February 28th, 2019 by Garusha Katoch

What makes Chennai a traveller’s paradise?

The fact that it is not only a perfect getaway in itself with a number of sanctuaries, beaches and heritage sites, but it spoils you for choice when you seek some respite from the city life.

With a number of pilgrim sites, heritage centres, sun-kissed beaches, even hill stations close to the coastal city, your weekends will never be the same.

Here are some of these perfect weekend getaways from Chennai within 300 kms, so you always have interesting stories to share on Mondays.

  1. Chittoor(160 km away)
  2. Tirupati (133 km away)
  3. Yercaud (366 km away)
  4. Horsley Hills (260 km away)
  5. Tranquebar (270 km away)
  6. Kanchipuram  (75 km away)
  7. Pulicat (88 km away)
  8. Mahabalipuram  (55 km away)
  9. Pondicherry  (160 km away)
  10. Yelagiri  (227 km away)


1. Chittoor

Chittoor doesn’t have only one reason to explore, it has several. The beautiful landscapes and amazing historic significance. The world’s richest temple is situated in Chittoor district. Let yourself free from the mind and experience the beautiful district of Chittoor.

Places to visit in Chittoor

There are many beautiful and amazing places to visit, starting from Nagari hills covered with tall trees and green surroundings, fresh air and soothing smell of mud. Other places are, Mogili, Ramagiri, Sri Venkateswara Temple, Gurramkanda Fort, Kaundriya wildlife sanctuary, Kalavagunta and many more.

Things to do in Chittoor

You can visit the famous Sri Venkateswara temple, beautiful sculptures and a day in the lap of spirituality. You can relax your mind from the day to day life and this place will definitely give you positive thoughts and positive energy. If you are a lover of wildlife then you should visit Kaundriya Wildlife Sanctuary, great experience seeing amazing animals. Drive yourself to the history as well, visit Gurramkanda Fort to relive some historic adventures. Next stop should be in the lap of nature, the chirping of the birds, the silence as the trees try to speak to you, the sound of the air in this fresh atmosphere will definitely mesmerize you.

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2. Tirupati

Time to go spiritual, if you have believed in archaeology and lover of history then you must visit this famous temple of Tirupati. Tirupati is one of the most important temples, millions of people come to visit this beautiful temple with its rich cultural history and architecture as well.

Places to visit in Tirupati

One of the greatest pilgrims In India, Tirupati is the paradise of pilgrims. The architecture and the spiritual believe is really amazing. There are several place to visit this spiritually rich place such as Talakona Waterfalls, TTD Gardens, Sri Vari Museum, Deer Park, Sri Govindarajaswani Temple, Kanipakam and many more.

Things to do in Tirupati

As said Tirupati is the paradise of pilgrims, so starting with the spirituality factor. You will find a great number of amazing temples with their great histories and the beautiful architecture. You can explore the history with ease at the Sri Vari Museum. Relive the past and the beautiful history with the antiques kept at the museum. Going forward will take you to the lush green surroundings, TTD Gardens and the Talakona Waterfalls. Other than this never miss the chance of buying Kalambari Fabric. You can take Religious Souvenirs, The black and wooden replicas of Lord Tirumala is the most famous one.

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3. Yercaud

Who doesn’t want to spend time in the lap of nature? Beautiful mountains, blue lakes and lots of lush green surroundings. Pure and fresh air touching your skin and making you relax in this amazing atmosphere. Yercaud is one of the hill stations which exactly gives you that experience.

Places to visit in Yercaud

In this beautiful and mesmerizing place, there are lots of more spots to visit. It would be so amazing to visit a temple on the top of the hill, the beautiful Rose garden, Botanical Garden. Never miss the waterfall, which will give the most relaxing moment, through the voice of the water gushing fast in this silent green atmosphere. The Kiliyur Falls will give you the exact experience. There are many more places to visit such as Big Lake, Kaladiyur Point and many more.

Things to do in Yercaud

You can have a one day picnic near the Kiliyur Waterfalls under the silence of nature and the sound of the water gushing, so beautiful and fresh isn’t it! Take a drive to the 32km Loop Road to view the amazing tea and coffee plantations and witness the fresh lush green valleys. You can explore the Silk farm and Rosegarden and if you have the passion in History then you must visit Kottachedu Teak Forest. Shop from the best Textile and handloom shops and get some fresh spices from the local market.

