Chennai has been an important city since ancient times. And the people living in this busy city deserve a break. I have compiled a list of 15 best places to visit around Chennai to help you plan the vacation you deserve.
1) Chettinad :
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Chettinad is a beautiful little town which is the ancestral birthplace for the clan of Chettiars, the wealthiest merchants of Tamil Nadu. The town of Chettinad is known for its many museums and antique shops.
Distance from Chennai : 360 kilometers.
Things to do in Chettinad :
- Indulge in the extravagant cuisine of Chettinad.
- Shop for antique items in the town’s famous antique stores.
Places to visit in Chettinad :
- Kamban Mani Mandapam
- Athmanatha Swamy temple
2) Mudumalai :
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Mudumalai is a beautiful forest reserve which is located between Bandipur and Anamalai wildlife sanctuaries. Mudumalai is renowned for its elephant habitat. The river Moyar bestowns life to Mudumalai by flowing through it.
DIstance from Chennai : 560 kilometers.
Things to do in Mudumalai :
- Visit the elephant camp and interact with the gentle giants.
- Learn the medicinal properties of the medical herbs which are found in this area.
- Trek the mountains.
3) BR hills :
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BR hills are located at the converging point of the eastern and the western ghats. Owning to the unique geographical conditions, BR hills has a diverse array of flora and fauna. This place is recommended to anyone who wishes to reconnect with the allure of nature.
Distance from Chennai : 505 kilometers.
Things to do in BR hills :
- Bird watching.
- Jungle safari.
Places to visit in BR hills :
- BR hills tiger reserve.
- Lord Rangaswamy temple.
4) Mahabalipuram :
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Mahabalipuram is a beautiful and a relaxed town famous for its ancient monuments and archaeological wonders. Due to this, Mahabalipuram has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. The rock carvings in Mahabalipuram are praised for its iconic craftsmanship.
Distance from Chennai : 50 kilometers.
Things to do in Mahabalipuram :
- Indulge in spa treatments.
- Try the different water sports in the nearby beach.
Places to visit in Mahabalipuram :
- Windswept shore temple.
- Five rathas.
- Krishna mandapa.
5) Nellore :
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The city of Nellore is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh near the Tamil Nadu border. The people of Nellore speak in a language that is the mix of both Tamil and Telugu. The city of Nellore has existed since the Mauryan empire and as such it has strong ancient roots.
Distance from Chennai : 175 kilometers.
Things to do in Nellore :
- Bird watching.
- Indulge in spicy Nellore cuisine.
Places to visit in Nellore :
- Nelapattu bird sanctuary.
- Udayagiri fort.
6) Mysore :
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The beautiful city of Mysore is fondly remembered as the city of Palaces. This ancient city has a history dating from 600 years. Mysore is also the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka. Mysore is famous for its silk and sandalwood production. The kings of the yesteryear of Mysore built extravagant palaces which retain the ancient architecture to this day.
Distance from Chennai : 480 kilometers.
Things to do in Mysore :
- Royal walk tours.
Places to visit in Mysore :
- Mysore palace.
- Jagmohana palace.
- Rajendra vilas.
7) Coorg :
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The beautiful hill station of Coorg is located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. Surrounded by the lap of nature, Coorg paints a mesmerizing portrait of the beauty of mother nature. Housing many waterfalls and scenic viewpoints, Coorg is beloved by tourists all over.
Distance from Chennai : 600 kilometers.
Things to do in Coorg :
- White water rafting.
- Frolic with the elephants in Dubare elephant camp.
- Taste the local homemade wine.
Places to visit in Coorg :
- Abbey falls.
- Harangi reservoir.
8) Nagarhole :
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Nagarhole national reserve is located in Mysore district in the state of Karnataka. The lush green forests of Nagarhole provide a safe sanctuary for the animals and birds. Kabini lake breathes life to this national park as its source of water.
Distance from Chennai : 560 kilometers.
Things to do in Nagarhole :
- Go on jungle safaris.
9) Meghamalai :
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Meghamalai, also known as the “high wavy mountains”, is located in the scenic western ghats. This place has been blessed with an abundance of beauty. This place is visited by people who crave to spend time among the lap of nature amidst panoramic scenery.
Distance from Chennai : 545 kilometers.
Things to do in Meghamalai :
- Jungle safari.
Places to visit in Meghamalai :
- Meghamalai wildlife sanctuary.
10) Pondicherry :
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The town of Pondicherry was once a French colony and an important trade route in the bay of bengal. This laid back town retains its feel from being a French colony. Pondicherry is one of the most famous vacation destinations due to its laid back nature and beautiful beaches.
Distance from Chennai : 160 kilometers.
Things to do in Pondicherry :
- Experience the different water sports.
- Indulge in ayurvedic massages.
- Learn yoga from the ashrams.
Places to visit in Pondicherry :
- Shri Aurobindo ashram
- Immaculate conception cathedral.
- Sacred Heart Basilica
12) Tirupati :
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Tirupati houses the ancient temple of Lord Venkateshwara atop the seven hills. This temple is one of the major shrines for Hindus. This city in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is a well known and a very popular pilgrimage center. More than a million people visit this shrine every year.
Distance from Chennai : 135 kilometers.
Things to do in Tirupati :
- Explore the various ancient monuments in the city.
Places to visit in Tirupati :
- Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala.
- Papikondalu waterfalls.
13) Yercaud :
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Yercaud is a sleepy hill station in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. It has been abundantly blessed with an ample amount of beautiful scenic viewpoints. The diverse flora and fauna of Yercaud grant a mystical and an ethereal feel to it.
Distance from Chennai : 360 kilometers.
Things to do in Yercaud :
Places to visit in Yercaud :
- Yercaud lake.
- Pagoda point.
- Yercaud and Kiliyur waterfalls.
14) Ooty :
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The cosy hill station of Ooty is very famous due to its vast green and luscious countrysides. The neighbourhood of Ooty is renowned for its brilliant tea estates. The quiet atmosphere of this magical wonderland has the ability to restore peace to human minds.
Distance from Chennai : 550 kilometers.
Things to do in Ooty :
- Indulge in the finest tea grown locally.
Places to visit in Ooty :
- Botanical gardens.
- Stephens church.
- Tribal research center museum.
- Nilgiri library.
15) Kodaikanal :
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Kodaikanal is an ultra famous honeymoon destination renowned for its poetic beauty and magical bliss that one can experience in the surrounding scenery. The numerous waterfalls surrounding Kodaikanal enhances the mystical vibe and grants serenity to everyone that visits this place.
Distance from Chennai : 520 kilometers.
Things to do in Kodaikanal :
Places to visit in Kodaikanal :
- Pillar rocks.
- Bryant park.
- Berijam lake.
- Bear Shola falls.
- Silver cascade.