1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Nearest places to visit from Delhi

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Kapoor89, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Kapoor89

    Kapoor89 New Member

    We are a group of friends, and some of us will be getting married in February next year. Before we get busy in our married lives, we want to go on holiday together some place.

    We would like some suggestions to the nearest places to visit from Delhi. I would say maybe a maximum 4 hours drive away would be fair enough.

    We want to go to some place where we get a chance to visit some places, also spend some time together.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    (Images from Shahnawaz Sid, Wikimedia and Wikimedia)


    As much as locals love Delhi, sometimes, there's still a need to have that rejuvenating getaway. The chaotic and busy life in the city can all be too much at times. And once you have explored most of the city, it's time to venture further, into places that can refresh you for the next chapter in your life. Fortunately, there are plenty of places outside of Delhi that you can explore. From heritage sites, even up to places filled with natural greenery, you're bound to find destinations that would fill you with your much needed relaxation and rejuvenation. Don't spend much time on travelling, because with this list, you would find places to visit near Delhi that are just under 4 hours of driving away.

    Nearest Places to Visit from Delhi (Under 4 Hours Away)

    A look into the past...

    1. Alwar (Rajasthan) - Well-connected to metro cities such as Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar is a good one-day destination to explore. Unlike the mentioned cities, Alwar is a bit on the sleepy side, where there's this balance of modernity and rural vibes. Alwar is mostly known for the Bhangarh Fort, once the flourishing capital of Raja Madho Singh. Although mostly in ruins, you can still find remnants of the past here, with the palace, the temples, a dancer's haveli and even a bazaar. Supposed to be, this fort is believed to be haunted, according to local legends and even ASI has restricted entry to the fort at night time. Just like other cities in Rajasthan, Alwar also has its very own City Palace, but it has now been converted into a government office. However, at the topmost floor, there's a museum that you can visit for a nominal entry fee of Rs. 20. Here, you can view ancient artefacts that once belonged to the royal era, comprising of paintings, weaponries and personal items used by the royal family. The Siliserh Lake is yet another must visit sight in Alwar especially after monsoon season. When the lake has plenty of water, you can enjoy boating within it, while the views of the Aravalli mountains surround you. Last is the Moti Doongri, a hillock in the city, that has a small Hanuman temple on top. You can end your day here as you take in the sunset views and see the city of Alwar as darkness begins to envelope it.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 3 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bhangarh Fort, City Palace, Siliserh Lake and Moti Doongri
    2. Agra (Uttar Pradesh) - With the construction of the Yamuna Expressway, Agra is merely 3 hours and 30 minutes of driving away from Delhi. There literally is no excuse for you not to visit this historical city. Being a part of the famed Golden Triangle Tour, Agra is one of India's most sough after destinations. Still, there's no doubt that the city has some of the best architectural marvels done during the reign of the Mughals. For instance, the beauty of the Taj Mahal is known all over the world. This white marble mausoleum, dedicated to Shah Jahan's true love, Mumtaz Mahal, is the epitome of just how grand a man's love can be for a woman. Until now, many consider this mausoleum as Shah Jahan's masterpiece. Agra Fort is another must visit in the city, built by a Rajput ruler in the 10th century but mostly renovated by Akbar years later. Shah Jahan built many of the structures inside though, evident through the use of marble. Housing a number of palaces, temples and halls, exploring the fort can take a few hours in itself. Did you know that these two attractions are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites? This truly signifies that Agra cannot be missed when you're living in Delhi. There's more though, the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, built prior to the iconic mausoleum of Agra, is also worth exploring. Although smaller in size, the intricacy of the main tomb itself, with the murals and carvings, is quite mesmerising. Finally, you must also visit Fatehpur Sikri, once a thriving capital of Akbar but was lated abandoned due to water shortage. The structures within the city are the epitome of the early architectural style of the Mughals.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 3 Hours and 30 Minutes
    • Must Visit Attractions - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and Fatehpur Sikri
    Taj Mahal in Agra (Image from Arian Zwegers)

    For spiritual enlightenment...

    3. Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh) - Vrindavan is just about 187 kilometres away from Delhi. The city is very sacred to Hindus because Lord Krishna once lived in here. There are over 5,000 temples here, ranging from small ones to big ones. As such, the city is known as a very holy land although development is not as fast-paced here as compared to other cities. One of the oldest temples here is the Banke Bihari Temple, of course, dedicated to Lord Krishna. It's not your usual temple though where you can line up peacefully for darshan. There's chaos but it also elevates the pilgrims and makes the pilgrimage even more satisfying. When the temple is lit up at night, it glows in the darkness, being the main light of the city. A more modern temple, the Prem Mandir, is also worth visiting. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, you would marvel at the architectural beauty of the place, where numerous facilities are available for guests. Also worth visiting here is the Seva Kunj and Nidhuban, but only during the day time. According to legends, this is the place where Radha and Krishna performed the Raas Leela, a divine dance. It is believed that every night, they still visit the place and perform the dance so visitors are banned from entering the place during that time. The Radha Damodar Temple is also important, as devotees believe that just four rounds around the temple are equivalent to the Parikrama of Girirajji Parvat. As such, doing the ritual can be very fulfilling and inspiring especially for devotees of Krishna. Finally, there's the Madan Mohan Temple, Vrindavan's oldest temple, built over 500 years ago, although the present structure was just built in the 19th century. It's not your typical temple though as it was mainly built from stone and the idols are just replicas of the original ones.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 3 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Banke Bihari Temple, Prem Mandir, Seva Kunj and Nidhuban, Radha Damodar Temple and Madan Mohan Temple
    Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan (Image from Wikimedia)

