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25 Amazing Weekend Getaways from Chennai

 
  • Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is one of the most beautiful cities, located on the shoreline of Bay of Bengal. After a tiring week, reenergizing yourself is a must. Hence, to do so, there are many weekend getaways from Chennai, which will allow you to relax and unwind, and give you the superpower to face the upcoming week.

    Within 100 km:


    -Pulicat: 50.3 km, Route
    -Mahabalipuram: 56 km
    , Route
    -Kanchipuram: 74.8 km
    , Route

    Within 100-200 km:


    -Tirupati: 133.1 km
    , Route
    -Vellore: 139.7 km
    , Route
    -Pondicherry: 155.3 km
    , Route
    -Nellore: 175 km
    , Route

    Within 200-400 km:


    -Yelagiri: 230.3 km
    , Route
    -Tharangambadi: 270.5 km
    , Route
    -Yercaud: 367.7 km
    , Route

    Chennai not only offers weekend getaways to relax and unwind, but also to experience some great adventurous activities, amusement and theme parks and much more. In short, the weekend getaways in Chennai will definitely guarantee an amazing experience to you.

    One-day weekend getaways around Chennai:

  • 01Mahabalipuram

    Image Credit : Aasif Iqbal J

    Listed as a World Heritage Site because of its ancient archaeological wonders, this fascinating place is also known as Mamallapuram or as some call it - “Mahabs”. It is a laid-back town which most travellers flock to.

    Attractions: The windswept Shore Temple is a sight worth catching on the water’s edge. Mahabs is known for the Five Rathas (sculptured temples in the shape of chariots) and Arjun’s Penance (huge carvings on a rock depicting scenes from the Mahabharata).

    The Mamallapuram Dance Festival is a remarkable event that one cannot miss. Other religious sights are the Krishna Mandapa, Trimurti Cave Temple, Ganesh Ratha and Draupadi Ratha. The Sculpture museum is a treasure trove of the most magnificent sculptures and paintings in the city.

    Activities: Bicycling tours to the neighbouring villages offer activities like rice and masala grinding as well as kolam or rangoli drawings. One can even indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments and water sports.

    Distance from Chennai: 52 km

    Best time to visit: December - March

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  • 02Pulicat

    Image Credit : Nara Simhan - Flickr

    A small seashore township, Pulicat resides in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu on the island of Sriharikota dividing the Pulicat Lake from Bay of Bengal. Itis renowned for its invigorating sights worth catching a glimpse of.

    Attractions: The major attractions of the place are the beach, the Dutch cemetery, Fort, church and particularly the bird sanctuary where a variety of migratory birds reside. Between December and January, the Tourism Board organizes the Flamingo festival when thousands of the bird species align on the swampy regions of the Pulicat Lake. Two neighbouring villages of Vedurupattu and Nelapattu are other attractions here.

    Also check out marvellous beach resorts in Chennai

    Activities: Bird watching is a prominent activity for tourists as they can catch sight of some of the most stunning species of migratory birds here. Several beach activities and water sports are other forms of entertainment in Pulicat

    Distance from Chennai: 55 Kms

    Best time to visit: October - March

  • 03Kanchipuram

    Image Credit : Senthil Kumar- Flickr

    Also known as the “Silk City”, the popular city of Kanchipuram is not only reputed for its world famous traditionally crafted silk sarees but also its culture and civilization with its glorious display of a thousand temples. If you aim to visit someplace religious, historical and entertaining altogether,Kanchipuram is one of the best weekend getaways around Chennai.

    Attractions: Considered the city of thousand temples, Kanchipuram has temples that stand proof of the Dravidian legacy left behind some of which are Ekambareswarar, Kamakshi Amman, Devarajaswami and Kailasanathar.

    Another must-visit sight is KanchiKudil, a 90 year ancestral home resembling the olden style of architecture of the entire town. Additionally, a prominent attraction is the Vedanthangla Bird Sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise.

    Also check out the Best Places to visit in Chennai

    Activities: Bird watching and sightseeing are forms of entertainment for tourists who visit the temple city.

