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Places to visit near Lucknow

Discussion in 'North India' started by Rishabh2000, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Rishabh2000

    Rishabh2000 New Member

    I have been in Lucknow for one week now, and it has been boring, I have visited some places in Lucknow and to be honest there is nothing great. I have another week to go, and I need to get out somewhere and have joined the forum to find out the places to visit near Lucknow, so at least I can enjoy my last week.

    I would be taking my cousin along with me, and we are up to visiting any place out of Lucknow. We can not manage to go places which are 7-8 hours away but anything below that time is fine.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!



    If ever you have explored most of Lucknow and is now wondering if there are any weekend getaways from the city, yes there are! In fact, there are plenty of nearby places that you can visit from Lucknow. You have hill stations, heritage sites, religious sites and many more so you have a range of options.

    Places to Visit Near Lucknow (Under 8 Hours Away)

    Idyllic hill stations...

    1. Nainital - Nainital is about 380 kilometres away from Lucknow, so about 8 hours of driving away. It is located on the state of Uttarakhand and is a preferred weekend getaway due to its scenic views and pleasant climate almost all-year round. The hill station is also known as the City of Lakes, as it has several lakes in and out of the city. But the most famous lake here is the Naini Lake or simply Naini Tal. With the background of the mountains and lush greenery, the beauty of the lake is undeniable especially as you take a boat ride amidst it. Nearby the lake is the Naina Devi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Naina, the main deity of the city. The idol of the deity here is made of black granite stone and the views from the temple are quite stunning too. If you enjoy photography, the peaks of Naina and Tiffin Top are great locations for taking panoramic pictures of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Lastly, you must also visit the Governor's House, also known as the Raj Bhawan, a spectacle of the grandeur of the British era. Although you cannot visit much of the inside of the house, you can still enjoy viewing it from the outside and its Victorian era style of architecture. If you have the time, do take the ropeway that can take you to the Snow View Point of Nainital. The experience is thrilling and awe-dropping since you get a bird's eye view of the hill station and the snow-capped mountains. With its proximity to Lucknow, there's no excuse to not visit the idyllic hill station of Nainital.
    • Must visit attractions - Naini Lake, Naina Devi Temple, Naina Peak, Tiffin Top, Governor's House and Snow View Point (Aerial Ropeway).
    2. Kathgodam - This hill station is about 390 kilometres away from Lucknow, so again, about 8 hours of driving as well. It is actually on the way to Nainital from Lucknow. If your idea of a getaway is just a peaceful place where you can enjoy the serenity and isolation, then Kathgodam might fit that criteria. Much like Nainital, the sceneries from here are stunning, snow-capped mountains from behind and the lush forests around the town. The Gaula River flows freely here, which originates from the Sat Tal, another lake in Nainital. The Gaula Dam, also known as the Gaula Barrage, was created from the Gaula River and is now a main picnic area in the town. You can also visit the Kalichaud Temple, the main religious attraction of the small town. Kathgodam is more of a laid-back destination though and there's not much you can do or explore here. Thus, it's best to visit the hill station after a busy sightseeing day in the nearby Nainital.
    • Must visit attractions - Gaula River, Gaula Dam and Kalichaud Temple.
    Gaula River in Kathgodam (Image Courtesy of Mr. Traveller)

    Some places to give you a glimpse of the past...