    4. Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) - Why not explore the place where Lord Krishna was born? Mathura, merely three hours away from Delhi, would delight the devout Hindus. With the Yamuna River flowing within the city, it becomes even more picturesque and sacred. The exact birthplace of Lord Krishna, the Sri Krishna Janmasthan, is now a huge complex and the main tourist attraction of the city. It has two main parts, the prison ground where Lord Krishna was born and the Birla temple within the complex as well. Most important is the prison ground, as it is already over 5,000 years old and represents the selfishness of Kansa, with the stone walls and the atmosphere it exudes. If you are of sound health, you can also do the parikrama around Govind Hill. Some devotees also complete the circuit by car as you need to walk for about 21 kilometres to fully complete it. Located close to the river is the Dwarkadhish Temple, another temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple has a bright yellow facade which adds to the vibrancy of the place. However, the temple timings are random, it opens about 6 times in a day and offers darshan for pilgrims for 10 minutes each. There are many holy kunds around Mathura too but the Radha Kund is revered as the most sacred. It is believed that Radha Rani specifically created this kund with here bangles and taking a bath here is equivalent to bathing in the tirths. Last is the Rangji Temple, renowned because of its South Indian style of architecture, that it stands out in the city. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is known for its golden pillars and chariots.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 3 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Yamuna River, Sri Krishna Janmasthan, Govind Hill, Dwarkadhish Temple, Radha Kund and Rangji Temple
    Where nature resides...

    5. Gurgaon (Haryana) - You might think that Gurgaon, a city under two hours away from Delhi, won't be as soothing as other destinations mentioned above. But you need to look further from the city, as there are a number of excursions that you can take from Gurgaon where you would be reunited with nature. First is the Sultanpur National Park Bird Sanctuary, about 14 kilometres away from Gurgaon. Best visited during winter season, you can spot a wide variety of resident and migratory birds here. The environment is also refreshing especially for those who are tired of seeing buildings and busy streets. There's a small lake here surrounded by green foliage that attracts the birds to the sanctuary. Food is not allowed inside the park but you can eat from the main entrance, as a small garden is located here. The Basai Wetlands is a little known bird sanctuary here as well, located close to the national park mentioned above. Some of the commonly spotted birds here are flamingos, ducks and geese. The Damdama Lake is about 35 kilometres away from Gurgaon proper. It is one of the city's most well-known natural attractions, wherein numerous resorts and boating facilities can be found. Families also enjoy having a picnic just beside the lake especially on weekends. Finally, the Lost Lake is another must visit, approachable by a 6-kilometre trek from Behrampur in Gurgaon. The trek to reach the lake is very adventurous as you go through muddy terrains and lush thorny forests. Do bring your own water and snacks as the area is not that developed and there's a lack of infrastructures there.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 1 to 2 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Sultanpur National Park Bird Sanctuary, Basai Wetlands, Damdama Lake and Lost Lake
    Greater Painted Snipe in Basai Wetlands in Gurgaon (Image from Wikimedia)

    6. Bharatpur (Rajasthan) - Bharatpur is known for the Keoladeo National Park, also referred to as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. This bird sanctuary is a paradise for the bird watchers as there are many species of resident and migratory birds here. The lush covering of greenery is also a nice treat to the eyes of the tourists. The bird sanctuary is spread over a vast expanse of land which you can cover by foot, by bicycle or even by rickshaw. The latter is preferred as the drivers of the rickshaws are very knowledgeable about the birds of the sanctuary. Some of the commonly spotted bird species here are that of the cranes, pelicans, geese, warblers, wagtails and buntings. You can even spot reptiles like snakes and lizards residing in the sanctuary. The best time for exploring the sanctuary? Early morning as the cooler climate means you would be able to explore the sanctuary completely. Late afternoons are also good as the setting of the sun can be quite beautiful here.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 4 Hours
    • Must Visit Attraction - Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
    Wildlife spotting...

