Sunday Soujourn-In and around Tamil Nadu

Spending a Sunday lounging on the couch is getting old and makes me feel older.Going for a movie at a mall,having lunch there and chilling at the beach after that used to be a ritual every Sunday until two years ago.This routine is a humdrum for people like me who have an intolerance towards anything that is systematic and monotonous.Unless there is a hobby that you actively engage in what can you do to cure boredom-related insanity on Sundays ?Okay,I know it’s starting to sound like a ‘things to do when you’re bored’ post.But no it isn’t.

You can actually go on a Sunday vacation ……….

What?I have only a day off my onus,where can I go?Won’t I spend at least 12 hours travelling to the place ?Will I be able to cover even 1/4th of the place?Will I get back home on time so that I can go to work the next morning?

Here is a list of 10 places you can go to.If you live in Tamil Nadu,some of these places maybe within 100 kilometers away.You can cover almost the entire place within a few hours.You will reach home by that evening,provided you begin your commute ideally before 7 am that morning-:

DISCLAIMER:The commute time I have provided for these places are based on Sunday traffic conditions and the assumption that you will begin your journey by 7 am in the morning.They are subject to change if you leave after 7 am and are bound to increase if you’re visiting these places on a working day.Also,the time taken provided is for one way travel.

1.Pondicherry(Puducherry)

Image result for pondicherry photos

Image courtesy:Tourism of India website

Where do I get there from?Chennai

What can I do here?This place has a plethora  of sites worth a visit,it has everything ranging from beaches to temples and parks to botanical gardens.You get a glimpse of french culture here.Do not forget to try french cuisine.If you live in Chennai,why plan ‘the Goa trip’ when you have the beaches of Pondicherry.

How do I get here?The fastest way to get here is by road.That way you will also get to enjoy the scenic Sunday morning drive along East Coast Road.There are buses to Pondicherry from T.Nagar and CMBT . You can also take a train to Villupuram Railway Station(Pondicherry) from Chennai Egmore Railway Station.

How long will it take me to get here?

Private transport : 2-3 hours

Public transport : Buses and trains take about 4-5 hours from T-Nagar/CMBT and Egmore respectively

2.Mahabalipuram

Image result for mahabalipuram

Image courtesy:Tourism of India website

Where do I get here from?Chennai

What can I do here?It  mainly consists of ruins and monuments from the Pallava empire.Click a few pictures along the serene shore temple located by the seaside.There are also a few beaches to relax on as well as some waves to surf.If you like checking out artifacts this is where you should be going.The Sea Shell museum is something which shouldn’t be missed.

How do I get here?It is en route Pondicherry.This place will take you half the time it takes to reach Pondicherry if you’re driving.There are buses from CMBT ,T.Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur which stop at Mahabalipuram.

How long will it take me to get here?

Private transport:Driving will not take you more than 2 hours if you leave from any place that is located within Chennai city.

Public transport:Buses from Thiruvanmiyur will take 1-2  hours to reach while buses from T-Nagar will take 2-3 hours to reach.

3.Pulicat

Image result for pulicat

Image courtesy:Holiday IQ

Where do I get here from ? Chennai

What can I do here ? Enjoy a long serene boat ride along Pulicat lake.Ornithology enthusiasts have some good news ,a lot of migratory birds fly here from different parts of the world.There are beaches here , but I m forewarning you about the numerous crabs at the beaches.But the beaches are a whole new world.They are completely different from the kind of beaches you  at Goa or any coastal city in India.It has historical sites of Dutch settlement such as Fort Geldria,where the first settlement took place during the colonial era and Old Dutch Street.

How can I get here?Other than driving there are direct buses  from various parts of Chennai such as Broadway,Thiruvotriyur,Moolakadai,Tollgate,Madhavaram and Red Hills.

How long will it take me to get there?

Private transport:Driving from anywhere within Chennai city should take you 1-2 hours.

Public transport:Buses from Broadway,Thiruvotriyur and Tollgate take 3-4 hours to reach,while from the other above mentioned areas it would take less than 2 hours.

4.Pichavaram

Image result for pichavaram

Image courtesy:Tripoto

Where do I get here from ?Chidambaram,Pondicherry or Trichy

What can I do here?Pichavaram is the ‘Sunderbans of South India’.It is the second largest mangrove forest in the country. Nature enthusiasts must include this place on your travel bucket list,since it offers the opportunity to meet and greet several new species of birds and explore a multitude of habitats.While,the rest of you can sit back and enjoy long boat rides along the backwaters.There are also activities like Kayaking,Canoeing.There’s one beach in Pichavaram.

How can I get here?This place is remote.There are no buses or trains available to this place from Pondicherry or Trichy so the only option is to drive there.There is a a bus which leaves from Chidambaram bus stand every hour.

How long will it take to get there?

Private transport:About 25 minutes from Chidambaram and three hours from Trichy and Pondicherry.

5.Nagalapuram

Image result for nagalapuram

Image courtesy:Tripadvisor

Where can I get there from ?Chennai,Vellore and Chittoor.It is located close to the TN-Andhra border.

What can I do here ?Trekking and Swimming.Everything that is offered here is completely created by nature.The Nagalapuram waterfall trek has three scenic pools,which you can swim in or if you can’t swim just relax.

How do I get here?There are no buses or trains which stop at a proximal distance from this place,which rules out public transport as an option.The only way to get here is through the use of private/personal vehicles.

How long will it take to get here ?

Private transport:It is a 1 and a half to 2 hour drive from Chennai,Vellore and Chittoor.

