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Weekend Getaways from Delhi

Discussion in 'North India' started by Chahal, May 5, 2015.

  1. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    India is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world but if you speak to anyone from Delhi, they will tell you that there just aren't any good weekend getaways nearby. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Delhi, most people tend to take at least three or four holidays every year and most of these holidays span over a period of just 2 or 3 days. Nonetheless, the constant cribbing among Delhi-ites makes it appear as if there is just nowhere for them to go. These short holidays are much harder to plan than longer holidays since you have very little time on your hands and don't want to spend most of it travelling. It just needs to be a welcome relief from a long week and nothing else.

    In summer, Delhi-ites have to suffer from the soaring temperatures and while children get relief from this heat because of their summer holidays, for adults, there is just nothing to look forward to. That's why people have to satisfy themselves with short weekend getaways instead of anything else. This allows them to have a comfortable and enjoyable holiday on the weekend and not miss any work either. It helps them keep their professional life on track while satisfying their personal needs as well. So instead of spending a boring weekend at home why don't you visit one of the below-mentioned destinations for a short weekend holiday that will help rejuvenate you?

    There are quite a few weekend destinations that are just a few hours’ drive from Delhi and with the Indian government working hard on improving the highways, these destinations are just getting closer and closer. Now, let's take a look at 15 of the best weekend getaways from Delhi:

    1. Jim Corbett National Park- At just 245 km away, this is probably the most frequented weekend getaway from Delhi. It’s a little over 4 hours away and every second Delhi-ite would have visited this national park in the hopes of spotting a tiger at least once. It has become quite commercialized in recent times, but it has still managed to maintain its beauty. For fishing enthusiasts, there is the Ramganga River where you can fish for the mighty mahaseer. Just remember to stay away between the months of July and September. It rains quite heavily and regularly during this time and if you do visit you will spend most of your holiday locked up in your room waiting for the rain to stop.

    2. Jaipur- Ever since the Delhi-Jaipur highway was upgraded, the 268 km journey to Jaipur doesn’t take any longer than 4 hours anymore. The pink city is now frequented by Delhi-ites as often as Agra is. This is the perfect city for anyone who is looking to experience India's past first hand and is also known for handicrafts, fabrics, jewellery, art, etc. Don't miss the Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh fort, Srikali temple, Jaipur Zoo, Amber fort, or Hawa Mahal while you are there.

    3. Agra- The home of the Taj Mahal, this is another weekend getaway that every Delhiite has been to. After all, who doesn't want to see the splendid Taj Mahal, right? It is just 203 km away from Delhi and doesn’t take more than 3 hours of traveling. It is an excellent way to wind down on the weekend while learning about Shah Jahan, the great Mughal Emperor and the monument he built in memory of Mumtaz, his wife. The stories you will hear at the Taj Mahal are sometimes unbelievable but rest assured, all of them are true.

    4. Keoladeo National Park- This is a much smaller national park than the others mentioned above and is the closest national park to Delhi as well at a distance of just 206 kms which can easily be covered with 3 hours. It was earlier called the Bharatpur bird sanctuary and is home to countless different species of birds, fish, snakes and plants. In winter, you can even spot Siberian cranes in this park. It is recommended that you visit this park during winter if you want to spot the most birds.

    5. Mathura- At 161 kms away from Delhi, it just takes a little over 2 hours to get there. But this is a weekend getaway only for a person or group of people that are interested in a cultural tour. This legendary city is where Lord Krishna spent his early years and it has multiple holy shrines all related to the lord's lifespan. This city is the perfect example of communal harmony as well with many mosques and temples located side by side. You will definitely have many new stories to share at work after a weekend at Mathura.

    6. Rishikesh- This is the hub of adventure located just 240 km away from Delhi. It takes about 4 and a half hours to reach and is the second furthest destinations on this list. It is most popular for its camping and white water rafting facilities. In recent times, it has also become popular with trekkers as well. If you are looking at getting in touch with your spiritual side during your getaway, then this is the perfect destination. There are many yoga centers that offer both short and long-term yoga courses as well. Some of the popular places to visit include the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, the Neelkantha Mahadev Temple, the Neer Garh Waterfall and the Swarg Ashram.

    7. Haridwar- Haridwar basically takes all the spirituality and meditation at Rishikesh and multiplies it manifold. It is a great destination for anyone looking to cleanse their spiritual self and you can easily enjoy a dip in the Ganga followed by a visit to the local temples and ending the day with an evening aarti at Har Ki Pauri. And at just 222 km away, you won't spend more than 4 hours or so on the road either. Some of the important places to visit include Har Ki Pauri, Chandi Devi temple, Ramanand Ashram and Maya Devi Temple.

    8. Sariska National Park- This is the ideal national park for people who want to see tigers. It is just 211 km away from Delhi and requires just 4 hours of travel time. It is home to 13 tigers at the moment. The chances of seeing a tiger are very high here. There are other animals apart from tigers here as well like leopards, golden jackals, wild boars, Hanuman langurs, etc. And for water lovers, the Silliserh Lake is a mere 20 km away. It is the perfect weekend getaway isn't it?

    9. Lansdowne- This is probably one of the least commercialized hill stations around Delhi. It is located around 250 km away and takes 5 and a half hours to reach. It is the furthest destination on this list. It has fantastic weather all year round. The secluded location makes it ideal for people looking to get away from their busy lives and is best visited during peak summers. St. Mary’s Church and Bhullatal Lake are two must-visit spots here.

