9 Kids’ Weekend Getaways near Chennai

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The everyday buzz in Chennai during the week makes one pine for a little peace and quiet over the weekend.  As much as we love Chennai in all its glory, there are numerous getaways for the weekend which makes you escape into another world – either wandering into the sands along the Bay of Bengal or beat the notorious Chennai heat by snuggling into misty hill stations.Here are your solutions for a perfect weekend getaway with your kids within 300 kilometers from Chennai.1. DAKSHINACHITRADakshinaChitra is an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. Their main mission is to exhibit, promote and preserve aspects of the broader, more inclusive cultures of the states and to bring these arts to the public in a participating, enjoyable and engaging way. DakshinaChitra has a collection of 18 authentic historical houses with contextual exhibitions in each house.

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2. COVELONGA drive along the East Coast Road along the Bay of Bengal and you come across Covelong beach where the shining sun, calm sea and iridescent sand form a inimitable aura of exuberance and allure. Its surroundings too, captivating and pleasing, provides people with inner peace and happiness, away from the hustle and bustle of a routine. Lined by attractive and uplifting palm trees and sparkling white sand with fascinating and colourful sea-shells, the picturesque beauty of this place makes it a well-known tourist destination for the family.Distance from Chennai: 40 kilometers3. MAHABALIPURAM/ MAMMALAPURAM

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A laid back town that looks like ancient India theme park and known for its archaeological wonders, this place fondly called as Mahabs by the locals is listed as a World Heritage Site. The Shore Temple on the water’s edge, The Five Rathas (sculptured temples in the shape of a chariot) and Arjun’s Penance (carvings depicting scenes from Mahabharatha), Trimurti Cave, Krishna’s butterball (which defies all laws of physics) and Draupadi Ratha are some of the attractions here.Distance from Chennai: 55 kilometers4. PULICAT

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Bird watching is a prominent activity here as you can see some wonderful species of migratory birds here. It is well known for some wonderful sights left behind by the Dutch.Distance from Chennai: 60 kilometers5. VEDANTHANGAL BIRD’S SANCTUARY

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Translated literally as the “hamlet of the hunter”, this is the oldest bird sanctuary in the country. A protected area spread over 70 odd acres of land and includes over 40,000 birds visit the sanctuary from various parts of the world. It is home to migratory birds such as pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue winged teal and common sand piper to name a few.The best time to visit this sanctuary is from November to March. During this time, birds are seen busy building and maintaining their nests.Distance from Chennai: 75 kilometers6. VELLORE

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Vellore has the perfect blend of rich cultural heritage reminiscent of the ancient Dravidian civilization as well as picturesque scenery. The Vellore fort is one of the most prominent landmarks. 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.Distance from Chennai: 136 kilometers7. PONDICHERRY

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Fondly called as Pondy, this place is a cocktail of two cultures – a former French colony embraced by a striking Tamil culture. This is a tranquil place with its clean paved streets and colonial architecture. The ambiance of the township is that of a faded colonial bohemian chic with a touch of new age international French culture. The places of visit are the internationally popular Aurobindo Ashram, Notre Dame des Anges, Our lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sacred Heart Basilica and Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple.Distance from Chennai: 160 kilometers8. TRANQUEBAR

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Translated as “the village with dancing waves”, a Dutch colony once upon a time, Tranquebar or Tharangambadiis is an ideal weekend getaway to indulge your kids in rich colonial heritage and cultural history. 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. There is also the Danish Museum which houses antiques belonging to the colonial period.Distance from Chennai: 280 kilometers9. KOLLI HILLS

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This quaint little town 1300 feet above sea level nestled in the Eastern Ghats is still untouched and uncharted destination. Seventy hairpin bends make up the way across coffee, pepper and paddy plantations. The way offers some stunningviews of the valley. The Agaya Ganga falls is a must see as it gushes down 300 feet. Other places worth seeing are Masila Falls, Selur Nadu, and the botanical garden. The serene natural beauty of Kolli Hills lies relatively undiscovered which makes it an ideal weekend getaway for the family.Distance from Chennai: 295 kilometersIf you are planning to spend the weekend in Chennai, check out these play areas for kids.Images via various suggestive trip websites