183 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
Pondicherry used to be India's biggest French colony, and is now the home of many French citizens. This has an influence on the architecture, food and culture. The rocky Promenade Beach is ideal to take long walks along the serene Bay of Bengal. The yellow sand, yellow sea and yellow sky merge to create a breathtaking panorama. Do indulge in scubadiving to experience the abundance of aquatic flora and fauna. The Soorya Beach Resort and Le Pondy Resort are excellent choices for staying by the sea. The city is also the location of Auroville. This innovative township houses explanatory concepts based on diverse philosophies and ideas. The Aurobindo Ashram here is a platform to seek spiritual pleasure. Through the method of integral yoga, the followers aim to become one with the divine, without renouncing the world. A distinct food culture is also notable due to the Franco-Tamil hybridity. Delectable French pastries, baguettes and appams! Seafood and continental! Savour the flavour. Oh! And I almost forgot to mention the rock-bottom prices of alcohol. For delectable food, try Cafe Xtasi and Baker Street. Try ice-cream from a wide variety at Ibaco. A visit is worth a palpable sense of contentment in India’s own French connection.
159 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - November,December
Cuddalore is a beach town in Tamil Nadu that is popular for its appealing beaches and ancient temples. This former port town on the Bay of Bengal still retains its old world charm. Beaches with boat houses, a few churches from the bygone eras and marvellous sceneries cover this tranquil region. Towards the east of the town is Silver Beach, which is famed as one of the longest beaches in Asia. It is frequented around the year by tourists from all over India. The dilapidated fort of St. David makes for a thrilling experience. Its ruins remain on the Gadilam River and add to the splendour of the town. Catch a view of the backwaters from here and don't forget to take pictures. Take a boat ride through the narrow water channels of the Pichavaram Mangrove forests, formed by the Cauvery river. Extremely scenic and serene, this place is also home to many migrant birds. Cuddalore ranks high in spiritual significance and is home to a number of Hindu temples. The temples of Padaleeswarar, Bhuvaraha Swami and Thiruvandipuram dot the town. You can enjoy authentic South Indian cuisine here and in case you want to take a souvenir back home, the Panruti dolls are a great choice.
282 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - N/A
Also known as Covelong, this is a beautiful fishing village on the East Coast road which goes towards Mahabalipuram. This place is most famous for the Kovalam Beach which is also the main attraction here. This beach is quite crowded and is also filled with swimmers. If you are looking for a peaceful place then this does not fit your criteria for sure. One thing which you can do here is watch the fishermen at work. There is nothing special in the beginning but as you see carefully, this sight gives an immense happiness to anyone.
Eravikulam National Park
298 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - April,May,June,September,October,November
This national park is the breathtaking home of a plethora of precious flora and fauna, and lies along the Western Ghats. Considered the magnum opus of Kerala, the park provides magnificent panoramic views of tea plantations and rolling hills blanketed in mist. The grasslands protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and harbour several other species of animals, birds and butterflies, including a new species of frog that was discovered recently. Eravikulam park becomes a sought after destination when the hill slopes get veiled by a carpet of blue, a miraculous phenomena caused by the flowering of Neelakurinji, which blooms only once in 12 years. Anamudi, translating to elephant's forehead and located within the park, is the highest peak of South India and its might and height of 8,842 ft can be enjoyed from a distance at Rajamala, from where the endangered Nilgiri Tahr can also be observed. The park provides a number of safaris for convenient and safe tourism around the park. The Kurinji Trail, which follows through misty tracks of protected animals and flowery grasslands, is a must for trekking lovers. Another famous but charming spot is the Lakkom Waterfalls, which provide an enchanting view along with an eco-shop cafeteria to eat at. Close to these falls is a log house, which offers comfortable accommodation with complimentary food and the much desired solitude and peace amidst the lap of nature.
