One of the three presidencies of colonial India, Chennai is a crown jewel of South India. Presently, a vibrant mix of modern and ancient art, traditional communities, and tech wizzes, Chennai remains a representative of centuries-old Dravidian culture and a prominent city of modern India. Besides its rich legacy of people and politics, Chennai is blessed with a great location for travelers to explore nad visit the other places in and near the state. From historical ancient towns to exotic beaches, there are endless possibilities for long vacations or quick weekend getaways from Chennai, every few hundred miles. What’s more? The road trip routes from the state capital to each of these destinations are equally experiential.
With Savaari’s car rental service in Chennai, you can easily and comfortably explore all the gorgeous locales and even land at the country’s southern and easternmost borders in no time. Save & share this handy infographic curated by Savaari for a some offbeat places to visit near Chennai. The roads are calling where are you?
Savaari’s Curated Places to Visit near Chennai
- Kanyakumari – Where the oceans meet
- Yelagiri – A retreat in nature’s lap
- Nagalapuram – A picturesque getaway
- Mahabalipuram – The land of artistry
- Tranquebar – An ancient Danish colony
- Kanchipuram – A gorgeous temple town
- Madurai – Athens of the East
- Rameshwaram – The Lands’ End
- Tirupati – The spiritual capital of Andhra
- Yercaud – A charming mountain retreat
- Kodaikanal – Manali of the South
- Vellore – An ancient Dravidian kingdom
Kanyakumari – Where the oceans meet
The southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari is also called The Land’s End. Associated with ancient Hindu mythology, the town has evolved as a pilgrimage center but also attracts tourists for its exquisite landscape. Sitting on the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal, Kanyakumari offers breathtaking views and is also home to many natural wonders and beautiful beaches. It is one of the must visit & most visited places near Chennai.
Why do we recommend visiting Kanyakumari?
If you ever wanted to see the sunrise, sunset, and moonrise, all on the same day, at the same place, and in the same breath, then Kanyakumari is where you must go. Despite its age-old religious history, the town is pure magnificence and delights you with its bountiful nature. Also, the tip of the continental land is something you can’t miss.
[Also read: A detailed travel guide on Kanyakumari]
Why should you travel to Kanyakumari by road?
A road trip from Chennai to Kanyakumari is one of the most memorable journeys you can ever have. Because of the long drive, you will traverse almost the entire length of the state, passing through other prominent destinations like Madurai, Trichy, and Tirunelveli.
[A detailed road trip guide from Chennai to Kanyakumari]
A trip to Kanyakumari is ideal for?
- 3-4 days trip, pilgrimage tours.
- You should travel here if you are looking for panoramic views, heritage, culture, food, adventure and leisure all on the way.
Yelagiri – A retreat in nature’s lap
Yelagiri, also spelled as Elagiri, is a small hill station in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu and is a backpacker’s paradise. Surrounded by orchards, gorgeous rose gardens and verdant valleys, Yelagiri is a quick and easy getaway from Chennai and is sure to offer you a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Why do we recommend visiting Yealgiri?
Yelagiri has everything you would look for in a hill station, but it is not as crowded as Kodaikanal or Ooty, therefore perfect for a quiet escapade. Blessed with lakes, hills, greenery, temples and temples, Yelagiri screams the purity that nature renders.
Why should you travel to Yelagiri by road?
Driving through the picturesque landscape is beyond spectacular. Yelagiri hilltop can be reached by a winding ghat road that has 14 hairpin bends. The seventh hairpin bend is significant since it offers a view of the slope of the mountain and the green forest covering a carpet of the hill. The place is infused with the smell of fresh fruits and foliage as it is surrounded by orchards, rose gardens and green valleys.
A trip to Yelagiri is ideal for?
- Camping, trekking, birdwatching, boating & walking in the coffee plantation.
- You should travel here if you want to connect with nature and need some solace without doing much.
Nagalapuram – A picturesque getaway
Located at an average elevation of 213 feet in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Nagalapuram is famous for its Vedanarayana Temple with a Vaishnavite shrine in the form of Matsya, the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Why do we recommend visiting Nagalapuram?
