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Places to visit near Delhi in December

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Lavani, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Lavani

    Lavani New Member

    The school holidays are fast approaching, and the kids will be going on about going somewhere. This time I would want to be prepared and have the holiday planned rather than leaving it till last minute.

    I would like to get some advice from everyone on which places to visit near Delhi in December.

    It would already be cold in December I think, I can't really be sure on it as the weather currently is still pleasant, so I don't know whether we should choose a destination in the hills or elsewhere.
    Please help!
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Lavani! Welcome to the forum!


    Overview

    For those living in Delhi, there's a plethora of options for weekend getaways from the city. Perhaps that's one of the best features of Delhi, its proximity to tourist destinations, whether you're into heritage sites, hill stations or even wildlife. Generally, the month of December is a part of the winter season in India. Temperatures are lower and you can enjoy the cool breeze in most destinations. By the end of December, some destinations would even experience snowfall, specifically those located at a higher altitude.

    Places to Visit Near Delhi in December (Under 300 Kilometres)

    To learn and to enjoy...

    1. Alwar - Alwar is merely 166 kilometres away from Delhi or around 3 hours and 30 minutes of driving away. Alwar is fondly known as the Gateway to Rajasthan and is also the only city in the state located in the National Capital Region. Unlike its glorious counterparts, Jaipur and Udaipur, Alwar receives much less attention on the spotlight. December is a good time to visit the city because during this month, temperatures are lower, ranging between 6°C to 28°C. One of the main attractions here is the Alwar Fort, also known as the Bala Quila, which has been turned into a forest reserve. You can opt to tour the forests surrounding the fort via a gypsy ride offered by the management. Or you can bring your own vehicle and if you're more adventurous, try out trekking to reach the fort itself. The views of the Aravalli mountains from here are very clear and stunning although the fort itself is in a dilapidated condition. If you enjoy thrilling places, the Bhangarh Fort, known as the most haunted fort in India, is also worth exploring. The fort and its inner structures are mostly in ruins which probably adds to the spooky factor of the place. And just like other cities in the state, Alwar also has its very own City Palace, but it has been converted into a government office now. Still, you can visit the old water reservoir within its premises and a well-maintained museum at its top floor where artefacts that the royals once used can be found. Lastly, at the end of your trip, make sure to stop by the Siliserh Lake, enjoy a boat ride here or maybe dine alongside the lake. Alwar might not be as popular as the other tourist destinations in Rajasthan but its beauty remains pristine and untouched by modernisation. It's a must-visit place especially since it stands as one of the closest heritage sites to Delhi.
    • Must visit attractions - Alwar Fort, Bhangarh Fort, City Palace and Siliserh Lake.
    2. Agra - With the construction of the Yamuna Expressway, reaching Agra from Delhi is now a breeze. Total distance is just about 230 kilometres and journey duration from Delhi to Agra is merely three to four hours, even less during off-peak hours. Agra is one of the hottest cities in India but during December, temperatures barely exceed 31°C so it's mildly warm, good enough for sightseeing. Agra, the home of the iconic Taj Mahal, is well-known all over the world. No tourist circuit in India would be complete without visiting this city. Of course, the white-marbled beauty of the mausoleum is worth exploring but there are more attractions that stay under the radar of many visitors of the city. For instance, the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, is a huge fortress with tons of inner structures to keep you busy. It was originally built by Raja Badal Singh during the 11th century but this present structure can be attributed to both Akbar and his son, Shah Jahan. Also worth visiting is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, known as the precursor to the Taj Mahal. Its resemblance to the iconic mausoleum is apparent but keep in mind that this tomb was built way before the Taj Mahal. There's also the Mehtab Bagh, which is literally just a garden overlooking the Taj Mahal. Although it doesn't have as stunning architectural buildings, the view of the Taj Mahal from here is quite clear, a good place for photographers. And lastly, about 30 kilometres away from Agra, there's the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar made the city his capital but later abandoned it due to water scarcity. Much like other cities of royals, it has the usual structures like halls, palaces and even mausoleums. All these attractions in Agra truly showcase the rich heritage of the city and testaments of why the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
    • Must visit attractions - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, Mehtab Bagh and Fatehpur Sikri.
    [​IMG]
    Fatehpur Sikri in Agra (Image from Hotel Agra)

