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10 Places to Visit Near Chennai

Chennai, the vibrant capital city of Tamil Nadu, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, bustling streets, and beautiful beaches. While Chennai itself has much to offer, there are also numerous captivating destinations nearby that are worth exploring. In this article, we will delve into the enchanting places to visit near Chennai, each with its unique attractions and experiences. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or adventure seeker, these destinations have something to offer for everyone.

Places to Visit Near Chennai

Let’s embark on a journey to discover the hidden gems near Chennai that are waiting to be explored. Here are some of the top destinations:

1. Mahabalipuram: Where History Meets the Shoreline

Located just 60 Kilometers south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram is a historical treasure trove that boasts stunning rock-cut temples and intricately carved sculptures. This UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you back in time with its rich Dravidian architecture. Explore the famous Shore Temple, marvel at the Pancha Rathas (Five Rathas), and witness the exquisite sculptures at Arjuna’s Penance. Don’t forget to spend some serene moments at Mahabalipuram Beach, watching the waves crash against the shore.

2. Pondicherry: The French Riviera of the East

A three-hour drive from Chennai will transport you to Pondicherry, a former French colony that exudes a unique blend of Indian and French cultures. Stroll along the picturesque Promenade Beach, explore the charming French Quarter with its colonial architecture, and visit the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram for spiritual solace. Indulge in delectable French cuisine at quaint cafes and relish the tranquil ambiance of Auroville, an experimental township known for its sustainable practices.

3. Kanchipuram: The City of Thousand Temples

Known as the “City of Thousand Temples,” Kanchipuram is a spiritual haven located around 70 kilometers from Chennai. This sacred city is famous for its silk sarees and architectural wonders. Visit the grand Kamakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Parvati, and marvel at the intricately carved sculptures of Ekambareswarar Temple. Immerse yourself in the divine aura of Varadharaja Perumal Temple and explore the ancient history preserved within the temple walls.

4. Pulicat Lake: A Serene Escape for Birdwatchers

Nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers should not miss the opportunity to visit Pulicat Lake, situated around 60 kilometers north of Chennai. This brackish water lagoon is a haven for migratory birds and offers a breathtaking spectacle during the winter months. Spot flamingos, pelicans, and a wide variety of other avian species as you take a boat ride through the tranquil waters. The nearby Pulicat Bird Sanctuary provides an ideal opportunity to witness the beauty of nature up close.

5. Vellore: A Blend of Heritage and Education

Vellore, located approximately 140 kilometers from Chennai, is a city steeped in history and known for its renowned educational institutions. The star attraction here is the majestic Vellore Fort, a 16th-century granite fortress that stands as a testament to the region’s glorious past. Explore the Jalakandeswarar Temple within the fort premises, renowned for its intricate carvings and architectural brilliance. Don’t miss the Vellore Christian Hospital, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical institutions in India.

6. Yelagiri: A Tranquil Hill Station

Escape the bustling city life and retreat to the serene hill station of Yelagiri, located around 230 kilometers west of Chennai. Nestled amidst lush green valleys and rolling hills, Yelagiri offers breathtaking vistas and a refreshing climate. Trek to the Swamimalai Hilltop to witness a mesmerizing sunrise or indulge in adventurous activities like paragliding and rappelling. Explore the Punganoor Lake and Nature Park, where you can enjoy boating amidst the tranquil surroundings.

7. Gingee Fort: A Marvel of Architectural Brilliance

Gingee Fort, often referred to as the “Troy of the East,” is a historic fortification located approximately 160 kilometers southwest of Chennai. This magnificent fort is renowned for its strategic design and impregnable defenses. Explore the three hilltop citadels, Rajagiri, Krishnagiri, and Chandrayandurg, and marvel at the architectural brilliance of the granaries, temples, and palaces within the fort complex. The panoramic views from the top are truly awe-inspiring.

8. Tirupati: A Sacred Pilgrimage Destination

Tirupati, situated around 150 kilometers northwest of Chennai, is a sacred pilgrimage site and home to the famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. Devotees from all over the world flock to this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. The ornate architecture, spiritual ambiance, and the mesmerizing Tirumala Hills surrounding the temple make it a must-visit destination for the spiritually inclined. Witness the grandeur of the temple during the Brahmotsavam festival, a nine-day extravaganza of colorful processions and religious rituals.

9. Nagalapuram: A Trekker’s Paradise

For adventure enthusiasts seeking a thrilling escapade, Nagalapuram, located approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Chennai, offers an exhilarating trekking experience. Embark on a trek to the Nagalapuram Falls, passing through dense forests, rocky terrains, and picturesque landscapes. The pristine waterfalls and natural pools at the end of the trek provide a refreshing respite, inviting you to take a rejuvenating dip.

10. Chidambaram: Abode of the Cosmic Dancer

Chidambaram, situated around 220 kilometers south of Chennai, is a divine destination steeped in spirituality. The highlight of this town is the ancient Nataraja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as the Cosmic Dancer. Witness the captivating Chidambaram Natyanjali Dance Festival, where classical dancers from all over the country pay homage to Lord Nataraja through mesmerizing performances. Explore the vibrant streets of the town and soak in the spiritual aura that pervades every corner.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: How far is Mahabalipuram from Chennai?
    • A: Mahabalipuram is located approximately 60 kilometers south of Chennai.
  2. Q: What is the specialty of Pondicherry?
    • A: Pondicherry is known for its unique blend of Indian and French cultures, evident in its architecture, cuisine, and overall ambiance.
  3. Q: How many temples are there in Kanchipuram?
    • A: Kanchipuram is known as the “City of Thousand Temples,” indicating the presence of numerous temples in the area.
  4. Q: What makes Pulicat Lake special?
    • A: Pulicat Lake is a brackish water lagoon that serves as a haven for migratory birds, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.
  5. Q: What is the significance of Vellore Fort?
    • A: Vellore Fort is a historic fortress that showcases the architectural brilliance of the past and offers insights into the region’s rich history.
  6. Q: How far is Yelagiri from Chennai?
    • A: Yelagiri is located around 230 kilometers west of Chennai.


The vicinity of Chennai is replete with captivating destinations that offer a diverse range of experiences. From historical marvels to serene hill stations, and from spiritual havens to adventurous escapades, these places near Chennai cater to the interests and preferences of every traveler. So, pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable journey, and unravel the hidden gems that await you in the enchanting places near Chennai.

The post 10 Places to Visit Near Chennai appeared first on TheTravelShots.

This post first appeared on Ladakh – The Best Time To Visit In 2021, please read the originial post: here

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10 Places to Visit Near Chennai


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