    10. Neemrana Fort- At a distance of just 122 km from Delhi, this is a great weekend getaway, and it won't take more than a couple of hours to get there. Neemrana Fort Palace is converted into a heritage hotel and offers a glimpse into the royal lifestyle of kings and queens that lived here in the past.This standalone property offers quite a few things for guests to do, and you can even choose to visit the Neemrana Village outside if you're up for some adventure. The hotel used to be a fort earlier and has a lot of cultural significances. And for those interested in adventure sports, there is the flying fox zip line to get your blood flowing. And spending a relaxing evening in one of the two swimming pools can be extremely relaxing as well.

    11. Surajkund- Even though many Delhi-ites would not even consider Surajkund to be outside Delhi, the fact of the matter is that it is. It isn't even 20 km away from Delhi, and it takes less than an hour to get there. There is a festival that happens there every year, and if you can visit during this time, you can enjoy the beautiful arts and crafts on sale as well as the dances performed by dancers from every state. And for the history buff in you, there is a huge tank built more than 10000 years ago by King Surajpal for the God of the Sun, Surya.

    12. Sultanpur National Park- Located just an hour and a half from Delhi over a distance of 45 km, this is an excellent place for any bird lovers to visit. The best time to visit is during the months of December to February as the most birds are passing through at that time. It can make an excellent picnic spot as well. It is a great place for amateur and professional photographers as well. Don't forget to take your binoculars if you want a good look at the birds. You can even see birds from as far as Afghanistan, Siberia and even parts of Europe.

    13. Alwar- As far as tourism is concerned, there isn't too much that Alwar has to offer. But it is just 4 hours away from Delhi over a distance of 217 km. Your best bet in this city would be to visit the Abhaneri Baori (a stepwell) which is quite beautiful and can take up quite a few hours of your time. There are some other historical places that you can visit here as well like the Alwar museum, Motidoongri, Siliserh, Bhangarh fort, Pandupole, Hope circus, Bala Fort, etc.

    14. Dehradun- This hill station is a little far from Delhi at 230 km. While this might not seem like a lot, it takes over four and a half hours to get there because of all the driving you have to do on the hills. But once you get there, the views are just breathtaking. If you've never been to a hill station, then this is the first one you should visit. There are quite a few restaurants in Dehradun and irrespective of your budget, you will find something to eat. But, at an elevation of over 1800 metres above sea level this is not an easy place to travel for people with motion sickness.

    15. Mandawa- At 259 km away reaching Mandawa from Delhi takes around four and a half hours if the roads are empty. This is the perfect weekend destination for people with an interest in history and culture. There are multiple havelis in this region, and they are full of naif paintings. There is a museum in Nawalgarh, which has been restored completely. There is a magnificent water reservoir called Chokhana Ka Johara to visit too. And whatever you do, don’t forget to visit the Mandawa Fort. You can even choose to stay there since it has now been converted into a heritage hotel.

    16. Garhmukteshwar- This is more of a religious town located at a distance of 115Kms from Delhi and takes about 3 hours drive to get there. Located bang on the banks of holy river Ganga, Garhmukteshwar has an ancient history and many old temples. The most visited ones are The ancient Ganga Temple, which had 100 steps that led to river Ganga in old times but now only 84 of those steps are intact. This temple also has a white stone idol of Brahma, which attracts many devotees.Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple is another major temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Siva linga in this temple is believed to be established by Parshuram and holds particular importance.Meerabai ki Reti is just opposite the Mahadev Mandir where Meera Bai used to offer her prayers according to folklore. Not a destination for everyone but if you want to get away from the rat race for a couple of days and feel close to the almighty, this may just be the place you wish to be at.

    If you are one of the Delhi-ites who believe that water parks and malls are the only places where you can enjoy yourself on the weekends then I'm sure you would have changed that belief by now. There certainly are enough historical and cultural destinations around Delhi for anyone who is willing to get in his car and drive a bit. But everyone's idea of a holiday is different and irrespective of whether you want to have a nice, quiet and peaceful holiday or want to participate in multiple adventure sports, there will be a destination near Delhi where you can do so. And the best part about all of these destinations is that they are so close that you can leave early morning on a Saturday and return on Sunday evening well rested and ready to go to work the next day. They provide the perfect holiday for people who have been under a lot of pressure at work. There is nothing like breaking the monotony of city life to get you in the right spirit again now is there? You will return with a bag full of memories from any of these destinations.
    Explorer and Rudra like this.

  2. Lost In India

    Lost In India New Member

    I just checked Lansdowne and there are very few accommodation choices but pictures look nice. I will try to go there when I am in Delhi again. Thanks for the nice ideas.

  3. Rudra

    Rudra New Member

    Very good information, thanks Chahal, just the right kind of information needed during the holiday season.
    I didn't actually think that Alwar would be classified as a holiday destination, I didn't even know that Alwar was in Rajasthan, so much for my geography knowledge!
  4. Major

    Major New Member

    Is it actually possible to do a weekend trip to Lansdowne? I would have thought it is too far for a weekend trip.
  5. VishalGaba

    VishalGaba New Member

    Would anyone know when the Surajkund mela is held? What time of the year does it take place?
  6. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    Suraj Kund crafts mela normally starts on the 1st of Feb and lasts 15 days every year. Please double check on Haryana tourism website to be on the safe side. Next years theme is going to be Goa.
  7. Explorer

    Explorer New Member

    Thanks Chahal, please update for Garh Muketsawar.
  8. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    I have added Garhmukteshwar in the list at no.16. Thanks for reminding. Do let me know if you can think of any other destinations that are close enough from Delhi and I would be happy to add those.