Chennai, I lived 5 years in the 4th largest city of India. This was the best era of my life especially those of SRM University. Fun with a close friend, Tolerating the boring lecture, Bunking the class, having night outs, Bizarre Birthday celebrations were the most unforgettable part of my life. I can say that the charm of my college life can never fade.
There are a lot of tourist places which you can explore near Chennai. So if you’re planning to explore the culture, tradition, and beauty of South India through places like Chennai, make a trip at least for a week. If you don’t want to waste your time searching for tourist places near Chennai within 200 kms, come here straight and follow my tips and experiences.
Best Places To Visit Near Chennai:
Mahabalipuram is also called Mamallapuram or also popular by its nickname Mahabs. The historic city is famous for its temple, ancient sculpture, and beaches. The major attractions in the whole town are Sea Shore Temple, Beach, Krishna’s Butterball, Arjuna’s Penance, and Pancha Rathas.
This place is a perfect gateway to spend a day. The rock-up built architecture with intricate carvings of this place awestruck you here. Besides, Mahabs is also popular for its mouthwatering seafood and leather slippers. Just visit this enchanting place for delightful seafood and comfy shoes.
Every time money doesn’t give happiness but it depends on the way we see it. When we feel nature in its pure form, it gives us happiness more than anything. The overwhelming sight of sunrise, a spectacular sunset, blue waves of the sea, and the white sandy shores of Mahabs just melts your heart. Don’t forget to get lost in the hidden beauty of the Mahabs.
How to Reach Mahabs:
The nearest railway station Chengalpattu has situated 29 km and the 53 km Chennai airport from Mahabs. You can also take a direct bus from Tambaram, Velachery, Koyambedu, Vandalur, and Chengalpattu.
The best time to visit this place from November to February is because of the pleasant days and cool nights. I recommend you to go by ECR route to Mahabs in the early morning to explore the best view.
Location: Mahabalipuram, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
2. Thalankuppam Pier
Thalankuppam Pier is a small fishing hamlet that is popular for its old rusty bridge i.e. broken bridge. It is located around 21km in the extreme North of Chennai city. The Thalankuppam River also called the Kourtaliayaar, Mogathwaram joins the sea here.
I still remembered the best part of the Nettukuppam is where the ocean gushes under your feet and throws up a few specs of salt on your face. I went during the high tides when the water rises to great heights, nearly drenching you. Watching the local fishermen with their day’s catch at the shore is very fantastic but sitting on the bridge during high tides is a little risky. Anyways coming here was like the best adventure for me.
Sitting on the pier, dangling your legs, enjoying the refreshing sea breeze and the spray of cool mist as the waves hit the pier and break into white foam beneath your feet is worth visiting this place and also an ideal place for photography enthusiasts. The most popular Bollywood movie 2 States was also shot at this beautiful and peaceful place. So, if you’re in Chennai just enjoy the allure of a broken bridge.
How to Reach Nettukuppam?
You can reach this place from Chennai railway station, Ennore is the nearest railway station and it takes around 40 to 50 minutes. From Ennore to Nettukuppam it hardly takes 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re on a budget trip you can also take a bus which costs around Rs 4 from Ennore to Nettukuppam. You can also take a direct bus from the high court bus terminus. To avoid all these you can also hire a direct cab from Chennai to Nettukuppam which is slightly expensive if you’re on a high-budget trip.
Location: Thalankuppam Pier, Beach Road, Nettukuppam, Ennore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600057
3. Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls
Tada Falls or Ubbalamdugu Falls is one of the most popular trekking places around Chennai to enjoy the spectacular view of the dense forest and the mesmerizing fall. Tada falls is around 90 km from Chennai situated on the border of Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh.
How To Reach Tada Falls
If I talk about my road trip journey from Chennai, I started my journey early in the morning. After traveling 60 km by car I arrived in Tada around 8 am. There were absolutely no indications there. Then I asked for local people and reached the Tada Falls base camp where I parked my car and started trekking. The distance from Tada to the base camp is about 20 km. The Tada trek route gets steep and requires a strong walk on the rocks. It is quite hard to follow the path. After walking for 30 mins, we reached a Shiva Temple. If you don’t reach Shiva Temple within an hour, you might have lost your way. In case you feel you’ve lost don’t be panic, just follow the stream. It usually takes 3-4 hours to reach the trek but I finished my trek in just 2 hours.
The multiple small streams in the dense forest, breathtaking experience of the fall and the crystal clear waters just pay off every difficulty which I faced during my trek. If you have dared to walk on the difficult rocks and boulders and you’re a trekking lover, you should visit this place. The best time to visit this place is between August to December.
