Considered as one of the cleanest and beautiful beaches in Chennai, VGP Golden beach is one of the most sought-after destinations in the area by family and friends. This beach is a part of the VGP Universal Kingdom, which is a famous amusement park and lies on the East Coast Road. This mesmerising beach is an appealing part of the Bay of Bengal, with its smooth and silver sand situated on Marina, the second longest beach in the world.
Distance from Chennai: 18 km
The sandy coastline begins from Ennore in the north extending south into Uthandi, leaving one to choose from more than just Marina and Elliot's beach. With nicely constructed walkers' paths,convenient seats, adequate lighting, lush green areas and children's playgrounds proposed for select beaches initially, there is more to look forward to when you clock in some time for fitness.
Distance from Chennai: 20 km
Nettukuppam is the northernmost tip of Chennai and has a beach which is yet not tarnished by encroaching crowds. It is a solitary retreat for those who seek to enjoy the raging sea up close but in a peaceful environment. The saltwater creek of Ennore joins the sea here forming an estuary of sorts. The place is ideal to spend a peaceful time as it is still not on the radar of the maddening tourist crowd.
Distance from Chennai: 24 km
Neelankarai Beach is an untouched gorgeous beach located in the small locality of Neelankarai in South Chennai. The highlight of the beach are the innumerous turtles that can be found on the shores. People usually visit it to watch the turtles or to walk along the lengthy coastline touching the beautiful blue waters of the sea.
Distance from Chennai: 15 km
Situated at a distance of 1 km from Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai, Pebble Beach is a comparatively smaller beach. Due to its location, it receives relatively lesser number of visitors. However, the beach offers extremely peaceful and serene and you can visit it to spend some time in solitude.
Distance from Chennai: 19 km
Perhaps one of the most popular picnic spots in Vandalur, Kanchipuram District, the Arignar Zoological Park is an amazing place to discover the flora and fauna of the region. A favourite weekend spot with both children and adults alike, the Arignar Zoo is situated at a distance of 32 kilometres from Chennai city. It is the largest zoo of its kind in South East Asia and is sprawled over an area of 1260 acres. In addition to having an extensive collection of endemic and exotic animals, visitors can experience the wild first hand with a trip to safari parks where lions and deer can be easily spotted.
Distance from Chennai: 36 km
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The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is the brainchild of revered herpetologist and wildlife activist Romulus 'Rom' Whitaker - an initiative to keep the fading species of crocs in subcontinent safe. Initially, the Croc Bank was built to keep the crocodiles safe and help them breed and multiply until they were fit enough to be returned to their natural habitat, and thus replenish the nature's stock. However, due to lessening wilderness, this practice has been stopped. They are now given home in the Crocodile Bank itself and are open for the public six days of the week.
Distance from Chennai: 38 km
Situated within a half hour drive of the French colonial town of Pondicherry, Arikamedu is an ancient Roman trade centre hidden from the eyes and ears of the commonplace Tamil tourism. Its name has been taken from the Tamil word- 'Arikanmedu' which means 'eroding mount'. Very little is known about any Indo-Roman ties in the Before Christ era, but with the discovery and excavation of Arikamedu, extensive proofs were unearthed. This port town was occupied by the people of Rome, Cholas, and French serving as a very famous maritime centre from 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. The glass bead manufacturing factory of Arikamedu is called the mother of all bead centres in the entire world.
Distance from Chennai: 154 km
Paradise Beach, also known as Plage Paradiso, is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. Adorned with the golden sand, this famous and highly sought after beach is always swaying in a cold sea breeze. This is a little-isolated beach, and to reach here, you have to take a ferry across the backwaters, which takes around 20-30 minutes. The sand of the paradise beach is extraordinarily soft and grainy - and a walk along the entire beach is fantastic.
Distance from Chennai: 159 km
A popular tourist attraction of Pondicherry, Botanical Garden was established by C.S. Perrott in the year 1862. The garden is home to several exotic varieties of rare plants as well as an aquarium. This wide range of plants has been collected from various parts of India and around the globe. The aquarium is an interesting place to visit which abodes a diverse collection of aquatic organisms as well as fish flora. One can also see the different methods of fishing adopted in the coastal areas being showcased here.
Distance from Chennai: 148 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 and 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.
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
Also known as Ubbalamudugu Falls, Tada Falls is a gorgeous waterfall located near the near Sricity and Oneness Temple in the Chittoor district of India. Cascading from a towering height of around a 100 m, the crystal clear waterfall falling down the rocks is a visual delight and a sight to behold. Considered to be one of the top tourist attractions of the city, there is Siddulaiah Kona forest in the vicinity of the site which is an ideal place for trekking, hiking and other foresty activities. Besides, Tada Falls is known for is incredible landscape, lush greenery and ethereal hillocks.
Distance from Chennai: 95 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. The sanctuary attracts multitudes of birds, starting with herons, spoonbills, storks, ibises and egrets in the season. The Vedanthangal sanctuary is protected by the locals in the area for centuries now, ever since they realised that the bird droppings that fall into the tank are rich in nitrogen and make the water a natural fertilizer, saving the cost of industrial fertilizers.
Distance from Chennai: 86 km
Best Time: November to February