Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is considered the ‘Gateway to South India’. The Tamil Nadu capital is located on the Coromandel Coast welcoming visitors with open arms. Chennai serves as the most significant industrial and commercial centre of south India. With a rich history and heritage, the city has much to offer. However, if you’re looking for a change, a short weekend getaway is also not difficult to find. Here are some of the most famous places near Chennai for you to choose from.
Located in Vellore district, Yelagiri is a small hill station known for its spellbinding scenery and adventure sports. Whether you’d prefer to peacefully observe the vast tea estates from the ground or soar over them with a paraglider, you will surely get views that would leave you awestruck. You can also go trekking in the lush green forests, or boating on the pristine lakes. Yelagiri is about 230 km from Chennai and the best time to visit this quaint hill station is between November and February.
If you want to visit places near Chennai with lakes, then Yercaud is the place for you. Literally meaning ‘lake forest’, Yercaud is home to several lakes and a vast expanse of coffee plantations. Located in the Shevaroy Hills of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is blessed with mesmerising views that would make you feel at peace. Perfect for a weekend trip, Yercaud is about 360 km from Chennai offering a scenic drive too. The best time to visit Yercaud is between October and June.
Also known as Tharangambadi, Tranqueabr is a former Danish colony which still has the remnants of Danish culture. Located in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, Tranquebar is known for its tranquillity and crashing waves. Hence it is also called the ‘land of the singing waves’. This quiet town calmly sits near the Bay of Bengal, with enticing waters which are perfect for a swim as well as a sun bath on the beach. If cultural history and natural beauty interest you, then Tranquebar is your calling. The town is located about 267 km from Chennai and the best time to visit here is between August and February.
Officially known as Puducherry, this union territory is perfect for a weekend getaway near Chennai. Taking forward its legacy of being a French colony, Pondicherry still holds on to its colonial influences, making it a much-loved tourist destination. You can enjoy a wonderful time at the serene beaches here - visit Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach and Auroville, among others. And once you’ve worked up an appetite after a relaxing walk on the beach, there are many cafes serving French culinary delights that await you! This beautiful town is about 152 km from Chennai and the best time to visit here is between October and March.
While on a visit to Tranquebar, you can consider staying at Neemrans’s Coconut Alley or The Bungalow on the Beach. Preserving the residues of a bygone era, Neemrana offers you a stay that would make you feel tranquil and want to extend your stay as you would not want to leave this beautiful destination.