Nagalapuram has become famous amongst trekkers and travellers, on account of its natural beauty and adventurous hills. Trek through this pristine jungle exploring the unique flora and fauna of the untouched land. Walk through the lush forest to reach the pool of water surrounded by high rocky mountains which can be climbed to reach the top of the cliff.
Why should you travel to Nagalapuram by road?
Driving through the picturesque landscape is beyond spectacular. Experience the wonders of the stunning mountainous areas, and get absorbed in the wonderful nature and its beautiful views. Push your seats back, roll down the window and enjoy the beautiful sceneries while the Chennai to Nagalapuram distance is being covered by the car.
A trip to Nagalapuram is ideal for?
- Camping, trekking, pilgrimage tour, waterfalls.
- You should travel here if you are a waterfalls person because this place is called the queen of waterfalls big & small.
Mahabalipuram – The land of artistry
The temple town of Mahabalipuram is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Tamil Nadu. With a host of historical and religious sites, each known for its fine artistry, the entire town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sitting on the Coromandel Coast, Mahabalipuram also enjoys a wonderful landscape of sea and ancient lands.
Why do we recommend visiting Mahabalipuram?
Rich in art, architecture, and history, Mahabalipuram is a visual treat for any traveler. With ancient Dravidian rock-cut monuments, stone sculptures, and centuries-old temples dotted around a scenic shoreline, the town exudes an air of mysticism that takes you back in time.
[Also read: A detailed travel guide on Mahabalipuram]
Why should you travel to Mahabalipuram by road?
The road trip from Chennai to Mahabalipuram is considered to be one of the best ones in the state. With the route/s running along the East Coast, the roads offer uninterrupted views of the Bay of Bengal and take you through scenic locales like Kovalam and the Great Salt Lake, which you can add to your trip itinerary.
A trip to Mahabalipuram is ideal for?
- Long drive dates, beach parties, amazing stay options by the beach, weekend getaways and
- You should travel here if you are looking for tourist places to visit near Chennai within 50 KM, or if you have an eye for ancient architecture. If you love spas, Mahabalipuram has an amazing ayurvedic spa.
Kanchipuram – A gorgeous temple town
The temple town of Kanchipuram is an ancient community of Tamil Nadu, dating back to the 6th century. Otherwise known as Kanchi, the town is an expansive canvas of historical, religious, and cultural wonders, and is steeped in Tamilian traditions. It is also recognized for its silk-weaving industry while serving as a major pilgrimage center.
Why do we recommend visiting Kanchipuram?
Whether you are a history buff or on a temple tour, Kanchipuram will delight you with its charm. From 50 centuries-old temples, built in the classic Dravidian styles, to traditional handloom houses, and even a unique culinary palette, Kanchipuram will definitely keep you busy on your holiday.
Why should you travel to Kanchipuram by road?
A road trip from Chennai to Kanchipuram is short, sweet, and beautiful. The routes cut through other historical landmarks, where you can stop along the way, as well as other ancient villages, and the lush countryside, which makes the drive truly a joy.
A trip to Kanchipuram is ideal for?
- One-day road trip from Chennai, art tours, heritage walks.
- You should travel here if you are looking for a quick getaway from the city and want to see the colorful corners of the state. And are looking for Silk saree shopping.
Madurai – Athens of the East
Madurai is recognized as an ancient trading hub and has been a sought-after destination for merchants and travelers from far and wide since 300BC. The city is a holistic combination of commerce, culture, and divinity, which is still evident in its cityscape. Each of these religious and historical sites is still standing tall, despite the world has changed around them. Meenakshi temple in Madurai is well know among
Why do we recommend visiting Madurai?
Madurai is an art and architecture lover’s paradise. The awe-inspiring architecture, which is a mix of Dravidian and Rajputana styles stands as an example of classic artistry. From heritage walks to shopping for ethnic textiles, sampling local flavors at all-night markets, and pottery workshops, Madurai offers various activities for all kinds of travelers.