    Distance from Chennai: 72 km

    Best time to visit: September - March

  • 04Tirupati

    Image Credit : RadhaKrishna Balla

    If you are a history and archaeology buff, Tirupati is the place to be. A major pilgrimage and cultural city in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, a million disciples visit Tirumala, an alias of Tirupati.

    Attractions: One of the richest pilgrimage centres of any religion and regarded as the most visited temple in the world, TirumalaTirupatiDevasthanam is where you must stop at when in Tirupati. Another place of religion is the Venkateswara temple, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The geographical marvel that is a naturally formed rock bridge called Silathoranam adds to the beauty of the city. But one cannot miss the evergreen ornate heaven beyond the hillocks of the TirumalaTirupatiDevasthanam that is the TTD Gardens.

    Activities: The activity enjoyed by tourists here is sightseeing since the city has a ton of magnificent historical monuments to offer.

    Distance from Chennai:135 km

    Best time to visit: September - March

  • 05Vellore

    Image Credit : Sachin Suresh Jadhav

    The Fort City of Tamil Nadu, as it is affectionately called, Vellore has the perfect blend of rich cultural heritage reminiscent of the ancient Dravidian civilization as well as picturesque scenery. Thus it is an ideal weekend getaway from Chennai.

    Attractions:A monument of National importance and a noted tourist attraction, Vellore Fort marks as one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. Within the fort are the ancient Jalakanteswara Temple and the epic State Government Museum.

    Srilakshmi Golden Temple that is coated with gold both in the exteriors and interiors is another must-visit in Vellore. Additionally, the Archaeology Survey of Indian Museum is another that must be up on your to-do list. 

    Activities: Tourists love to indulge in as many sightseeing activities as possible for the city holds historical and architectural significance.

    Distance from Chennai: 136 kms

    Best time to visit: October - March

  • 06Pondicherry

    Fondly termed as ‘Pondy’, this former French colony is a sea of tranquillity what with its quiet, clean cobbled streets and colonial townhouses aligned beside them. The vibe of the township is a faded colonial bohemian chic with a touch of new age international French culture.

    The presence of the internationally recognized Sri Aurobindo Ashram lends in the peaceful yoga-like feel to the place. By popular demand, Pondy has earned itself a number on the list of most popular weekend getaways from Chennai.

    Attractions: There are several sights of tourist interest in Pondy. The first that comes to mind is the French Quarter, a quaint little neighbourhood laced with cobbled streets, white and mustard romantic colonial buildings. The most well-known landmark is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram founded in 1926 that is un-missable when here.

    Also check some of the Best Places to visit in Pondicherry

    A series of religious attractions are favourites here as well, namely Notre Dame des Anges, Our lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sacred Heart Basilica and Sri ManakulaVinayagar temple.

    Activities: One can either indulge in a bunch of exhilarating water sports adventures or pamper themselves in the multitude of ayurvedic health centres and spa treatments.

    Distance from Chennai: 161 Km

    Best time to visit: October - February

  • 07Nellore

    Plonked in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Nellore is an ancient town that existed since the time when the Mauryan Empire ruled under the kingship of 

    Attractions: The environs of Nellore offer some interesting places as tourist attractions namely the Pulicat Lake and the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary. Other attractions of a man-made nature are the Somasila Dam, Udaygiri Fort and SatishDhawan Space Centre.

    The Mystical Walk is an extraordinary way to discover a city as vibrant as Chennai

    Activities: Sightseeing and bird watching are the prominent activities enjoyed by tourists here.

    Distance from Chennai:177 Kms

    Best time to visit: December - February

    Two-day weekend trips from Chennai:

  • 08Yelagiri

    Image Credit : Ashwin Kumar- Flickr

    Get pleasantly lost in the magical hill station of Yelagiri, in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Have a tryst with the charming neighbourhood of tribal villages in here.It is because of the tranquillity and solitude of this hillock that Yelagiri scores high on the list of most popular weekend getaways around Chennai.

