Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Chennai

Nobody wishes to let a weekend go to waste, so it’s justified why all the prominent beaches and other attractions in Chennai are crowded during weekends. But too many people only means too much noise. This means you can easily kiss goodbye to your desire for a calm weekend. So, it’s only natural if you want to stand out from the crowd, “literally”! Well, to help you have your dream weekend, we have come up with a list of the best offbeat weekend trips to take from Chennai.

8 Best Offbeat Weekend Trips From Chennai

  1. Nagalapuram
  2. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
  3. Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)
  4. Horsley Hills
  5. Tada Falls
  6. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
  7. Chettinad
  8. Pulicat Lake

1. Nagalapuram

Hidden among the lush greenery of the Eastern Ghats, is the mesmerizing Nagalapuram. With the embrace of the dense forests, scenic hills, and the beauty of the gushing waterfalls, it makes for one of the best places to take a trip from Chennai. And if you’re a thrill seeker, then Nagalapuram would be the perfect choice for you.

The reason we say so is that this place has amazing trekking trails to treat the trekker in you. It sure is a moderate trek of 15 km, but you can always consider taking a breather by stopping by the stream that runs along the trail. Nagalapuram also gives you the chance to set up camp by its waterfalls and lets you get a glimpse of spending a night in the woods.

Chennai To Nagalapuram Distance: 71.3 km, 2 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: October to March.

Things To Do In Nagalapuram: Other than trekking and camping at Nagalapuram falls, you can also just frolic under the waterfalls.

Also read: Best Bicycling Trips To Take From Chennai

2. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

If you’re looking to spend a weekend in the laps of mother nature, then Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary is your haven. Located on a wetland covered with trees, it is home to a variety of bird species. Vedanthangal not only houses resident bird species but also invites migratory birds to have a stay.

From painted storks to pelicans, you can find them all here. A weekend at this sanctuary is all about walking in the wild, spotting several colorful birds and listening to their cheerful tunes. One thing is for sure, that you will be leaving this sanctuary completely fascinated by the works of nature.

Chennai To Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Distance: 71.3 km, 2 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: November to March.

Things To Do In Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: At Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary you can not just indulge in bird watching but also make an album filled with pictures of these beautiful birds. You can also plan a picnic here with your family or friends.

Also read: Best Staycations In Chennai

Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Chennai

3. Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

By reading the name of this destination, if you felt like we have wrongly added a foreign location, then let us tell you that’s not the case. Tranquebar is an offbeat Indian town located in close proximity to Chennai. And the reason its name doesn’t feel Indian is that long back it used to be a Danish colony.

Thanks to the rich Danish influence, Tranquebar is dotted with many old forts, temples, and other monuments. This town is not just about its history, but also the alluring beaches it has been sprinkled with. So while you’re here on your offbeat trip, don’t forget to click some gram-worthy pictures by the beach with the backdrop of the unembellished Dansborg fort. You’ll surely be surprised when the pictures look like they’re right out of a movie.

Chennai To Tranquebar Distance: 270.3 km, 6.5 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: November to March.

Things To Do In Tranquebar: Apart from having fun at the beach, you can also visit popular attractions like Dansborg fort and museum, the Church of Zion, and Pandiyan Masilamani Nathar temple. You can also try the lip-smacking local seafood at Tranquebar.

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

4. Horsley Hills

Located at an elevation of over 4000 feet above sea level, is the less explored destination of Horsley hills. As it forms a part of the vibrant Eastern Ghats, this hill station is surrounded by nature’s green blanket and is studded with charming waterfalls and streams. It also has several viewpoints from where you can get the breathtaking views of the distant hills and valleys.

Horsley hills are filled with a lot of places of attraction like Gaalibanda, Horsley museum, an environmental park, and lake Gangotri. If you’re an adventure enthusiast then the unspoiled surroundings of Horsley hills pave way for activities like hiking or trekking. You can also try other outdoor activities like rafting, zorbing, or going on a wildlife tour.

Chennai To Horsley Hills Distance: 260.6 km, 6.5-7 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: October to March.

Things To Do In Horsley Hills: Some of the must-do activities at Horsley hills are sightseeing, soaking in the landscapes of the Eastern Ghats, clicking pictures, and trying adventurous activities.

Also read: Best Beachside Hotels And Resorts In Chennai

Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Chennai

5. Tada Falls

Another gem from the Eastern Ghats is the gorgeous Tada falls. Tada falls is one of the best offbeat destinations within just 100 km of the city of Chennai. The best words to describe this place are greenery and tranquility.

Falling from a height of 100 meters, Tada falls sits on top of a hilly terrain. So to witness the cascading waterfall, you need to trek all the way up to the top of the hill. If you’re looking to spend a weekend trekking or exploring the wild, then Tada falls is the ideal place for you.

Chennai To Tada Falls Distance: 92.1 km, 3 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: August to December.