    3. Agra - Agra is merely 370 kilometres away from Lucknow, so about 7 to 8 hours of driving. The city is known for the Taj Mahal, a white-marbled beauty of a mausoleum built by Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Of course, that's a well known fact and the reason as to why the city is thronged by tourists, not only from India, but all over the world. But did you know that the city is home to two more UNESCO World Heritage Sites? That's right, the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, both located in Agra, are yet other attractions here that showcase the rich heritage of the city. Standing stall on the banks of the Yamuna River is the Agra Fort, which stands in contrast to the pure white facade of the Taj Mahal, with its red sandstone structure. Inside the fort, you can find various palaces, halls and mosques, testaments of the grandeur of the Mughal era. Then, there's the Fatehpur Sikri, about 40 kilometres away from the city centre of Agra. An abandoned city at the most, yet the structures here are as astounding as the ones in the former mentioned fort. Around Agra, there are other attractions that you can visit like the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, believed to have been the inspiration for the majestic Taj Mahal, and also the Mehtab Bagh, a huge garden overlooking the Taj Mahal.
    • Must visit attractions - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and Mehtab Bagh.
    4. Gwalior - Gwalior is about 355 kilometres away from Lucknow or 6 to 7 hours of driving away. The city has a long history behind it, having been ruled by mighty dynasties such as the Mughals, Marathas and even the Scindias. As such, the heritage structures within the city speak of centuries lost over many years ago. For instance, the Gwalior Fort, stands unique with its blue and yellow accents on its walls. Inside the fort, you can explore several palaces, noteworthy of which is the Manmandir Palace, which appears to have been as grand on its peak era. It was converted into a prison during the rule of the Mughals in the fort and you can find the iron chains built around the palace as well. There are five more palaces inside the fort and three temples that you can explore. There's also the Jai Vilas Palace, which continues to be the home of the descendants of the Scindia dynasty in Gwalior. The palace has this blend of Italian and Corinthian styles of architecture, and much of the rooms here have been converted into museums. For the Mughal style of architecture, you must visit the Tombs of Mohammed Ghaus and Tansen. It is an underrated tourist attraction yet greatly exhibits the difference of the Mughal style of architecture especially as you compare the artworks to the other structures. Therefore, Gwalior is a must visit city because it was the home of several important rulers in India and as such, you are given a brief overview of their lifestyles and architectural prowess back then.
    • Must visit attractions - Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace and Tombs of Mohammed Ghaus and Tansen.
    Gwalior Fort (Image Courtesy of Where We Be)

    For the religious ones...

    5. Varanasi - The sacred city of Varanasi is about 367 kilometres away from Lucknow. The city is equally important for different religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism which is why it is an important religious destination in India. Home to the Ganges River, revered holy by many devotees, the city is the epitome of true religious devotion. It's not unusual to see cremation, aartis and other religious rituals around the different ghats of the city. The Dasaswamedh Ghat is famous for its evening aarti, held daily as well so you can witness it any day of the week. On the other hand, the Manikarnika Ghat is a cremation site, as the river is known to cleanse the sins of the departed ones. The Vishwanath Temple is the most visited temple in the city, dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It is also known as the Golden Temple and is a part of the 12 Jyotirlingas of the Lord Shiva. A New Vishwanath Temple has also been built in the city, which in contrast to the former, has a pink and white facade. Of course, you must also visit the Durga Temple, the abode of Goddess Durga, the better half of Shiva, when in Varanasi. And lastly, about 13 kilometres away from the centre of Varanasi is Sarnath, supposed to be the first ever place where the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. The city has a number of Buddhist stupas, a museum and well-manicured gardens.
    • Must visit attractions - Ganges River, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Vishwanath Temple, New Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple and Sarnath.
    6. Kanpur - At just about 100 kilometres away from Lucknow is the city of Kanpur. It is merely two hours of driving away, but is it truly a city worth visiting? Believe it or not, it is, not only because of the religious sites around the city but also because it gives you a glimpse of the industrial city life in India. Kanpur is one of the major industrial hubs of India and thus, it is not devoid of pollution nor congestion. The people here are the prime examples of fighters, because their city is not as progressive as Delhi but yet they remain optimistic and strong as they face their daily struggles. A prime example of which is a visit to the city's Shri Radhakrishna Temple, beautiful with its white marble facade. It's not unusual to see locals offering their prayers here and that is a testament to the city's undying devotion to Hinduism. The Sri Sri Radha Madhav Temple is also a must visit, although it's a fairly new temple under the ISKCON management. And lastly, there's the Kanpur Memorial Church, showcasing a British style of architecture with its red bricked facade. The church was built to commemorate the deaths of the British soldiers during the Seige of Cawnpore in 1875. It stands uniquely as compared to the temples around the city too.
    • Must visit attractions - Shri Radhakrishna Temple, Sri Sri Radha Madhav Temple and Kanpur Memorial Church.
    • Related thread - n/a
    Wildlife spotting...

