Mahabalipuram to Chennai Road Trip – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information

Chennai, the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu is spread across an area of around 1189 square kilometers on the Eastern Coastal Plains. The capital city of Tamil Nadu and one of the largest metro cities of the country, Chennai is a city that balances ancient architecture and modern urban trappings. This city is a beautiful amalgamation of cultural extravaganza.

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Why travel from Mahabalipuram to Chennai?

The presence of gleaming beaches, eateries, religious spots such as temples and churches, historical attractions and a lot more makes Chennai worth exploring. When you take a road trip from Mahabalipuram to Chennai, you can enhance your experience by enjoying everything that lies on the way. With a Savaari, you can turn your drive into a fun-filled journey and also customize the trip to your liking, travel time, and budget.

Mahabalipuram to Chennai

Traveling from Mahabalipuram to Chennai by car

The road from Mahabalipuram to Chennai is considered to be one of the most popular ones in the state. The route runs parallel to the East Coast and offers uninterrupted views of the Bay of Bengal. Along the way, you will pass through places like the Great Salt Lake, Nemmeli, Kovalam, Kelambakkam and Palavakkam, of course depending on the route you take. With our completely customizable Mahabalipuram to Chennai trip packages, you can stop at any of these places and do a quick sightseeing. Let us help you discover the best routes to travel by car.

Mahabalipuram to Chennai Road Trip

Best time to visit

Sitting right on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai experiences a coastal climate. The summers are generally hot and humid. Hence, the winter and monsoon months are the most popular time to travel to Chennai by road. So, the best time to travel from Mahabalipuram to Chennai is between November and March.

Popular routes from Mahabalipuram to Chennai

Route 1: Distance and time taken from Mahabalipuram to Chennai via East Coast Road

This is the shortest, fastest, and best route to travel from Mahabalipuram to Chennai. The traffic on this route is quite light and there are no major road closures. The distance between Mahabalipuram to Chennai on this route is somewhere around 57 KM and takes roughly one and half hours. Always check live maps and instant traffic updates for the latest information on the road conditions.

Here’s the basic route map from Mahabalipuram to Chennai –

Mahabalipuram > Devaneri > Pattipulam > Krishnankaranai >Perur > Thiruvidanthai > Kovalam > Chennai
Mahabalipuram to Chennai route 1

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

Thiruvidanthai Beach
Thiruvidanthai Beach
  • The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, Vada Nemelli – A reptile zoo and crocodile sanctuary/breeding center with feeding tours and night safari options, good for a day tour.
  • Thiruvidanthai Beach, Thiruvidanthai – A local beach offering endless views of the Bay of Bengal, good for a refreshing break or watching sunsets.
  • Dakshinachitra Museum, Muthukadu – An open-air, living-history museum, dedicated to ancient Dravidian art, culture, traditions and religious heritage, good for a day tour.

[Also read: Guide to Chennai’s beaches: Tourist attractions for all travellers]

Places to eat along this route:

  • Melting Pot Market Café – A chain restaurant famous for fondue-style food, good for brunch/lunch, families and kids, big groups.
  • The Reef, Vadanemelli – Fine dining restaurant inside Sheraton Grand hotel, offering multi cuisine brunch, lunch, and dinner buffets.
  • Kadal Kitchen, Alamaram Bus Stop – Casual restaurant serving seafood specialties and other meal options, good for lunch and dinner, family-friendly.
  • Sangeetha Veg Restaurant, Muthukadu – Standard highway restaurant serving vegetarian meals, good for families and big groups.

Mahabalipuram to Chennai Road Condition via route 1:

The road conditions on route 1 from Mahabalipuram to Chennai are excellent. There is usually less traffic with some tolls on the way, but there are no road closures.

Route 2: Distance and time taken from Mahabalipuram to Chennai Via NH32

This is an alternative route for traveling from Mahabalipuram to Chennai. This route is about 10 KM longer than the previous one but takes about the same amount of time. There are also tolls on this route. The distance from on this route is about 80 KM and takes almost two hours. Always use live maps to check for road closures or check for other traffic updates while traveling.

Here’s the basic route map from Mahabalipuram to Chennai along this route:

Mahabalipuram > Devaneri > Pattipulam > Krishnankaranai > Perur > Thiruvidanthai > Kelambakkam > Kandigai > Vandalur > Chennai
Mahabalipuram to Chennai route 2

Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Center for Herpetology, Vada Nemmeli – A reptile zoo and crocodile sanctuary/breeding center with feeding tours and night safari options, good for a day tour.
  • Thiruvidanthai Beach, Thiruvidanthai – A local beach offering endless views of the Bay of Bengal, good for a refreshing break or watching sunsets.
  • Otteri Lake Point, Vandalur – Local water body offering panoramic views of hilly surroundings, good for a refreshing break or food stop.
  • Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur – A vast zoo with natural enclosures for animals and birds, good for day tours and for families with kids.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Places to eat along this route:

  • Melting Pot Market Café, Nemelli – A chain restaurant famous for fondue-style food, good for brunch/lunch, families and kids, and big groups.
  • The Reef, Vadanemelli – Fine dining restaurant inside Sheraton Grand hotel, offering multi cuisine brunch, lunch, and dinner buffets.
  • Oyster Restaurant, Kelambakkam – Chinese restaurant in a local hotel, serving Indo-Chinese and other Asian dishes, good for families and big groups, and kid-friendly.

