Chennai - Tourist Excursions
While you are holidaying in Chennai, make sure to take some time off and visit the places around. There are ancient temple towns like Mahabalipuram and Tirupati (in Andhra Pradesh), traditional townships and villages that specialise in crafts like Kanchipuram, and golden beaches like Covelong.
Just out of Chennai, roughly 55 km away, is the world-famous town of Mahabalipuram. The Pallava dynasty of Southern India, one of the major lines of kings to rule in India after the Gupta period, made this lovely seaside village their second capital. The place blossomed under the creative forces of that time between the fifth and eighth centuries. Today, the shore temple, the largest bas-relief in the world called Arjuna's Penance and the famous and beautiful mandapams are what identify this sleepy town.
Replete with historical monuments such as forts, churches, mosques, and a lovely beach, Covelong is a place where you can experience the history of Tamil Nadu as a whole. If you are in Chennai, don't miss out on a visit to this place.
Kanchipuram, also close by, is a destination that is visited by almost all tourist to Chennai. In fact, along with Chennai and Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram forms the famous Golden Triangle of the Coromandel coast. Although a dusty, dreary township of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram finds place on the global map because of the wonderful craftsmanship of the Kanchi weavers, the makers of what is perhaps the finest silk fabric in the world.
Situated in the Chittoor district in southern Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is the abode of the legendary Lord of the Seven Hills. Tirupati is one of the most famous shrines in the country where an uninterrupted worship of the Lord has been carried out for over thirteen centuries. Even today, Tirupati draws enormous crowds throughout the year. The main attractions are the Pratima Mandapam, which has the statue of Sri Krishnadevaraya; Tulabharam, the scales upon which materials for offerings are weighed; the Tirumalanayaka Mandapam, which is replete with beautiful carvings; and Dhwajastambham, and others. Tirupati is situated at a distance of around 152 km from Chennai.