243 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The Pink City, as Jaipur is fondly called, is thronged by tourists almost all year round. And why not, with it being home to majestic palaces and forts like the Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, City Palace and Sisodia Rani Garden – some of the most beautiful architectural wonders you'll ever set your eyes upon.
Galtaji temple, also called the Monkey Temple, is another must visit. If your eyes just can't get enough, visit Amber Fort, which has its own 600-year-old story to narrate, through its spectacular light and sound shows, cultural performances and folk music. Rajasthani tailored clothes, jewellery and handicrafts are a huge hit as souvenirs, for their exquisite mirror work, embroidery, leather and splashes of colour. Some famous places this illustrious workmanship can be bought from are Rajasthali, Anokhi, Johari bazaar and Sireh Deori Bazaar, but remember to bargain. Central Museum and Albert Hall museum are great places to learn about Rajasthan's rich history and culture and also to buy handicrafts.
The Jaipur Literature Festival, the world's largest free literature festival, is dear to almost every bibliophile around the globe. Here one can enjoy literature and music, amidst the likes of William Dalrymple, Stephen Fry and many other renowned writers and personalities. The 5-day festival is hosted in Diggi Palace, which gives people around the world an insight into Rajasthan's captivating cultural heritage. For those interested in pampering their palates with the flavourful Rajasthani cuisine against the backdrop of a picturesque village should visit Chokhni Dani. For a regal experience, a stay at the Suvarna Mahal is a must visit.
· Places to Visit
183 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Home to the seventh wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal, Agra is best explored on foot or rickshaw or a rented bike. Renowned worldwide as not only a mausoleum but an epitome of love, the Taj Mahal is profusely crowded during the day till evening.
If you're looking to escape the crowd, however, the city's Mughal beauty can be enjoyed from several rooftops and secret locations in the city, or at an early morning yoga session just 100 metres away from the monument.
If you want to go further, why not go into the depths of its history through the light and sound shows and plays at the Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Centre. Agra annually hosts the 10-day festival, Taj Mahotsav, a rostrum for culture and colour in the month of February, known for celebrity performances, food stalls and a creative congregate of about 400 artisans across the country showcasing their exquisite art and craft items.
Agra easily competes with Delhi's Mughlai monopoly with decade old restaurants such as Bilal Restaurant and Hyderabad Handi, while the Agra cant area houses local food.
Speaking of local, Korai village remains a lesser known location, which can give you an entirely different experience and a chance to interact with villagers. Travelling through this beautiful necropolis, one can also enjoy quiet spots, wholesome with nature such as the Keertham Lake and the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, before signing off with a visit to the Agra Fort, I'timad-Ud-Daulah (also known as baby Taj), Chini Ka Raza and Akbar's Tomb, architectural tributes to Mughal history, admired above and beyond India.
Places to Visit
279 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Once known as Shyamala, synonymous with Goddess Kali, Shimla has been a summer retreat long before India even gained independence.
This famous hill station similarly has a lot of places and things to see untouched by time. For instance, take a vintage joy ride from Kalka station to Shimla in a charming toy train that will take you through towering Deodars, hills and villages. Shimla truly comes alive during winters when a blanket of snow covers it all over making every nook and corner gleam and glisten. One such place is the ice skating rink (natural ice) near Lakkar Bazaar that opens from November to December. More winter sports include skiing, which can be enjoyed 21 km from Shimla in Kufri. Adventure activities such as rafting at Tattapani or a trek to Shali Tibba and Pabbar Valley are also worthwhile experiences.
If you are fond of haunted stories and interested in having your own spooky adventure, you'll love Shimla. A lot of people including the renowned Rudyard Kippling (in 'My Own True Ghost Story) have written various eerie stories set around Shimla. A place known most for giving many people the jeepers-creepers is the Charleville Mansion.
Another time travelling portal is the antique bookstore, Marina Brothers, located on Mall Road, which is truly a reader and collector's paradise.
There are many luxury and budget hotels here, meaning you'll never fall short of options. Popular places to eat include Wake & Bake, Ashiana, Cecil and Minchy's that serve commendable Indian and multi-cuisine dishes and delicious gourmet food.
Places to Visit
241 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - August,September,October,November
A perfect combination of ancient and urban, this city has been deemed the most futuristic in the country, while also having been occupied by the Harappan civilisation almost 8,000 years ago.
In fact, BBC has named Chandigarh as a perfect city with regard to its cultural growth, modernisation and architecture.
