Alike all the coastal cities, Chennai warmly welcomes the visitors with its pleasant climate. Embracing modernization along with its glorious past, the city offers a fine blend of commercialization and an old-world charm. Even though the city is a mere delight, sometimes you may want to explore something vibrant and different from the city. So while you are here, you can extend your stay and explore these gems:
1. Pulicat (53.4 km)
Take a break from the fast paced life and head to Pulicat, a laid back town, for a soulful weekend. Standing as the 2nd largest salty water body in India, this little seashore town is the ideal destination to reconnect with nature. Even though Pulicat Lake and Pulicat Sanctuary are the prominent attractions of the town, don’t miss out on paying a visit to Dutch Fort and Dutch Cemetery. While you are planning a tour here, get ready to indulge in some thrilling adventurous activities such as wildlife safari, trekking and boating.
2. Mahabalipuram (56 km)
Thronged with temples and statues, Mahabalipuram is a town soaked in the ancient history of Pallava Dynasty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From 3rd to 7th century CE, the town contributed immensely to India’s art and literature growth. During winters, it witnesses a pleasant climate and that’s why it’s a charming place to visit around Chennai for weekend. The attractions such as Shore Temple, Pancha Ratha, Varaha, Mahishasurmardini and Krishna Cave Temples don’t fail to surprise the travellers with their architectural brilliance.
3. Nagalapuram (70.4 km)
Situated in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Nagalapuram is just 2-hour drive away from Chennai, which makes it an easily reachable place to visit around Chennai. Sri Vedanarayana Swamy Temple and Nagalapuram Falls are the two gems of the town. Its pristine beauty can be explored through a number of activities such as trekking and camping. While you are visiting the waterfall, rejuvenate your senses with a dip in the swimming pool created below the fall.
4. Kanchipuram (74 km)
Kanchipuram, a ‘Golden City of Thousand Temples’, attracts people from all over the world with its high quality silk sarees named ‘Kanchipuram Sarees’. If you are thinking of going on a spiritual exploration, then there is no better place to visit around Chennai than Kanchipuram. Besides the significant shrines, Kanchi Kudil Museum and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary are the other attractions of the city. One of the mandatory things to do while in Kanchipuram is to attend a kutcheri (Classical music concert) at the Kanchi matt.
5. Thiruthani (92.4 km)
With an interesting story revolving around, Thiruthani is yet another religious place to visit around Chennai. Away from the city hustles, you can spend a day or two in this tranquil destination. The well-known Thiruthani Murugan Temple is known to be the heart of the city. This South Indian architectural grandeur dates back to 2000 years and stands as one among the six holy abodes of Lord Murugan. The temple is surrounded by ample of natural beauty, which is sure to evoke the shutterbug inside you.
6. Puducherry (151.4 km)
With peace and serenity present in abundance, Puducherry is a much sought after destination to visit for those planning to escape the city madness. This French colony has quite a lot in store to make your getaway an extravagant affair. Temples, beaches and historical monuments, Puducherry presents all varieties of attractions. Auroville, Paradise beach, Gingee Fort, Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are some of the must-visit locations.