Chennai is practically a treasure trove of the most visit-worthy destinations, not just within its city limits but also when it comes to getaways. Nature trails, historical sites, beaches, or pilgrimage; whichever travel itch you have, there are multiple spots within 300 kilometres of Chennai you can visit to take a break and feel rejuvenated. Check out the best 15 places around Chennai to explore.
Tourist Places Near Chennai within 300 kilometres
1. Arignar Anna Zoological Park
A great nature park in Vandalur to observe a variety of species of birds and animals. Spot zebra, giraffe, leopards, bears, hippos and otters. The best way to explore the zoo is through a buggy trip with a guide. This spot is ideal for nature and animal enthusiasts.
Distance from Chennai: 40 kilometres
Dive deep into the natural wonders of Pulicat near Chennai. It has a beautiful lake called Pulicat Lake where you can go boating and watch flamingos in their natural habitat here.
There are a variety of other species of birds here too. Other places of interest are Dutch cemetery and fort, and two villages nearby Veduru Pattu and Nelapattu.
Distance from Chennai: 55 kilometres
Also known as Mahabs, this world famous heritage site is known for its 7th-century ancient shore temples. Mahabalipuram has etched its name in history for its marvellous Chariot shaped temples the Five Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butter Ball, man-made caves and Mamallapuram lighthouse.
Apart from marvelling at these ancient structures, you can enjoy touring around the village of Mahabalipuram, and indulge in water sports at its beach.
Distance from Chennai: 60 kilometres
The temples of Kanchipuram are popular for their architecture and design. Visit Ekambareshwar Temple, Kailasanatha Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Varadharaja Perumal Temple.
Shop for Kanchipuram silk sarees which are famous for their traditional craftsmanship. You can also go bird watching at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary.
Distance from Chennai: 72 kilometres
A lush and green village, Nagalapuram is famous for its magnificent waterfalls. One can go trekking through its scenic trails and enjoy chilling in its many pools and streams.
An ideal adventure trip and a great opportunity to take beautiful pictures.
Distance from Chennai: 92 kilometres
Tirupati or Tirumala is the nation’s most visited pilgrimage city. The ancient temple every pilgrim wishes to visit once in their life is called Tirumala Temple.
Other interesting temples to visit in Tirupati are Sri Varahaswami Temple, Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple and ISKCON Tirupati.
Distance from Chennai: 135 kilometres
Visit this laidback, French colonial city of many delights. Walk on the cobblestone street of the French quarter, pay a visit to the town of Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram, explore the beautiful churches of Pondicherry, or just bask in the hippie culture of the town.
Distance from Chennai: 162 kilometres
An important centre of historical wars, Vellore is famous for Vellore Fort, a fine specimen of the state’s military resilience. It is fully made of granite stone and has a temple inside called Jalakanteshwara, an interesting example of Vijayanagar architectural style.
Other attractions of Vellore are Clock Tower and Srilakshmi Golden Temple.
Distance from Chennai: 140 kilometres
Nellore is an ancient town filled with surprisingly good tourist spots. Pay a visit to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Nellore, Udaygiri Fort, Somasila Dam and relax at Mypadu Beach near Nellore.
Distance from Chennai: 177 kilometres
Located near Pondicherry, Cuddalore has many gems to explore. Visit Pichavaram Forest to explore its clean shallow waters and luscious mangroves , pay a visit to Devanathaswamy Temple, and stroll on the sands of Silver Beach.
Distance from Chennai: 180 kilometres
A traditional, small holy town, Tiruvannamalai is famous for Sri Ramana Ashram, a famous spiritual centre after a great Indian saint and Arunachaleshwara Temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hike to Virupaksha Caves, a calm and peaceful place where Sri Ramana meditated.
Distance from Chennai: 200 kilometres
This is a quiet little town tucked away in peaceful hills. The most exciting spots to visit in Yelagiri are Yelagiri Hills and Swamimalai Hills, ideal for trekking and camping. You can also go boating in Nilavoor Lake. Adventure enthusiasts can go ziplining in Thrill Valley. Also, visit Punganoor artificial lake for some quiet time in nature.
Distance from Chennai: 230 kilometres
13. Horsley Hills
A less-explored area, Horsley Hills is an ideal place to go on a road trip, hiking, trekking and adventure activities. The pleasant climate of the region is ideal for a lazy weekend.
Distance from Chennai: 280 kilometres
Known as the ‘village of dancing waves’ this charming little town has wondrous sights to offer. Take a trip to the spectacular Danish Fort, followed by Dansborg Fort and the Danish Governor’s Bungalow. Check out the restored temple that was destroyed by the Tsunami, the Masilamani Nathar Temple. Take a tour of the Danish Museum inside Fort Dansborg.
Distance from Chennai: 280 kilometres
Another historically rich town also known for its thick coffee, Kumbakonam is a good trip to take on any day. Its most famous attraction is the Airavatesvara Temple, known for its exquisite carvings of the Chola period. Also visit the Sarangapani Temple, the Uppiliappan Temple, Suriyanar Koil Temple, Patteeswaram Temple.
Distance from Chennai: 297 kilometres
Enjoy visiting all these quaint, beautiful, historical and picturesque cities and spots around Chennai. They make for a great weekend getaway and day-long trips. If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment box below.