Diwali is a big deal in India. No other festival comes close to the magnitude and splendor with which this country celebrates the Festival of Lights. It is a 5-day celebration and most work places granting holidays on the third and fourth day of the festival. However, Diwali 2017 dates are from October 17 to October 21. This means that October 19, Thursday and October 20, Friday are public holidays in India leading to one of those rare long weekends. For those who do not celebrate Diwali for all the 5 days and want to take off on a vacation after the auspicious puja, the 4-day weekend is the perfect opportunity for a happy family holiday. Chennai in Tamil Nadu is one of the cities which is surrounded by some spectacular getaways. The long weekend can be used to embark upon a journey to any of these wonderful locations and have a marvelous October vacation. Here are some of the best places to visit near Chennai on Diwali 2017 long weekend. Also Read - Shah Rukh Khan And Ranbir Kapoor's Version Of Bole Chudiyan At Aamir Khan's Diwali Bash Cannot Be Missed

Pondicherry or Puducherry

Pondicherry

Pondicherry



The former French colony of Puducherry is a mesmerizing getaway for those who like beaches, serenity, history and culture. Its tree lined avenues and Mediterranean style houses allure visitors from all parts of the world. Puducherry is truly one of the best places for a family vacation in south India. Also Read - Sonam Kapoor And Anand Ahuja’s Pictures From Diwali Bash Are Unmissable

Chennai to Pondicherry distance: 156 km – approximately 3 hours 18 minutes Also Read - Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Taimur Ali Khan, Misha Kapoor, Jhanvi Kapoor: 10 Pics That Show How B-Town Celebrated Diwali



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Tirupati

shutterstock tirupati copy

Tirupati – Tirumala

This one is for those with a religious bent. One of India’s richest temples, Tirupati is located amidst hills in the state of Andhra Pradesh. A visit to Tirupati’s Tirumala Balaji temple is on the wish list of every Hindu devotee in India. It is a great place to witness India’s age old customs and traditions as devotees queue up for a glimpse of the sanctum sanctorum.

Chennai to Tirupati distance: 134 km – approximately 3 hours by road

Yelagiri

Yelagiri

Yelagiri

Known as a popular trekking destination in south India, Yelagiri is a picturesque hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu. Compared to other popular tourist spots like Ooty, Yelagiri is slightly offbeat and less crowded. This make sit peaceful and ideal for a rejuvenating getaway amidst nature.

Chennai to Yelagiri distance: 229 km – approx 4 hours 45 minutes

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Ooty

Ooty in Tamil Nadu

Ooty in Tamil Nadu

Although done to dust, Ooty still remains one of the finest hill stations to visit in south India. Its lush green Nilgiri hills and beautiful weather makes it ideal for a break from urban pollution and hectic work life. Its marvellous lakes and clear blue skies are like a mesmerizing painting on a wide canvas.

Chennai to Ooty distance: 562 km – approx 10 hours

Rameswaram

rameswaram

And then there is the birthplace of the great APJ Abdul Kalam – Rameswaram. Rameswaram is not your regular tourist spot. It is for those who like to tread off the beaten path. Home to the stunning Ramanathaswamy temple, one of the 12 jyotirlingas, Rameswaram is a great place to get a slice of culture in this region.

Chennai to Rameswaram distance: 559 km – approx 9 hours 40 minutes

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So, this Diwali, make use of the long weekend and enjoy a nice vacation near Chennai with your loved ones. After all, Diwali is about spending quality time with family, isn’t it?