Amazing One Day Trips from Chennai

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One Day Trips from Chennai

Chennai, called as the Gateway to South India, is a fast-paced city. There are many one day trips from Chennai which make for a perfect getaway with friends and family. Many cultural and natural hotspots near Chennai allow you to rejuvenate yourself away from the city life. To take a break from the hullabaloo, visit these stunning places near Chennai for some quiet and fun.

Here is the list of 23 Amazing One Day Trips from Chennai

1. Elliot's Beach

Elliot's Beach
4.2 /5

Elliot's Beach aka "Besant Nagar Beach" or "Bessie" is located in Besant Nagar, Chennai. It forms the end-point of the Marina Beach shore and is named after Edward Elliot (who was once the Chief Magistrate, Superintendent of Madras and Governor of Chennai during the British times). It has the Velankanni Church and the Ashtalakshmi Kovil in the vicinity. A perfect getaway for a one day trip from Chennai and its regular hustle-bustle, Elliot's promises you the break you've been needing by the beach.

Distance from Chennai: 10 km

2. Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake
4.1 /5 View 14+ photos

Lying on the boundary of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake is the second largest lagoon in the country. This fantastic destination is a natural beauty which also serves as a habitat for birds under the name of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. The lake is separated by the Bay of Bengal by the barrier island of Sriharikota, which is also a rocket launching centre of India. Situated in the midst of scintillating virgin charms and cutting edge technological hotspot, the Pulicat Lake has something for everyone.

Distance from Chennai: 104 km

3. Gingee Fort

Gingee Fort
4.2 /5 View 5+ photos

Known as the "Troy of the East" by the British, Gingee Fort is located in Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu, 160 kilometres from the state capital, Chennai and near the Union Territory of Puducherry. Locals have given the fort some notable names such as Senji, Chenji, Jinji or Senchi Fort. The majestic fort has three different hilltop citadels and a massive boundary of thick walls and cliffs. Owing to its enormous structure the fort is fortified to the extent that Shivaji, the Maratha king, named it as the "most impregnable fortress in India."

Distance from Chennai: 155 km

4. Nagalapuram


Hidden like a jewel behind the lush green forests of Andhra Pradesh lies a serene and tranquil place named Nagalapuram. Surrounded by majestic hills and gurgling waterfalls, this place is ideal to take a break from the buzzing city life and spend some peaceful days amidst soft breezes, flourishing trees and gushing waterfalls. Famously also known as Nagala Hills, this is the place to pump up your adrenaline with the various adventurous activities proffered in this scenic village.

Distance from Chennai: 74 km

5. Mahabalipuram

4.3 /5 View 20+ photos

Known For : Shore Temple Mahabalipuram Beach Five Rathas

2,353 active cases 1,936 in last 7 days

Famous for its intricately carved temples and rock-cut caves, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram as it is famously known, is a historically important and well-loved tourist location situated on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Distance from Chennai: 52 km

Best Time: November to February

23 Mahabalipuram Attractions

6. Yelagiri

3.6 /5 View 11+ photos

Known For : Punganur Lake Nature Park Jalagamparai Falls

601 active cases 517 in last 7 days

A quaint little hill station located in Vellore, Yelagiri is spread a little over 30 square kilometres, and at a height of over 1100 metres above sea level. Yelagiri offers its tourists some beautiful places like the Jalagamparai falls, sweeping orchards and rose garden, among others. The ideal destination for nature lovers, Yelagiri is a town that is completely off the beaten tourist trail, lending it a quieter and much more peaceful vibe compared to other more famous hill stations nearby.

Distance from Chennai: 227 km

Best Time: November to February

13 Yelagiri Attractions

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7. Auroville

3.3 /5 View 37+ photos

Known For : Matrimandir Marc's Cafe Arka

945 active cases 923 in last 7 days

Conceived as the 'Universal Town', Auroville is an experimental township where people from across the world of all cultures and traditions come and live together in peace. Located around 15 km from the city of Pondicherry, Auroville is located in Tamil Nadu and was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Aurobindo and fondly known as the 'Mother' of Sri Aurobindo Society.

Distance from Chennai: 147 km

Best Time: November to March

21 Auroville Attractions

8. VGP Universal Kingdom

VGP Universal Kingdom

Situated on the East Coast Road in Chennai, VGP Universal Kingdom is a magnanimous amusement theme park in the city. Besides the water park, the main highlights of the park are water cascades, Paneer forts, statueman, Millennium Tower etc.

