5 Superb Weekend Destinations From Madurai (Within 150 Kms) (2020)
Madurai is a major tourist destination in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is a well-known cultural capital of South India, and it is the third-largest city in Tamil Nadu. Not only is Madurai a popular getaway amongst Indian and international tourists, but the places near Madurai are also the perfect mix of hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries, and trekking spots. These tourist places located near Madurai make for an ideal weekend getaway for adventure lovers as well as those looking to take a break from the busy city life. Here are some of the best weekend getaways from Madurai.
5 Superb Weekend Destinations From Madurai (Within 150 Kms)
The Princess of Hill Stations, as Kodaikanal is popularly known, is located 116 kilometers from Madurai. It is an amazing weekend destination from Madurai. What is Kodaikanal known for? This lakeside resort town is a renowned honeymoon destination in India, and it is famous for its beautiful climate, majestic waterfalls, and mist-covered naturally manicured cliffs. All the natural beauty comes together to make for the perfect getaway. What does Kodaikanal mean? Kodaikanal actually means ‘the gift of the forests’ and nestled amidst the lush green Palani Hills. The hill station is surrounded by thick forests all around.
The town is located at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level, and as you look all around, you will realize that Kodaikanal is the perfect place to head to take a much-deserved break from the hustle-bustle of your daily life. Kodaikanal lets you connect with nature once again as you sit back and relax or take a stroll through the dense forests that surround this hill station.
What are the places to visit in Kodaikanal? Some of the best places to see in Kodaikanal include Kodai Lake, Bear Shola Falls, Green Valley view or Suicide Point, Pillar Rocks, Thalaiyar Falls, and Devil’s Kitchen.
What is the best time to visit Kodaikanal? The best time to visit Kodaikanal is in the months of October to June. However, in December and January, the weather tends to be a bit chilly, so remember to pack your woolens. Kodaikanal is a sight to behold in summers as the forest is in full bloom during that time. Summer is also the best time to visit Kodaikanal if you plan to go for trekking. Avoid going to Kodaikanal for trekking in the monsoon season as the hills will remain slippery, and it can be dangerous.
2. Thekkady in Kerala
Many people living in Madurai prefer to venture over to the state of Kerala for the weekend. Located at 138 kilometers from Madurai, Thekkady is a popular weekend getaway for people in Madurai. If you haven’t heard of Thekkady, it is probably because it is known more for its tourist attractions, especially the Periyar National Park. So what is Thekkady famous for? Apart from the Periyar National Park, Thekkady is known for the Periyar Tiger Trail, bamboo rafting, vast stretches of spice gardens, and a variety of adventure sports.
Periyar is India’s largest tiger reserve, and Thekkady offers the perfect way to enjoy a thrilling jungle vacation. What activities can you do in Thekkady? You can begin your weekend by enjoying bamboo rafting in the catchment area of the Mullaiperiyar Dam. Then move on to hiking in the jungles of Thekkady. In fact, not many people are aware that you can also enjoy a night trek in the forests of Periyar. Following the night trek, you can enjoy an early morning boat ride within the Periyar sanctuary. This is one of its kind unique experience as you will be able to spot bison, wild boars, wild elephants, and numerous birds. Another place you can enjoy nearby to the sanctuary is Ankara. This is the best place to enjoy yourself in the lap of nature.
Located just 5 kilometers from the sanctuary is Murikaddy, which is renowned for its spice and coffee plantations. The heady smell of spices greets you as soon as you reach near the plantations. If you want to take in the majestic waterfalls of Thekkady, head to Cellar Kovil from Murikaddy to see the cascades and waterfalls.
While in Thekkady, you can also make a trip to visit the famous Mangala Devi Temple, which is located at an altitude of 1337 meters and is just 15 kilometers from Thekkady. However, this temple is only open at the Chitra Purnima Festival.
When should I visit Thekkady? The months of September to April is the best time to plan a trip to Thekkady. March and April are the dry months, and you can find many animals gathered near the water bodies. If you want to spot the wild animals, then these two months will be the best time to come to Thekkady.