Mahabalipuram to Chennai Road Condition via Route 2:

The road conditions on this route from Mahabalipuram to Chennai is also good as of date. But it is a slightly longer route than the previous one and can have some traffic.

Mahabalipuram to Chennai Best Route

With interesting sites to see and ample food stops along the way, both the above-mentioned routes are good for traveling from Mahabalipuram to Chennai. But if time is your priority, then the first route seems to be the best option since the second route takes more time. Moreover, the route via the East Road Road makes for a scenic road trip.

Other means of traveling from Mahabalipuram to Chennai

By Train

You can also travel from Mahabalipuram to Chennai by train. The nearest railway station is in Chengalpattu, about 29 KM away and the nearest major railhead in Chennai is Chennai Central Station. You can book a cab to reach Chengalpattu from Mahabalipuram and catch a train to Chennai.

There are 26 regular trains from Mahabalipuram to Chennai. The fastest train is CHENNAI BEACH-CHENGALPATTU FAST EMU (40559) which takes about one and a half hours to reach. For train booking, you can visit any online travel portal to get the best deals. For the latest and most accurate information on train timings, always check with IRCTC before booking.

By Flight

There is no flight service between Mahabalipuram to Chennai. The only way to travel to Chennai from Mahabalipuram is by bus, train, or drive.

Attractions in Chennai for sightseeing

Chennai and its vicinity is blessed with endless natural and man-made wonders, making this the perfect starting point for uncountable road trips and places to visit nearby. From historical ancient towns to exotic beaches, there are endless possibilities for long vacations or quick weekend getaways from Chennai, every few hundred miles. Check out the best road trips you can embark on for a quick weekend getaway from Chennai.

  • Marina Beach – the most popular and busiest beach in the city with recreational options.
  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple – a 7th-century Shiva temple, known for its ornate Dravidian architecture.
  • Government Museum – a state-run museum preserving historical artifacts and archeological findings dating back to Bronze Age and more.
  • Edward Elliot’s Beach – the quieter urban beach of the city and a popular local and tourist haunt.
  • Santhome Cathedral – the most famous cathedral of the city, known for its 19th-century Gothic architecture.
  • Dakshina Chitra – a heritage museum with cultural exhibits and an arts center.
  • Valluvar Kottam – a heritage site and cultural venue dedicated to the historical poet Valluvar.
  • Semmozhi Poonga – an expansive botanical garden with more than 500 varieties of exotic plants and flowers.

Savaari recommends – Popular places to eat in Chennai

Chennai is a town that’s known for its rich historical and cultural heritage. Like any metro city, Chennai offers a varied palette that can satisfy any traveler’s taste buds.

These are some of the best-rated places to eat in Chennai –

  • Murugan Idly Shop, E. 149/1, 6th Avenue, opp. Velankanni Church, GOCHS Colony, Besant Nagar
  • Pumpkin Tales, 37, 20, Bheemanna Garden St, Alwarpet
  • Amelie’s Cafe and Creamery, 6, Seshadri St, Venus Colony, Alwarpet
  • Nair Mess, No.22, Mohammed Abdullah Sahib, 2nd St, Chepauk
  • Animal Kingdom Theme Restaurant, 44, 1st Main Rd, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar

Hotels and Resorts in Chennai

Place Name     AddressPhone Number
Ilara Hotels & Spa1A, 1B, 1/13, Old Mahabalipuram Rd, OMR, Navalur, Tamil Nadu098846 88882      
Green Meadows Resort               4, 364 A, Anna Salai Rd, Palavakkam Kuppam, Palavakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu  099449 90950
Mango Nest Nature ResortNo:1, River View Enclave, Teesta Street, 3 Road, Manapakkam Main Road, HL: Families:, Chennai, Tamil Nadu095823 36006
Sarojini Gardens              Nazarathpettai, Tamil Nadu098844 12558
The Green Leaf Resort                    5/79, SH 49, near Buhari Hotel, Raja Nagar, Neelankarai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu                    044 4852 0060

Nearby Road Trips from Chennai

Destinations Distance Duration
Chennai to Kanchipuram 74 km 2 hours
Chennai to Trichy 331 km 6 hours
Chennai to Rameshwaram 558 km 10 hours
Chennai to Coimbatore 505 km 9 hours
Chennai to Pondicherry 165 km 3 hours
Chennai to Kodaikanal 528 km 10 hours
Chennai to Madurai 462 km 8 hours
Chennai to Tirupati 133 km 4 hours
Chennai to Hyderabad 627 km 12 hours
Chennai to Bangalore 347 km 7 hours

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