Chennai is one city that offers you myriad of things to do over the weekend when all you want to do is let your hair down and relax. You boss hasn’t agreed to your taking a leave and all you are left with is the weekend to settle the travel bug humming inside you. If you are in Chennai, the weekend can be very fruitfully used to visit some fabulous spots that are within 300 km from the city.
- Mahabalipuram (55km)
A picture postcard favorite, Mahabalipuram has breathtaking architecture reflecting in its rock cut caves and temples. Showcasing Dravidian influenced architecture; it is a haven for history buffs. If you are not one to marvel at intricate carvings, you can head to Mahabalipuram beach to frolic in the waters of Bay of Bengal or to Madras Crocodile Bank to get some shivers running down your spine.
- Kanchipuram (75km)
Too long a list of sins that need to be atoned for? If yes, then Kanchipuram, also known as ‘The Golden City of Thousand temples’, is the place for you to be. You can take your pick from the Kanchi Kamakshi Temple or the Ekambeshwarar Temple for your religious quest and once done with that you can head to the Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary to catch a glimpse of some gorgeous birds.
- Tirupati (133 km)
People travel from across the world to visit the city of Tirupati, which is home to one of the most revered pilgrimages in India. Tirupati offers a beautiful mélange of architecture and spirituality. It is a visual treat to visit the temples here and that is not all, for there is Talakona Waterfalls, deer park, TTD Gardens, and Sri Vari Museum to explore as well.
- Chittoor (160km)
You cannot escape the fact that Chennai is a city which is religiously inclined and every place that you visit near Chennai also has temples that are the pride of the city and are a must-see. Chittoor is no exception to this and is home to one of the richest temple of the world, Sri Venkateswara Temple. You can also see the Gurramkanda Fort, Nagari Hill or the Kaundriya Wildlife sanctuary when here.
- Horsley Hills (260 km)
Get your DSLR charged, for Horsley Hills will give you plenty of spots to shoot some masterpieces. Cascading waterfalls in the lap of nature, salubrious valleys swarming with wildlife and lush green forests, all make you want to extend your weekend to a long one for enjoying the bounties of nature here. There are a lot of things to do in Horsley Hills like visiting the Old Enugu Mallamma Temple. Then there is the Horsley Hills zoo, Kaigal Falls and View Point which is actually a vantage point to spot a beautiful sunset while you stand hand in hand with your partner.
- Pulicat (88 km)
Pulicat is a seaside town that is the second largest lagoon in the country. Pulicat Bird Sanctuary is flocked by exotic birds from all parts of the world and you can watch these magnificent birds swoop and glide over the lake while you enjoy goodies from your picnic basket. The lake also has the facility of boating and you can even take a traditional boat across the lake while enjoying the cool breeze.
- Pondicherry (160 km)
Don’t you just love everything French? Right from the language to their delightful French cuisine, everything related to France has a wow factor. The same happens to you when you visit this erstwhile French colony which has within its folds, traces of the rich story of the town. You need to pack in your beach gear and flip flops for this one as the beaches in Pondicherry should be at the top of your list. Next, visit the churches and the streets of Pondicherry that warrant a tour merely for a look at the European style architecture. If you are inclined towards some self-introspection, head to the Aurobindo Ashram. If you are more inclined towards having happy times, then Auroville is where you must go.
- Yelagiri (227 km)
A hill station near a coastal city; it just cannot get better than that. Yelagiri is like a classic hill station having everything right from greenery and waterfalls to lakes and hills that offer you some amazing trekking trails. What makes it different from the other more popular hill stations is the quiet and serenity that you can enjoy here. And now some good news for the adrenaline junkies saved for the last. Yelagiri has a whole host of adventure activities for you to enjoy like paragliding, trekking, rock climbing, and hiking.
Pack your bags and that picnic basket and head for some soul cleansing rejuvenation to these beautiful places near Chennai this weekend.