Whether you are looking for a cultural odyssey in the past, a pilgrimage tour, a romantic getaway, an adventure holiday or a short family break, that too on weekends, there are countless destinations near Chennai that can be explored without much planning. If you are also amongst the ones looking for a weekend escapade near Chennai, here is a consolidated list of top destinations, just for you, which are light on your pocket too.
Fondly termed as ‘Pondy’, this former French colony is a sea of tranquility what with its quiet, clean cobbled streets and colonial townhouses aligned beside them. The vibe of the township is a faded colonial bohemian chic with a touch of new age international French culture.
Perched at an elevation of 1,515 meters in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is another scenoramic getaway that is roughly 230 kms from Bangalore. It offers a luxury bed of flora and is a home to more than 3000 trees and 1800 shrubs. Further, wildlife like bison, deer, ant-eater, rabbits, hares, foxes, mongoose, squirrels, partridges, snakes, bulbuls, kites, sparrows, swallows and paradise flycatchers bustles the eyes of several wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
Haven’t heard of it? Well that’s because it’s one of the most beautiful and untouched places of the South. The lack of commercialisation ensures that travelers get a taste of peace and serenity, away from the crowd. Kolli hills is replete with all things characteristically south Indian, from the coffee and spice plantations to the emerald valleys accompanied by the dark hills and the cool weather. A must-see tourist spot is the Agaya-Gangai Falls near the Arappaleeswarar Temple, a walk to which is pretty steep – 1000 steps steep to be precise! But it is totally worth the effort. Kolli Hills thrives on its unexploited beauty that ensures you leave feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
Nestled away in the mist covered hills of Idukki is Munnar, a popular hill station in Kerala. The town is perfect for honeymooners, solo travelers, families, and groups. There are several protected areas within the hill station that protects wildlife. You can visit them with special permission.
Thekkady is located on the Tamil Nadu- Kerala Border, is considered a heaven for coffee and natural spices. Thekkady is also known for its proximity to Chellar Kovil which has a lot of picturesque waterfalls and cascades. Thekkady is however more popularly as the location of Periyar National park. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. The greatest attractions of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants, deer and bison that come down to drink in the Mullaperiyar Lake. The sanctuary can be accessed through a trekking, boating or jeep safari.