Distance from Chennai: 18 km

9. Pichavaram Mangrove Forests, Chidambram

Pichavaram Mangrove Forests, Chidambram
4.1 /5 View 9+ photos

The second largest Mangrove forest in the world, Pichavaram is located off the tourist trail but is totally worth the effort. One can be enchanted by the complex river system and canal network that bind this beautiful place together and support the rich biodiversity of the place.

Distance from Chennai: 212 km

10. Talakona Waterfall

Talakona Waterfall

Located in Sri Venkateswara National Park, Talakona Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the region and a famous picnic spot. The water is believed to have medicinal properties and comes from an unknown underground stream. The attraction is also famous for trekking and has several trekking routes running around it amidst the scenic natural surroundings.

Distance from Chennai: 204 km

11. Pondicherry

4.1 /5 View 29+ photos

Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Auroville

4,229 active cases 2,735 in last 7 days

Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, and commonly referred to as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. This former French colony is a perfect amalgamation of the traditional Indian sensibilities and French architecture, making it a dreamy escape that offers the best of both worlds. A 3 hour drive, the wanderlusters may consider this the best one day trip from Chennai.

Distance from Chennai: 151 km

Best Time: October to March

44 Pondicherry Attractions

12. Gandikota

3.8 /5
3,432 active cases 3,108 in last 7 days

Endearingly known as the 'Grand Canyon of India’, Gandikota is a twee village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Flanked by River Pennar on the right side, the village is popular for the spectacular gorges formed by the river cutting through Erramala Hills. The narrow valleys with streams running between them and the steep rocky walls to give them company remind one of the renowned Grand Canyon in Arizona. It required a walk of almost a kilometre from the main gate to reach the boulder from where you can observe the mesmerising view from the viewpoint near the fort.

Distance from Chennai: 356 km

13. Kanchipuram

3.3 /5 View 22+ photos

Known For : Kamakshi Amman Temple Varadharaja Perumal Temple Devarajaswami Temple

Widely known for its beautiful Kanchipuram sarees and also referred to as the Golden city of a Thousand Temples, Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is a popular tourist attraction. Kanchipuram or Kanchi attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world who are interested in Hinduism or just want to enjoy the marvel of South Indian architecture and grandeur. It is particularly known for being a culture and philosophical hub.

Distance from Chennai: 72 km

Best Time: October to May

16 Kanchipuram Attractions

14. Chittoor

3.4 /5 View 5+ photos

Known For : Sri Venkateshwara National Park Srikalahasti Temple Nagalapuram

6,381 active cases 4,945 in last 7 days

Steeped in religion, devotion and architecture, Chittoor is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Also blessed with scenic beauty, cascading waterfalls and a beautiful hill station, Chittoor is not a disappointment to the traveller who seeks redemption from the busy metro life. Also known as the Mango City, Chittoor offers myriad varities of heavenly mangoes to please its visitors.

Distance from Chennai: 157 km

Best Time: September to February

11 Chittoor Attractions

15. Virupaksha Cave, Thiruvannamalai

Virupaksha Cave, Thiruvannamalai
3.2 /5

A town that offers a significant history adorned in its countless temples and ashrams, Thiruvannamalai is where Hindu Mythology takes the form of stunning architecture. An example of this is the Virupaksha Cave, a unique cave ashram in the shape of the Hindu symbol 'Om'. The cave is situated atop a small peak in the Arunachala Hill, nearly 200 feet below the Skandasram cave.

Distance from Chennai: 194 km

16. Velankanni

3.1 /5 View 10+ photos

Known For : Velankanni Church Velankanni Beach Velankanni Church Museum

644 active cases 441 in last 7 days

Quaint and calm, Velankanni is a little hamlet tucked away in the state of Tamil Nadu, on the coast of Bay of Bengal. It is a famous Roman Catholic pilgrim centre and is visited by thousands of devotees for its shrine of ‘Our Lady of Good Health’ aka Mother Mary. Inspired by the Lourdes in France, Velankanni is also known as the “Lourdes of the East”. It has become one of the vital Marian sanctuaries of the world.

