6 Best Road Trips From Chennai

Even though you won’t lack for things to do when in Chennai, there is still this yearning for adventure that captures your heart. And luckily enough, there are plenty of places to visit around the city and if you’re up for a long drive across the state, buckle up! These are our picks for the best road trips from Chennai.

5 Best Road Trips From Chennai

6 Of The Most Amazing Road Trips From Chennai

  1. Chennai To Kanchipuram
  2. Chennai To Kodaikanal
  3. Chennai To Tranquebar
  4. Chennai To Trichy
  5. Chennai To Kumbakonam
  6. Chennai To Mahabalipuram

Chennai To Kanchipuram

This magical town near Chennai is close enough to Chennai to go for a one-day trip yet far enough that it's completely kept away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. This town of temples is the embodiment of purity and peace. If you are the type of person who would love to explore historical architecture and the mystical nooks and corners of the town, Kanchipuram is the place for you.

5 Best Road Trips From Chennai

Although Kanchipuram is famous for its silk sarees, there are a lot of different things that you can buy from its affordable and colorful shops filled with a variety of collectibles such as jewelry, accessories, and clothing articles.

Via NH 48 / Chennai – Kanchipuram Road

A road trip from Chennai to Kanchipuram is pretty short and simple. The Chennai – Kanchipuram Road is in great condition to drive and you don't face any hurdles while you drive up to Kanchipuram. So forget all your worries and just indulge in the beauty of the city once you reach.

Along the way, you can visit and explore many tourist attractions such as Chetpet Ecopark, Jai Nagar Park, Arulmigu Devi Karumariamman Temple, Queensland Amusement Park, Ekambaranathar Temple, Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchi Kudil Museum, and many more!

Route Details

Length: 75 km

Duration: 1 hr 30 min

Route Map: Chennai – Kanchipuram

Places To Visit In Kanchipuram: Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchi Kudil Museum.

Chennai To Kodaikanal

Also called the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal really stands up to this name. Picture-perfect landscape with beautiful waterfalls draping the background. A huge, beautiful lake reflecting every bit of the beautiful blue sky, a serene, beautiful place where equally humble people live. You can find many things in Kodaikanal but dissatisfaction won't be one of them! This town is a reflection of what utopia must look like.

5 Best Road Trips From Chennai

Via Grand Southern Trunk Road / NH 45

Although this is the shortest route to reach Kodaikanal from Chennai, this is still a pretty tardy one. So if you're not used to driving long distances in one go, we recommend that you take a halt somewhere before you embark on your journey again! Although the road is in excellent condition to drive, you should still be careful while driving in the monsoon. If you leave very early in the morning there can be fog along the way through the ghat regions making it harder to see up ahead. 

Along the way, you can visit many famous tourist attractions such as Moir Point, Keshkal Valley, Ripon Building, Purkhouti Muktangan, Vattakanal Waterfalls, and many more.

Route Details

Length: 527 km

Duration: 8 hr

Route Map: Chennai – Trichy – Batlagundu – Kodaikanal

Places To Visit In Kodaikanal: Kodai Lake, Bear Shola Falls, Pillar Rocks, Thalaiyar Falls, Devil's Kitchen.

Also Read: Things To Do In Kodaikanal

Chennai To Tranquebar

Tharangambadi, also known as Tranquebar, is a small, serene town in the state of Tamil Nadu. Much like its name suggests, Tranquebar is an embodiment of Tranquility. We all know that South India in itself is full of wonderful places that make you wonder about how beautiful and peaceful a place can be. Tranquebar is a beach town, lined with beautiful coastal regions and picturesque views that make you spellbound.

5 Best Road Trips From Chennai

No wonder this town is called ‘The Land Of Singing Waves’; everywhere you go you can still hear the music of those waves crashing gently onto the shore, pulling you in gradually while also setting you free from the worries of everyday life.

If you've been on the lookout for what heaven of earth seems like, we recommend you visit this place as soon as you can!

