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Places to visit near Delhi on weekends

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by NitinJha, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. NitinJha

    NitinJha New Member

    A group of us friends are getting together after a very long time, and because of the different timing of work and holidays we can only manage to go somewhere together on the weekends.
    We would like to know which places to visit near Delhi on weekends, where we would all have a good time and have a memorable holiday.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!


    Overview

    Everyone needs a little break from their hectic daily schedules, whether you're a housewife, quite busy with day to day chores, or maybe you're an employee, always trying to make it into deadlines. It's essential to take a break once in a while and find some inner peace or even adventure, away from the routine that you have. That's why weekend getaways are important as they are not too far away from your city and can provide you with some rejuvenation easily. Fortunately, Delhi is blessed when it comes to this aspect, it has a number of weekend getaways that you can reach, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. There really is no excuse for not enriching the wanderlust in you! Read on and find out which places you can visit for a quick weekend getaway from Delhi.

    Places to Visit Near Delhi on Weekends (Within 350 Kilometres)

    A bit about the past...

    1. Neemrana - Just under three hours of driving away from Delhi is the small village of Neemrana in Rajasthan. It's a great weekend getaway because it is home to the first fort turned resort in Rajasthan known as the Neemrana Fort Palace. Each room in this palace hotel is uniquely designed, hence the experience can be different for each time you stay here. Perched on top of a hill, the views are also mesmerising, especially for the higher rooms. Children can also enjoy the place because it has two swimming pools that they can frolic in. Because of its position, you would always be climbing stairs to reach the upper portions of the heritage hotel. It's truly an experience like no other as you reach through hanging gardens, maze-like staircases, terraces and different hallways. The ancient Baori, also known as step well, is also worth visiting when staying in the heritage hotel. There's also an amphitheatre in the premises from which live cultural performances are done. The best part? For as little as Rs. 4,500 per night, you can definitely feel like royalty as you are granted a room in the hotel premises. Finally, other activities such as a vintage car tour and even zip lining can encourage even the youngsters to join in with you on your royal adventure.
    • Distance from Delhi - 129 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Neemrana Fort Palace and Baori
    2. Mandawa - Mandawa is another interesting village in the Shekhawati district of Rajasthan. It is under five hours of driving away from Delhi and can even be combined with a trip to Jaipur because of their proximity with one another. For those who love the arts, Mandawa is a good destination. It has different havelis, all of their walls are exquisitely painted, locally known as frescoes. Such paintings give vibrancy and beauty to these havelis, which in turn add beauty to the whole region. The Goenka Double Haveli, founded by Rajput merchants, is one of the best examples of these frescoes. Its walls have elaborate paintings depicting both Indian and European styles. Another must visit is the Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, from which paintings speak of the bygone era. Here you can find images of animals and even humans as they go about their daily lives. Even the wood work in this haveli is worth mentioning as the intricacy of such carvings is hard to perfect especially when you take into account the era from when it was created. A bit on the religious side is the Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, from which Hindu mythologies become alive. Even Lord Shiva is depicted here as riding on an elephant which looks quite stunning in daylight. Perhaps the most elaborate of all the havelis is the Jhunjhunwala Haveli, as each ceiling, wall and pillar here are decorated with either paintings or carvings. The Murmuria Haveli is a bit on the political side and also the more modern side as it depicts paintings of influential leaders and even transportation means. Finally, after a day of exploring the village, you can opt to stay in the Mandawa Fort Castle, a palace turned into a heritage hotel. Modernities such as internet, swimming pool and a spa were added into the heritage hotel as well.
    • Distance from Delhi - 256 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Goenka Double Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Murmuria Haveli and Mandawa Fort Castle
    [​IMG]
    Jhunjhunwala Haveli in Mandawa (Image from Wiwigo)

    Cool off with these hill stations...

