour to a ghost town, there's much more to Rameshwaram than what meets the eye.
Best things to do: Visit the Ramanathaswamy Temple, neighbouring fishing villages, Dhanushkodi (ghost-town), Abdul Kalam's home (India's most beloved President's house has been converted into a museum showcasing his journey from a poor boy to the President of India)
Where to stay: Hyatt Place Rameswaram, Hotel Ashoka
How to reach: The best way to reach Rameshwaram is via an overnight train from Chennai.
Distance from Chennai: 553 km
Harbouring a charming ambience of serenity and calmness, the hill town of Masinagudi is located on the foothills of the Nilgiris. Adorned by the scenic Western Ghats landscape full of lush green thickets, this reserve plays home to innumerable species of animals. It is reputed for housing the largest tiger population in India. Other than the striped beast, there are many animals that populate these jungles, like elephants, Malabar squirrels, langurs, chitals and wild boars.
Best thing to do: Go on a jungle safari, that is literally the best thing to do while in Masinagudi.
Where to stay: Jungle Retreat Masinagudi, The Nest Inn
How to reach: The nearest city to Masinagudi is Mysore and therefore you first need to take a flight, train or bus to Mysore and then from there you can take a taxi to reach Masinagudi.
Distance from Chennai: 562 km
Put those weekends to good use by taking these shorts breaks from Chennai. They rejuvenate you and almost give you a new lease on life. The land of the silk kanchipuram and spicy coconut dosas can get to one at times. It is during such phases when one needs to pack light and head off to a place that allows the unwinding of the mind and presents the weary bodied with ample options to relax. You could use the list of weekend getaways from Chennai to get away to. With so many places to choose from, you can never go wrong. You might want to plan ahead and visit the other places on the list. After all, a weekend off from city life could rejuvenate your spirit. If you have plans of just lazying around and reading a book, one of these places is just for you.
Autumn has arrived. There is a slight chill in the air. However, deadlines at work and a hectic schedule at home have probably not given you the chance to take it all in. This calls for a short weekend trip away from the city - away from the noise, the stress and commitments. If you enjoy spending time with yourself, there are a few places near Chennai where solo travel is recommended. Pack light and set off without making an announcement. If you love travelling and you hail from Chennai, you couldn’t be in a better place. The city has so many nearby places to escape to that you’re never short of anything to do on a weekend.
Plan your weekend itinerary to fit in some of the best short destinations that Chennai has to offer. If you’re looking for places near Chennai to escape momentarily from city life, these weekend destinations are the best to start with. They are a superb combination of history and architecture, fun and leisure.
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