    7. Jim Corbett National Park - The Jim Corbett National Park is about 430 kilometres away from Lucknow. It can take you around 8 hours to cover this distance by driving. Established as the first ever national park in the country, you cannot miss visiting the Jim Corbett National Park, located quite close to Nainital as well. The national park has several core zones where tiger spotting are quite frequent. The mixture of grasslands and dense forests also add to the scenic beauty of the place. Aside from the royal Bengal tigers, you can also spot other animals such as spotted deers, langurs, barking deers, leopards and rhesus monkeys. There are also over 600 species of resident and migratory birds in the national park like peacocks, pheasants, woodpeckers and cormorants. And aside from wildlife safaris, the Jim Corbett National Park is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries that offers other activities such as fishing and river rafting to guests.
    • Animals to Spot - Royal Bengal Tigers, Spotted Deers, Langurs, Barking Deers, Leopards, Rhesus Monkeys and Various Birds Species
    8. Dudhwa National Park - The Dudhwa National Park is about 221 kilometres away from Lucknow. The national park is located in the border between India and Nepal. Because it is a bit unadvertised and remote, the national park isn't as frequented by tourists around the country and the world. It has remained pretty much pristine and untouched by commercialism and so you can enjoy the virgin forests of the region. The forests here are a mixture of dry and deciduous ones, probably one of the most fertile forest areas around the country. It is also home to the majestic one-horned rhinoceroses, which were transferred from the Kaziranga National Park in Assam to the Dudhwa National Park. Other animals residing here are the royal Bengal tigers, sambars, swamp deers, barasinghas, langurs and many more. The national park was designated as a reserve though primarily for the swamp deers, as it has over half of the world's population of them here.
    • Animals to Spot - One Horned Rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers, Sambars, Swamp Deers, Barasinghas and Langurs.
    A little bit offbeat...

    9. Orchha - This city is about 324 kilometres away from Lucknow or 6 hours of driving away. Orchha has a rich history but it's such a shame that it isn't as visited as other heritage destinations in the country. The city was founded as early as the 16th century by Rudra Pratap Singh. The main attraction of the city, the Orchha Fort, was built by the Bundela rulers. Inside the fort, there are several palaces and temples that you can explore. Noteworthy of which is the Rani Mahal, built by the Queen of Raja Madhukar Shah, who was an ardent believer of Lord Rama. This devotion is evident in the murals around the palace, which depict scenes from the epic, Ramayana. Also a must visit in Orchha is the Chaturbhuj Temple, dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The temple is ornately designed and carved although it is starting to show some signs of decay and neglect. Just on the way to the Betwa River, you would find Chhatris, which are memorials dedicated to the royals of the city. These Chhatris around Orchha were made using yellow sandstone and looks stunning in contrast to the green surroundings. There are about 14 Chhatris spread around the river, all have their own gardens as well.
    • Must visit attractions - Orchha Fort, Chaturbhuj Temple, Betwa River and Chhatris.
    10. Mathura - This city is about 397 kilometres away from Lucknow. Locally, the city is known as the birthplace of the Lord Krishna and as such, is an important religious destination in the country. But far from the other destinations around India, Mathura doesn't have a trendy or modern vibe. There are no large shopping complexes here or even big theatres. It has remained partly rural and urban, a place that remains mostly visited by Hindu devotees. A must visit temple here is the Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi Temple, where it is believed that the Lord Krishna was born. The Jail of Kansa is located here, the place where the parents of Lord Krishna was imprisoned and where he was specifically born. The entire temple has murals depicting the life of Lord Krishna as well. Similarly, the Dwarkadhish Temple is another must visit here, also dedicated to the Lord Krishna. It is located quite close to the Vishram Ghat, a holy ghat in the banks of the Yamuna River. While Mathura might not have an exciting night life or anything like it, just being in the city feels as if you're closer to the Lord Krishna.
    • Must visit attractions - Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple and Vishram Ghat.
    Mathura (Image Courtesy of Colours India Travel)

    Enjoy your excursion out of Lucknow.:)