Chennai is a bustling metropolis that boasts a vibrant culture, rich history, and numerous places of interest. It is one of the most productive cities in the country, but with all the productivity comes monotony. However, with every weekend the people of Chennai get to break the tedium with something exciting. If you love the outdoors, one of the best things to do is to go camping in Chennai. Though there aren’t too many tranquil getaways within the city, there are a number of extraordinary camping sites near Chennai where you can escape from infamous heat and pollution of the city.
For a wonderful experience, here is a list of some of the most wonderful camping places near Chennai and what each of these places offers.
Camping Near Chennai Within A 100 km Radius
1. Chembarambakkam Lake - 38 km from Chennai
Located on the outskirts of Chennai, the Chembarambakkam Lake is a popular place for a one-day picnic. The lake is one of the two reservoirs providing water to the city. The banks of the lake boast a number of camping sites, where travellers can enjoy night camping near Chennai. Over 60 species of birds inhabit the area around the lake, making it ideal for bird watching. Travellers can also enjoy boating and fishing. Campers can also enjoy a lovely sunrise here and enjoy some outdoor games.
2. Pulicat Lagoon - 53 km from Chennai
The Pulicat Lagoon is one of the hotspots for adventure sports and camping around Chennai. This lake is the second largest brackish lagoon in India and boasts a number of camping sites around the banks. Here, you can pitch your tent or get in touch with one of the official camping organisers to enjoy yourself here. The lake has a huge population of limnology and avifauna, so you can enjoy fishing and bird watching here as well. Other popular activities here are boating and photography.
3. Nagalapuram - 75 km away from Chennai
Located on the Andhra Pradesh border, Nagalapuram is a range of beautiful mountains offering amazing views of waterfalls. Trekking here is quite popular where campers will pass through forests, a rocky riverside, and a waterfall, where you can enjoy playing in the cool water for a while. The trek will then take you to the top of the hill where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the plains below. Once you’re done, you can come back down and set up camp for the night around a fun campfire.
4. Mahabalipuram - 61 km from Chennai
Better known as the place for many treasured UNESCO Heritage Sites, Mahabalipuram is also an excellent place to camp at. You can drive to the town via the scenic East Coast Road and take in the simple beauty of this ancient city. Though there are a number of guesthouses and resorts where you can put up in, you experience the town differently by camping on one of the town’s more deserted beaches. Once you take a look at all of the town’s most remarkable ancient sites, just head to the beach and set up camp there. Here, you can enjoy the sunset, cook up a barbecue dinner, dip your feet in the clear ocean water, and have a campfire right there.
5. Tada Falls- 80 km from Chennai
The Tada Falls, also known as the Ubbalamudagu Falls, is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The falls are situated deep in the Siddulaiah Forest, where campers will have to make their way past dense growth and large boulders. There are a few pools of water in the forest, where you can stop to cool down. You can stop to admire the beautiful avifauna in the forest and continue all the way to the waterfall that falls from a height of 200ft. The falls do look more spectacular in the monsoons, but it is harder to trek there. The campsites vary from agency to agency, but you might just end up camping at the Brindavanam Beach or the Tupilipalem Beach, where you can enjoy a spectacular sunrise at dawn.
6. Mudurantakam - 85 km from Chennai
Located in the Kancheepuram district, Mudurantakam is a village most popular for its manmade lake and the Aeri Katha Ramar Temple. Here, you can head over the Adventure Zone, a campsite that offers a host of thrilling activities to the folks of Chennai. Campers can enjoy rock climbing, rappelling, scuba diving, and parasailing, along with camping. They offer comfortable tents with clean toilets and even a swimming pool. This place is also a great place for corporate outings with the camp’s offerings of team building activities like Pythagoras and Caterpillar Races.
Camping Near Chennai Past 100 km
7. Alamparai Fort - 110 km from Chennai
The Alamparai Fort was a medieval fort constructed in the 17th Century and played a major part in the Carnatic Wars until it was demolished by the British in 1760. Now it lies in ruins in Kadappakam, a village 50 km away from Mahabalipuram. Some tourists do visit the ruins today and camping is offered on the beach nearby. This is an excellent place for history buffs and animal lovers, who wish to lay back and enjoy their weekend. The campfires and barbecues held here in the evenings are quite fun.
8. Mamandur Forest - 133 km from Chennai
Located just off the Chennai-Kadapa highway, Mamandur Forest in Andhra Pradesh is a great escape close to home for nature lovers in Chennai. The forest is home to a number of endangered species, including the Golden Gecko, Slender Loris, Tigers, and more. The last ever sighting of the Asiatic Cheetah was seen here. Other than wildlife sightings, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of this forest, its seasonal waterfalls, and enjoy activities like jungle safaris, camping in the jungle, and trekking. The camp here offers a host of indoor and outdoor activities, so you’ll never have a dull moment here.
9. Gingee Fort - 160 km from Chennai
Another piece of spectacular Tamil heritage, the Gingee Fort in the Villupuram district was built by Cholas and was passed over to different rulers. The trek through the hilly terrain to the fort is quite a popular one and many camping expeditions are organised quite often. Campers here can enjoy a tour of the fort and then camp very close to the fort. The hills can be quite steep and the sun would be scorching, so it's advisable to come prepared. There are also plenty of monkeys here who are ready to snatch your food, so be careful.
10. Talakona Waterfalls - 190 km from Chennai
Falling from a height of 270ft., the Talakona Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh. This beautiful place is located in the Sri Venkateswara National Park, which boasts rare flora and fauna, making it a perfect getaway for families, photographers, and adventure seekers. The Talakona Forest Department organises a number of exciting camping events and walking trails here. You get to enjoy a 2-km trek to the waterfalls, along with a host of other outdoor activities.
11. Pondicherry - 169 km from Chennai
A little piece of France in India, Pondicherry is one of the most popular beach getaways for travellers in South India. While there are plenty of posh hotels, guesthouses, and resorts to stay in at Pondicherry, camping on the beach will give you a more unique experience. You get the chance to lie under the stars with the sound of waves crashing softly onto the shore. Some of these camps offer fun activities like kite flying, delicious barbecue dinners, and a visit to the lighthouse, among others.
12. Yelagiri - 228 km from Chennai
A part of the beautiful Eastern Ghats, Yelagiri is another popular hill station known for trekking and camping. This little village is surrounded by rose gardens, plantations, and orchards. There are a number of hosts organising camping trips to Yelagiri from Chennai. At these camping sites, you can enjoy a number of fun activities like environment talks, a campfire, ATV rides, Burma bridge, water zorbing and more. You can also get the chance to explore the forests at Yelagiri with a number of treks. Campers can also enjoy tasty local food at these camps.