Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Auroville
Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry is one of the most popular destinations for a weekend trip from Chennai. The relaxing nature of the beachside town and many chic cafes is what attracts those in Chennai. The streets of the French Quarter of Pondicherry, are dotted with charming mustard-yellow colonial structures with bougainvillaea laden walls. One can reach Pondicherry from Chennai by train or take a car for a scenic drive.
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 near Chennai. While primarily a pilgrimage town, picnickers also flock here for a short trip away from Chennai. The serenity of the beautiful white sandy beaches dotted with casuarina trees is a highlight of Mahabalipuram. One can reach Mahabalipuram by local or private buses or by private taxi from Chennai.
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. For those looking for a rejuvenating weekend trip from Chennai, this holy town is highly recommended on our list.
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 destination. 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. Using local transport such as buses or the train is the best way to get to Kanchipuram from Chennai.
Distance from Chennai: 72 km
Best Time: October to May
Known For : Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary Karikili Bird Sanctuary
Lying close to the 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. Avid photographers and bird watchers flock here, especially on weekends making it a popular spot for a weekend trip from Chennai. Vedanthangal is best reached by road from Chennai via a car.
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 for Srikalahasti temple. This temple is one of the most important Shiva temples of South India which was built during the ancient Pallava dynasty. Showcasing brilliant Dravidian architecture, this religious site is visited by hoards of devotees daily. The best way to reach Srikalahasti from Chennai is to take a private taxi.
Distance from Chennai: 120 km
Best Time: July to March
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 a beautiful attraction which one of the popular destinations for a weekend trip from Chennai. The complex river system and canal network lend it a beautiful aesthetic and support the rich biodiversity of the forest. Pichavaram can be enjoyed through a boat ride around the 1100 hectare area of the forest, which takes you through a narrow canal, breathtaking sceneries and allows you to observe the sprawling wildlife. Pichavaram is best reached by road from Chennai by hiring a private taxi.
Distance from Chennai: 212 km
Hidden within the lush green forests of Andhra Pradesh lies a serene and tranquil 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 with family. The flourishing trees and gushing waterfalls are particularly attractive during the rainy season. One can go short hikes and treks while here and also have a fun picnic as well. Nagalapuram is best reached by road via private vehicle or by hiring a taxi.
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, Kaigal falls are perennial. The waterfall is subdivided into three cascading falls and the water falls from a height of approximately 40 ft. The water forms several small pools at the bottom where visitors enjoy bathing and indulging in light water games. Kaigal Falls is best reached form Chennai by road by hiring a taxi or a private vehicle.
Distance from Chennai: 223 km