South Indian destinations are rich in heritage and hold significant historical significance. Frankly, the summer months aren’t the best when it comes to visiting these sites due to the heat. The onset of winter can be the right time to visit these sites. Here, I am compiling this list of 8 historical & heritage sites near Chennai. If you appreciate heritage and architecture, you’d love these sites.
If you are from other parts of India and wish to explore the rich heritage around Chennai, there are many direct flights to Chennai from major cities. In fact, routes between Chennai & other South Indian cities are very affordable. E.g., Chennai to Bangalore costs just around Rs 2,700.
I have recommended some heritage & historical sites below.
At 75 KM from Chennai, Kanchipuram is one of the oldest cities in India. The Kanchi monuments epitomize the architectural grandeur that the South Indian heritage sites can offer. Of course, along with the historical and heritage appeal, Kanchipuram is also famous for the Silk Sarees.
If you go a further 118 KM from Kanchipuram, you can visit Tiruvannamalai, home to the Arunachala Temple. The temple is spread in a sprawling area and is indeed an architectural marvel. There is a 14 KM long trail surrounding the temple and is known to have Holy significance.
- Gingee Fort
A little detour from the Kanchipuram – Tiruvannamalai route can help you reach Gingee Fort. It is a massive fort, one of the largest forts in South India. The Gingee fort is known as the ‘Troy of the east’ by the British as it was impregnable! If you appreciate grandeur, Gingee fort would surely make you turn your head around many times.
This coastal town located at 57 KM from Chennai is also a UNESCO site. The chariot temples are unique to this destination. You can also admire the sculptures carved from single boulders and rocks. Krishna’s Butterball is a fascinating attraction at Mahabalipuram. It’s a rock which is balanced in such a way that seems impossible. Many efforts of moving the rock out of its balance have been proven futile.
Home to the famous Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram town is located 217 KM away from Chennai. The temple represents the element of Space out of the 5 natural elements (Earth, water, wind, fire and space). It is certainly considered to be one of the prominent Shiva temples in India.
This town might not be as famous as the other historical sites, but it is worth a visit. Located at 326 KM from Chennai, Thanjavur is home to a unique classical style of paintings. The Brihadeeswarar Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is the most famous landmark in Thanjavur and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tirupati, 150 KM away from Chennai, is undoubtedly the most famous pilgrim & heritage site in South India. The grandeur of the temple is unparallel and makes this temple worth visiting. Nestled in Tirumala Hills, Tirupati temple and neighboring attractions should be a part of your plans if you are interested in admiring our heritage sites.
If you are visiting Tirupati, you should also consider visiting Chandragiri. It’s only 15 KM away from Tirupati and is home to an impressive fort. While you are at the fort, you can also enjoy lights & sound show. The fort is also home to a museum which takes you back in history.
I hope you like the recommendations. So, which heritage sites are you going to visit?