255 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - April,May,June,August,September
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal people, this modern city has been a retreat long since the 19th century. Located in the hills of the Dindigul district, this city was established by British bureaucrats and American Christian missionaries. Kodaikanal offers an experience of stunning culture and natural beauty. Some famous attractions include Kodaikanal Lake, where one can always take a peaceful boat ride, Berijam Lake and Pillar Rocks. Take a walk in the pine forest or explore the Kukkal Caves and the Devil's Kitchen, a cave with a series of hidden ravines. Bear Shola falls, Glen Falls, Silver Cascade and Fairy falls make for a magical setting for nature lovers to observe and unwind. Religious dwellings such as the La Saleth Church, Lutheran Church and Subhramanya Temple are admired famously for their intricate architecture. For the inquisitive minds, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, which is home to 500 species of taxidermy animals, birds and insects and the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are great places to visit. Coakers walk, Silent Valley View Point, Perumal Peak and 80 Mile round make for interesting walks and treks, offering breathtaking views of the plains below. Natyanjali Festival, celebrated over 4 days, is a spectacular sight to behold with dazzling dance performances and top notch acts from across the country, which one can enjoy in the months of February or March. You can get a bite to eat at Cloud Street, Cafe Cariappa, Altaf's Cafe and Tava restaurants.
258 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - June,July,August,September,October
Known as Cardamom City, Theni is a small, picturesque town in the south. An unlikely holiday destination; it is visited only by people who either know about it or the locals in Tamil Nadu. There are tons of places to see in this small town where major trading of cotton, grapes, chilli and textiles take place. Though most of the great places are located around town, there are a few places of interest within the town as well. Do visit the popular Vellappar Temple, which is located in Mavoothu village. Even if you aren't the spiritual kind, the idyllic village life will completely charm you and makes for fond memories. Another great place is Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, located a few kilometres away from the main city. The sanctuary is beautiful and a relief from the concrete jungles we are used to. You can also spend a night at one of the sky bungalows here; in fact you must try and spend a night here. The mornings marked by a chorus of melodious bird songs, will stay with you for a long time. You can also visit Suruli Falls and Kumbakkarai Falls, located a few kilometre from the city. There are a few places to stay in Theni, though you may not find too many options.
263 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, dreamy sunsets and spiritually-uplifting energy, Mahabalipuram is perhaps one of the most visited places in Tamil Nadu. Locally known as Mamallapuram, this was once the capital of the Pallava Empire. From exciting water sports to classic statuettes, the place is a delight for voyagers. Feel the shore underneath your feet at the Mahabalipuram beach and indulge in some super fun beach activities such as wind surfing and sea diving. The temples here have a special feature in common, they are built in the form of chariots with open air sanctoriums. The Shore Temple, standing strong like a marvellous rock-cut stone and overlooking the sea is known as the last creation of the Pallava kings. Another wonder in Mahabalipuram is the Panch Rathas, the five monuments that were etched out of a single rock in the 7th century. Pack your travel bags to explore the incredible Indian history by discovering the ageless stories of temples and their incredible architecture. You can get a bus from Koyembedu in Chennai or Pondicherry.
252 Kms from Point Calimere R F
Best time to visit - January,February,March,September,October,November,December
The Palani Murugan Temple is what draws more than 7 million tourists to this town in Tamil Nadu every year. The temple is located on the Sivagiri Hill, the higher of the two hills of Palani. Hugging the hill is a staircase that leads up to the temple. An alternate ropeway will also take you through the beautiful scenery that surrounds the hills. At the foothills is the Tiru Avinankudi Temple, which is the oldest and the largest temple in the town. There are famous temples spread all over Palani, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, which makes this a temple town. Besides it's spiritual offering, Palani also has hiking trails. You can walk up to the Kumbai from the Kuthiraiyar Dam Falls. The trail to the small waterfall Thekkanthottam, is also quite adventurous since there is no permanent pathway to reach the falls. These exotic hills are also a great place to watch birds. A unique sweet made in Palani is the Panchamirtham, which is made from five fruits. Don't leave before savouring some.