Via The East Coast Road / NH 45A

The East Coast Road is one of the most beautiful and scenic roads in South India. The road condition is overall good to drive. The only thing you should consider while embarking on your journey is the curvature and altitude of this road in some places, so we recommend if you're a newbie, you hire a driver or at least try to take your time while driving through the ghat regions and your journey must be pretty smooth overall.

Along the way, you can make small pit stops to explore many beautiful tourist attractions such as Semmozhi Poonga Botanical Garden, Live art museum, Dakshinachitra Museum, The Madras Crocodile Bank, Tiger Cave Mahishasura Rock, Tamilnadu Raindrop Boat House, Alamparai Fort, Auro Beach, Puducherry Museum, Kanniga Parameswari Temple Thillai Nataraja Temple (Chidambaram), and so on.

Route Details

Length: 266 km

Duration: 6 hr

Route Map: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Tharangambadi (Tranquebar)

Places To Visit In Tranquebar: Fort Dansborg, The town gate, The Zion Church, Old Danish Cemetery, The Ziegenbalg museum complex, The Masilamani Nathar temple.

Also Read: 7 Best Beachside Hotels And Resorts In Chennai

Chennai To Trichy

This is a place where you can find the perfect balance between industrialization and heritage, religion, and culture. Even though it's one of the fastest-growing cities in Tamil Nadu, you can feel how beautifully this city has held on to its cultural, religious, historical, and artistic roots throughout its growth. The mystical, majestic temples of this city tell the tale of its history. You won't find such unique, delicate architectural designs anywhere but in South India. Every temple is carved so beautifully, no matter how many times you visit, there's always something new, there's always something better to find.

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Temples are not the only thing that's special about this city. Trichy is also known for its vast variety of cigars, jewelry, brassware, food, and clothing!

While on a road trip from Chennai to Trichy, you can make small pit-stops to explore various tourist attractions such as Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Kishkinta Amusement Park, Chennai Rail Museum, St. Thomas Mount National Shrine, Madras War Cemetery, Ranjankudi Fort, Thiruvanaikovil Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple, and many more!

Via NH 38

Chennai - Theni Highway is one of the most popular roads in South India. The overall condition of this road is really good to drive but you should be careful at night as the highway is often frequented by large trucks and buses. If you are traveling at night, we suggest you halt for a while at a nearby hotel and then continue your journey in the morning if you're an inexperienced driver.

Route Details

Length: 333 km

Duration: 5 hr 30 min

Route Map: Chennai – Chengalpattu – Pondicherry – Perambalur – Tiruchirapalli (Trichy)

Places To Visit In Trichy: Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Rock Fort Temple, Jambukeswarar Temple, Kallanai Dam.

Also Read: 1 Day Walking Tour Of Chennai: Best Places To Cover

Chennai To Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam is a small town in the district of Thanjavur, also known as the town of temples. A name given to it because of the numerous colorful, intricate, and unique temples and Gopurams that cover its skyline.

5 Best Road Trips From Chennai

Kumbakonam is also home to the famous Hindu festival, Mahamaham, which takes place every 12 years. If you ever get a chance to visit this town, explore it to the fullest.

No matter when you visit Kumbakonam, this town of temples will gladly open up its arms and heart to you and take you in. No matter what your religious beliefs are, you should explore this place at least once in your life, at least for the unique and intricate architecture that can be seen throughout this town.

Via Grand Southern Trunk Road / NH 45

The road is mostly very smooth to drive and it will be a fairly smooth journey up to Virudhachalam, but the only thing is, once you enter the area near Virudhachalam, it will get more difficult for you to drive fast and non-stop. Our advice would be to take it slow until you cross Virudhachalam. Once you leave Virudhachalam, the road is again, easier to drive.

