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Day trips from Chennai

Toronto
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Day trips from Chennai

Hello,

We will be visiting Chennai in Dec.(Not really visiting.. will be there in our parent's place)

Would like some ideas on some day trips (even 2 days) to a quieter place for a relaxing break. Pls skip the usual Snake park, crocodile park etc.. Have done mahabalipuram..

Looking for some place - probably to a uncrowded beach / resort.

Budget not a big constraint.. but still would like to spend sensibly(aathula pottalum alandhu podu. :-)

One of the option we are looking at is Pondichery.

Basically looking to spend some quality family time with parents and my 8 yr old son.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Regards,

Jay.

Chennai
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for Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu
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1. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Hi Jay

Uncrowded beach/resort during peak holiday season (Dec) is almost Oxymoronish. Even Fishcove (Taj), the most secluded and the most expensive resort on the Tamil Nadu coast is running full for December (Atthula Pottalum Kootam Viddathu ;-))

Pondy is a good bet and there are quite a few resorts like the Dune, Ashoka, St.James, Promenade, Zest etc to pick from. However, your nemisis remains - all of these are packed and crowded in December.

If you really want to get away from the crowd for a peaceful beach holiday, you may need to look further away, say a place like Tranquebar (also called Tarangambadi) a quaint Danish settlement of the yesteryears, recently adopted by the Archeology dept and restored monuments like the Sea front Fort, the Synagogues etc. The neemrana property "Bungalow on the Beach' is a nice place to chill out. The flip side is, it is atleast another 100 Kms away from Pondy, but you will travel through the best 'Temple Belt' of Tamil Nadu (Chidambaram, Mayavaram, Tirukkadaiyur etc).

If you are not particular about the beach, the other, less crowded option would the Yelagiri hills. Though Dec is a holiday season, its not even 1/10th of the crowd of Ooty, Kodai or even Yercaud.

Hope this helps . . .

regards

Rajan

Copenhagen, Denmark
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2. Re: Day trips from Chennai

How about visiting Tarangambadi, formerly known as Tranquebar? It is a small town with only one hotel really, but what a place! The Bungalow on the Beach is a stunning historic building with beautiful rooms and gorgeous views of the sea. Not a swimming beach, but has a lovely pool.

Check it out on this website www.neemranahotels.com/bunglow/index.html.htm

We were there during high season this year just after New Year's and all was calm and lovely and relaxing. Food was excellent too.

If got some photos of the place as well here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36526739@N03/sets/72157623254285981/

I can't remember the exact distance, but it is a bit further south than Pondicherry - maybe 1½ hours extra? So not a daytrip, but a lovely place for a couple of days in a peaceful setting.

Hunbille

.

Toronto
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3. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Thanks for your responses Rajan & Hunbille.

I shd have known asking for a uncrowded place in India is an oxymoron.:-)

I'll look into Tharangampadi.. I am mainly looking for atleast one beach break as my son LOVES sand!

Rajan, Re: yelagiri hills, we are planning a trip to Kollimalai. That also seemed like a relatively undiscovered place..

Would you recommend yelagiri hills over kolli hills? Any idea?

Thanks,

Jay.

Chennai
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4. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Hi Jay

I'd rate Kolli more pristine than Yelagiri, though the stay options and adventure sports (like Paragliding etc) are a lot better at Yelagiri. We did stay at Kolli hills resort, which was nice (individual tented acco, clean and good, except the fact that they are a bit too closely pitched and a sneeze, cough or snore from the neighbour can keep the entire colony awake). Yelagiri has quite a few decent budget options (Landmark etc) which are good as well.

The flip side is, Yelagiri is just about 2.5 to 3 hours from Chennai, while Kolli is a good 6 to 7 hours away Chennai.

If you are going to base yourself out of Chennai, then Yelagiri is a better choice (simply from the reduction of travel time perspective). If you are for any reason in the Salem, Erode, Coimbatore belt, then you can try Kolli.

regards

Rajan

Edited: 8:48 am, October 19, 2010
Toronto
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5. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Thanks for the quick response Rajan.

I'll be staying in Thanjavur for some time. Were planning to drive to Kolli hills from there.

The only reason I am doubtful is that I was not able to find a good accomodation. Since we will take our parents along, I am not sure if tented acco will be okay.. (Amma wil complain - 'kadaisila tentla thanga vittuttayedeee.... :-))

Any idea about Nallathambi resorts?

Thanks again Rajan.

-Jay.

Chennai
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6. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Hi Jay

Nallathambi is possibly the oldest of the stay options out there. We decided to pass up on this because they seemed crowded, when we were there. However, we did try thier lunch which was quite good. A few friends who stayed there confirmed it was very noisy (more number of rooms and cottages) but quite clean and well maintained.

If you are at Thanjavur, check out the Ideal river resorts. A nice place to chill out. You will surely become amma's 'Chella pillai'

regards

Rajan

Edited: 10:15 am, October 19, 2010
Toronto
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7. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Oh my god! My amma will kill me if I stay in a resort in Thajavur. My parents live in Thanjavur :-)

BTW, I didnt know such a resort existed in Thanjavur!!

Edited: 1:10 pm, October 19, 2010
Holland
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8. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Mrrajank what do you think of the beach near Auroville, in my short time in Pondy this was a welcome escape, and not too crowded (away from the elitist air of the Auroville beach clib)

Just a few short Kilometers out of Pondy.

Edited: 1:47 pm, October 19, 2010
Chennai
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9. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Hi CH

I presume you are talking about the stretch of beach on the Kottakuppam area, on the oppoiste side of Auroville. Yes, that's a good beach, with very little irritants in the form of locals or even noisy teens (but this place gets messy on the weekends). However, there is no place to stay nearby and except for that French shack (yummy sandwiches) there's nothing much for a day trip. Maybe staying at Pondy and visiting here for a Picnic would be a good idea.

Rajan

Toronto
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10. Re: Day trips from Chennai

Hello Mr.Rajan,

I posted a qn in Pondichery forum. But didnt get any reply.. I am not sure if anybody looks into that forum..

Not sure if it is appropriate to ask Pondichery related qn in this Forum. Pls let me know.

Thanks,

Jaya.