3. Idukki in Kerala
As mentioned above, many residents of Madurai head over to the beautiful getaways in Kerala over the weekend. Located 139 kilometers from Madurai, the town of Idukki in Kerala is a major tourist destination. Commonly known as the Spice Garden of Kerala, Idukki is one of the greenest areas in Kerala. More than half of this nature-rich town is fully covered with forests.
What is Idukki famous for? This lesser-known hill resort town is known for its sprawling tea factories, rubber plantations, beautiful colonial-style bungalows, wildlife sanctuaries, and of course, its lush green forests.
One of the unique attractions of Idukki is the 650 feet long and 550 feet high arched dam that goes across the Kuravan Kurathi Mountain, the largest of its kind in the country. Idukki is also home to Anamudi, which is the highest peak in India south of the Himalayas. The government of Kerala is actively planning to promote eco-tourism in Idukki in the coming years.
What are the main attractions of Idukki? Some of the major tourist spots of Idukki include the Idukki Arch Dam, the Kulamavu Dam, the Hill View Park, Painavu, Anakkara, and Nadukani.
When is the best time to visit Idukki? The best time of the year to head over to Idukki for the weekend is from November to February, the winter season. You can visit this quaint little hill town anytime through the year as it has pleasant weather all around the year. It is best to avoid visiting during the monsoon season as the hill town receives heavy rainfall.
Another lesser-known weekend getaway from Madurai is the city of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. Popularly known as the Metro Port City, Tuticorin is located 150 kilometers from Madurai in the Thoohukudi district. Tuticorin is famously known as the pearl city of India owing to the thriving pearl fishing industry of the town.
What is Tuticorin known for? While Tuticorin is a renowned port town of South India, it is lesser-known as a tourism destination. Nevertheless, you will be surprised to see the beautifully sculpted temples, stunning beaches, and mouth-watering local dishes once you come here. The Beach is one of the most commonly visited tourist spots in the city. With its golden sand and crystal clear waters, you will be surprised to see the stunning shoreline of Tuticorin.
What places to visit in Tuticorin? Some of the top tourist spots in Tuticorin include the Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalugumali, Tuticorin Port, The Beach, Our Lady of Snows Basilica, and the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.
The ideal time to visit this city would be between October and March when the weather is most pleasant. The summer months get very humid, while in the monsoons, the town receives heavy rainfall, and you won’t be able to enjoy the beach in such weather. If you want to catch the renowned Festival of Our Lady of Snows, you can plan a trip around August 5.
5. Munnar in Kerala
Located about 153 kilometers from Madurai, Munnar in Kerala is the perfect weekend destination to head to if you want to get lost amidst the beautiful tea gardens, serene lakes, and the breathtaking beauty of his quaint little hill station.
Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in South India, sitting at an altitude of 1600 meters amidst the Western Ghats. The beauty of the Western Ghats all around Munnar makes for one of the most beautiful holidays you will ever take.
What is Munnar known for? This pretty little hill station is known for its tea plantations, lush green woods and hills all around, blankets of mist coming down from the mountains, and of course, the dizzying peaks all around. Due to this, Munnar is often also referred to as the Kashmir of South India.
Munnar is strategically located on the banks of three rivers – the rivers Nallathanni, Periavaru, and Madupetti. The town is divided into Old Munnar and Munnar. Most guest houses and the central bus station is located in Munnar.
What is there to see in Munnar? Some of the must-see attractions in this hill station are the Eravikulam National Park, tea plantations, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Echo Point, Photo Point, the majestic Atukkad Waterfalls, the Pothamedu View Point, and the Tata Tea Museum.
When to visit Munnar? The best time to visit Munnar for a weekend getaway is in the months of September to March when the weather remains pleasant. Munnar experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season of July and August, so it is best to avoid planning a trip during these months.
Madurai is one of the most tourist-friendly towns in Tamil Nadu. If you are looking to combine some more beautiful spots on your trip, it is a good idea to visit some of these nearby destinations. These weekend getaways from Madurai will prove to be breathtakingly beautiful and offer visitors a mix of everything – from hill stations to lakes to natural beauty and wildlife sanctuaries. So plan your retreat for the upcoming weekend and get away from the busy city life of Madurai.