Places to visit near Chennai within 200 km

Chennai is the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. Earlier Chennai was known as Madras and is situated on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. Here are few of the places to visit near Chennai within 200 km which can be a best picnic spot or for family vacation.

Chennai is known as the third largest populated city in India and every year thousands of tourists visit Chennai for tourism purpose. There are many attractive tourist places in this metropolitan city and around it. If you rent a car in Chennai, you can easily explore all the places near Chennai within 200 km. Here is a guide on where to visit in Chennai.


This is one of the oldest cities in the India that is located in the Kancheepuram district. The place is famous for its stone carved monuments and very ancient temples. In the 1 st century, Mahabalipuram was an important port and was ruled by Pallava Empire. The beautiful stone monuments were created during the 7 th and 8th Century AD in the dynasty of Pallava kings Mahendravarman I and Narsimhavarman I. some important places to be visited in the Mahabalipuram are

Arjuna's penance

It is a gigantic open air sculpture that describes the different episodes during Arjuna's Penance. The sculpture is carved on two big rocks of around 43 feet high. This sculpture is one of the best pieces of art in India.


It is a wonderful group of 108 temples of Lord Vishnu, The Thirukadalmallaior and Sthalasayana Perumal. The temples were built in 8 th century BC by the Pallavas Dynasty. Tamil Saints built these 108 temples devoted to Lord Vishnu. The sparkling white Gopuram of this architecture is the major attraction of thousands of devotees.

Cave temples

These 8 Rock-cut cave temples were built in the 7th century by the Pallava kings. Much different rocks carved sculptures are devoted to the different Hindu Deities and considered as one of the best pieces of arts in India. These cave temples include Krishna temple, Mahishasuramardini temple, Varaha temple, Trimurti temple, Kotikal temple, Tiger temple, Atiranachanda and Panchapandava temple.

Shore temple

This temple is carved out of granite and is also known as 7 Pagodas also. The architecture of the temple is Pallava style and is decorated with different kinds of rock cut sculptures.

Read: Unique temples of Tamil Nadu

Pancha Rathas

This is a rock cut architecture of 5 chariots named after the Pandavas from the Mahabharata. The architecture is carved out of pink granite and the tallest monument is of 40 feet high.

Tirupati Balaji Temple

Sri Tirupati Balaji temple is located in T Nagar in Chennai at Venkatnarayana Road. Lord Venkateshwara and Alamelu Manga are worshipped in this temple. The idol of Lord Venkateshwara is similar to the Swayambhu idol in Tirupati. While entering the temple complex you can see the Bali Peetam and the tall Dwajastambham. Next to it is the entrance hall similar to Tirumala temple with two statues of Dwara Palakas Jaya and Vijaya. Along with the lord Tirupathi Balaji you can also take the darshana or lord Hayagriva, Lord Ranganatha with Goddess Lakshmi, Bhoo Devi and Lord Brahma. Thousands of devotees visit this temple daily from all parts of the country to seek the blessing of the Lord.

Vellore Golden Temple

This famous golden temple is situated in the Vellore city at Tirumalaikodi. This beautiful Sripuram is a temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi and Lakshmi Narayan. The Ardha Mandapam and the Vimanam in the temple are completely gold coated from inside as well as the outer side. The golden temple has covered the area of 100 acres of land and is built by Sri Narayani Peedam and Guru Sakthi Amma. The outer part of the temple is covered with gold plates and gold sheets and the total cost of the creation of the temple is around 300 crore. Total 1500 kilograms of gold is used to make this temple. Devotees and tourists from all over the world visit this temple daily to take darshanam and to enjoy the majestic architecture. The temple opens daily at 4.00 in the early morning and closes at 8.00 in the evening. The temple is open for the whole year. The darshanam is free for the devotees. Special darshanam is also available with a nominal fee to save time and energy.

Kanchipuram Kailasanathar Temple

The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is situated in Kanchipuram and is one of the famous temples of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam in this temple is around 10 feet high. The temple was built in 7th century Ad by Pallava king Narasimhavarman II. The temple is especially famous for its amazing Gopuram and the Vimana. It is the wonderful piece of architecture of that time. The Kailasanatha temple is considered as the biggest sandstone temple in the world. The path towards the temple is made in a different way for the devotees. The temple walls are decorated with inscriptions of Pallava Grantha and the titles of Narasimhavarman II. The temple is famous for its 64 postures of Lord Shiva to elaborate the various aspects of Indian Mythology. The specialty of the Shiva Lingam in the temple is the flat stripes on it. The temple opens 6:00 in the morning and closes at 6:30 in the evening. The temple remains closed from 12:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon.

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

The place is situated around 50 kilometers away from the Nellore district. The Nelapattu bird sanctuary is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in India. The major attraction of the sanctuary is the Pelicans birds of South Asia. You can also visit the variety of local as well as migrant birds here. Many endangered species of birds are also preserved here at this bird sanctuary. Some birds you can see commonly here are spotted Belied Pelican, Spoon Bill, White Ibis, Night Heron, Open Billed Stork, Painted Stork, Little Cormorant and Spoon Bill. Apart from this some rare birds like Babblers, Pelicans, Flamingos, open Billed Stork, Coot, Night Heron and Waders are also seen here. The additional activities run by the sanctuary makes it more famous are the Environmental Education Centre, The Museum and the Library to provide lots of information. Also, the auditorium is available for seminars and discussions. The months between October to March are the best time to visit the sanctuary as the weather remains cool and pleasant during these months. The sanctuary remains open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day.

Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram

This famous ashram is situated in Pondicherry. You can reach Pondicherry from Chennai or from Bangalore easily by air or railways. Roadways are also available to reach Pondicherry conveniently. Ashram Guesthouse is available for the visitors in very limited numbers. You have to reserve the rooms very much in advance as the rooms are not easily available. You can also visit Ashram building freely during Visiting hours but some areas require the pass for entry. You can get the information about it in the Bureau Central in Ashram. Here you can get the introduction to the visions of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, about their spiritual practice through videos, books, and photographs. As the weather of the Pondicherry is very hot, it is advisable to visit there during the period between November and February. All important days of Ashram Activities also come between these periods. If you want to avoid crowd then you can visit there during March to July or in the month of September. Mother's room is available for visitors only on 17th November and on 21st February.

Also Read: Best Tourist Places in Tamil Nadu


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