Why should you travel to Madurai by road?
The road trip from Chennai to Madurai will take you through the state’s hinterlands. On your way, you can also stop over at the nature hotspots and viewing points en route, or stop at Trichy and make your journey more wholesome.
A trip to Madurai is ideal for?
- Long drives, heritage tours, and weekend trips.
- You should travel here if you are a history buff or an architecture aficionado, or maybe you want to sample the most authentic Tamilian cuisine, which can’t be found in the cities.
Rameshwaram – Where the Lands’ End
Rameshwaram is a popular pilgrimage destination in Tamil Nadu. Sitting on Pamban Island, it is the last point of India on the southeastern border and is separated from the mainland by the Pamban Bridge. The temple town is also one of the Char Dhams and is considered to be one of the sacred sites for Hindus.
Why do we recommend visiting Rameshwaram?
It’s not every day you get to see or be at the Land’s End of the country. Rameshwaram specifically, Dhanushkodi, takes you right in the middle of the ocean and gives you a 360-degree view of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean; a view that will be etched in your memory forever.
[Also read: A detailed travel guide on Rameshwaram]
Why should you travel to Rameshwaram by road?
A road trip from Madurai to Rameshwaram is one of a kind. And if you take the East Coast Road, it’ll be the best road trip from Madurai to Rameshwaram and the most thrilling. With the endless expanse of the bay on one side and cozy temple towns on the other, this drive is sure to take your breath away.
A trip to Rameshwaram is ideal for?
- Long road trip from Chennai, family vacation, travel back in history, people doing Char dham Yatra.
- You should travel here if you are looking for a road trip of a lifetime or you want to see what it feels like to be at the edge of the continent. Rameshwaram is also one of the Char Dham and if you are looking to clean your soul, this is the place for you.
Tirupati – The spiritual capital of Andhra
A sacred site and shrine, Tirupati is synonymous with the Tirupati Tirumala Temple and is the most famous pilgrimage destination in South India, and also the largest and the richest. Sitting atop the Venkatachala Hills, in the Chittoor district, the town also fulfills the desire for a trip to the wilderness and soothes sore eyes with its lush surroundings. Titupati Balaji is on of the most worshiped gods in South India. And Millions of visitors visit this place from Chennai, Hyderabad, Banaglore & other places in the South.
Why do we recommend visiting Tirupati?
You should visit Tirupati just for the wonderment of this place. It is unarguably one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in India, frequented by nearly 100,000 people daily, most of whom come only to visit the temple. During festivals and special events, the temple complex sees at least 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.
[Also read: A detailed travel guide on Tirupati]
Why should you travel to Tirupati by road?
A road trip from Chennai to Tirupati will take you on an interstate drive through the small towns and villages of Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh. And although a short drive, you get to see the drastic change in nature and culture between these two places.
A trip to Tirupati is ideal for?
- 2 days road trip from Chennai, pilgrimage trip, family vacation.
- You should travel here if you and your family are planning a family for a spiritual getaway or are planning a trek.
Tranquebar – An ancient Danish colony
Tharangambadi or Tranquebar is a beach town on the Coromandel Coast, sitting between the territories of Pondicherry, on the confluence of the Kaveri River and the Bay of Bengal. Once a Danish colony, Tranquebar showcases traces of its ancient times in a tranquil and relaxing coastal environment.
Why do we recommend visiting Tranquebar?
There is rarely any site with Scandinavian influences in India, and Tranquebar is one. With a historical legacy unique from the rest of the state and the idyllic landscape, Tranquebar offers the best locale for a luxurious and calming beach vacation. Explore the Danish ruins and relics or soak in the pristine sea air on the clean beaches; the town will make you feel cozy at every turn.
[Also read: A detailed travel guide on Tranquebar]
Why should you travel to Tranquebar by road?
From an urban coastal town to a quieter one, the road trip from Chennai to Tranquebar is quite scenic. The two-lane coastal road run along the bay is regarded as one of the most scenic highways on the East Coast and is dotted with old resort towns, colonial structures, temples, and monuments, making your drive a wholesome one.