    Attractions: Yelagiri is for those seeking an easy-paced holiday away from the madness of the city. Perhaps the signature landmark of the place is the Punganoor artificial lake-cum-park where tourists can enjoy a walk or some boating.

    Additionally, the picturesque Swami Malai Hills are a dreamy treat to the eyes. One can even take a walk by the cascading waters of the majestic Jalagamparai Falls.

    Don't forget to see some more places to visit in Yelagiri

    Activities: Boating and sightseeing are some easy-paced activities one can entertain themselves with. However, for adventure aficionados, the Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association (YASA) offers a host of thrilling activities.

    Distance from Chennai: 227 Km

    Accommodations: Resorts in Yelagiri

    Best time to visit: November - February

    Day outing at Peter's Park, Yelagiri

    Day outing at Peter's Park, Yelagiri

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  • 09Tranquebar/Tharangambadi

    Image Credit : Joseph Jayanth - Flickr

    A tiny windswept town in Tamil Nadu which goes by the Danish name of Tranquebar, Tharangambadiis the ideal weekend getaway if heritage buildings, cultural history and architecture is your thing. The beachy town is also affectionately termed as the “village of the dancing waves.”

    Attractions: Besides Fort Dansborg where Danish manuscripts and sculptures are the only remnants of the Danish East India Company, there are a ton of churches that are must-visits here. One of the most significant ones is the Zion Church, a new Jerusalem church built in 1701. There is also the Danish Museum for those of who keen of studying the antiques belonging to the colonial period.

    Activities: Tourists love to indulge in sightseeing when in Tranquebar because of its rich colonial heritage.

    Distance from Chennai: 283 kms

    Best time to visit: February- August

  • 10Yercaud

    Image Credit : Ananh BS - Flickr

    Cuddled in the verdant green environs and undulating hills of Salem district of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is a mystical destination. Escape into the array of flora and fauna of this sleepy little getaway when here.

    Attractions: The stunning Yercaud Lake which is surrounded by gardens and woods is one you should not miss. The Pagoda Point is another site where you can catch the panoramic view of the enchanting town. Some other natural gems of Yercaud are the Kiliyur Waterfalls, Lady’s Seat, Silk Farm and Rose Garden, Deer Park, Bears Cave, Kottachedu Teak Forest and Anna Park.

    Activities: Enjoy camping, sightseeing as well as trekking up in the hills of Yercaud as you discover its little-known natural treasures.

    Distance from Chennai: 358 km

    Best time to visit: October - June

    Accommodation: Yercaud resorts

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  • 11Nandi Hills

    Image Credit : Parthiv Haldipur

    If you want to be enticed by the charming green allure of hills, Nandi Hills is your ideal weekend destination. The lofty hills also known as Nandidurg are an ancient hill fortress in South India and offers a magnificent view from its peaks. It not is a picturesque respite from the humdrum of the city but also lends a cultural significance with Tipu Sultan having resided here during retirement.

    Attractions: Feast your eyes to an array of tourist attractions such as the Bhoganandeeswara Temple, Tipu’s Drop, Tipu’s Summer Palace and Fort, Brahmashram, and Hoskote Lake to name a few.

    Activities: Wine TourCycling and trekking are celebrated activities as visitors love exploring the depths and landscapes of these hills. Bird watching is another loved activity tourist cannot get enough of.

    Distance from Chennai: 358 km

    Best time to visit: From sunrise i.e. 6am to 10am

    Longer weekend getaways around Chennai:

  • 12Mysore

    The cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is proudly renowned as the city of palaces. An ancient town with more than 600 years of legacy, it is one of the most flamboyant destinations in the country.

    Reputed for its glittering royal heritage, magnificent monuments and a friendly populace, Mysore is also a thriving centre for the production of silk, sandalwood and incense with trade markets worldwide thus making it one of the most frequented weekend getaways from Chennai.

    Attractions: It is but obvious that the palaces of Mysore appeal to one and all;especially the world-renowned Mysore Palace, Jagmohana Palace, Rajendra Vilas, Jayalakshmi Vilas and LalithaMahal. Most of these have been converted to museums dedicated to arts and artifacts for the pleasure of tourists.

