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Meghna Paul Jul 10 2014

Which are the best weekend getaways from Chennai?

Debangana Sen Jul 10 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

We bring you some our top picks for some quick weekend getaways from Chennai. Read on to find out more.

Mahabalipuram (58 km south of Chennai)

The best reason for heading to the city of Mahabalipuram is to experience the drive itself. The endless coastline with glimpses of the surf breaking on huge boulders, through the groves of palm and casuarina trees lining the shore is a refreshing sight from the concrete jungles and congested traffic in the city. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mahabalipuram contains some of the oldest examples of Dravidian architecture.

Photo of the Shore Temple (by Hussain27syed)

Srikalahasti (114 km north west of Chennai)

Often a hurried halt en route to Tirupati, Srikalahasti with its rich colours, history and traditions, makes for a great weekend stop from Chennai. Primarily famous as one of the five Panchabhoota Sivasthalam (5 shrines in south India dedicated to Lord Shiva, each associated with one of the five prime elements of nature), representing the element of wind, Srikalahasti temple is also known for Kalamkari paintings, beautiful waterfalls and magnificent temple architecture.

Photo of the Kalahasti Temple (by రవిచంద్ర)

Tirumala (174 km north west of Chennai)

Believed to be the holy abode of Venkateswara, lord of the seven hills, Tirumala is synonymous with the famous Lord Venkateshwara Temple. Though a pilgrimage destination, its location upon a picturesque uphill forest road, makes its equally appealing to nature lovers. You can visit the Bedi Anjaneya Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, who is chained so that he wouldn’t run away.

Photo of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple (by daimalu)

Krishnagiri (256 km south west of Chennai)

An old fort belonging to Tipu Sultan, countless trekking trails, a scenic dam, ancient temples and located miles away from hordes of tourists -- this sums up Krishnagiri. A rapidly developing town, Krishnagiri in addition to the mentioned attraction, is of significant archaeological importance. Prehistoric human habitats and cave paintings pertaining to the Iron Age can be located here. Moreover, since mango is the main crop in this region, a visit during the mango season can prove to be quite fruitful.

Photo of the Krishnagiri Dam (by TheZionView)

Kanchipuram (75 km south west of Chennai)

City of thousand temples and the birthplace of the Kancheevaram sarees, Kanchipuram has no comparison. Showcasing the best of Dravidian temple architecture with a spectacular diversity of styles introduced by the Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagara kings and the Nayaks, this temple town has at least one temple in each lane, and each temple has its own story. As one of the Panchabhoota Sivasthalam, representing the element of Earth, the Ekambareshwar Temple is the primary attraction.

Photo of Ekambareshwar Temple (from Official Website)

Pondicherry (162 km south of Chennai)

From Puducherry and Pondi to French Riviera, the city of Pondicherry has many names. Planned in a geometric grid pattern and neatly labelled streets, this laidback former French colony is easily navigable, with the entire city laid within a circular oblong. All the pretty streets, best restaurants and hotels are located on the coastal side of Pondicherry (French Quarter and the Beach Road).

Vedanthangal (86 km south west of Chennai)

The oldest bird sanctuary in the country, the city of edanthangal is a treasure house for birdwatchers. A measly 1-2 hour’s drive, this is one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai. The Barringtonia mangroves of the sanctuary create a floating habitat for the migratory birds. The watchtower is a great place to get a nice aerial view of the sanctuary. On the whole this is a great vacation spot for those looking forward to a lazy weekend romancing the countryside.

Photo of the sanctuary (by Vinoth Chandar)

Thiruvannamalai (198 km south west of Chennai)

Yet another Panchabhoota Sivasthalam, the famous Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar Temple represents the element of fire. The Ramana Ashram, the beautiful tree-shaded Skandasramam and the nearby attractions can easily take upto two days to finish touring.

Photo of Arunachaleswarar Temple (by Adam Jones)

Yelagiri (253 km south west of Chennai)

If you are not interested in temple towns and are looking forward to spending a quiet weekend in the lap of nature, Yelagiri should fit the bill. A cluster of small villages spread over a couple of hills, Yelagiri has only one main road with couple of teashops and liquor stores and a handful of “fancy stores”. Most of the tourism revolves around the Punganoor Lake. Along with boating, there is a hanging viewpoint across the lake, from where you can get a bird’s eye view of the picturesque surroundings.

Photo of the Punganoor Lake (by

Chidambaram (226 km south of Chennai)

As one of the five Panchabhoota Sivasthalam, representing the element of air, the Thillai Nataraja Temple is the main attraction of Chidambaram. However, unknown to many, this temple town lies within a few kilometers of the mangrove forests and backwaters of Pichavaram, which are the last remaining habitat of the Thillai trees. Full of rare plant species and home to many migratory birds, these forests are any botanist’s and wildlife enthusiast’s delight.

Photo of the Nataraja Temple (by Nataraja)

These were our top 10 picks of the best weekend getaways from Chennai, each within a 6 hour driving distance. So, make the best of your weekends and head out for some awesome time.If you have more ideas, do share them with us, and don’t forget to like and comment below. Have a great trip!

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