Nek Chand Rock Garden is a unique and fascinating site, built solely by a man (after whom the garden is named), who used remnants from various demolition sites (particularly the debris while Chandigarh itself was being built) and a whole lot of scrap to build 2000 sculptures, statues, all integrated on walled paths, wherein one can also see man-made interlinked waterfalls.
A short walk away from there is the artificial Sukhna lake, a landmark for families to relax and walk around while enjoying street food and keeping kids busy with quaint toys bought from vendors all around.
Pertaining to Le Corbusier's (chief architect of the city) vision of Chandigarh being a garden city, Rose Garden is home to over 1,500 varieties of rose and the Garden of Fragrance is perfect for those mind-refreshing walks.
Popular places to visit for an insight into Chandigarh and the entire country's history through various artworks are the Government Museum & Art Gallery and the Chandigarh Architecture Museum.
Being one of the top four metro cities of the country, Chandigarh has a bustling food scene, home to every cuisine you can think of right from Mediterranean (Kelong, Virgin Courtyard) to Thai (Tao- Bar & Lounge). Some popular places for Punjabi dishes are Punjab Grill and Sher-e- Punjab.
Chandigarh is also close to many hill stations such as Solan, Kasauli, Shoghi and Naldehra.
· Places to Visit
213 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - March,April,May,October,November
Dehradun is easily one of the most popular hill stations in India. Though easily accessible by all modes of transportation, taking the road would be the best way to experience this heaven. The drive will take you through dense forests on the hilly road and if you're lucky, you might even see a wild elephant or leopard pass you by. The fresh and dewy hill air will infiltrate your lungs and put you in a great mood right away.
In terms of things to see, there is Robber's Cave, a river cave formation and Sahashtradhara, which is also a stunning sight of nature consisting of sulphur springs. But more than its sights, Dehradun is the perfect place for a family getaway. After all it has everything that you could need for a relaxing holiday. The town has many vintage bookshops (Natraj Publishers, The English Book Depot), college campuses with hilly backdrops, architectural marvels (such as the Forest Research Institute), alleys filled with quaint restaurants, adventure sports gear shops and forest resorts and hotels to fit every budget. Vishranti, a resort tucked away discreetly in the Sal forests of the Doon valley, deserves a special mention for its beauty and luxury. The city is a haven for foodies as Dehradun offers a lot of variety and affordability in its cuisine. Restaurants and cafes such as Doon Darbar, renowned for devour-worthy Mughlai dishes and The Buffet for its mouthwatering burgers, cutlets and coffee, are popular options.
· Places to Visit
229 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,August,September,October,November,December
A quick getaway destination for Delhi-NCR residents, Mussoorie or the 'Queen of Hills' is the most favoured place for anyone battling urban heat.
It remains quite crowded from May to July, as popular hotels and hangouts such as Mall Road, Mussoorie Lake, Kempty Falls and Gun Hill remain pervaded with tourists no matter where or what you may set your eyes upon. But if you carry the spirit of an explorer within you, Mussoorie can surprise you in many ways.
For instance, if you curious to check out where the man who Mt. Everest is named after, once lived, you can reach the house and laboratory through a picturesque 4 km walk from Library Bazaar or Gandhi Chowk. Ditch the customary visit to Kempty Falls and take an uplifting trek to the quiet, serene and crystal clear Jharipani Falls instead. Mussoorie, when mist free, provides frame-worthy views of the Himalayan ranges, which can be enjoyed at points such as Lal Tibba, Nag Tibba and Camel Back Road, all of which need to be trekked or walked to, with the effort being worthwhile.
Devalsari, a village quietly burrowed 55 km away from Mussoorie, is the gateway to the Nag Tibba trek and a location perfect for seeing beautiful butterflies and birds in the heart of nature. For those curious to delve into Himalayan life, history, art, culture and spirituality, Soham Heritage and Art Centre gives exquisite displays of the former, through various artefacts. As for foodies, restaurants such as Neelam, Imperial Square, Meeting Point Cafe and Casa Mia bakery do justice to North Indian, European and Tibetan cuisines and also offer delicious cafe knick knacks and drinks.
· Places to Visit
267 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Northern India. The stunning Nainital lake is bang in the middle of the city and offers tourists stunning sunsets and enchanting sunrises.
One legend says that Nainital derives its name from the Goddess Naina, whereas another legend claims that once when the Goddess Sati was being carried by Lord Shiva, her eye fell in the area.
