Gudiyam caves near Chennai transports you literally to a bygone era…

Looking for a day’s trip out of Chennai and a journey into wilderness? Well then, Gudiyam Caves (about 60 km from the city) located in Thiruvallur District is a great bet. A place that’s said to be used by Paleolithic man, just getting to the caves is an experience to savour.

There are several reasons why this is a must-visit if you’re from Chennai. One, it gives you a chance to catch a flavour of rural life, combined with all of nature’s beautiful elements. The trek to reach the caves, about five kilometres from the Gudiyam village, is an exciting one that will leave you wanting for more. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot some rare bird species on the picturesque route to this place.

The trek can be quite exhausting, thanks to the rugged road, but it can also be exciting due to the overgrowth of plant life in the side of the path. At some places, the plant life is so overgrown that you might have to crawl under it and at some other places, they form a neat canopy over your head, offering you some much-needed shade.

Once you reach the caves, savour the hugeness of the structure and the several bee-hives in the vicinity. For those who wish to catch a glimpse of the local tradition, a visit to the small temple (more like a sannadhi) situated at the caves is a must.

The trip to Gudiyam and back can be quite interesting otherwise as well; for you’ll pass through Poondi reservoir on the way. This place is quite a sight to behold, especially in the evenings when the sun is about to set.

How to get there
– If you’re going by car (the best option), start early in the morning and take the road to Poonamallee. Have your breakfast and pack some stuff to eat/drink there, for after that, shops are quite sparse in number.
– From there, head to Poondi reservoir.
– Equire with locals about the route to Gudiyam village and get set for an adventurous and picturesque countryside. At the end of the Gudiyam village, you’ll spot a tall watch tower. Do inform the guard on duty there about your trek before you embark on it as the route could be unsafe at times. To be on the safer side, you could also check with the local authorities/achaeological department a few days in advance and inform them about your plans.

What to carry
– Loads and loads of water and anything that’ll quench your thirst. While it’s true that summer is the best time to go for this trek, (for, if you get caught in the rain during the trek, there’s no respite) it’s also that time of the year when the sun beats down mercilessly.
– A variety of eatables, as post Poondi, there’re very little food options available.
– Spare footwear. Avoid shoes as there could be puddles on the way, but ensure you choose some sturdy footwear.