6.Tada falls(Ubbalamadugu Falls)

Image result for tada falls

Image courtesy:Tripadvisor

Where can I get here from ?Chennai and Vellore.This place is located at the TN-Andhra border.

What can I do here ?Trekking and swimming.It is highly recommended that you know swimming in case you plan to visit this place since there is one particular fatal crossing on a water stream.If you can’t swim and still want to go make sure a person with an at least an intermediate level of swimming skills accompanies you.There are three pools of water ranging from extremely shallow to extremely deep which you can swim in

How can I get here ?You can always take your personal vehicle/hire a private vehicle to this place.There are trains  from Chennai Beach and Chennai Central which stop at Tada.There are buses from CMBT which will drop you at Varadayya Palem bus stop(8 km away from Tada falls).You can take an auto to Tada falls from Varadayya Palem.You will need to change two trains from Vellore(Katpadi-Chennai-Tada).

How long will take to reach here ?Both private and public transport will take 2-3 hours from Chennai and 4-5 hours from Vellore.

7.Hogenakkal

Image result for hogenakkal;

Image courtesy: HolidayIQ

Where can I get here from ?Salem and Bangalore since it is located in the TN-Karnataka border.It is located at a proximal distance from Dharmapuri and Mettur in Tamil Nadu.

What can I do here ?Boating on the River Cauvery,trekking,enjoying the spellbound views of the two dams,hills and waterfall.It also has a Shiva temple and a Parameswari temple.

How can I get here ?Private transport is the only option from Mettur and Dharmapuri.There are several buses and trains to Dharmapuri railway station from Bangalore and Salem.You can take a taxi from Dharmapuri railway station to Hogenakkal.

How long will it take to get here?

Private transport:3 hours from Bangalore,2 hours from Salem,1 hour 30 minutes from Mettur,1 hour from Dharmapuri.

Public transport(to Dharmapuri):Buses and trains will take 2-3 hours to reach from any of the stations in Bangalore and 1 hour from Salem.

8.Yelagiri

Image result for yelagiri

Image courtesy: HolidayIQ

Where can I get here from ? Bangalore,Salem,Vellore

What can I do here?This hill station has a multitude of spellbound sites which offer trekking activities,boating,temples,nature walks and relaxing spots.One thing which makes Yelagiri stand out from all other destinations mentioned here is that it has activities for all age groups.

How can I get here ?The nearest railway station is Jollarpettai,which is located in the TN-Karnataka border.There are trains  from Bangalore,Salem and Vellore(Katpadi) to Jollarpettai.You can either ride in one of the public buses or arrange for private transport from Jollarpettai to Yelagiri.

How long will take to reach here ?

Private transport:3 hours from Bangalore,4 hours from Salem and 1 hour 30 minutes from Vellore and Jollarpettai

Public transport(to Jolarpettai):2 hours from Bangalore by train,2 hours 30 minutes from Salem by train and 1 hour 15 minutes from Vellore.

Tip:If you’re travelling from Vellore a lot of time will be saved if you come to Yelagiri by private transport than come via Jollarpettai by train.

9.Valparai

Image result for valparai

Image courtesy:Tripadvisor

Where can I get here from ?Coimbatore,Palakkad

What can I do here ?It’s breathtaking beauty will make you wonder if you were magically transported to Switzerland or Scotland.It has lush greenery,beautiful dams and a few temples on the hill top.Activity wise,there isn’t much to do here other than nature trailing and relaxing but you will get so mesmerized by it’s beauty that you wouldn’t want to leave.Tea tasting will make this place a little more enjoyable.

How can I get here ?If you want to use public transport,there are direct buses available from Pollachi.

How long will it take me to get here ?

Private transport:2-3 hours from Palakkad and Coimbatore,1 hour from Pollachi

Public transport:One hour to reach Pollachi from Coimbatore and Palakkad.The buses from Pollachi take an hour to reach here.

10.Tranquebar(Tharangambadi)

Image result for tharangambadi

Image courtesy:Trip advisor

Where can I get here from ?Trichy,Thanjavur,Chidambaram,Karaikal,Nagapattinam

What can I do here ?You can rewind to the times of the Chola and Pandya empire.Visit several different temples and churches.Danish settlement took place here during the colonial era.So,you can check out some of the marvelous historical sites of Danish heritage.There is also a beach there which has sites of Danish settlement.

How do I get here ?The nearest railway station is Nagapattinam.There are trains from Trichy,Thanjavur and Karaikal which go here.You need to take a taxi or arrange for a private vehicle to reach Tranquebar from Nagapattinam railway station.

How long will it take me to get here ?

Private transport:2-3 hours from Trichy and Thanjavur,1 hour from Chidambaram and Nagapattinam,20-30 minutes from Karaikal.

Public transport(train to Nagapattinam):2 hours from Trichy and Thanjavur,25 minutes from Karaikal.

Tip:If you’re heading from Karaikal,you will be saving a lot of time if you come to Tranquebar directly instead of via Nagapattinam.So,it is recommended that you use a private vehicle.

Hope this helps you plan your Sunday.

I plan to do separate posts about wildlife sanctuaries and places of religious interests.I took these photos from travel websites,as the phone where my recent travel photos are stored died a few months back and it will take me some time to revive those pictures.Once,I revive them I shall do posts on my travel experiences to these places.

Thank you very much for reading.Hope you have a great day ahead and in case you went to any of these places for your Sunday vacation,don’t forget to share your story with me.

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