A trip to Tranquebar is ideal for?
- Luxury weekend getaways from Chennai, offbeat beaches in India.
- You should travel here if you want to explore an offbeat beach location within a 6-hour drive from Chennai, or if you want to do a road trip along the coast.
Yercaud – A charming mountain retreat
Yercaud is a popular hill station in Tamil Nadu and is a hotspot for travelers from Chennai and around. Nestled into the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud serves as the perfect respite for urban souls. There is also evidence of prehistoric findings in the area, dating as far back as the Stone Age.
Why do we recommend visiting Yercaud?
The charming hill station of Yercaud is healing and calming for all senses and a true delight for those who want to soothe the soul. Sitting atop 5000 feet, the weather and the mountainous landscape will rejuvenate you inside out, while its surrounding hills, valleys, and lakes offer a host of sightseeing and adventure options for the itchy feet.
Why should you travel to Yercaud by road?
From the hot and humid city to the cooler and calmer hills, a road trip from Chennai to Yercaud feels godsend. As you move away from the maddening crowd and into the hillier locales, you will find peace in the lush landscape. On your way, you can also stop at Salem.
A trip to Yercaud is ideal for?
- 3 days road trip from Chennai, quick ecapae from commercial places.
- You should travel here if: You desperately need a break from the city life and you could use some unpolluted mountain air and a refreshing environment. If you are looking for a relaxed & lazy weekend.
Kodaikanal – Manali of the South
Kodaikanal is a gem of hill stations of South India and Tamil Nadu’s pride. Sitting at nearly 7000 feet, the place gives a similar feel to the lower reaches of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and is equally majestic. The colonial town, once established as a summer retreat, Kodaikanal is a lush canvas of rolling hills, misty valleys, sparkling lakes, magnificent waterfalls, and orchards.
Why do we recommend traveling to Kodaikanal?
Also called the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal is a fine blend of colonial heritage, with its old-world charm, some modern urban trappings, and inexplicable natural beauty. You can just walk or cycle around the town, stopping at whatever catches the eye, tread the misty trails, seek the old haunts of town, blend in with the local artists, or sample luscious fruits from local farms, you will never have enough of Kodaikanal.
Why should you travel to Kodaikanal by road?
The road trip from Chennai to Kodaikanal takes you through a complete change of scenery and landscape. From the bustling metro to the humming small towns, and finally, into the hushed hill country, the route is intercepted with fascinating nature spots and historical towns, making this one exotic journey.
A trip to Kodaikanal is ideal for?
- 3-4 days trips, romantic vacations, short treks.
- You should travel here if you think the mountains beckon but the Himalayas are too far, or you want to escape somewhere cozier and quieter with your special someone.
Vellore – An ancient Dravidian kingdom
The city of Vellore is a fine depiction of the ancient cultural and religious heritage of Tamil Nadu and remains deeply rooted in traditions. Sitting on the Palar River, the town equally qualifies as a scenic locale. The town’s historical influences are portrayed in its architecture, which makes for a very intriguing destination.
Why do we recommend visiting Vellore?
If you want to discover the opulent past of the Dravidian rulers, then Vellore is one of the best places to start. The arcane structures and the subtly divine air render a distinctive vibe to this town, which you will find nowhere else.
Why should you travel to Vellore by road?
The road trip from Chennai to Vellore might not be as mesmerizing as that to the coastal areas, but it has its charm. The roads cut through the countryside and smaller towns of Tamil Nadu, lining the Kaveri River. The calmer locales and the verdant environment can be enriching.
A trip to Vellore is ideal for?
- Day trips, long drive, lunch date, good highway drive, medical tourism.
- You should travel here if You want to step out of the city for a couple of days and you are seeking a greener, cleaner, calmer destination to unwind.
Each of these places near the city of Chennai is iconic and exotic in its own way. With their endless must visit treasures, all of them make for an unforgettable travel experience. With our Savaari car rentals, you can make these road trips more comfortable, where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey, while our expert drivers help you discover hidden gems on your trip and make it an exciting experience.