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. The streets of the French Quarter of Pondicherry, also known as White Town, are dotted with charming mustard-yellow colonial structures with bougainvillaea laden walls.
Distance from Chennai: 151 km
Best Time: October to March
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. Once the abode of the famous demon king Mahabali, Mahabalipuram was later renamed Mamallapuram. The serenity, the alluring atmosphere and the impressive setting with many beautiful white sandy beaches dotted with casuarina trees are all reasons as to why one would want to visit this wonderful town.
Distance from Chennai: 52 km
Best Time: November to February
Known For : Sri Venkateswara Temple Akasaganga Teertham Silathoranam
Situated in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is known for Venkateshwara Temple, one of the most popular pilgrimage centres in the country. Known as Balaji and Govinda, Tirupati is one of the oldest cities of India and finds mention in plenty of ancient Vedas and Puranas. Tirumala is the home to seven peaks of Tirumala Hills.
Distance from Chennai: 147 km
Best Time: September 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. With such an association being made with the city, it is only natural that this destination has become such an influential centre in these avant-garde times.
Distance from Chennai: 72 km
Best Time: October to May
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
Known For : Srikalahasteeswara Temple Veyilingala Kona Waterfall Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple
Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the holy city of Srikalahasti is a popular tourist destination due to its famous Srikalahasti temple. It is one of the most important Shiva temples of South India built during the ancient Pallava dynasty. With vibrant yesteryear, this place has showcased its potential to allure the visitors with its extravagant shrines and pristine beauty.
Distance from Chennai: 120 km
Best Time: July to March
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Known For : Ramalingeswara Temple Narasimhaswamy Temple Patu Ru
Nellore is a beautiful city lying on the banks of River Penna, a Municipal Corporation in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Anciently known as Vikrama Simhapuri, it derived its name from "Nelluru", a combination of Tamil words "Nel" and "Ooru" where Nel stands for Paddy and Ooru means Place. This city, situated on the banks of the Penne River is known for its rich agriculture and has been an exporter of Rice, Sugar cane and cane based products, prawns, shrimps and a varied set of crops.
Distance from Chennai: 174 km
Best Time: October to February
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. Situated nearby the temple town of Chidambaram, Pichavaram can be enjoyed through a boat ride around the 1100 hectare area of the forest, which takes you through narrow canal, breathtaking sceneries and allows you to witness the amazing life forms of the Mangrove tress while adoring the bird life of the forest.
Distance from Chennai: 212 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
Situated in the district of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, the Kaigal fall is nestled amidst the Koundinya Wildlife sanctuary. The Kaigal waterfall derives its name from the village Kaigal, that surrounds it. Locally known as Dumukurallu waterfalls ( a Telugu word used for a sound resembling the sound of falling stones from above), Kaigal falls are perennial. The waterfall is subdivided into three cascading falls and water falls from a height of approximately 40 ft. The water forms several small pools at the bottom.
Distance from Chennai: 223 km