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4. Horsley Hills

Get ready to visit the paradise in the lap of Nature. Tall trees, wet forest, lush green surroundings and the waterfalls within it. The sunset and the mountains, the beautiful valleys with the amazing wildlife will definitely make you mesmerize.

Places to visit in Horsley Hills

You will find a lot of amazing places and area to capture your moment and make your mind relax, away from the hustle- bustle of the city. Let’s get to know the number of places, so the places are, Old Enugu Mallamma Temple, Horsley Hills Zoo, Kaigal Falls, View Point, Gali Bandalu and many more.

Things to do in Horsley Hills

Starting with the spiritual part, Old Enugu Mallamma Temple, the best thing is that it is situated at the top of the hill. Legends are attached to this temple and it is the most ancient temple in the Horsley Hills. Moving on to the Amazing Wildlife that is Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, then coming to the mesmerizing waterfalls. The best scene is that in the silence when the sound of the water comes to your ears, the fresh and soothing energy just runs through your body. There is one place called the ‘Viewpoint’ from where you can see the whole view of the sunset and the beautiful forests, the foggy weather, looks like the clouds are on the ground.

5. Tharangambadi

Are you a lover of architectural and heritage buildings, if yes then this place is surely for you. The amazing architecture and the sculptured buildings, apart from that it is referred to as the ‘dancing waves’ with the beautiful waves coming through. You will come to know about the cultural history of this beautiful place.

Places to visit in Tranquebar

India’s only Danish Colony, in the past it was one of the important ports for the trade. You will find the traces of the past and amazing places to visit to as it is situated near the sea side, this makes this place more beautiful. Places which you can visit such as, Fort Dansborg, Masilamani Nathar Temple, New Jerusalem Church, Maritime Museum and many more.

Things to do In Tranquebar

This place is filled with the treasures of the amazing history in our Indian land. You will find many beautiful stories of history, starting from the Fort Dansborg, this place is filled with Danish history and what makes it more beautiful is that it is near the beach. So you can see the beautiful sunset while cherishing history. Masilamani Nathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is from the Pandian Era, the architecture is really awesome of all the structures. You can go to the famous Jerusalem Church and see the beautiful carvings.

6. Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram - Best weekend getaway from Chennai within 100kms

Famously called the ‘Golden City of Thousand Temples’, Kanchipuram is a hotspot for tourists seeking a spiritual awakening.

Places to Visit in Kanchipuram:  Explore the ancient and architecturally brilliant temple of Kanchipuram on your visit. The Kanchi Kamakshi Temple and the Kailasanathar Temple reflect the architectural influences of the Pallava period. Sprawling over 40 acres is the Ekambeshwarar Temple, the largest in the temple in the city.

Things to do in Kanchipuram: If you have time, engage in bird watching at the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. Surrounded by lush green trees, the sanctuary shelters many migratory birds like the sandpiper, white ibis, and spoonbill.

Heard of the famous Kanchipuram Saris? This is where the fine fabric is made. Visit the silk factory to watch the making of this fabric right from the beginning.

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7. Pulicat

Pulicat - One of the best weekend getaway from Chennai within 100kms

A historic seashore town on the Bay of Bengal, Pulicat offers a mesmerizing scenic view to the visitors. With hordes of flamingos flocking to town, it sees a high number of tourists to witness its natural beauty.

Places to visit in Pulicat: The Pulicat Lake is the second largest lagoon in the country offering asylum to many exotic birds in the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. Flowing through the charming valleys and cutting edge with a technological hotspot of Sriharikota, the Pulicat Lake has something for everyone. You can enjoy a nice picnic by the lagoon here as the sanctuary birds fly and chirp overhead.

Another key attraction is the Dutch cemetery for those interested in history and culture. Though the cemetery is locked, the gatekeeper is usually around and opens upon request. The well-preserved inscriptions on the tombs and the different crests are worth seeing.

Things to Do in Pulicat: There are a number of activities in the township to pump up your adrenaline. Enjoy boating on the waters of the lake. To make it even exciting, ride in the traditional fishermen boats. The region also has some trails for the trekkers.

If you are a foodie, do taste scrumptious seafood in the eating stalls and joint around the area.