    3. Nahan - Nahan is a small hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is under 5 hours of driving away from Delhi. Nahan is one of the closest hill stations to Delhi and it has a number of resorts that guests can choose from. Unlike the other hill stations in the state, Nahan is not that crowded and boasts of the ultimate serenity. In addition, the natural attractions within the hill station give it a more alluring vibe. The Rani Tal is its prime attraction, located at the heart of the hill station. It's very simple, surrounded by lots of trees, with a temple on its bank and a small garden with a children's play area. The Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary, about 36 kilometres away from Nahan's city centre, is also worth visiting. The sanctuary is spread over the Renuka Lake, from which you can indulge in boating activities. The sanctuary is like a mini zoo, home to species of animals like black bears, sambars and leopards. You can opt to trek to explore the wildlife area or hire a gold cart which can take you around it. Finally, you must also visit the Suketi Fossil Park, about 22 kilometres away from the city centre of Nahan. It is the first of its kind in Asia, a place where you can find fossils excavated within the region displayed exactly where they were found.
    • Distance from Delhi - 251 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Rani Tal, Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary, Renuka Lake and Suketi Fossil Park
    4. Kanatal - Within 7 to 8 hours of driving away from Delhi, you would reach Kanatal, a hill station in Uttarakhand. Because Kanatal lies close to both Mussoorie and Dhanaulti, it is under the limelight of these popular tourist destinations. The hill station shouldn't be underrated though as it offers the same views but with less of the crowds. While there isn't much you can do here, it offers the perfect relaxing weekend getaway for tourists. Just book a good hotel and you're good to go. You can indulge in a trek in the Kodia Jungle which would take you through lush jungles and grasslands. Along the way, you might even be able to spot a few wild animals. The trek is fairly easy even for beginner trekkers but you do need to carry your own water and snacks as there are no stalls along the way. The Surkanda Devi Temple is the prime attraction of the hill station, which also needs a bit of trekking to reach. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Sati and is revered holy by many locals. If you would like, you can venture further into Dhanaulti, if you want to explore more tourist attractions. But for a serene getaway, Kanatal would be a good option for that.
    • Distance from Delhi - 316 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Kodia Jungle and Surkanda Devi Temple
    [​IMG]
    Surkanda Devi Temple in Kanatal (Image from The India)

    Wildlife and nature...

    5. Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary - About 6 hours away from Delhi is the Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary, located just about 12 kilometres away from Nainital. Despite its proximity to the popular hill station, Pangot has remained untouched by commercialisation. This bird sanctuary is home to over 500 species of both resident and migratory birds. The thick forest coverings of oak, pine and rhododendron helps to make the surroundings even more naturally beautiful. It is recommended that you do the bird watching during early morning though as chances of spotting birds are higher during that time. Commonly spotted birds here are that of white-throated laughing thrushes, brown-wood owls and fork tails. Even mammals like sambars, barking deers and wild boars can be spotted in the sanctuary. There are also a number of lodges around the sanctuary that can make your wildlife experience more authentic. Top-rated lodges are that of the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge and The Oak Trails Eco Lodge.
    • Distance from Delhi - 305 Kilometres
    • Animals to spot - Bird species like white-throated laughing thrushes, brown-wood owls & fork tails plus mammals like sambars, barking deers and wild boars
    6. Gangotri National Park - About 318 kilometres away from Delhi is the Gangotri National Park, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. With a combination of both conifer and alpine forests, the national park has a picturesque beauty. It is also one of the few national parks that allows trekking within its premises. The best time to indulge in trekking within the park is during the summer season, from April to the beginning of June and also after monsoon season, from September until November. The beauty of the landscapes come out more during these months and also, it's the safer time to explore the national park too. Just this 2013, two snow leopards were spotted in the national park, one male and one female. Of course, snow leopards are elusive and hard to spot but there are many more animals to see like the blue sheep, black bear, brown bear, Himalayan tahr and musk deer. If you're adventurous, you can also trek to reach the Gangotri Glacier, which is main water source for the Bhagirathi River, which later merges with the Ganges River. As such, this national park attracts not only tourists, but also pilgrims of Hinduism.
    • Distance from Delhi - 318 Kilometres
    • Animals to spot - Snow leopards, blue sheep, black bears, brown bears, Himalayan tahrs and musk deers.
    [​IMG]
    Gangotri National Park (Image from Indranila)

    Popular as they are...