    Some other notable tourist attractions are Chamundeshwari temple, DattaPeetham, Mysore Zoo, Shivasamudram waterfall, Rail Museum and Brindavan Gardens.

    Activities: Sightseeing and royal walk tours are the most cherished activities tourists like to indulge in when in Mysore.

    Distance from Chennai: 480 Km

    Best time to visit: October - March

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  • 13BR Hills

    Image Credit : PeeVee - Flickr

    Nestled at the convergence of the Western and Eastern Ghats in south-western Karnataka, this range of the Nilgiris is a favourite getaway for those who crave an off-beat time away from monotony in the lap of nature.

    Owing to its unique location, these hills are home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna there is out there. Apart from the abundance of biodiversity that BR hills flaunt, its green thickets are also home to the Soliga tribe.

    Attractions: Among the many tourist attractions here, the BR temple or the temple of Lord Rangaswamy, the BR hills tiger reserve, the Jenukurba and Soliga tribal hamlets are those that you simple cannot miss out on.

    Activities: Trekking, bird watching, jungle safari, mountain biking and wildlife photography within the forest premises are some of the activities one can look forward to when visiting this hill station.

    Distance from Chennai: 504 kms

    Best time to visit: June - November

  • 14Kodaikanal

    One of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in the country, Kodaikanal, or Kodai as it is lovingly called, is the princess of Hill Stations and rightly so. Not only for the spectacular yet cosy serenity of the place that captivates the soul but for its multitude of phenomenal waterfalls that make this beautiful town the most visited weekend getaway from Chennai.

    Attractions: The views from Coaker’s Walk, Moir’s point, Green Valley view and Pillar rocks are stunning. Chettiar and Bryant Parks both are small, pretty, landscaped which explains its popularity amongst canoodling couples. Berijam Lake, Bear Shola Falls and Silver Cascade are some of the natural treasures of this quaint little town.

    Activities: Apart from rowing down the Berijam Lake and going on walks in the parks, one can indulge in a bit of trekking as they head to the various viewpoints here.

    Distance from Chennai: 518 Kms

    Best time to visit: September - May

  • 15Meghamalai

    Image Credit : Ramesh Rasaiyan - Flickr

    One of the many attractive and exquisite places that are abundant in nature’s most beautiful products is Meghamalai, nuzzled in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu. Also known as the “High Wavy Mountains”, this is an incredible city if you crave your leisure time absorbing the panoramic views of green environs and lofty peaks.

    Attractions: Spreading over an expanse of 600 square meters, Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the many famous tourist attractions in the city. Also known as Clouds Land Falls,Meghamalai Falls is very popular for its gushing waters cascading from a height of 190 ft.

    Last but not the least,Vellimalai is a scientifically managed expanse of both tea gardens and wild animals that visitors love spending time in.

    Activities: As obvious as it is, tourists in Meghamalai love spending a considerable amount of their time sightseeing around this gorgeous destination.

    Distance from Chennai: 545 kms

    Best time to visit: September - May

  • 16Ooty

    Although this cosy hill town is a little too messy for some tastes, the greenery quieter neighbourhoods of this place could easily be mistaken for an English countryside.

    A combination of charming British bungalows, temples, parks and gardens, Ooty is the most popular hill station of South India and works as a welcome relief from the humdrum scenes of life.

    Attractions: If we had to list down a number of tourist attractions in this scenic town, the Botanical Gardens, Rose Garden and Thread Garden are for those who appreciate living galleries of the natural flora of the Nilgiris.

    Then comes St. Stephen’s Church, Tribal Research Centre Museum and Nilgiri Library. For those who want to bask in the misty scenery of the place, Doddabetta Lookout is a must-visit.

    Activities: Boating and sightseeing are the activities tourists love to indulge in when here.

