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
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
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
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
Known For : Shore Temple Mahabalipuram Beach Five Rathas
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
Known For : Punganur Lake Nature Park Jalagamparai Falls
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
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Known For : Matrimandir Marc's Cafe Arka
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
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
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
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
Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Auroville
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
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
Known For : Sri Venkateshwara National Park Srikalahasti Temple Nagalapuram
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
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
Known For : Vellore Fort Jalakandeswarar Temple St. John's Church
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
Known For : Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary Karikili Bird Sanctuary
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
Known For : Srikalahasteeswara Temple Veyilingala Kona Waterfall Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple
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
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.
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