All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But if you are traveling to Chennai, then don’t fret because you will have plenty of opportunities in your hands to play and make merry. And that’s not just about the many hotspots this Detroit of India is home to. The many weekend getaways from Chennai offer a perfect escape from the bustling metropolis. From partaking in adventure and capturing vistas of nature to exploring monuments that are centuries old, you can do whatever you want on a weekend escape. Here is a list of the best places to visit near Chennai during a weekend or long weekend getaways.
Weekend Getaways from Chennai for the Budget Traveler
Mahabalipuram is one of the closest weekend getaways around Chennai. It is a small town settled on a narrow stretch of land between the Great Salt Lake and Bay of Bengal. The biggest draw of Mahabalipuram is its plethora of temples and other structures of the 7th and 8th centuries built by the Pallava dynasty. This quaint town is a great place for a respite from the cacophony of major cities.
Tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram: Tiger’s Cave, Dakshinachitra, Shore Temple, and Arjuna’s Penance
Distance from Chennai: 55 km
Driving time: 1 hour 25 minutes
The temple city of Tirupati is thronged by a vast number of devotees every year for the highly revered Sri Venkateswara Temple. One most popular places to visit around Chennai, it is also among the most popular pilgrimage sites in the country. The shrine is dedicated to Sri Ventakeswara, which is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Immerse yourself into the spiritual freshness of Tirupati on your next weekend.
Tourist attractions in Tirupati: Sri Venkateswara Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kapila Theertham, Sri Venkateswara National Park, Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple, and Garuda Statue
Distance from Chennai: 133 km
Driving time: 3 hours 15 minutes
The city of Vellore is a refreshing blend of picturesque scenery and rich cultural heritage. Vellore Fort, tracing its roots to the 16th century, is one of the biggest tourist attractions that the city has to offer. It is undoubtedly one of the best charming and interesting tourist places near Chennai. If this has caught your intrigue as well, then book cheap flight tickets and hotels right away.
Tourist attractions in Vellore: Vellore Fort, Jalakandeswarar Temple, Ratnagiri Murugan Temple, and Sri Lakshmi Narayani Golden Temple
Distance from Chennai: 137 km
Driving time: 3 hours
If you want a respite from the blistering heat of South India, then Yelagiri is a great pick. It is a land of lush greenery, rolling hills, crisp air, and everything that brings peace to your soul. Perched at an altitude of about 920 meters above sea level, Yelagiri appeases all with its salubrious weather first and foremost and that’s what makes it among the sought-after weekend getaways around Chennai.
Tourist attractions in Yelagiri: Nilavoor Lake, Jalagamparai Waterfalls, Fundera Park, Yelagiri National Park, Yelagiri Park, Murugan Temple, Government Silk Farm, and Perumal Temple
Distance from Chennai: 228 km
Driving time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Also referred to as Kanchi, Kanchipuram is an ancient city that holds immense religious significance among Hindus. The many temples in the city are also quite famed for their brilliant architecture. As you may already know, the place is also famous for its traditional silk sarees. Book your cheap hotel in Kanchipuram right away.
Tourist attractions in Kanchipuram: Kailasanathar Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, and Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham
Distance from Chennai: 73 km
Driving time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Pondicherry is not just a popular weekend getaway from Chennai but also one of the most famous holiday destinations in South India. This small union territory is known for its tranquil environment which is perfect to give your body and mind a boost. It is also counted among the best yoga destinations in India
Tourist attractions in Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Promenade Beach, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Rock Beach, Bharathi Park, Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Distance from Chennai: 166 km
Driving time: 3 hours and 25 minutes
Pulicat is a small yet gorgeous coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu. A Dutch settlement in the 17th century, Pulicat was also captured by the British and Portuguese forces at different times in history. As a result, this small town is blessed with a fascinating cultural heritage and history. And thus, it is on our list of best places to visit around Chennai.
Tourist attractions in Pulicat: Fort Geldria, Pulicat Light House, and Sri Samayeeswarar Shiva Temple
Distance from Chennai: 55 km
Driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ideal for a one day trip, the Kolli Hills is an offbeat destination near Chennai. The place is a perfect mix of natural beauty and serenity. Kolli Hills gives you a break from the hustle-bustle of the city. This serenity is the destination’s charm. This gorgeous town will surely take you far from the crowded civilisation. If you are seeking an offbeat and non-touristy weekend getaway from Chennai, then this is the perfect place for you.
The coffee and tea plantations and Agaya-Gangai Falls are the must-see spots here.
Tourist attractions in Kolli Hills: Arapaleeswarar Temple, Seekuparai & Selur Nadu, Agaya Gangai, and Masila Falls
Distance from Chennai: 400 km
Driving Time: 7 hours
Mysore is occupied with glorious royal attractions. The lush greenery and awe-striking scenic backdrop make it a must-visit during the weekends. The Mysore Palace, situated in the heart of Mysore, is a sprawling palace constructed in the 14th century. The most interesting spot inside the palace is the Doll’s Pavilion, which is home to traditional dolls. Brindavan Gardens is another gorgeous attraction in Mysore for tourists.
Tourist attractions in Mysore: Mysore Palace, Lalitha Mahal, Chunchanakatte Falls, Bonsai Garden, and Melody World Wax Museum
Distance from Chennai: 482 km
Driving Time: 4 hours
With lush green coffee plantations, gushing waterfalls, and a spell-binding backdrop, the Scotland of India is all about a relaxing weekend. This destination is ideal for travellers seeking peace and calm. From tasting the best coffee in the county to exploring the magnificent palaces, Coorg has a plethora of options to explore.
Tourist attractions in Coorg: Abbey Falls, Nagarhole National Park, Omkareshwara Temple, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and Iruppu Falls
Distance from Chennai: 575 km
Driving Time: 11 hour
So, the next time you are in the city and planning a weekend trip from Chennai, then head to one of these incredible places and make your weekends happening.