    Distance from Chennai: 547 km

    Best time to visit: May – June and December - February

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  • 17Rameswaram

    One of the holiest places to see in India and often considered the Varanasi of the south,Rameswaram, as ancient as the Ramayana, is among perfect weekend getaways from Chennai. The city is a pilgrimage centre being home to some of the most spectacular places of worship in the country. Apart from these pilgrims, Rameswaram is a small fishing town on an island by the name 

    Attractions: The esteemed Ramanathaswamy Temple that has the largest temple corridor in India is one religious site that is celebrated world over since the time of the Ramayana. Since Rameswaram is an important fishing centre of Tamil Nadu, visits to its neighbouring fishing villages are quite the tourist attraction.

    While passing through the Pamban Bridge to reach Rameswaram, park your vehicle and enjoy the captivating view of the ocean as you feel the breeze in your hair.

    Activities: Due to the rich cultural heritage of the place, sightseeing the most indulgent activity here.

    Distance from Chennai: 553 Kms

    Best time to visit: October - April

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  • 18Nagarhole

    Image Credit : Ashwin K- flickr

    One of the most attractive and diverse wildlife reserves there are, Nagarhole National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is located in the Kodagu and Mysore districts of Karnataka. Adjoining Kabini Lake, it forms an important animal corridor that runs through the neighbouring Bandipur National Park.

    Its lush green thickets form homes to several species of wildlife that additionally makes for some fantastic wildlife watching.

    Attractions: The National Park is the most favoured tourist attraction due to the abundant varieties of tigers, leopards, gaurs, elephants, wild dogs, bonnet macaques and common langurs that have made it their home.

    Activities: Adventure aficionados will love the 20-seater motorboat rides and Government-run jungle safaris that keep the entertainment going in the park.

    Distance from Chennai: 557 km

    Best time to visit: October - May

    Brahmagiri Trek, Waterfall Visit and Nagarhole Wildlife Safari

    Brahmagiri Trek, Waterfall Visit and Nagarhole Wildlife Safari

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  • 19Kabini

    Image Credit : Vinoth Chandar - Flickr

    For nature lovers and those who just cannot get enough of the wilderness, Kabini will be appealing to you. The Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is banked beside the river that shares its name with a quaint lake that is decorated by some majestic landscapes.

    Attractions: Apart from taking in the wilderness of the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary that houses a multitude of bird and animal species, Tadiyadamol is another must-visit. It is the highest mountain range in the Coorg region and a trekker’s delight. Also, there is Kumara Parvatha, a famous pilgrimage centre, Kabini Dam and Nagarhole National Park.

    Activities: Due to its verdant environs, it makes an ideal place to pitch your camps or go trekking. The Kabinibackwaters are a perfect camping site that allows you to unwind and enjoy the pristine surroundings.

    Distance from Chennai: 558 Kms

    Best time to visit: October - May

    Cottage Stay in Kabini near Karnataka

    Cottage Stay in Kabini near Karnataka

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  • 20Thekkady

    Image Credit : Reji - Flickr

    Thekkady is where the renowned Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary resides. Unending chains of hills, picturesque spice-scented plantations and herds of elephants are what define this place.

    Attractions: Noted for its biodiversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Periyar Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. The greatest attraction of Thekkady, however, is the herds of elephants that come down to the river.Kumily, Kurisumala, Pandikuzhi and Murikaddy are some of Thekkady’s neighbours.

    They are an eclectic mix of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams and a panorama of coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations respectively.

    Activities: The most favourite activity here are the elephant rides around the wildlife reserve. Second to that are the plantation rides. What follows them are boat rides on Periyar Lake and trekking.

    Distance from Chennai: 561 km

    Best time to visit: September - March

  • 21Mudumalai

    Image Credit : Prabhu Doss - Flickr

    Sandwiched between the Bandipur and Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuaries, the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is a continuation of Bandipiur’s reserve and is most renowned for its elephant habitat. The river Moyar flows between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and runs inside the sanctuary.

    Attractions: The main attraction of Mudumalai happens to be the elephant camp called Theppakadu. For plant lovers, there are a ton of medicinal herbs to observe. Look out for plants like Aredesia, Solanancea, LabumusumTerminalia and the likes.

