‘Wake me up when September ends,’ is a song made famous by the band Greenday. Perhaps it should be changed to reflect the mood of the current times – ‘Wake me up when COVID ends.’
It has been eight months since the pandemic broke in India and with lockdowns and the fear of rising numbers, one of the sectors terribly hit was the hospitality and travel sector. Now, with each phase of ‘Unlock’, things are limping back to normalcy and people have started venturing outdoors. Hotels located at motorable distances from cities are getting enquiries and are starting to welcome guests.
In this article, we list five places that you could consider visiting if you live in and around Tamil Nadu and Chennai.
The drive from Chennai to Puducherry can be completed in about three and a half hours and the ride through the East Coast Road (ECR) is an absolute treat. What’s interesting about Puducherry is that it has so much to offer. You can consider staying in a commercial hotel or even book a villa or cottage for the weekend, which gives you privacy as well as the chance to follow your own sanitising protocols.
Some options to consider are –
a) Palais De Mahe
Situated in the White Town region of Puducherry, this property is centrally located and is just 12 kilometres away from Auroville and about 2.5 kilometres from the Aurobindo Ashram. This property is also ensuring that all safety protocols are looked into and followed well. The room rate begins from Rs 6000 and you can reach the hotel directly via their website here or call on 0413-2345611.
You can also click here to access the document outlining all the safety protocols being followed by this hotel.
b) Hotel Surguru
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly stay option then do consider Surguru. With room tariffs starting at Rs 2700, this hotel, situated in the Heritage Town of Puducherry, is perfect. It is also convenient for travellers since it is only 600 meters away from the Aurobindo Ashram and also the Promenade beach.
You can contact this property on 0413-4200201.
2. Pulicat Lake
In less than two hours from Chennai, you can reach the idyllic seaside town in Thiruvallur district and enjoy the scenic beauty that this place has to offer. Popular for its seawater lagoon, this area also attracts various migratory birds. During the winter season, the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary sees flocks of Flamingos. Grey Heron, Open Bill Stork, And Little Egrets are other birds you can spot here.
Do check out details of the Flamingo festival that is conducted each year to coincide with the arrival of the migratory birds. The sanctuary remains open for visitors from 6.00 am until 6.00 pm and one can also consider boating on the lake.
This small town perched on a mountain is perfect for those who are looking for some adventure. Trekking, paragliding, and boating are some of the activities that you could indulge in. Situated about three and a half hours away from Chennai, Yelagiri is a good weekend getaway spot.
There are hotels which are priced from Rs 3500 a night onwards. Some of the places that you could consider looking at include, Hotel Kumararaja Palace, which is centrally located can be reached at 9841055422 for further queries and also Treebo Trend Laa Gardenia which you can check out by clicking here.
4. Tranquebar or Tharangambadi
With a very rich Danish influence, this former colony of Denmark is situated about 280 kilometres away from Chennai. The name of this place means ‘a place of the swinging waves’ and one could consider staying at one of the following places.
a) Bungalow on the Beach
To find out more details about this property, you can click here to access the website or call on 01244666166 to find out more details.
b) The Gate House
You can access the website here and call on +91-9121580188 to get more details.
If you enjoy architecture and history then you could also spend your time walking into the forts, churches and even a maritime museum that this region has.
A beach town, Cuddalore is situated about 163 kilometres away from Chennai. Some of the attractions here include the Padaleshwarar Temple, which is dedicated to the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Silver beach, which is situated in Devanampattinam, is an attractive golden sandy beach on the eastern side of the Cuddalore New Town and also the Devanatha Swami temple devoted to Lord Devanayakaswami.
To ensure that you take along a good camera or have your phone fully charged to click some gorgeous pictures. If you know of other places to visit from Chennai, do write to us.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)