Top Eight Weekend Getaways Near Chennai
Weekend is coming so pack your bags and get ready to have some adventure!
With the arrival of Summer season, life in the capital of Tamil Nadu can be exhausting. The soaring temperature coupled with the always high humidity would make us crave for not getting out of the cold shower. Relaxation takes a back seat, and stress comes in the front.
Solution? A quick weekend getaway. You can't change the climate, but you can change your environment. With so many places to visit nearby, weekends are surely enticing enough to make our plan for another getaway.
Following is a compilation of eight of the best weekend getaways near Chennai, not more than 250 kilometres away:
Located just about 55 kilometres from Chennai, Mahabalipuram is a place you can not miss. There is a bevvy of places one can visit in Mahabalipuram. The rock carvings and structures at Arjuna's Penance (also called Descent of the Ganges), Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Pancha Rathas, and Varaha Cave Temple, and Pancha Pandava Cave are the must-visit places in the town. The Butter Ball of Lord Krishna is a giant rock balanced freely on the slope of a hill ... a natural marvel. For adventure junkies, one can learn or try Surfing in the beach.
December to March is the best time to visit Mahabalipuram. If possible, try to visit during the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, a four week, classical and folk dance festival. Buses and trains move between Chennai and Mahabalipuram regularly.
Kanchipuram is an old town in Tamil Nadu, situated about 70 kilometers from Chennai. The town is the home to a score of beautiful, ancient temples and a couple of forts. Ekabareshvara Temple, Kailasanatha Temple, and Varaha Raja Perumal Temple are the most popular temples in the town. It is renowned all over the country for the traditionally crafted sarees made of pure silk - Kanchipuram Sarees, and is often referred to as the Silk City. It is also one of the Seven Sacred Cities of India, and is a must visit place if you are a religious person.
The best time to visit Kanchipuram is between September and March. It is well connected with Chennai through roadway and railway.
Pondicherry or Puducherry, as it is now called, is a Union Territory, located approximately 170 kilometers from Chennai. The former French colony is the most gladdening of all the places on this list. With a series of places to visit, Pondicherry is a perfect getaway from Chennai, for an extended weekend. Paradise Beach Seaside Promenade, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame de Anges are some of the must visit places in Pondicherry. For water activities, one can learn/go for Surfing at the Serenity Beach or try Water Zorbing, Jet Skiing, and Parasailing at Paradise Beach. But above all, be certain to get mesmerized by the beautiful French architectures.
September to March is the best time to visit Pondicherry. One can visit the city in a bus, a car, a train, or a plane.
Pulicat is a fairly unknown seashore town, nestled just about 50 kilometers from Chennai, close to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh border. It has invigorating experiences in store to offer to the visitors. The Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, the Dutch Church and the Dutch Cemetery are the major attractions in Pulicat. There are also quite a few water activities that one can keep oneself engrossed in.
The best time to visit Pulicat is from October to March when migratory birds, including Flamingo, make it their home. It is well connected with Chennai through roadway and railway.
Tirupati is located about 130 kilometers from Chennai, in Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala Temple in Tirupati is the most popular pilgrimage site in South India. It is also one of the richest pilgrimage sites in the whole world. Thousands of people visit Tirupati every day. There are a lot of big temples in the city to visit. Apart from temples, the must visit places are the Rock Garden, the Deer Park, and a couple of waterfalls.
The best time to visit Tirupati is from September to March. Buses, trains, and flights go to and from Chennai, everyday.
Auroville is a township, with its major part situated in Tamil Nadu, and a micro part in Pondicherry. It is si just about 160 kilometers from the state capital. Auroville is the youngest and the most rapidly developing township near Chennai. Matrimandir is the most attractive place here. A lot of foreigners have made Auroville their home. A tour of Sadhana Forest (happens every Friday) is a must to know what it is like to live in a man-made forest. If you stay in Auroville, you can participate in any of the activities that they conduct everyday, including Yoga, Dance, Art, Martial Art, et cetera. If you want to get some peace of mind, Auroville is the place for you.
The best time to visit Auroville is anytime of the year. Auroville is also very well connected with Chennai through roadway.
On a personal note, try the Butterscotch ice cream in the Visitor's Center at the shop from where one can rent a bicycle. It is inexpensive and scrumptious to say the least.
Vellore is a small town, located about 130 kilometers East of Chennai, in the same state. It has an exquisite mix of an ancient cultural heritage of the Dravidian civilization and the picturesque landscape. The Vellore Fort, Sripuram Golden Temple, and Jalakaneswarar Temple are the major tourist attractions in the town. A cycle ride around the town should be genuinely considered.
The best time to visit Vellore is between October and March. One can visit Vellore from Chennai in a bus or a train. Both run frequently between the two places.
Located about 230 kilometers from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu is the beautiful town of Yelagiri. This place offers a spiritual place worth visiting, adventure activities, and a calm and serene place for a quiet evening. The Ropes and Knots Adventure Valley is a hit amongst youngsters, the Nilavoor Lake is a must visit place for couples, and the Swamimalai Hills should be visited by one and all for easy trekking and visiting the Shiva temple.
The best time to visit this place is during the winters. Regular buses run between Chennai and Yelagiri.
With Summer knocking at the door, it is time to start preparing for quite a few weekend getaways from Chennai. Get on the train, baby.
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