The very word ‘Chennai’ would bring a lot of things to your mind – the first and foremost being South Indian food particularly the yummy dosas and filter coffee served in a steel tumbler in mid-tier restaurants.  But, if you are a regular working Chennaite with tons of work to do both in office and at home, you have little time to yourself to enjoy the small pleasures of life!

Where to go over the weekend is a question that bothers everyone!  Beaches, hills, temples, and rivers are the common options. And if you could go to the Moon, you would probably pick that!  Which place you go to is immaterial – just  pack your bags and head to the nearest getaway and you would come back happy and satisfied, and maybe go back once again the following weekend.

We’ve jotted down here some 1-day and 2-day weekend getaways near Chennai. It would take you just a few hours to disappear from this city’s mayhem followed by many hours to rejoice at the chosen place. Apart from cash and credit cards, do take your camera, mobile, binoculars, outdoor shoes, and your adventurous spirit to mingle with nature. So, whether you are a history fan, or a nature-oriented or a travel enthusiast, or a templegoer, you can be sure you are in for the time of your life!

One-day Weekend Getaways from Chennai

1. Kanchipuram

A famous pilgrimage site, Kanchipuram is also known as the ‘golden city of a thousand temples’ (it is a catch phrase not the truth). But anyhow the place has a number of temples which makes it a popular pilgrimage spot for Hindus. It happens to be one of the Seven Sacred Cities of India. From a commercial point of view, Kanchipuram produces the finest silk in the world. Now you have all the more reason to drive down to the land of silk!

Kanchipuram

Pic credit:  wikipedia.org

Distance from Chennai: 72 km

Best time to Visit: Throughout the year

Activities:

Historic temples are the first attraction point of visitors at Kanchipuram. Apart from this, there is beautiful scenery and outstanding quality and quantity of silk to feel and buy. Monsoon season between June to September adds a plus point as it brings heavy rainfall and cool winds in the region. There is bird watching and sightseeing to do as well.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

  • Check out the Ekambareswarar, Kamakshi Amman, Devarajaswami and Kailasanatha temples which are proof of the Dravidian legacy.
  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a treat for bird watchers.
  • Stop over at KanchiKudi which is a 90 year ancestral home that has olden style of architecture.

Sridhar V (Chennai): “Kailasanatha Temple – Masterpiece” (Source: Trip Advisor)

2. Pulicat

It is a small seashore township that offers you the best in expedition. It is located on the barrier island of Sriharikota which separates the Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal.

Pulicat

Pic credit:  tourmet.com

Distance from Chennai: 55 km

Best time to Visit: October to March

Activities:

Besides bird-watching, you can indulge in beach activities and watersports in Pulicat.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

  • The bird sanctuary at the Pulikat is a rare treat for bird lovers. The Flamingo festival is held between December and January by the Tourism Board wherein thousands of migratory birds flock to the Pulicat Lake.
  • Other tourist avenues include the Dutch cemetery, Fort and church.

3.  Tirupati

This is a place that offers you an equal share of history and archaeology. Also known as Tirumala, it is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Millions of religious disciples visit Tirupati annually.

Tirupati

Pic credit:  wikipedia.org

Distance from Chennai: 135 km

Best time to Visit: September to March

Activities:

  • One of the most important tourist attractions in Tirupati is TirumalaTirupatiDevasthanam temple.
  • The other famous temple that needs a visit is Venkateswara temple which is an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

  • For adventure lovers, there is naturally rock-bridge called Silathoranam.
  • TTD Gardens, situated behind Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is an evergreen heaven.

srini11 (Bengaluru): Sublime Spirituality Personified”  (Source: Trip Advisor)

Two-day Weekend Getaways from Chennai

1. Pondicherry

‘Pondy’ is the fond name of this former French colony. Every inch of this place shows you colonial structures, cobbled streets and French architecture and culture.

Pondicherry

Pic credit:  wikipedia.org 

Distance from Chennai: 161 km

Best time to Visit: October to February

Activities:

  • This township offers you hordes of Ayurvedic health centers and spa treatments to rejuvenate your body.
  • You can get into water sport adventures too.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in 1926, is a must-see for the yoga-bound tourists.
  • French Quarter is a neighbourhood that is dotted with white and mustard colonial buildings filling your heart with romance.
  • Other places of tourist attraction include the church Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, Gingee Fort, Jawahar Toy Museum, Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Sacred Heart Basilica and Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple.

Jeff C: “AAA+++++ Dive day in Pondicherry” (Source: Trip Advisor)

2.  Yelagiri Hills

This sweet hillock in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu would surely please you with its scenic beauty, greenery, peace and solitude.    

Yelagiri Hills

Pic credit:  wikipedia.org

Distance from Chennai: 227 km

Best time to Visit: October to June

Activities:

  • There is boating and sightseeing to entertain you.
  • For those of you who are eager to get some thrill out of this serene spot, Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association (YASA) is there to get you a host of thrilling activities.

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

  • Ask the travel guide to take you to Punganoor artificial lake-cum-park. It’s an excellent place to go boating or for enjoying a walk.
  • Swami Malai Hills is a splendid treat to the eyes.
  • Take a long walk by the cascading waters of the Jalagamparai Falls.

Now that you have seen the beauty of nature, lake, hills, temples and archaeology in the vicinity of Chennai, get started on your weekend vacation and you are sure to be back for more.

Share this article with your family and friends and plan your trip right away.

Additional Reading:

https://www.thrillophilia.com/weekend-getaways-from-chennai

http://www.mustseeindia.com/Kanchipuram