The lovely hill station promises a rejuvenating weekend break for those who are coming from the capital city and is definitely worth a visit. Like most hill stations, Nainital has a bustling mall road, warm cafes and a very busy Tibet market. The mall road houses shops selling candles with intricate designs, wooden knick knacks and colourful woollens. Do bring back some souvenirs as keepsakes!
If you have time, do visit Sattal, Naukuchiatal (for paragliding and kayaking) as well as Ranikhet for its surreal beauty. If you are looking for a quiet, carefree holiday, visit between the months of January and April. It'll be cold, but there won't be any crowd.
· Places to Visit
204 Kms from New Delhi
Best time to visit - March,April,September,October,November
This city has been a refuge for spiritual seekers long before The Beatles christened it with their visit in the 60's. Widely known as the pilgrimage town and also the 'yoga capital of the world', Rishikesh is home to myriad temples, yoga and meditation centres and a plethora of adventure activities.
With an interesting backdrop of the rapid flowing Ganges river and iron-made suspension bridges (Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula), the city has also been a popular hub for travellers and backpackers alike. When it comes to food and drinks, Rishikesh remains a strict teetotaller and a vegetarian, even though you might find with great exploratory skills, a few restaurants not adhering to the prohibition. Some great restaurants and cafes include Little Buddha Cafe where you can enjoy your meals in a treehouse-style ambience.
Rishikesh provides a spectacular treat to the eyes and music to the ears during sunrise and sunset, as sadhus (priests), pilgrims and tourists all around, prepare for the routine 'Ganga Aarti' with temple bells resonating all around and innumerable diyas or small clay pot lit lamps dancing over the river Ganga to that reverberating music, as religious offerings.
Rishikesh warmly welcomes thrill seekers, who can try out a number of activities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, zip lining, mountain biking and rappelling. The city also annually hosts the International Yoga Festival where yoga gurus, aficionados and devotees from around the globe throng the place (popularly the Parmarth Niketan Ashram) and give various lessons and lectures on yoga, meditation and spirituality.
Places to Visit
Weekend Getaways Far from the Madness of Delhi. Delhi can become a bit overbearing. The fast-paced corporate life can be taxing on individuals. What you require is a short weekend break to get over your work blues. This shouldn’t be hard to come by considering there numerous weekend getaways from Delhi. Enjoy amazing Weekend Getaways from Delhi in the wonderfully diverse set of destinations around the capital. From exotic mountains and lakes to stunning historical places, Delhi is exceptionally located within close proximity to some of India’s finest tourist destinations. A trip to Patan Mahal is perfect for a weekend of solitude. The grandeur and charm of the place can have a relaxing effect on you. Have you ever wanted to visit northern Rajasthan? A short break there could do you a world of good. People from around the country flock to popular places near Delhi like Agra, Shimla and Jaipur, all of which lie within 500 kilometers from Delhi and are well connected by roads and public transportation.
Weekend Getaways from Delhi include some of the best of the country’s hill stations, religious sites and lakes. Explore some the best of region’s gorgeous hill stations in Rishikesh, Chail and Kasaul. Experience the countries most famous cities like Udaipur, Haridwar and Vrindavan and some of the country’s most prized towns like Dholpur, Mewar and Neemrana.
If you are looking for a getaway off the tourist circuit, make your way to some of the more offbeat attractions from Delhi in Landsdowne, Pushkar and Mathura. For adventure enthusiasts, an Enfield ride to Auli could be the remedy for stress. Some of the other quaint places near Delhi perfect for a weekend break include Chalal, Naddi village in upper Dharamshala, Kausani and Pushkar, among other places. Making excuses now would be foolish. All you should be doing is pack up and venture out.
Some other destinations include Bharatpur, which is famous for being a bird sanctuary and Gwalior which is blessed with some stunning forts. Weekend Getaways from Delhi can also take you to the hill stations like Almora, Dehradun and for a memorable holiday. When it comes to travel, Delhi is perfectly located in proximity to some of the country’s best places to visit.
Visit Naukuchia Taal in Nainital for it’s gorgeous lake and Shimla for it’s nature. From Rishikesh’s adventure sports to Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the range of destinations near Delhi makes the city one of the best places in India for a weekend getaway. The host of destinations near Delhi for a weekend getaway cater to all kinds of travellers. Whether you are looking to relax or seeking adventure, plan the perfect holiday and enjoy a memorable weekend.
The best time to visit these destinations on a short weekend trip of 2-3 days are the months between May to July and October-December, when the weather is perfect to enjoy all the attractions and places near Delhi.
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