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Best weekend getaways from Delhi

Discussion in 'North India' started by InduBasu, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. InduBasu

    InduBasu New Member

    I have joined this forum to get some ideas about the best weekend getaways from Delhi.

    I think the max would be three days, but I can not extend more days. Please do keep in mind that it would take the time to travel to the destination, so I am hoping that travel time would not take more than 8 hours.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the forum!



    Feeling tired from the hustle and bustle of the city life? Want a quick getaway destination that can rejuvenate you and ready you for upcoming work deadlines? There are many quick weekend getaways from Delhi that won't require more than eight hours of travel time. You have hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries and even heritage destinations to explore. Of course, you have the usual favourites like Agra and Jaipur, even popular hill stations such as Shimla and Nainital. While these are good destinations, they can be a bit crowded and for the locals of Delhi, they might even have visited these areas in the past. So for this list, we would highlight some of the best weekend getaways from Delhi, apart from the already known and usual destinations.

    Best Weekend Getaways from Delhi Within 8 Hours Away (New Places to Explore!)

    For the smell of fresh air...

    1. Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) - Usually, Bilaspur is passed by when reaching Manali from other cities. Few people visit this hill station when reaching Himachal Pradesh so it remains under the radar of most tourists. Interestingly, unlike other hill stations in the region, the city of Bilaspur isn't affected much by extreme climate variations. It has very mild summers and winters so it can be visited any time of the year. From Delhi, Bilaspur is about 7 hours and 30 minutes away of driving. The prime attraction here is the Govind Sagar Lake Reservoir. The water from the reservoir comes from the Bhakra Dam and is one of the largest water reservoirs in Asia. You can enjoy a serene boat ride amidst the lake and view the numerous temples surrounding it. Locals say that the temples around the lake become submerged in water during monsoon season and only appears during summer season. Nearby the lake is the Sri Naina Devi Ji Temple, one of the Shakti Peethas in India. Devotees can reach the temple by foot or by ropeway, the former would take around 45 minutes while the latter would take around 5 minutes. Its location upon a hillock provides one with a commanding view of the lake and the city. There's also the Vyas Caves, located in the new township area of the city. This cave is considered sacred because Sage Vyas Rishi is believed to have meditated in here. The cave has been transformed into a small temple so pilgrims can pay their respects to the sage. Further from Bilaspur, you can find the Rukmani Kund. According to local legends, this is where the queen by the name of Rukmani was buried to help the village overcome the shortage of water. It is a fairly small reservoir and doesn't get try even in the midst of summer season. You can easily cover these attractions in the hill station within a day so a weekend trip to Bilaspur is very much possible.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 7 Hours and 30 Minutes
    • Must Visit Attractions - Govind Sagar Lake Reservoir, Sri Naina Devi Ji Temple, Vyas Caves and Rukmani Kund
    2. Chakrata (Uttarakhand) - Are you someone who is fond of adventure and thrilling attractions? Head on over to Chakrata, about seven hours of driving away from Delhi. Being a cantonment town, the hill station is very serene and clean, with lots of greenery going on all around. Most of the attractions here require some mild trekking. For instance, the Tiger Waterfalls, can be accessible from the city centre by a six-kilometre trek. You can also bring your vehicle up to the parking area of the waterfalls and from there, trek for about a kilometre to reach the main waterfalls. The trek is mild to moderate and takes you through the jungles of around. The best part is enjoying a hot bowl of maggie while viewing the waterfalls and hearing its thunderous roars, much like a tiger. Another attraction is the Deoban, a high altitude view point, approachable by road for the first few kilometres and by trekking for a few metres. On a clear day, you can enjoy the views of the Himalayan ranges from here. A lesser known view point is the Chilmiri Neck, where you can also view the Himalayas from. During winter, the paths to reach the view point would be covered by snow which makes it more challenging. Also worth visiting is the Budher Caves, although you need to trek for about three kilometres before reaching the cave's entrance proper. It has nice formations of stalagmites and stalactites. About an hour away from Chakrata, you can also visit the Rock Edict of Ashoka. This is one of the many rock edicts of the emperor from the Mauryan empire. It is surrounded by lush greenery which serves as a nice contrast to the stone structure.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 7 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tiger Waterfalls, Deoban, Chilmiri Neck, Budher Caves and Rock Edict of Ashoka
    Chakrata (Image from Manoj Panchal)

    If you're a history buff...