    7. Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary (NCR) - Located on the southern part of the National Capital Region, the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary is the location of the last remnants of the Delhi hill ranges. It was once known as the Asola Bhatti Mines as rampant illegal mining once flourished in the area. Due to the urge of local environmentalists, the area has been converted into a sanctuary and the lands were restored with greenery. A number of lakes can be found within the sanctuary which are homes to a number of bird species. Trekking around the rugged terrains of the sanctuary makes it seem like you're not in a part of Delhi at all. Nilgais, civet cats, leopards and black bucks also reside in the sanctuary although spotting them might be a bit more challenging. Recently, monkeys collected from the capital were relocated to the sanctuary too as there have been reports of the chaos they've been creating in the city. You can also opt to indulge in a jeep safari inside the sanctuary if trekking is not really in your interest.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 1 Hour
    • Must Spot Animals - Bird Species, Nilgais, Civet Cats, Leopards, Black Bucks and Monkeys
    Black Naped Hare in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary (Image from Wikimedia)

    8. Sariska National Park (Rajasthan) - This national park is located close to Alwar, just about 4 hours away from Delhi. The landscape of the national park is that of a dry and deciduous forest, interspersed with grasslands and valleys. This is one of Rajasthan's most popular national parks and can make for an adventurous wildlife experience. The national park is quite huge though so even if it is home to several royal Bengal tigers, spotting them can be very difficult. Easily spotted animals such as sambars, leopards, wild dogs, wild boars, chitals, nilgais and even rhesus monkeys can make the trip all worth it though. You can opt for either a gypsy safari or canter safari but the former is preferable as it isn't as bumpy and you can easily spot wildlife with the open top. It's best to book a safari online as slots can easily be taken plus it can save you the hassle of queuing once in the national park. Wear earth coloured clothing so that animals won't be scared of you. Also, you can bring a cap, a bonnet or even a face mask as the safari can be very dusty.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 4 Hours
    • Must Spot Animals - Royal Bengal Tigers, Sambars, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Wild Boars, Chitals, Nilgais and Rhesus Monkeys
    Explore the unexplored...

    9. Karnal (Haryana) - We're coming to the end of our list and second to the last is Karnal, a little known destination in the state of Haryana. Ruled by many different rulers in different centuries, Karnal has a long history behind it and this is apparent in the historical sites of the city. But aside from that, Karnal is a city quite different from Delhi. It is laid-back, appearing almost like a rural town in most parts and still has lots of natural attractions to keep you happy. The Karnal Lake is the city's prime attraction, which also has some relation to the Mahabharata, as Karna, a character in the epic, used to bathe here. This pristine lake has boating facilities too, best enjoyed during sunset. There is also a small restaurant run by the government located close to the lake. Pukka Pul is a dargah located about seven kilometres away from the city centre of Karnal. Revered holy by locals, this shrine is believed to cure the ailments of those who pay their respects to it. Another must visit here is the Tomb of Qalander Shah, a Muslim sage that was bestowed with healing powers. This tomb though was built by Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, once a ruler of Delhi. Last is the Karnal Fort, built by Raja Gajpat Singh of Jind during the 17th century but renovated by several rulers thereafter. It is also referred to as the Old Fort of Karnal and now houses government offices of the city.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 2 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Karnal Lake, Pukka Pul, Tomb of Qalander Shah and Karnal Fort
    • Related Thread - n/a
    10. Samode (Rajasthan) - Hidden under the shadow of Jaipur is the city of Samode, one of Rajasthan's jewel. Samode is mostly known for the Samode Palace, which apart from its grand architecture, is usually the venue for Indian weddings. Boasting of a combination of both Mughal and Rajput architectural styles, Samode Palace stands as the city's best attraction. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel and staying here really means feeling like royalty. The Samode Fort, approachable by a trek, is also worth exploring. There's an entry fee of Rs. 100 to directly access the fort. Although already in ruins, you can still the Mughal style of architecture blending seamlessly with the Rajasthani murals in the structures within the fort. Built by the Rawals of Samode, the Samode Haveli is also worth exploring. This haveli was built more recently during the 19th century but still depicts the royal era due to its old world architecture. It has been converted into a heritage hotel as well so you can opt to stay here for a luxurious treatment. And finally, the Govind Devji Temple, is the city's oldest temple, dedicated to Radha Krishna. It's a nice place to end your trip to the city as it reflects the spirituality that the city has even back then.
    • Driving Time from Delhi - 4 Hours
    • Must Visit Attractions - Samode Palace, Samode Fort, Samode Haveli and Govind Devji Temple
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Samode Palace (Image from Wikimedia)


    Ever wondered what are your one-day getaway options away from Delhi? There are plenty and you won't have to deal with limited options as they are very varied as well. If you're an adventure freak, head on to the wildlife sanctuaries close to Delhi. If you're more of a history geek, then reach to places like Alwar or Agra. There are even offbeat places around Delhi that can fulfil the wanderlust in you. Good luck and enjoy your trips out of the city!