Excursions & Tours from Chennai

Chennai, the fourth largest city in India is the capital of Tamil Nadu. It has several places of tourist attraction which are visited by both local and foreign travelers. Let's take a look at some of the excursions and tours available in Chennai.

Excursions from Chennai

Ennore and Elliots Beaches: Ennore Beach, 18 km. from the city, offers boating facility in the backwaters. Elliots is a 11-km. drive from the city. It is ideal for swimming.

Cholamandal: This artists' village is situated 20 km. from Chennai on the Mahabalipuram Road. This is the place where many talented sculptors and painters have settled down to work. One can buy attractive sculptures, paintings, graphics drawings, and batiks from showrooms.

Covelong: It is a small fishing village 40 km. from Chennai on the Mahabalipuram Road. The Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali originally built it as a port and this is the place where in 1976 the French troops landed. It is a picnic spot with a nice beach.

Crocodile Bank: This is also situated on way to Mahabalipuram, about 40 km. from Chennai.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: It is situated 85 km. away from Chennai. November-February is the best season to visit this sanctuary when migratory birds roost. Ideal time to visit: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. when day feeders fly in and night feeders go out.

Conducted Tours from Chennai

City sightseeing: Conducted by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC); covers Fort St. George, Govt. Museum & Art Gallery, Valluvar Kottam, Gandhi Mandapam, Guindy Snake Park, Kapaleeswarar Temple and Marina Beach. For reservations, contact ITDC Regional Office (S), 29 Victoria Crescent Road.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) also conducts tours covering all the above places. For reservations, contact TTDC Offices at 143, Mount Road (Anna Salai); and Express Bus Stand (High Court compound). Both trips are four hours each, starting around 2 in the afternoon.

Tirupathi: Conducted by both ITDC and TTDC. For reservations, contact as above. The tour leaves around 6 in the morning and returns the same night by 8.30.

Kanchipuram - Thirukkazhukundram - Mamallapuram: This tour is conducted by both ITDC and TTDC. For reservation one can contact the ITDC and TTDC offices.

Seven-day package tour: The TTDC conducted this tour. The tour covers Thanjavur, Kanyakumari, Rameswaram, Srirangam, Kodaikanal, Tiruchi, Suchindrum, Madurai, Tiruchendur, and return to Chennai. For reservation one can contact the TTDC office. It's a Saturday-through-Friday tour, leaving at 7 a.m. and returning around 6.30 p.m.

Seven-day South India package tour: The TTDC conducted this tour. The tour covers Coimbatore, Ooty, Kochi, Somnathpur, Thiruvarinamalai,Brindavan Gardens, Mysore, Hoggenakkal, Coonoor, Bangalore, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Srirangapatnam, and return to Chennai. This tour also leaves on Saturdays and returns on Fridays, at the same timings.

How to reach Chennai

By air: Chennai is an international airport, well connected by foreign as well as domestic flights. Domestic Airlines services include flights to and from Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi, Trivandrum and Nagpur. There are also flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Colombo.

By rail: There are two rail terminals at Chennai — Chennai Central for trains to and from North, East, West and a few Southern destinations, and Chennai Egmore for trains all over South.

By road: Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation runs plenty of Express and luxury buses to destinations all over Tamil Nadu and several inter-State buses. Important services include buses to Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Rameswaram, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Trivandrum and Kollur (for visiting Mookambikai temple).

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