Distance from Chennai: 309 km

Best Time: October to March

6 Velankanni Attractions

17. Tranquebar

3.4 /5 View 7+ photos

Known For : Fort Dansborg The town gate The Zion Church

Forgotten to be touched by time and still known for its tranquillity, Tharangambadi - otherwise known as Tranquebar- is the land of the singing waves. Tranquebar is a tiny beach town in Nagapattinam district that dates back to the 14th century. Placed at a dreamy patch at the confluence of the Kaveri river and the Bay of Bengal, Tranquebar is a beautiful playpen of many cultures.

Distance from Chennai: 266 km

Best Time: August to February

7 Tranquebar Attractions

18. Kumbakonam

3.5 /5 View 15+ photos

Known For : Adi Kumbeshwara Temple Nageswaran Temple Shopping in Kumbakonam

1,328 active cases 1,118 in last 7 days

Sandwiched between two great rivers of southern India, Cauvery and Arsala, Kumbakonam is a gorgeous temple town in the heart of the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. This town is a place for the lovers of history and those seeking to understand India's cultural roots and Hinduism. It is also known as the Cambridge of India and makes for a great one day trip from Chennai.

Distance from Chennai: 295 km

Best Time: November to February

25 Kumbakonam Attractions

19. Chettinad

3.6 /5 View 13+ photos

Known For : Chettinad Palace Chettinad Museum Chettinadu Mansion

308 active cases 311 in last 7 days

Located in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, Chettinad Showcases the rich heritage, striking art and grand architecture of the state. Apart from being known as a temple town, the Chettinad Cuisine is the most renowned in the repertoire of Tamil Nadu. The word "Chetti" is a Sanskrit term meaning wealth. It is derived from the original traders of the region who dealt in salt and spices for marbles and other decorative items used in the construction of their properties. It has an elaborately vibrant culture and an over the top extortionate township comprising of ridiculously opulent mansions, palatial homes, magnificent temples and fascinating museums.

Distance from Chennai: 301 km

Best Time: November to March

11 Chettinad Attractions

20. Vellore

2.5 /5

Known For : Vellore Fort Jalakandeswarar Temple St. John's Church

895 active cases 867 in last 7 days

A heritage destination for a one day trip from Chennai, Vellore is an ancient city in the northeastern part of Tamil Nadu, located on the banks of river Palar Vellore. Nicknamed ‘The Fort City’ due to the marvellous Vellore Fort which sits at the heart of Vellore city, it is an ideal place to glimpse Tamil Nadu's rich cultural heritage through its temples. Contributing for 37% of the country's total leather export, Vellore is primarily known for two premier institutions, Christain Medical

Distance from Chennai: 137 km

17 Vellore Attractions

21. Vedanthangal

3.2 /5 View 40+ photos

Known For : Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary Karikili Bird Sanctuary

2,353 active cases 1,936 in last 7 days

Lying close to the important district of Mahabalipuram is Vedanthangal, best known for its bird sanctuary. The compact water tank of 30 hectares that the sanctuary is built around is home to at least 30,000 birds every year during migratory season.

Distance from Chennai: 86 km

Best Time: November to February

2 Vedanthangal Attractions

22. Srikalahasti

3.5 /5 View 11+ photos

Known For : Srikalahasteeswara Temple Veyilingala Kona Waterfall Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple

6,381 active cases 4,945 in last 7 days

Famous for the Vayu Linga, the holy city of Srikalahasti in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is popular among tourists for a one day trip from Chennai. The Srikalahasti temple is one of the most important Shiva temples of South India built during the ancient Pallava dynasty. Yesteryear, this place has showcased its vibrant potential, alluring visitors with its extravagant shrines and pristine beauty.

Distance from Chennai: 120 km

Best Time: July to March

9 Srikalahasti Attractions

23. Tiruvallur


Located on the banks of river Cooum, Tiruvallur is 46 kilometers away from downtown Madras and only 5 kilometers away from the megacity border. It is famous for the Veera Raghava temple which is one of the 108 sacred shrines of Vaishnavites. Another famous temple, the Viswaroopa Panchamukha Hanuman Temple stands 40 feet tall and the idol is carved out of single green granite stone. The Poondi reservoir is also present near Tiruvallur, which serves Chennai with drinking water.

What do you think about these ideal getaways near Chennai? Do let us know in the comment section below.

This post was published by Harshitha

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