Mark the end of your visit by watching the sunset over the lake while a silhouette of birds makes a postcard-worthy scene in front of your eyes.

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8. Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram - one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai within 100 kms

With its fascinating architecture, rock-cut caves and ancient history, Mahabalipuram is an ideal place, especially for history lovers and art aficionados.

Places to visit in Mahabalipuram: To unveil the town’s rich history, visit the Shore Temple. Built in the 7th century, is one of the oldest South Indian temples exhibiting a Dravidian influence in its architecture. It comprises of three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, this temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and should be on your travel itinerary.

To witness another Pallava marvel, head to the Five Rathas (Panch Rathas). These set of rock temples are an excellent example of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. Also, visit the monolithic rock carvings on the Arjuna’s Penance.

Beach lovers can head to the Mahabalipuram beach to relax in the waters of the Bay of Bengal.

Things to do in Mahabalipuram: Adventure seekers can enjoy surfing at Mahabalipuram Beach. To get your dose of adrenaline, do visit the Madras Crocodile Bank. If you are lucky, you may spot a family of turtles here as well.

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9. Pondicherry

Pondicherry - one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai within 300 kms

While your plans of visiting Cannes are in the pipeline, pack bags for the French Riviera of the East: Pondicherry. This former French colony is a quaint town with remnants of its historic past and comes close to giving you an insight of the French culture.

Places to Visit in Pondicherry:  With a number of churches and beaches, Pondicherry is rich in key attractions. If you like the hippie vibe of Goa, Auroville is the place to be. The township promotes the concept of unity. The highlight of the settlement is the Matri Mandir.

To see the epitome of the French architecture in India, pay a visit to White Town. It is a well-planned area with European style streets and trees of bougainvillea. Ever seen those rustic images against a sunflower-yellow wall on Instagram? Those are from the White Town too!

If you are a beach bum, head to the Paradise Beach. The beauty of the beach lies in its isolation from the main town. You have to take a ferry ride across the backwaters to reach this paradise of nature.

Things to Do in Pondicherry: Pamper your body to the Yoga Sessions at Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Take a stroll through the streets to marvel at the finery of the town’s architecture. Enjoy a nice French meal at the famous cafes of Pondicherry. Take a slow walk on the calm and beautiful Seaside Promenade as the sea lightly sprays your feet.

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10. Yelagiri

Yelagiri - one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai within 300 kms

This unconventional hill-station offers the much-needed respite from the heat of the coastal city. Not as developed as Ooty, but Yelagiri is abundant in natural beauty. The drive to the town is marked by a picturesque landscape. As the hills get closer, the city starts to fade little by little. Once you reach the town, the first thing you will notice is its quietness. So, if you seek some ‘me time’, Yelagiri is the perfect destination.

Places to Visit in Yelagiri: While it may seem much different than the other hill stations, it does have quintessential features of one. From viewpoints to lakes, Yelagiri has it all. With a fountain adding to its charm, the Punganoor Lake is one of the most famous attractions of Yelagiri. The tranquil surroundings of the lake make for a pleasant experience of its visitors. You can collect your thoughts here to the sound of water or take a boat ride across the waters. A short trek from the lake will lead you to the famous Swami Malai Hills that offer a spectacular view of the valley.

Enjoy a walk in the Nature Park near Punganoor Lake. Spread over 12 acres, the park is abundant in exquisite floral species. An artificial cascading waterfall, a multicolored musical fountain, fish aquarium and a bamboo house are also within the park confines.

Things to Do in Yelagiri: Get your adrenaline rush at the Yelagiri Adventure Camp. Enjoy trekking, rock climbing, hiking and paragliding at this tourist hub.

Take a 5 km trek to the cascading Jalagamparai Falls. Get in touch with spirituality at the Velavan Temple, Murugan Temple, and the Moksha Vimochana Temple.

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Where are you headed this weekend from Chennai? Let us know in the comments below. Happy weekend!

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About Garusha Katoch

A journalist by education, a writer by passion and a film buff by night. When I am not offering an insight into the many treasure troves of your favorite travel destinations, I like to get my dose of Truffaut and Resnais. You can catch me in quaint cafes finishing my latest book or transforming every thing that happens in a moment into ink.