5 Getaways From Chennai for This Republic Day Weekend | HolidayIQ Blog

5 Getaways From Chennai for This Republic Day Weekend

5 Getaways From Chennai for This Republic Day Weekend wikimedia.org

Tired of the hustle-bustle of the city but don't know where to head over the long weekend? Well, worry not. We have the perfect list of places for you to go if Chennai is your base. 

5 Getaways From Chennai for This Republic Day Weekend:

  1. Kerala
  2. Pondicherry
  3. Tamil Nadu
  4. Munnar (Kerala)

1. The land with a rich history - Cochin

The land with a rich history - Cochin
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source: HolidayIQ reviewer Rajanikanth Bs from Chennai shot this in Cochin

Kochi is a well-established commercial port having a long history rooted back to the 13th century and it's famous for giant fishnets, Portuguese houses and ancient mosques. Ashish Shukla shares on HolidayIQ, "Cochin or Kochi or Ernakulam city is one of the biggest city of Kerela. I stayed 2 days in Cochin and I found it as a city with a glorious past with a better future."

HolidayIQ reviewer Jish lists out the must-visit places, "Go to the St. Francis Church, Chinese fishing nets, the beach, Dutch Palace, The Navy Maritime Museum. Then head to the Santa Cruz Basilica, Indo-Dutch Museum, the Bishops house." Also visit the Jew Town and the Paradesi Synagogue.

How to get there: 11h 43 min (694.8 km) - Kochi has a good network of Kerala State Run Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Ernakulam Town Station and Ernakulam Junction Station are the main railway stations. The Kochi airport is located 29 kilometres away from the main city centre. 

2. Explore what the French has left behind - Pondicherry

Explore what the French has left behind - Pondicherry
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source: HolidayIQ reviewer Abhinav Kumar from Delhi shot this in Pondicherry

Pondicherry remained as the capital of French India for about 300 years, before it attained its independence in 1954. It was in 2006 that the name Pondicherry was changed to Puducherry, which means ‘New Village’ in Tamil. HolidayIQ reviewer Durgesh says, "The roaring sea of Bay of Bengal, the French colony, relishing the seafood as well as the international cuisines of Italy and France, along with the South Indian delicacies made our stay memorable."

Fondly called as ‘Pondy’, it is a haven for foodies and shopaholics as well. Neeraj shares on HolidayIQ, "Rented bikes are easily available at around INR200 to 500  per day depending upon the kind of Vehicle. Rock beach is most famous and have a nightlife and surrounded by a lot of eateries and monument but you can't swim here." Don't miss out the ancient temple town of Karaikal, Auroville, the Raj Niwas and Sri Aurobindo Ashram

How to get there: 3h 32 min (155.1 km) - You can hire a car and drive down to Pondicherry as the route is quite scenic. You could also take the bus

3. Nestled right amongst the Nilgiris - Ooty

Nestled right amongst the Nilgiris - Ooty
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source: HolidayIQ reviewer S.M.Bega Raaj from Chennai shot this in Ooty

Drive down to the Needlepoint early, watch the mesmerising sunrise and head off to the Mukurthi National Park. On the way back stop at Pykara lake and Pykara falls, and enjoy the afternoon by the lakeside. Divya shares about her visit with HolidayIQ, "We saw places like the Dolphin's NoseLambs Rock and Dodabetta peak. You should visit Doddabetta around 5:30 pm or 6 pm. We also went to Sims park and Rose Garden." 

Take the Ooty tour by Nilgiri Mountain Railway if you want to thoroughly explore the placeHolidayIQ reviewer Sunil liked the "homemade chocolates" there while HolidayIQ reviewer Jayant feels everyone "must visit the Botanical Garden."

How to get there: 10h 8 min (562.6 km) - Tickets for the Ooty trip by bus can be booked in person or online. The main railway station is the Udhagamandalam railway station and the nearest airport is in Coimbatore which is 96 km from Ooty. 

4. Visit the Temple city - Madurai

Visit the Temple city - Madurai
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source: HolidayIQ reviewer shijo thomas from Bangalore shot this in Madurai

A city as old as 3rd Century BC, the name Madurai is supposed to have originated from the word ‘Madhura’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘sweetness’. HolidayIQ traveller Amitabh talks about the Meenakshi Temple, "Meenakshi temple is indeed marvellous and a delight to visit either for religious reasons or for appreciating the centuries-old construction and architecture." He further informs, "If you are short of time, enter through South Gate. You can enter straight into the Meenakshi temple complex and buy a Rs. 50 ticket."

The other must-visit places are - Alagar KoilThirumalai Nayak Palace and Vaigai Dam.

How to get there: 7h 39 min (464.3 km) - Well connected by rail from major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Mysore, Coimbatore, Chennai and others. You can take the bus as well from Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram etc. Services are provided by the TSRTC as well as private operators.

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5. The land of the "three rivers" - Munnar

The land of the
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source: HolidayIQ reviewer Ria Das shot this in Munnar

The cultural heritage of Munnar is an amalgamation of that of the British, the Malayalis, and the Tamilians. Pinkee Singha shares on HolidayIQ: "Went for the marine drive and took a ferry to go to Fort Kochi. It was such a nice experience to visit the churches, temples, castles, beaches." Also visit the Rose Garden, Mattupetty and Eravikulam National Park.

HolidayIQ reviewer Rahul Bajaj says: "It's has got a wide range of activities like bungee jumping, rope climbing, horror theatre, 7D movie, gun shooting, rope bridge crossing, cycling, gravity crane and many more selfie points. Elephant ride is Rs. 200 per person for 20 minutes ride on an elephant." 

How to get there: 10h 45 min (586.1 km) - Munnar has the benefit of two bus stands called the Munnar Bus Stand and the Bodi Bus Station which permits tourists to book their tickets manually. Kochi Railway Station (Ernakulam Junction) is at a distance of 88 km from Munnar.

6. Watch this lovely review of Munnar by HolidayIQ Reviewer - Bimal Mittal

source: Bimal Mittal

Time to plan your trip!!!

The views above are collated from opinions expressed by travellers on www.holidayiq.com

Blog for us! Write in to editor@holidayiq.com

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