    3. Jaipur - Jaipur is situated about 273 kilometres away from Delhi. The land of the Rajputs, where forts and palaces still reign, yet modernisation coexists with them, this is Jaipur. What's not to love about this city? The epitome of royalty and at the same time, the progression it has undergone over the years. December is part of the winter season here and as such, temperatures don't exceed the 30°C mark as much. This is the best time to explore the majestic royal structures in the city. Begin by exploring the main attraction of the city, the City Palace of Jaipur. Every nook and corner of the complex provides you with an imprint of the past. There are even some museums here showcasing the artefacts once used by the royals of the city. On the other hand, quite stunning even just from the outside is the Hawa Mahal, fondly referred to as the Palace of Winds. The structure resembles the crown of the Hindu deity, Lord Krishna. This is the structure which would provide you with a glimpse of the architectural prowess during the pre-colonial era, with the hundreds of small, discreet windows and even the cool breeze that seem to flow within the palace. About 30 minutes away from the city centre of Jaipur is the Amer Fort and Palace. Overlooking the scenic Maota Lake and Aravalli ranges, the fort and palace stands as one of the best forts in the city. The stunning palaces, most especially the Sheesh Mahal, are sure to take your breath away. Set aside a few hours to fully explore this fort and the structures within it. The Nahargarh Fort is yet another must-visit, make sure you explore it at night, as it overlooks the city of Jaipur during the dark skies. Lastly, there's the Jaigarh Fort, perhaps the strongest fort out of all the forts in Jaipur. Its thick walls, reservoir system and watchtowers cannot be compared to the other forts mentioned above.
    • Must visit attractions - City Palace of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort and Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort and many more.
    Be elevated with hill stations...

    4. Lansdowne - Lansdowne is a hill station in the state of Uttarakhand, about 261 kilometres away from Delhi. This hill station has pleasant climate all-year round. December sometimes experiences below zero temperatures and if you're lucky, snowfall might even occur. Since it is a cantonment town, the hill station is very quiet and serene. It's the perfect weekend getaway for those who want to just relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains around them. There are a few sights around here though, like the Tip in Top Point, where you can get a clear view of the Himalayan ranges. The Bhulla Tal or Bhulla Lake is a good attraction for families as boating facilities are available here. Religious sites such as the Saint Mary's Church and Saint John's Church provide one with a glimpse of the colonial era style of architecture. Lastly, you can also visit the Darwan Singh Museum, which highlights the history of the Garhwal Army by showcasing their arms and ammunitions used. Remember though that for snowfall, you have to reach the hill station at least by the end of December.
    • Must visit attractions - Tip in Top Point, Bhulla Lake, Saint Mary's Church, Saint John's Church and Darwan Singh Museum.
    [​IMG]
    Bhulla Lake in Lansdowne (Image from 99 Uttarakhand)

    5. Kasauli - A hill station in Himachal Pradesh, Kasauli is probably one of the most underrated destinations in the state. It is about 289 kilometres away from Delhi or about 5 hours of driving away. Kasauli has pleasant climate all-year round and temperatures in December can go as low as 5°C. Snowfall does occur too but it is a rare occurrence, probably once every four years so consider yourself lucky if you do experience snowfall during your visit. If you intend to spend a few days here, do take note that there are only a few sightseeing attractions in the city. Two points, the Monkey Point and the Sunset Point, can give you clear views of the mountains. Or if you enjoy trekking, the Gilbert Trail would take you around beautiful pine forests in the hill station. Lastly, religious sites such as the Christ Church Kasauli and Kasauli Baptist Church, although fairly small, can provide one with utmost spirituality and serenity. Looking for a peaceful and beautiful place this holiday season? Kasauli should be at the top of your list for that!
    • Must visit attractions - Monkey Point, Sunset Point, Gilbert Trail, Christ Church Kasauli and Kasauli Baptist Church.
    6. Mussoorie - This popular hill station in the state of Uttarakhand is located about 278 kilometres away from Delhi. By the end of December, temperatures reach 0°C in the hill station. Snowfall can occur but it doesn't happen fairly regularly. Surrounded by the beautiful Himalayan ranges, Mussoorie won't disappoint when it comes to scenic views. Begin your journey by exploring the city centre of the hill station, with attractions like The Mall and Gandhi Chowk. There's an assortment of shops and restaurants here to keep you satisfied. From the city centre, make your way to the Gun Hill, one of the few peaks in the hill station. You can even enjoy a ropeway ride to access its peak. Further away from the city centre are the peaks of Lal Tibba and Cloud's End, both provide one with clear views of the Himalayan ranges. A few natural attractions also surround the hill station, most popular of which is the Kempty Waterfalls, although the water here isn't as full during winter. You can enjoy a small picnic overlooking the waterfalls though. Lakes such as the Mussoorie Lake and Lake Mist have boating facilities which are perfect for families especially those with small children. Lastly, explore the community of the Happy Valley, where over 5,000 Tibetan settlers have made it their home. It's a very lively community, complete with houses, a temple and gardens.
    • Must visit attractions - The Mall, Gandhi Chowk, Gun Hill, Lal Tibba, Cloud's End, Kempty Waterfalls, Mussoorie Lake, Lake Mist and Happy Valley.
    Wild and free...

