5 Incredible Weekend Destinations From Chennai (2024)
The bustling capital city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu is one of the beautiful towns to visit in South India. Situated on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a 300-year-old city that attracts tourists from all over the world. For people living in Chennai, there is no shortage of weekend destinations from Chennai. All these weekend destinations offer a wide variety of entertainment, excitement, adventure, and natural beauty. So if you are in Chennai and looking to visit some exciting weekend destinations, here’s a look at the top destinations to visit.
5 Incredible Weekend Destinations From Chennai
Not many people know about Pulicat. Located just 55 kilometers from Chennai, the seashore town of Pulicat is famous for the Pulicat Lake, which is the second-largest brackish water body in India. You may be wondering what is there to see in Pulicat? The town is also home to the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, which draws birds from all over, including flamingos, grey pelicans, open billed storks, and painted storks. Pulicat is a favorite destination for photographers, birdwatchers, and nature lovers, who throng to this small town during the annual Flamingo Festival that celebrates the arrival and nesting of these exotic migratory birds. Image Source
How far away is Pulicat from Chennai? It is an easy two-hour drive from Chennai by road to reach Pulicat. Located in the Thiruvallur district, Pulicat is a popular weekend destination from Chennai as many people prefer to plan an adventurous trip to the sanctuary, while others prefer the destination for a romantic weekend getaway. It is also a fun day trip with friends and family.
This small seashore town is a beautiful showcase for Dutch architecture, and you will find the breathtaking aesthetics reflected in its old buildings, churches, and tombs. Pulicat is also an important seaport and commercial hub of Tamil Nadu.
The Pulicat Lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by the island of Sriharikota, which is the famous rocket launching center of India. The Pulicat Lake holds something for everyone. When is the best time to visit Pulicat? The best time to visit this town is during October, which is the peak mating season for birds, and you are likely to spot a wide variety of birds at this time.
Located just 58 kilometers from Chennai, Bodinayakkanur is a small town in Theni is famous for its natural beauty. The city is situated at 1,158 feet, which makes for enjoyable weather round the year. What is Bodinayakkanur famous for? The city is famous for its many spice plantations. It is also known as the Cardamom capital of India.
Bodinayakkanur is known for its lush forests and picturesque steep-cut rocky mountains. India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, called this beautiful town as ‘South Kashmir.’
When is the best time to visit Bodinayakkanur? The best time to visit Bodinayakkanur is from October to March. Though the weather remains pleasant round the year, the monsoon months and peak-summer months are best avoided.
Situated at 53 kilometers away from Chennai, Mahabalipuram is a favorite weekend getaway from the capital city. The city is known for its beautifully carved temples and rock-cut caves. It is also referred to as Mamallapuram. This historically important and famous tourist destination is located on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal and was known as being the abode of the renowned demon King Mahabali.
This ancient town of Mamallapuram is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Five Rathas and Shore Temple. The city also has a unique Crocodile Bank, which houses numerous species of crocodiles and alligators.
The beach resorts of Sadras and Kovalam make Mahabalipuram an attractive weekend getaway from Chennai.
Popularly known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, Kanchipuram is located 72 kilometers from Chennai. What is Kanchipuram famous for? The city is famous for its Kanchipuram silk sarees. This popular tourist destination, often abbreviated only to Kanchi, attracts tourists from all over the world.
Kanchipuram is also a cultural and religious hub for Hindus all over the world. The city is home to the renowned Kanchi Kamakshi Temple, which is dedicated to the Goddess Kamakshi, a form of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Another famous temple is the Kailasanathar Temple, which is known for its magnificent Dravidian architecture. There’s also the Ekambeshwarar Temple, which is the biggest, highest, and most impressive temple in the city. Dating back to the Pallava period, the temple is spread over 40 acres and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam or the Kanchu Mutt is famous for holding South Indian classical music and dance concerts in the evenings.
Many people head to Kanchipuram from Chennai over the weekend to worship at the many beautiful temples this city is known for. So when is the best season to visit Kanchipuram? Well, from October to March is the best time to visit this temple town. Monsoon season begins in June and continues well into September, and it is not advisable to visit during this time as it becomes difficult to tour the city freely.
Close to Mahabalipuram, the town of Vedanthangal is a popular weekend destination from Chennai. Many people are usually not aware of this hidden gem of a city. So what is Vedanthangal known for? Vedanthangal is best known for its namesake bird sanctuary. The sanctuary and a compact water tank is spread over 30 hectares and is home to over 30,000 birds that flock here during every migratory season.
The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is home to numerous birds, including storks, herons, spoonbills, egrets, and ibises. The sanctuary is protected by the local population of the area for centuries now as they benefit from the bird droppings that fall into the water tank and make the water a natural fertilizer for the plantations around.
The Vedanthangal is the oldest water bird sanctuary in India and definitely worth visiting when you are in Chennai.
The coastal city of Chennai has much to offer to tourists and locals alike. Not only are there many things to do and see in Chennai, but there are a large number of places you can visit over the weekend from Chennai. All these weekend getaways from Chennai offer a unique experience and will be well worth the trip.