At the outset, we would like to declare our love for Chennai. The comfortable lifestyle options it provides, the growth opportunities that one gets in a vibrant young city like this and the warm people can make living here so fun and exciting. But sometimes despite everything, it is the daily grind that can get to us, demanding an escape from the familiar. It could be the monotony of the same routine, the boredom of looking at the same walls of your flat or hostel in Chennai or even just wanting a respite from the incessant heat and humidity of a coastal town. If you are one of those who needs a break from the usual routine without breaking the bank, we’ve got the answer. Today we bring you a list of the 5 best getaways from Chennai for those on a budget.
The French left the country but what remains of their footprints is the quaint town of Pondicherry. Popularly referred to as “Pondy”, Pondicherry is divided into two parts, the French quarters, full of vintage style colonial buildings and the Tamil quarters, representing an older Indian vibe with its customary air of gajras and mogra flowers, elaborate temples and it’s smaller and more populated roads. Pondicherry is a great holiday option for budget travellers because there is so much to see, and almost everything is just a hop, skip and jump away. That means you’re minimizing your travel costs. Not just transport within Pondicherry, travel to this destination from Chennai is also super accessible, with 42 trains taking this route. And if you’ve got your own vehicle, why not drive down the scenic East Coast Road and add the road trip to your vacation. The beautiful vistas on the way are totally worth it (and totally free).
Yercaud, whose name means “Lake Forest,” is a popular hill station located in the Eastern Ghats. When you think of Yercaud, the first thing that comes to mind are the mountains of verdant green where you can trek and the adventures you can have as you go searching for hidden natural treasures. Speaking of natural treasures, the Yercaud Lake definitely tops the list, closely followed by the Killiyur Falls and Lady’s Seat where you’ll get a panoramic view of the surrounding undulating hills. Don’t worry about accommodation expenses, the resorts in Yercaud have plenty of comfortable options for budget travellers. Or you can even reconnect with nature by opting to stay in a camp that will not just be affordable, but so much fun!
Can’t start your day without a healthy dose of caffeine? You’re in the right place because Thekkady is considered a haven for coffee and natural spices. Located on the Tamil Nadu – Kerala border, this town is a gateway to the picturesque waterfalls of Chellar Kovil. But all of this is secondary to Thekkady’s real claim to fame: Home to the Periyar National Park. Declared a tiger reserve in 1978, the wildlife sanctuary is also a great place to catch a glimpse of herds of wild elephants, deer and bison that come down to drink in the Mullaperiyar Lake. The park’s own resort provides good facilities and services to visitors, making it the primary choice for travellers on a budget.
Need a spiritual revival? Rameshwaram is considered one of the holiest sites of pilgrimage in India and is a part of the Char Dham Yatra (Badrinath, Puri, Dwarka, Rameshwaram), completing which is believed to lead one to enlightenment. It is the site of the esteemed Ramanathaswamy temple which has the largest temple corridor in India. Since this is a popular pilgrimage destination, it has a number of reasonable accommodation options for budget travellers like you. Remember to stop on the Pamban bridge on your way back – the cool sea breeze will re-energize you before your return to Chennai.
Another colonial favourite, Udhamangalam or Ooty is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country and you’ll see why. Cradled in the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty renders the viewer breathless with spectacular green vistas as far as the eyes can see. The cool breeze here is going to be a refreshing change from the city’s dust and smog. Considered to be the birthplace of snooker, Ooty also offers travellers plenty of recreational activities such as horse-riding, cricket and an array of adventure sports including hang-gliding and trekking at very affordable rates. A visit to this town is sure to be the break you needed.
No matter your budget, there’s a holiday option for you. And if you’d rather not go through the whole process of packing and travelling, we’ve got a great option from you. Why not create the carefree experience of a holiday while staying where you are? Because sometimes you just don’t have the budget to travel, and that’s okay. That’s where the staycation comes in. Just grab your favourite self-care items, get a good playlist going and treat yourself to some much-needed comforts and you can make the most of your staycation from your hostel room. And if you choose a professionally managed accommodation provider like Stanza Living in Chennai, every day will be like a staycation. With fully furnished rooms and all-inclusive services like delicious meals, shared entertainment and gaming spaces, high-speed WiFi, regular laundry and housekeeping, and community events and celebrations, Stanza Living will give you the best holiday experience built into your monthly rent, and you won’t even have to leave the building. So there you have it. Chennai is a gateway to an array of beautiful and breath-taking destinations, and it can be home to some new and exciting experiences as well. So you choose, going on the adventure of a lifetime, or treating yourself to an array of delights from the comfort of your home? And no, there’s no way your wallet will hold you back!