    7. Agra - The home of the Taj Mahal, Agra, is merely 233 kilometres away from Delhi. With the creation of the Yamuna Expressway, travelling between both cities won't take more than 4 hours at the most. Because Agra is a popular tourist destination, you can find an assortment of hotels and even restaurants in the city. Even though it's a popular tourist destination, one cannot deny that it is an important heritage site too. Touristy as it might be, visiting Agra should be at one's top priority when in Delhi. The white-marbled beauty of the Taj Mahal is its prime attraction, as it reflects the sunlight or even the moonlight. The grand mausoleum is the finest example of the Mughal era style of architecture to which the dynasty has made its trademark from. Even the Agra Fort is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its grandeur. The red sandstone structure along with the inner grand palaces are also major examples of the prowess of the bygone Mughal era. Lesser known is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah but also boasts of the same white-marbled facade. But this structure actually used white marble way before the iconic Taj Mahal was built. Also worth visiting is the Mehtab Bagh, a garden standing adjacent to the Taj Mahal. There are many speculations that a black Taj Mahal was supposed to be built here, but even now, none of these speculations have been proven. Finally, a trip to Agra would only be complete if the Fatehpur Sikri is added to the list. This abandoned city was once the capital of Akbar. Several palaces, halls and even a mosque line the place. In contrast to the former mentioned structures, the abandoned city still has the red sandstone structures, the prime material used during the early era of the Mughals.
    • Distance from Delhi - 233 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, Mehtab Bagh and Fatehpur Sikri
    8. Jaipur - About five hours away from Delhi is the city of Jaipur, and together with Agra, these three form the Golden Triangle Tour of India. Pink walls, Rajput-era structures and modern buildings blend together to make Jaipur the city that it is today. It is also one of the most popular destinations in India especially for foreign tourists. An assortment of palaces, forts and temples line the city, which can easily take a day or two to explore. There are also many hotels within the city so you can spend your entire weekend in here without any issues. The City Palace stands to be one of its main attractions. Built in the first quarter of the 17th century by Sawai Jai Singh II, the palace has now been converted into a museum showcasing the artefacts used by the royals back then. The Hawa Mahal has this fascinating structure, almost like the crown of Lord Krishna and even an interesting story behind its building. This palace was built so that the royal women can look out and watch the streets without being seen. The architecture of the palace is very functional, ramps were installed instead of stairs and even the small windows provide adequate breeze to cool off the royal women even during summer. The Amer Fort and Palace is located a bit away from the city centre yet cannot be missed. Overlooking the Maota Lake, the fort and palace looks even more stunning during evening time. Nearby the fort, you can also visit other forts which served as protections for the Amer Fort and Palace, these are the Jaigarh Fort and Nahagarh Fort.
    • Distance from Delhi - 281 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort and Palace, Jaigarh Fort and Nahagarh Fort
    Away from the known paths...

    9. Kangojodi - Craving for a true jungle experience, where only the rustling of the forest and chirping of the birds are the sounds you hear? Then, head on over to Kangojodi, a place so offbeat, it's hard to find information about it online. This hill station is located in the Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, about 275 kilometres away from Delhi. The entire hill station is covered by thick pine and deodar forests which adds some serenity to the place. As of now, only one camp operates in the place, which goes by the name of Camp Roxx. The camp has 15 cottages, all of which have attached bathrooms, that guests can rent in. You can also camp on your own, if you're up for an adventure. Just bring your camping tents, snacks and water, and you're good to go. Keep in mind that facilities here are very basic and so comfort must be left at home. Trekking, bird watching and river crossing are just some of the main adventure activities that you can do here.
    • Distance from Delhi - 275 Kilometres
    • Activities - Camping, trekking, bird watching and river crossing
    • Related thread - n/a
    10. Pinjore - Located in the state of Haryana, about 252 kilometres away from Delhi, is the small town of Pinjore. It is a relatively quiet town but has some attractions worth exploring. Under the radar of most tourists, primarily because it is located close to Chandigarh, Pinjore offers more of an offbeat experience. Start by visiting the Pinjore Gardens, the prime attraction of the small town. It was originally built by Nawab Fidai Khan in the 17th century but was renovated to its present glory by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, a Patiala ruler. The garden was built over seven levels, which can be a treat to explore during night time, when the fountains are lit by different coloured bulbs. Smaller palaces, known as mahals, line the gardens too which are reminiscent of the Mughal era style of architecture. Outside the garden, kids can enjoy a camel ride and even a toy train ride. You can also visit the Bhima Devi Temple, located behind the Pinjore Gardens. Mostly though, the temple is in ruins, containing only the idols of the Hindu deities like Shiva and Ganesha. Finally, the Aqua Village is a water park near the Pinjore Gardens as well. It has about five adult pools and one children's pool, all of which are very clean and well-maintained.
    • Distance from Delhi - 252 Kilometres
    • Must visit attractions - Pinjore Gardens, Bhima Devi Temple and Aqua Village
    [​IMG]
    Pinjore Gardens (Image from Wikimedia)

    Conclusion

    All these places are under six hours of driving away from Delhi. You won't waste precious time driving or even commuting just to reach these weekend getaways from Delhi. They are perfect for those who have two to three days to spend away from the city life. Some can take you back to nature, while others can make you relish in the beauty of the bygone era. Enjoy your weekend trip away from Delhi!

    :)
     

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