Things To Do In Tada Falls: Other than trekking all the way up, Tada falls, is also rich in wildlife. So on your visit here, you can also engage in bird watching and nature photography.

Also read: Chennai Travel Guide

6. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest

Since you’re in search of a destination that is off the beaten path, try Pichavaram Mangrove Forest. Snuggled by the Picharam village is the second largest mangrove forest in India. Remember, getting to the forest from the village is only possible with the help of boats and ferries.

This forest gives you a chance to get to know its resident wildlife up close by exploring its narrow canals and enchanting sceneries on kayaks and canoes. Pichavaram Mangrove forest is the humble abode of a zillion wildlife species. So make sure you carry your camera and switch on the Nat Geo photographer in you.

Chennai To Pichavaram Mangrove Forest Distance: 216 km, 5.5 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: November to February.

Things To Do In Pichavaram Mangrove Forest: Since the mangrove forest can only be truly explored by kayaking, canoeing, or boating, these activities are a part and parcel of your trip. Apart from this, you can also try activities like fishing and bird watching.

Also read: Best Road Trips From Chennai

Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Chennai

7. Chettinad

Chettinad is the town of the Chettiyars, who were the original inhabitants. The Chettiyars were known to be wealthy businessmen who built their empires by striking trade deals with South Asian nations. They are the ones who left behind the plethora of fort-like mansions in Chettinad.

On your weekend trip here, you can go around the town exploring these elegant structures and learning about the town’s history and culture. Other than going mansion hopping, you can also explore the Chettinad saree weavers, the Athangudi tile factory, and the numerous temples. Another prominent thing to try in Chettinad is the mouth-watering and spicy food that you won’t find anywhere else.

Chennai To Chettinad Distance: 313 km, 6.5 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: October to March.

Things To Do In Chettinad: Apart from sightseeing, some of the things to do in Chettinad are to seek blessings from the temples here, try the local delicacies, and go shopping for Chettinad sarees.

Also read: Best Budget Hotels In Chennai

8. Pulicat Lake

The seaside town of Pulicat is another hidden destination in Chennai. It once used to be a Dutch colony, and its elegant churches, ancient tombs, and buildings are evidences of the same. Other than its historical gems, Pulicat is also known for its natural wonders.

Pulicat is embraced by the stunning Pulicat lagoon, which is known to be India’s second biggest brackish water body. Other than boating and exploring the lagoon, you can also visit the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. At this sanctuary, you are bound to find flocks of pink flamingos and many other exotic birds. So make sure you keep your camera ready, so you manage to get some spectacular pictures of these birds.

Chennai To Pulicat Distance: 50.6 km, 2 hours by road.

Best Time To Visit: October to March.

Things To Do In Pulicat: Pulicat is mainly known for boating and bird watching, but you can also attend the Flamingo festival here. For this, you will have to visit between the months of November and January, as this is the time that coincides with the arrival of the birds to Pulicat.

Also read: Hill Stations To Visit In South India

Offbeat Weekend Getaways From Chennai

Summing Up

These are some of the best offbeat places to take a weekend trip from Chennai. Now you can take your pick from this list and spend a peaceful weekend with your gang away from the crowds. Having said that, we wish you a happy offbeat weekend!


Which Hill Station Is Near To Chennai?

The state of Tamil Nadu is blessed with a plethora of hill stations. But some of the hill stations that are close to the city of Chennai are Kolli hills, Yercaud, Yelagiri, Horsley hills, Valparai, and Meghamalai.

Which Is The Coolest Place In Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu is studded with many hill stations that have a cool climate throughout the year. Some of the coolest places to visit are Kodaikanal, Coonoor, Ooty, Kotagiri, Yercaud, Valparai, and Kolli hills.

Which Month Is Best For Yelagiri?

Although Yelagiri has pleasant weather all year round, the best time to visit here is the winter, that is during the months of November to February. Visiting Yelagiri during this time will let you get the best of the town.

What Is Famous In Chennai To Buy?

Apart from the traditional silk sarees, Chennai is known for many other things. Some of the best things to get home as souvenirs are leather bags, crockery, toys, footwear, and handicrafts.

What Is The Famous Food Of Chennai?

Chennai is popular for its crispy dosas, masala dosas, idlis, vadas, served along with piping hot sambar and spicy coconut chutney.

How Many Days Are Enough For Chennai?

To cover all the prominent places in Chennai, you will need at least 3 to 4 days. But if you wish the explore other nearby places from Chennai then you can consider extending your trip to a couple more days.

Which Beach Is Better In Chennai?

Chennai is known for its several alluring beaches, but the one that stays on the top is the Marina beach. The Marina beach is one of the best and longest beaches in India and the second longest in the world.

What Sweet Is Famous In Chennai?

Some of the best and must-try sweets when you’re in Chennai are Coconut Barfi, Mysore Pak, Bombay Halwa, Badam Halwa, Kala Jamoon, and Moti Laddu.