    3. Bundi (Rajasthan) - With the mere mention of Rajasthan, the usual cities that comes to ones mind are Jaipur or Udaipur, sometimes, Jaisalmer or Jodhpur. Not many people know about Bundi, a small town to the south of Jaipur, about eight hours away from Delhi. It has a number of heritage sites including a fort, palaces, lakes and over 80 step wells. Unlike Jaipur though, this is off the radar of most tourists and remains pretty laid-back. In your weekend stay, you can venture into the different historical sites of the city, once the land of the Hadotis. Venture into the ruins of the Taragarh Fort, built around the 13th century and approachable by a trek from the city centre. Don't expect a nicely maintained fortress though, as this one has overgrowths of trees and bushes that make it quite rugged looking. From the fort, make your way into the Garh Palace, covered with numerous murals on some parts of it. However, it isn't as well-maintained, with some parts already in their destroyed forms, though it adds some authenticity to the experience. There are many step wells that you can visit around the city but the most popular one is the Raniji Ki Baoli, also known as the Queen's Step Well. It has a small archway and several carvings that make it stand out from the rest. Some of the water reservoirs worth visiting in the city are the Nawal Sagar Lake and Jait Sagar Lake. Bundi, much like Jodhpur, has interesting structures with blue facades, making it the other blue city of Rajasthan.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 8 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Taragarh Fort, Garh Palace, Raniji Ki Baoli, Nawal Sagar Lake and Jait Sagar Lake
    Bundi Palace (Image from Arian Zwegers)

    4. Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) - If you want to learn more about the regal past of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is the place to be. Once the home of the mighty Scindia dynasty, Gwalior beckons as the main tourist destination for heritage sites in the state. You can't mention Gwalior without the Gwalior Fort, a mighty sandstone structure with accents of blue decors on its facade. It was built by Man Singh Tomar though many of the inner structures were added into by different rulers. Several palaces, temples and water reservoirs can be found within the fort. It has its dark side though because it was also converted into a prison during the rule of the British. To take a glimpse of the lavish lifestyles of the royals, visit the Jai Vilas Palace Museum. This palace was built in the 18th century by Jayajirao Scindia and up to this day, his descendants reside in some parts of the palace. The collections here are quite extravagant, from the gold-plated ceilings and walls, gold cutleries, crystal staircases and door knobs, and to the huge chandeliers. Also a must visit is the Sas Bahu Temple, dedicated to the avatar of Vishnu, Sahastrabahu. It is located just outside the fort area and has interesting carvings in its halls and walls. Last is the Gopachal Parvat which you can visit on your way home from Gwalior. It requires a bit of climbing, about 50 steps to reach, but it's certainly worth it. These are rock-cut statues of the Jain saints, comprised of about 22 different monoliths. There are many more sights that you can explore around Gwalior but these are the best ones that you can't miss on your weekend getaway.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 6 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace Museum, Sas Bahu Temple and Gopachal Parvat
    For your spiritual side...

    5. Rupnagar (Punjab) - A city so ancient having been in existence since the Indus Valley Civilisation, Rupnagar is another good weekend getaway trip from Delhi. It is under five hours away from the capital and has a number of religious sites to keep you busy for the whole weekend. The Virasat E Khalsa has a stunning design. It has a main building, the museum proper, connected to the western side, the auditorium side, by a bridge. Water works surround the buildings and adds to serene vibe of the place. The museum highlights the history of the state of Punjab and in relation, the importance of Sikhism in the state. It's a must visit as it intermixes art, culture, religion and heritage, all in one place. The Sri Takht Keshgarh Sahib is another must visit, it has a pure white facade and of course, the signature flag of the Sikhs on the exterior. It is revered holy by Sikhs because this is the birthplace of Khalsa itself. Last place that you should explore is the Archeological Museum, where artefacts excavated in the region, dating back to the Harappan civilisation, can be viewed. These include potteries, tools, ornaments and many more interesting items.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 5 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Virasat E Khalsa, Sri Takht Keshgarh Sahib and Archeological Museum
    Virasat E Khalsa in Rupnagar (Image from Sanyam Bahga)

    6. Ajmer (Rajasthan) - Ajmer is often overshadowed by its twin city, Pushkar and therefore gains less tourist than it. Perhaps this is also because Ajmer is a very laid-back town, unlike other cities of the state. It doesn't have glittering malls or globally known tourist sites but it does have plenty of religious sites that makes it a worthwhile destination, especially since it's just under seven hours away from Delhi. The prime attraction here is the Dargah Shariff, hard to miss in the city with its huge white dome. This is the dargah of the Sufi saint and scholar, Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. Although an Islamic religious sites, the dargah is visited by people from other religions too, unifying the faiths of different people together. There's also the Nareli Jain Temple, built out of a mixture of sandstone, granite and marble. This is more of a complex of temples, dedicated to the different Jain saints. Its location upon a hillock makes for a stunning view of the distance Aravalli ranges. The golden Nasiyan Jain Temple is another must visit, though it has a red facade, it has a golden-plated Kingdom of God depiction which earned its name as the golden temple. You can also visit the nearby Brahma Temple, dedicated to the Lord Brahman, the creator of the universe. It is about an hour away from Ajmer itself but is worth a visit because it is the only temple of its kind in the world.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 7 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Dargah Shariff, Nareli Jain Temple, Nasiyan Jain Temple and Brahma Temple
    Bountiful wildlife...