    7. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary - About 227 kilometres away from Delhi is the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Keoladeo National Park. December is a good time for spotting migratory birds in the sanctuary. The lush greenery surrounding the place and the pleasant climate, temperatures not exceeding 10°C, are the best features of the sanctuary during the winter season. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is regarded as one of the best bird watching sanctuaries in India and even in Asia. Indian robins, kingfishers, babblers, Indian grey hornbills and many more species of birds can be spotted here. Migratory birds from other countries even visit the sanctuary during this month. It's best to explore the sanctuary by rickshaw or even a bicycle as it is too expansive to cover just by foot. Bring your own binoculars too so you can easily spot the distant birds. It's advisable to spend at least two days here though to fully enjoy the sanctuary.
    • Animals to spot - Bird species such as Indian robins, kingfishers, babblers, Indian grey hornbills and many more.
    8. Sariska National Park - Sariska National Park is about 213 kilometres away from Delhi. It is also just 48 kilometres away from Alwar so you can combine a trip for these two destinations. Who knew that such dense jungles can be explored quite close to Delhi? Even better is that during December, temperatures don't exceed the 23°C mark. Various wildlife can be spotted here, including the majestic royal Bengal tigers, although their number isn't that high. But for other animals, sambars, spotted deers, jackals, monkeys, rabbits and many more, you can easily spot them even during winter season. The topography of the national park is also very diverse, wherein deciduous and dry forests are abundant, interspersed along with grasslands. Families would enjoy an overnight stay in one of the jungle hotels around the national park too.
    • Animals to spot - Royal Bengal tigers, sambars, spotted deers, jackals, monkeys, rabbits and many more.
    9. Rajaji National Park - Hiding beneath the limelight is the Rajaji National Park, perhaps because the Corbett National Park is the preferred wildlife sanctuary in the state of Uttarakhand. This only gives the national park a more secluded appeal and even more fascinating is that it is barely 6 hours away from Delhi or about 262 kilometres only. The national park has a desert-like appearance and December has pleasant temperatures not exceeding 15°C. There are different zones in the national park but the Chilla zone is the best section for wildlife spotting. Animals such as leopards, hyenas, wild boars, gorals, Indian elephants and langurs can be spotted here. There are also some royal Bengal tigers in the national park but spotting them can be rare. During the month of December, you might also be able to spot migratory birds visiting the national park.
    • Animals to spot - Royal Bengal tigers, leopards, hyenas, wild boars, gorals, Indian elephants and langurs.
    Bonus! Offbeat is the way to go...

    10. Dausa - Dausa is a city in Rajasthan, about 267 kilometres away from Delhi. Want something completely different apart from the usual destinations? Well, Dausa might be the answer for that, it is well known for the Mehandipur Balaji Temple, dedicated to Lord Balaji or Hanuman Ji. It is an extraordinary temple though, where exorcism is done. As such, you can spot people with possessed bodies in the premises of the temple. The temple complex has four sections, namely: the Samadhi, the Lord Balaji Temple proper, the Praitraaj Temple and the Mahakaali Temple. They are arranged in order of importance and the last section is only visited by possessed individuals. Certainly the temple is not for the faint-hearted but perhaps can provide one with a unique experience that they won't get elsewhere in India. If the former attraction is too intense for you, try visit the Chand Baori of Dausa. This baori or step well is one of the oldest of its kind in the country and even in Asia. Outside the baori, there's a temple that you can visit, the Harshat Mata Temple, dedicated to Goddess Harshat Mata. Although much of it is in ruins now, the sculptures can still be viewed clearly from the walls and pillars of the temple.
    • Must visit attractions - Mehandipur Balaji Temple, Chand Baori and Harshat Mata Temple.
    • Related thread - n/a
    [​IMG]
    Chand Baori in Dausa (Image from Wikimedia)

    Conclusion

    Want some time away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi but do not want to venture too far out? Fret not, as these places are easily accessible from Delhi. You don't need to go too far to have that well-deserved relaxation and rejuvenation. So pack your bags, leave your worries and get ready for your weekend getaway from the city. Do bookmark this page so you can check it out again if ever you need another short vacation away from the city. Enjoy!
     

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