Along the way, you can make small pit stops to enjoy your favorite South Indian cuisines and explore beautiful places like Palar River View Point, Veedur Dam, Chembarambakkam View Point, Government Museum, and Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

Route Details

Length: 361 km

Duration: 7 hr 50 min

Route Map: Chennai – Chengalpattu – Tindivanam – Villupuram – Virudhachalam – Kumbakonam

Places To Visit In Kumbakonam: Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Nageswaran Temple, Shopping in Kumbakonam, Mahamaham Tank.

Chennai To Mahabalipuram

Possibly one of the best one-day road trips from Chennai, Mahabalipuram is only 52 km away. Who says a road trip has to be somewhere far away? It has to take you somewhere worth visiting, and that's all that matters!

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Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple ruins perfectly represent the richness of Dravidian and Buddhist architecture. This is not merely a town of history and heritage, but it's also a town of art, culture, religion, and majesty.

The added beauty of white sandy beaches and casuarina trees decorate this town in such a way that it can captivate anyone and everyone who visits!

Via The East Coast Road

Chennai to Mahabalipuram is a pretty straight and simple journey. The distance between the two places is not that long, it should take you only up to two hours to complete the journey. The road is pretty beautiful. You will love to stop along the way to enjoy your fair share of tender coconuts and other enticing street food!

Route Details

Length: 56 km

Duration: 2 hr

Route Map: Chennai – Mahabalipuram

Places To Visit In Mahabalipuram: Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butter Ball.

Also Read: 7 Temples That You Must Visit In Tamil Nadu For A Spiritual Experience

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What Are Some Beautiful Places To Visit In Chennai?

Marina Beach, Thousand Lights Mosque, Dakshinachitra, Government Museum, Guindy National Park, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Royapuram Fishing Harbour, Marundeeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Semmozhi Poonga, Elliot's Beach, Valluvar Kottam, Ashtalakshmi Temple, these are some beautiful places to visit in Chennai.

Where To Go For A Long Drive In Chennai?

Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tirupati, Vellore, Chittoor, Pondicherry, Nellore, Yelagiri, these are some beautiful places to go to, for a long drive from Chennai.

What Are Some Good Places To Visit Within 100 Km From Chennai?

Ubbalamadugu, Pulicat Lake, V.G.P. Golden Beach, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Kailasakona Waterfalls, Thiruttani, Covelong Beach, Jade Beach Resort, Nettukuppam, Thiruvallur, Tada Falls, Muttukadu, these are some good places to visit within 100 km from Chennai.

What Are Some Refreshing Weekend Activities To Do In Chennai?

Taking a tour to explore the Thalankuppam Pier, strolling around the beaches while enjoying nature photography. Visiting the exciting and fun amusement parks, taking heritage tours to the beautiful temples nearby, enjoying water sports in Muttukadu, going out for a romantic dinner with your boo. These are some refreshing weekend activities to do in Chennai.

How Is The Weather In Chennai?

Mostly considered to be a peaceful and quiet city, the weather in Chennai is similar to life in Chennai. Without any drastic changes the temperature in Chennai varies between 32° to 38°C throughout the year, except for the winters. The average temperature at night is 28°C. The monsoon in the city is very beautiful and it rains quite heavily in Chennai. The city is lined by the coastal region, hence the weather here is pretty humid throughout the year.

What Should You Not Do In Chennai?

Chennai has pretty strict laws about smoking in public areas and it's best that you avoid doing so- unless you want to earn a free ride to the police station. Also, the auto rickshaw drivers are known to swindle tourists by charging exhorbitant fares. That's why it's better to use other forms of public transportation such as the bus or metro to get around the city.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Chennai?

Try visiting Chennai between October to February as the climate is temperate and favorable for sightseeing. That's the time when the monsoons are just saying good-bye and the winter season is slowly setting in.

How Far Is Chennai From Mumbai By Flight?

The aerial distance between Chennai and Mumbai is 1031 km.


  • Region
    South India
  • Type Of Experience
    Adventure, Nature
  • Best Time To Visit
    June To October
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