April 19, 2023
CM Content Team
Chennai, also known as Madras, is a bustling metropolis that offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The city is situated on the Bay of Bengal and has a rich cultural heritage that dates to over 400 years. Chennai is surrounded by several beautiful and historically significant destinations. From scenic hill stations to ancient temple towns, the places to visit near Chennai are truly a traveller’s delight.
Located just 58 km South of Chennai, Mahabalipuram is one of the most popular tourist places near Chennai. This small town, also known as Mamallapuram, was a major port city in the Pallava Kingdom.
Today, the town is well-known for its stunning rock-cut temples and group of ancient monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town's Shore Temple, set on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, is one of the oldest temples made of stone. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You can also explore the Pancha Rathas, a group of five monolithic structures named after the five Pandavas. The Descent of the Ganges, or Arjuna’s Penance, is another marvellous monument to explore. The giant, open-air rock relief is one of the largest in Asia.
Pondicherry, now known as Puducherry, is a former French colony located 160 km South of Chennai. The town, one of the most popular places to visit around Chennai, has retained its distinctive French colonial heritage in many places with French-style buildings, wide roads, and cafes serving French cuisine.
You can find numerous heritage homes while strolling through the French Quarter. The arched gates with walls coloured in bright colours like yellow, pink, white, etc., are easy to identify. Pondicherry is also home to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the experimental township named Auroville community.
Consider staying at Club Mahindra Puducherry Resort while exploring Pondicherry. Located amidst lush greenery with direct beach access, the resort can be perfect for unwinding and spending quality time with your loved ones.
Many Indian women, regardless of age, culture or geographical background, yearn to have a Kanchivaram saree in their dress collection. This beautiful silk saree is manufactured in Kanchipuram, a temple town located about 72 km Southwest of Chennai. Also known as the ‘Golden City of Temples’, Kanchipuram is considered one of the holiest Hindu cities in India. So, the city is constantly visited by religious people throughout the year.
Kailasanathar temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, and Varadharaja Perumal Temple are some magnificent temples you can explore in Kanchipuram.
India's largest brackish water lagoon after Chilka lake in Odisha, Pulicat Lake, is about 54 km from Chennai. It's one of the most preferred weekend getaways from Chennai for nature lovers. The lake has diverse and rich flora and fauna.
A popular destination for birdwatchers, the lake supports numerous species of aquatic birds. In addition, migratory birds like Flamingos visit the lake in large numbers during the winter season. Fort Geldria, built by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, is also nearby and is worth exploring.
Situated about 44 km from Chennai, the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology is one of the unique places to visit near Chennai. The research centre focuses on the conservation of crocodiles and is home to over 2,000 crocodiles, alligators, and other reptile species. The large reptile park here is a major tourist attraction attracting about half a million visitors yearly. You can explore the centre’s vast collection of reptiles and learn about their importance in the ecosystem.
These are just a few of the many places to visit near Chennai. Each destination offers a unique experience, making the region a popular choice for travellers seeking diverse and enriching experiences.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.