    7. National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Rajasthan) - This is a riverine sanctuary that runs from three states, namely, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. You can, however, reach it more conveniently from Rajasthan, especially if you're coming from the Delhi side. Many tourists venture into the Ranthambore National Park for a wildlife safari and to view the wild terrains of the desert. But if you're quite tired of the same old wildlife safari, you're in for a different kind of adventure in the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary. The three main animals that tourists want to see on a boat safari here are the gharial crocodiles, the red-crowned roof turtles and the Ganges river dolphin. This sanctuary actually has the largest number of gharial crocodiles in the country, an endangered species of crocodiles. The marsh crocodiles, muggar crocodiles and other species of turtles can also be spotted here. During winter, you can also spot wide varieties of bird species in the sanctuary as migratory birds reach the place. Unlike Ranthambore though, the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary isn't as developed yet so tourist facilities are still lacking.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 8 Hours
    • Must Spot Animals - Gharial Crocodiles, Red-Crowned Roof Turtles and Ganges River Dolphin
    • Related Thread - n/a
    8. Rajaji National Park (Uttarakhand) - Located close to Nainital, the Rajaji National Park is not as explored as the popular sanctuary of the region, the Corbett National Park. The landscapes of the national park are very varied, ranging from grasslands, forests and riverine areas. You would also be passing through dry river beds, extremely rugged terrains, that all make the safari more worthwhile. Commonly spotted animals here are chitals, boars, elephants, barasinghas and langurs. Difficult to spot animals are leopards, tigers, jackals, hyenas and also the gorals, because they usually stay hidden in the forest covers. The riverine areas of the national park are home to many aquatic species too. The small watering holes attract a number of bird species too especially during winter season.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 7 Hours
    • Must Spot Animals - Chitals, Boars, Elephants, Barasinghas, Langurs, Leopards, Tigers, Jackals, Hyenas and Gorals
    Rajaji National Park (Image from Sneha)

    Your dose of offbeat places...

    9. Fagu (Himachal Pradesh) - Just about 15 kilometres away from Shimla is the small hill station of Fagu. If your an idea of a getaway is to just laze around and have an amazing view of the mountain ranges, Fagu is a great choice for that. It isn't as crowded as Shimla and isn't commercialised too. It is where the misty mountain views can be enjoyed without the noise or the chaos. It is where you can enjoy a truly rural experience as you walk through the nearby villages of Fagu. Though there's not much that you can do here, you can truly relax and take in the beautiful views before the busy days ahead of you. Opt to stay in one of the nearby home stays for a more authentic rural experience as well. Nothing beats home-cooked meals, with the cold climate and the Himalayan views just before you. Because it is located close to Shimla, you can even make day excursions into the sites of the popular hill station like the Jakhoo Temple and Annandale. Alternatively, if you want a real offbeat experience, just take nature treks around Fagu. Visit its small villages and quaint houses or the lush forests of the hill station.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 8 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Villages and Forests of Fagu
    Fagu (Image from Ankit Pandey)

    10. Salogra (Himachal Pradesh) - Yet another offbeat tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh is Salogra. It is very much under the radar of tourists that even accommodation options are not available online. Don't fret though as there are some lodges and guest houses around the hill station that you can stay in. Much like the former, Salogra is merely for just relaxing, there's not much that you can do here. It isn't developed as a tourist destination but it has its fair share of beautiful mountain views. You can do many nature trails around the untouched terrains of the hill station too. It's a very sleepy town with just a few infrastructures so it means nature has been well-preserved. In its different jungle areas, streams are also bountiful that add to the picturesque beauty of the hill station. So do you want to get away from all worries of life? Head on over to Salogra and you might not ever want to leave the peaceful beauty of this hill station.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 6 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Streams and Lush Forests of Salogra

    Are you ready to pack your bags? Leaving the city of Delhi even for just a few days might just be your much needed respite. All these places can be reached by public transportation too so if you don't have your own vehicle, don't worry. Of course, with your own car, travel time would just be under eight hours, add in a little more when it comes to public transportation. Enjoy and make sure you bookmark this page for future weekend getaway needs!