Moreover, you can also go to Tada falls by bus from Chennai. You can take a bus from Koyambedu, Chennai which drops you at Varadaiah Palem, From Varadaiah, Palem to Tada Falls checkpoint is around 8 km. You can hire an auto to reach the beautiful Falls forests checkpoint.
Location: Sri Kalasthi Road, Tada, Nellore District, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
4. Nagalapuram Falls
The beautiful hill station is one of the best adventure spots surrounded by majestic hills and a gurgling waterfall that creates a panoramic view of Nagalapuram hills. Nagalapuram Falls has located around 85 km from Chennai which is serene near Arai village in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.
Nagalapuram hills are like the hidden gemstone behind the lush green forests of Andhra Pradesh lies a tranquil place. Initially, the path is easy to walk, slowly it gets steeper and sloppy too. But you can reach it easily. Don’t get panicked if you‘ve lost your way, you have to just follow the trail. While trekking in the forest you can see several pools brimful with fresh water.
Well, this place is a part of the Eastern Ghats so if you’re lucky enough you can be seen deer, monkeys, porcupines, and rabbits. But be careful with snakes and lizards in the dense forests. This is the best trekking route of 4 km in the forest of Eastern Ghats because of the majestic views of three waterfalls with pristine waters. If you don’t know how to swim, you shouldn’t explore the third waterfall that is too deep. That was one of my lifelong experiences with the Nagalapuram falls.
If you want to cut off from buzzing city life and want to get lost among soft breezes, flourishing trees, and gushing waterfall then you should take an experience of one day trek of Nagalapuram.
Location: Nagalapuram, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh
Located in the Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati houses one of the most-visited pilgrimage locations in India – the Lord Venkateswara Temple, also known as the Tirumala temple. The temple is located on Tirumala, one among the series of seven hills in Tirupati. This temple, also known as the temple of seven hills is incredibly majestic in its appearance and grandeur and sprawls over a whopping 26 km area.
The important thing to remember here if you are visiting the Tirumala temple is that no electronic items are allowed inside the temple premises, including cameras and mobile phones. This automatically makes photography prohibited inside. This was the same picture that I shot outside the main gate. Also, you must follow the dress code while visiting the temple, otherwise, they will not allow you to visit Tirupati Balaji.
Tirupati also has a number of other prominent temples around including the Sri Kalahasti Temple, the ISKCON temple, Sri Govindarajaswami temple, the Kondandarama Temple as well as the Parashurameshwara temple. The abundant spirituality in Tirupati coupled with a geological wonder here – the Silathoranam natural rock arch in the Tirumala Hills will make you crave to come back here again and again.
How to Reach Tirupati
Reaching Tirupati is very convenient as it is connected to all the major cities of India – by rail, road as well as air. The airport in Tirupati is at a distance of 15 km from the main city while the railway station is a little closer. Chennai happens to be the nearest railway junction. You can also avail of the services of a number of luxury buses that connect Tirupati to a number of hotspots around.
Now officially Puducherry is one of the seven Union Territories in India and is a wonderful instance of the remnants of French colonialism. Here Indian sensibilities join hands with French style and this can be observed best along the streets of White Town, the French quarters of Pondy. If you are a foodie, you will definitely fall in love with this place, dotted with pretty cafes and cozy food joints offering delicious French cuisine. If you are visiting Pondicherry, the place you absolutely cannot miss is Auroville, a township that is the perfect example of an amalgamation of harmony, peace, and ‘divine consciousness’.
How to Reach Pondicherry
The location of Pondicherry is such that it is accessible from all the major cities in India via road, rail as well as air. The nearest airport is in Chennai, which is however quite far at a distance of 125 km. The nearest railway station however is just 37 km away, the Villupuram Railway Junction.
If adventure is something you like, Yelagiri can be a good choice for you. This hill station is located in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, and has an altitude of 1410.6 m above sea level. The Yelagiri village is comfortably nestled amongst orchards, lush green valleys, and rose gardens. Dating back to the British colonial era, Yelagiri houses a number of serene hamlets and popular temples. The Swamimalai Hill, the highest point of Yelagiri is a haven for trekkers with a view to die for. The trails here for trekking go winding through thick forest regions and it offers an experience to remember. There are also trails that go through other hills like the Javedi and Palamathi.
How to Reach Yelagiri
Reaching Yelagiri is the easiest via train to Jorpattai and then take a bus for the uphill journey. If you are traveling from Chennai, driving will be the best option.
In a nutshell, now that you have a wonderful list of possible tourist places near Chennai, take your pick and start packing. All these places are a beauty in themselves and will definitely not disappoint the wanderlust within you.