    Activities: One can go trekking to explore the captivating magnificence of Mudumalai. Early morning wildlife safaris that take one into the depths of the woods are another favourite.

    Distance from Chennai: 562 kms

    Best time to visit: February - June

    Main Road Safari In Mudumalai

    Main Road Safari In Mudumalai

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  • 22Masinagudi

    Image Credit : Alosh Bennett- flickr

    Harbouring a charming ambience of serenity and calmness, the hill town of Masinagudi is located on the foothills of the Nilgiris. Adorned by the scenic Western Ghats landscape full of lush green thickets, this is reserve plays home to innumerable species of animals. It is reputed for housing the largest tiger population in India.

    Attractions: The best tourist attraction would be catching sight of the rarest wildlife forms in their natural habitats some of which are elephants, Malabar squirrels, langurs, chitals and wild boars. But if you are lucky, you could even spot a tiger.

    Activities: Jeep safaris are what everybody opts for when here. 2 hours of this safari around the untouched areas of the reserve during dawn and dusk and you will be coming face to face with the wildlife at its best. From tigers, elephants, deer to wild boars, langurs and peacocks, you will see them all.

    Distance from Chennai: 562 kms

    Best time to visit: September - March

    Offbeat Stays in Masinagudi:

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  • 23Munnar

    Image Credit : Jakub Michankow

    Pocketed in between the three mountain rivulets of Kundala, Mudrapuzha and Nallathanni, is the charming little town atop a hill that is Munnar. It is a popular trekking destination with its highest peak being Anamudi.

    Attractions: The paradise of Munnar attracts tourists all over with its lush environs, lakes, waterfalls, forests that offer some spectacular flora.

    Some notable tourist attractions here are Mattupetty Lake, Eravikulam National Park, Echo Point, Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary, Valara Waterfalls and Marayoor.Munnar is rich in tea plantations and hence is known to be one of the tea trade centres in India.

    Activities: Tourists visiting Munnar keep themselves occupied by indulging in paragliding, rock climbing, cycling and hang gliding activities. Nature walks, trekking and bird watching are also some of the other activities which one can pursue in Munnar.

    Distance from Chennai: 575 km

    Best time to visit: August - May

    Flying Fox Experience In Munnar

    Flying Fox Experience In Munnar

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  • 24Valparai

    Image Credit : Navaneeth KN - Flickr

    The heavenly town of Valparai is nestled on the Anamalai mountain range. With green thickets, verdant environs, jaw-dropping landscapes, Valparai is one of the popular weekend getaways from Chennai.

    Attractions: One could either cool off in the gushing waters of the countless waterfalls here or take in the wilderness of the Anamalai Tiger reserve. To get a panoramic view of the beautiful surrounding around Valparai, one can head to the several lookout points in town.

    Activities: Jungle safaris around the Anamalai Tiger Reserve are popular apart from the usual trekking and bird watching opportunities.

    Distance from Chennai: 573 kms

    Best time to visit: October – March

  • 25Coorg

    Image Credit : Philip Larson - Flickr

    A very popular hill station in the Kodagu district of Karnataka paints a pretty picture of grandeur of nature. Nestled in the thick canopies of the Western Ghats, Coorg is everyone’s favourite weekend getaway because of the abundant coffee plantations, lush greenery and gorgeous landscapes it houses.

    Attractions: Coorg also has a number of local attractions to itscredit, some of which include the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe,Talakaveri,Omkareshwara temple in Madikeri, and the picnic spot of Cauvery Nisargadhama.

    This destinationalso has three wildlife sanctuaries – thePushpagiri and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuariesand the Nagarhole National Park. Some of the animal species found in these wildlife parks include the Asiatic elephant, tigers, leopards and wild boars.

    Activities: This place is a hotspot for campers and mountain or quad biking enthusiasts. Rafting, microlight flying and water rappelling are other adventure activities one can partake in when here.

    Distance from Chennai: 597 km

    Best time to visit: September - May