Places to Visit – Gems of Tamilnadu
There are several getaways in and around Chennai that guarantee a break from monotony for travelers. Let’s take a look at a few of these getaway destinations, most notably Madurai, Kumbakonam, Pondicherry and Pulicat.
Visit the lotus-shaped temple town of Madurai and get busy discovering not just themagnificent temples but several hidden gems like the famed fish market at the heart of Madurai, the Gandhi Museum with the clothes he wore on his last day, and the Thirumalai Nayak’s palace among others. The aroma of jasmines, the Jallikattu festival, and the Meenakshi 10-day festival called Thirukalyanam are not to be missed and unique to Madurai.
If you would rather head out to a hill station just engage a call taxi in Madurai with Saavari the Indian travel-expert, with a 98-city presence, one-way cabs to most places, cars of your choice and comfort, and transparent billing on an easily accessible online platform. Pick from among Kodaikanal, Munnar, Ooty, Connor, Kotagiri or head south to Alleppy, Kanyakumari, and other wondrous destinations.
The summer heat and the hustle and bustle of living in the busy metropolis of Chennai is unbearable at times. Just hire a Call taxi in Kumbakonam and pamper your spiritual side in the quiet town at the heart of Tamil Nadu approximately 280 km away. The friendly cab driver won’t hesitate to show you hidden gems on the East Coast road as you travel in a car of your choice. The transparent billing on the online platform means you pay only for your use.
Known to traders for centuries the city is a good place to get away to in summer being far cooler than Chennai. Even the monsoons are fun and the weather dry and tropical at most times. The stamp of culture and being an ancient educational hub, the parrot-green paddy fields, swaying coconut palms and many famous temples to visit makes this trip a silent reconnect to your inner self.
The World Heritage Airavatesvara Temple, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Sarangapani Temple, Patteeswaram Temple, Uppiliappan Temple, Mahamaham Tank, Chakrapani Vishnu temple, and the Nageshwara Temple are among the more famous places to visit.
Kumbakonam plays a good host with many eateries, local hotels and cafes serving unique delicacies like the kadappa a vegetarian dish of spices eaten with dosas and idlis.
Puducherry is a quaint coastal French town 157 km from Chennai. Avoid the summers and visit during the months between November and February. Good food, great beaches and the colonial legacy worth exploring in a rather bohemian environment make this union territory a memorable experience.
Getting to Puducherry by train from Chennai takes almost 4.5 hours. At Pondicherry use a cycle or walk to the Mahatma Gandhi Promenade, White Town of France, Auroville and the Governor’s Residence. Shopping, excellent wines and authentic French food make the trip unique.
Pulicat is where you should head to if planning to get away from Chennai for the weekend? Head just 55km away, to the border of Chennai and Andhra Pradesh, to the less explored coastal lagoon town of Pulicat, where you can explore the bird sanctuary and the Dutch settlement ruins.
Try to avoid the summers of this coastal town. The months between November and March are more suitable since the weather is an optimum and nature’s display of migratory birds better. You can explore the town with a visit to the Pulicat market to get a feel for its culture and converse with the locals. The Dutch cemetery just behind it has been around for three centuries and is an important part of this town’s history. Other Dutch buildings and the Light House point to thriving trade at Pulicat from centuries.
Wear your trekking shoes, grab your camera and go bird watching by the lake. In season you will get the best photographs of migratory birds nesting here like the long and delicate storks, pelicans with their pouched beaks, and hordes of pretty pink flamingoes loving the brackish waters here.
Though the train facilities are good, it takes too long. A trip by road is more comfortable and quicker. Just call a good aggregator of cabs and taxis like Savaari and sit back and enjoy your trip.