Looking for a two-day trip close to Chennai for the weekend? There are a quite a few places which do not require you to think over a month on holidaying! It’s just a quick decision and you’re off to a heavenly trip for a couple of days with your loved ones! All you need is a car (if you know the routes well)! There are also buses which take tourists to the designated spots. Here is a list of seven of the most beautiful nearby locations close to Chennai that can be your weekend gateway!
Along well-maintained roads Yelagiri
is 260km from Chennai, off the Chennai-Bangalore road. It is also one of the highest hill-stations in the country, amidst four mountain peaks! When you climb along the road, you will have to face fourteen bends (named after Tamil poets!). It has beautiful forests with colourful flowers and huge fields. Being a kilometer above sea-level, it is ideal for adventure sports like trekking, climbing and paragliding. But be careful of the rains! The highest point, Swami Malai hills is a climb of an hour. Keeping the rains at bay, you might trek harder to watch the beautiful Jalagamparai waterfalls! But don’t miss the PunganurLake, great for boating and watching birds! But, petrol alert – do not forget to fill up before venturing on to the hilly roads, you will not find any stations up there!
Another beautiful spot is Yercaud
. It is 360km away from Chennai. It is 22km from Salem and about 5,000ft up in the Eastern Ghats. You might have heard the name ‘Ooty for the poor’, but don’t take it too seriously because once up there you might be the lucky person to get a view of rare birds! Also good for trekking, Yercaud is famous for its coffee plantations and orange grooves! The best location is of the Shevarayan temple on a flat-topped hill having an incredible view! There are other beautiful places to visit namely the lake with excellent boating facilities! There is also the KilliyurFalls which is 3,000ft. Other places of historical interest include the silk farms, colonial buildings, old temples and an orchidarium. For foodies – the food available here is tasty and cheap!
The best way to reach Masinagudi is to drive from Ooty via Kalhatty. Again you will confront 30 to 35 bends and thick forests. Masinagudi is located on the foothills of the Nilgiris between the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka and Mudumalai National Park
in Tamil Nadu. This one is a paradise for wildlife lovers! Driving at night will ensure you clear sights of animals like bison, elephants, deer, gaur, sambar, the Indian giant squirrel, mouse deer, wild dogs to name a few! There are 320 species of birds too! Wildlife is aplenty! But, tourists are not allowed inside reserved forests. There is also a saying by locals that leopards visit the Lord Muruga temple! The Gopalswami Betta hill offers breathtaking view!
Valparai is 100km from Coimbatore. Again you have to face 40 bends. It is carpeted with beautiful plantations. So naturally the people are plantation workers. Most of the major tea companies are present here. The people here live on tea, coffee and chinchona plantations. The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary
is situated next to Valparai and again wildlife lovers will find loads to enjoy with sights of elephants, gaur, leopards, tigers and dozens of bird species! There are wonderful scenic spots and many waterfalls adding to the place’s beauty. Major places of attractions are the Aliyar, Sholaiyar and Nirar dams. But be careful enough to book hotels much ahead because there is just a handful.
4. Meghamalai Meghamalai
is situated at a kilometer and a half up in the Western Ghats. The weather is mostly misty which adds to the beautiful mystic flavour of the place! It is also abundant in tea-estates, wildlife and forests. The Meghamalai range is 628 sq. km. high and has seven villages with unique names like Cloudlands, Highwavy, Manalaar and Upper Manalaar. You can trek through some of the forests and tea estates and visit some beautiful scenic spots. Don’t miss out some of the dams and waterfalls! But, it is a lesser-known destination in the Theni district (130km from Madurai) with low tourism infrastructure and so you might need to lodge in a nearby town.
Kodaikanal is also sometimes known by the name of “Princess of Hill Station”. It is located between the Gundar and Parappar valleys and balanced on a plateau in the upper Palani Hills. It has a very comforting climate and splendid view of waterfalls! You can go trekking through lush green forests and enjoy an adventurous boating ride at the beautiful KodaiLake.
2. Horsley Hills
Horsley Hills is a quiet and beautiful place ideal for a two-day trip and especially for long walks! It is actually the departure point of the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. The best location is the hill top which is a vantage point providing sensational views! Your eyes do need such beauty to watch after a whole week!
1. Kolli Hills Kolli Hills
is an ideal place for a range of tourists from adventure lovers to temple lovers! Honeymoon couples find this to be an ideal destination! One of its unique facets is that it has not been deeply affected with the tourism department altering it meet their purposes. Therefore it is rich in natural beauty. Religious devotees come in huge numbers to visit the famous Arapaleeswarar temple.