Top 5 places for one day tour near Chennai

We were in Chennai for the last 4.5 years. Recently we moved from Chennai to Mumbai. Being in the south Indian city, Chennai is the best center from where you can visit most of the tourist places in South India. In this post I will share about top 5 places for one day tour near Chennai.

Many people from West Bengal, Orissa and Bangladesh visit Chennai for their medical purpose (No need to mention that Chennai is best known place for Medical facilities in India). This post will also help those people to plan a one day tour from Chennai.

Best Time to visit these Places:

As you might know that the weather of Chennai and other part of Tamilnadu is hot in most of the time of the year, so it is better to avoid Summer time (March-July) for any travel. The comfortable weather is between August- January when the temperature is ok. (There is no winter in Tamilnadu  🙁 )


Best way to reach:

Though some of the places can be accessible by train/bus, however it is advisable to hire a cab or take personal car for these one day trip from Chennai.


  1. Mahabalipuram:

Mahabalipram would be my first and foremost suggestion for one day tour from Chennai. This is a UNESCO World heritage site in the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. In addition to exquisite blue sea, you can witness many monuments of Pallava dynasty. Seashore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance are name of a few. To read more about Mahabalipuram trip read my post here.

Sea Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram
Me and my family at Sea Shore Mahabalipuram
Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram

Distance from Chennai: 56 Km.

How to reach: You can take a cab (Ola/ Uber outstation or hired car) or take a bus. There are many buses from Chennai bus stops which will take you to Mahabalipuram.


  1. Pondicherry:

Though this is a place where you should spend at least 2 days, however you can visit this place in one day if you don’t have much time. Pondicherry was the largest French colony of India and because of its Roads, Building’s architecture, the city still resembles as the French Riviera of the East (La Côte d’Azur de l’Est).

Pondicherry Buildings
Rock beach at Pondicherry
Pondichery Buildings
Me and my daughter in 2015-Rock Beach, Pondicherry
Me and my daughter, Year 2018 Rock Beach, Pondicherry

There are many Places (Promenade Baeach, Botanical garden, Shri Aurobindo Ashram) which you can explore by taking a Bike or Cycle on rent. If you want to know more about Auroville/ Aurobindo Ashram and the meditation experience of mine please read about Auroville-everything to know before visit.

Auroville, Pondicherry

Distance from Chennai: 160 Km.

How to reach: You can take a cab (Ola/ Uber outstation or hired car) or take a bus. You can visit via train as there are 2 trains which runs from Chennai Egmore station.


  1. Kanchipuram:

Kanchipuram is the temple city of Chennai. It was the capital of Pallava dynasty, so there are many temples with splendid architecture. Please note that for visiting Kanchipuram you have to start early as all the temples in Tamil Nadu closes by 12/12.30 pm. (This is what happened to us!! 🙁 🙁 )

Me and my family at Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram Temple
Kanchipuram Temple

Also note that there are not much options for food, only 1 or 2  vegetarian Restaurants (no decent food quality) and Pizza hut/Mac Donald are there, so if you are travelling with kids, take home made food if possible. [The status may change as we went in the year of 2016]

Distance from Chennai: 74 Km.


  1. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary:

If you are a birdwatcher person, then Vedanthangal is a perfect one day outing near Chennai. Spread over about 30 Acres, this is the oldest bird sanctuary in the country. Vedanthangal is the home to many migratory bird, such as pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpipe.

We at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
We at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Bird Eye view from Watch Tower- Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
The water Body at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Distance from Chennai: 75 Km. If you start early, it will take 2 hours to reach there by car via NH 45.


Note: There is not any hotel/ restaurant near that area, so accommodation and food both are not possible there. We took our lunch after coming to Chennai. Plan accordingly.


  1. Yellagiri:

Though Yellagiri is better covered in 2 days as it is almost 227 Km from Chennai. We went Yelagiri for one day trip. There is a lake in which you can do Boating or just relax seating beside the lake.

The temperature of the small hilly area is 2-3 degree less than Chennai. In Yellagiri, there is also a Jungle camp where lot of playing options are there. If you are travelling with kids, they may love this place.

Me inside!!
Punganoor lake,Yelagiri
oating at Punganoor lake, Yelagiri

There are only few restaurants and hotels available, so if you are travelling in peak season (Oct-December), it’s better to book your accommodation online.

There are some other places which are equally beautiful but we did not visit. Some of them are- Vellore, Tirupati, and Pulicat Lake which also can be covered in a day trips from Chennai.

Is there anything I missed? Please let me know if you have visited any other good places for day outing near Chennai.

One day tour near Chennai
One day trip near Chennai