Unwind at these offbeat getaways this weekend :


Posted by-Kalki Team



As the Tamil New Year weekend beckons, its the perfect time for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. While there is a plethora of popular options for weekend getaways from Chennai, here is a list of some lesser known destinations that are best suited for a family vacation

A tiny windswept town in south TN which goes by the Danish name Tranquebar, Tharangambadi is the ideal weekend getaway if heritage buildings, cultural history and architecture is your thing. The beach town is also affectionately termed the Village of the dancing waves. 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, a Jerusalem church built in 1701. There is also the Danish Museum for those of who keen of studying the antiques belonging to the colonial period. There are both humble and luxury private properties in Tranquebar. Hotel Tamil Nadu, run by TN Tourism, offers neat and basic accommodation.

How to get here: It takes around 8 hours on road. The nearest railway station is Mayiladuthrai, located about 24 km from Tranquebar

Horsley Hills :

One of the best reasons to head to Horsley Hills is to enjoy the great weather and spend a lovely time amidst the flora and fauna of Andhra Pradeshs hills. At an elevation of 4,100 feet above sea level, Horsley Hills are dotted with dense forests, abundant plant and animal life, and several small temples across its many hillocks. Exotic trees and dense vegetation make for some soothing sights, and you can feel the fresh air of the pristine hills as you drive by. Adventure sports, trekking and bird watching are other activities travellers can indulge in here. Horsley Hills is also one of the few places in India where you can enjoy zorbing. A number of adventure activities like these makes this place a perfect weekend getaway from Chennai. There are only a few living options. You can always book yourself a room at AP Tourisms Governors Bungalow, or choose to stay at Chittoor Cooperative Society guest house.

How to get here: Driving to Horsley Hills is the best option. Its about 260 kms from Chennai.

Muthupet Mangroves :

The Mangroves lagoon and a boat ride is something you must experience. The lagoon is located 8 kms from the town of Muthupet and can only be reached by boat. Covered by forest on both sides, the site is breathtaking as you reach the point where the brackish water meets the sea. You will also witness amazing birds on the way which can be a treat to photography lovers and bird watchers. There are a few lodges and hotels in Muthupet. Being a small town, you might not have to go too far from the mangroves to look for accommodation

How to get here:

Muthupet is around 348 kms from Chennai. You can take a train or bus to Thanjavur and then hire a personal cab or local transport to reach Muthupet

Talakona waterfalls :

The beautiful waterfalls in Chittoor District is located between dense forests and abundant greenery. It is believed that the water of these falls is filled with healing powers. It is the tallest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh and is also famous for Lord Siddheswara Swamy Temple, which is located close to the waterfall. You can spot wild animals like Slender Loris, Indian Giant Squirrel, Mouse Deer, Golden Gecko, Panther, Porcupine, Chital and Sambar here. Trekking, bird watching, jungle safari, boat ride are some of the activities you can participate in. Various log huts and dormitories near the waterfalls can be a good option to check out.

How to get here: The waterfalls are located at 220 kms from Chennai and 67 kms from Tirupati. You can reach Tirupati and take public transport from there

St. Marys Islands :

This ones truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit. St. Marys Islands, also known as Coconut Island and Thonsepar, are a set of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi, Karnataka. They are known for their distinctive geological formation of columnar basaltic lava (check out the rocks in the picture). On research, it came up that the basalt of the St. Marys Islands was formed by sub-aerial sub-volcanic activity around 88 million years ago when Madagascar was attached to India. Watching the sunset standing on the crystalline rocks is one of the most alluring experiences on the island. Since there are no roads connecting the island, the only way of getting to the islands is by boat. Regular ferry services ply the 6-km distance from the Malpe fishing harbour (which has a ship building yard as well) to the islands. Malpe beach has abundant places to stay, with both luxury and budget accommodations.

How to get here: The nearest airport to St. Marys Island or Coconut Island is Mangalore, which is around 60 kilometres away.

Elappara

Elappara is a village in Idukki district of Kerala and one of the panchayats in Peerumedu taluk. The weather is a real treat as the region is situated at a height of more than 3,300 feet above sea level. Elappara is noted for its vast tea plantations creating an amazing experience for the visitors. Many enchanting scenes can be viewed on the roads leading from Elappara to Kuttikkanam and Vagamon. The Annan Thambi and Pullikkanan hills, meadows at Kolahalamedu, scenic Vedikuzhi and Elappara streams are the major attractions. Vagamon, the famous hill station is only 15 km from Elappara. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Mullaperiyar dam is situated near to this panchayath. Idukki has some very affordable resorts and hotels to stay in, with most of them offering a beautiful view of the hills.

How to get here: The best way is to take a train to Kottayam followed by a two-hour bus ride to Elappara.


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