With great festivals sometimes come great, long weekends! Diwali 2017 is just round the corner and this time, it is going to provide one hell of a travel opportunity. Diwali, which is India’s biggest festival, is a 5-day celebration. Diwali 2017 dates are from 18th October to 22nd October. Most offices in India have holidays on Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20. What this means is that you have a 4-day weekend which is enough to embark upon a lovely little trip with your family. If you live in or around Delhi, you are lucky to be surrounded by spectacular tourist spots that you can visit in this duration. Here are the best places to visit near Delhi on the long Diwali 2017 weekend.

Dharamsala

Dharamsala

Dharamsala

One of the reasons why several cities in India envy Delhi is its proximity to the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh. While there are a number of beautiful hill stations in the state, Dharamsala holds its own due to its serenity and natural beauty. The Buddhist settlement of Dharamsala is a delight for those looking for a getaway amidst the mountains. A visit to the monastery which is home to The Dalai Lama is as rejuvenating as a trek to the lovely Triund amidst clouds. Almost every restaurant in Mcleodganj offers delicious Tibetan food.

Distance from Delhi: 474 km

Time to reach by road: 9 hours

Jim Corbett National Park

Safari jeeps on game drive watching huge tusker moving in the forest of Dhikala in Jim Corbett, Uttrakhand

Safari jeeps on game drive watching huge tusker moving in the forest of Dhikala in Jim Corbett, Uttrakhand

For those who love wildlife and nature, there is no place better than Jim Corbett National Park. Known as one of India’s best national parks, Jim Corbett is home to a number of species and makes for an excellent vacation amidst nature. You can take multiple wildlife safaris or just relax in your resort listening to the sounds of birds and feeling the cool breeze of Uttarakhand air.

Distance from Delhi: 246 km

Time to reach by road: 6 hours 10 minutes

Naukuchiatal

12-travel-naukuchiatal

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Another delightful and offbeat getaway from Delhi for the Diwali 2017 weekend is the adventure hub of Naukuchiatal in Uttarakhand. Literally meaning ‘lake of nine corners’, Naukuciatal is known for its paragliding activities and the mesmerizing lake which is the centre of all activities here.

Distance from Delhi: 300 km

Time to reach by road: Around 8 hours

Almora and Binsar

Kosi River valley near Almora, Uttarakhand

Kosi River valley near Almora, Uttarakhand

A spectacular drive from Delhi, Almora and the nearby Binsar in Uttarakhand are excellent getaways for those who like road trips. The roads will tell you when you cross from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh to Uttarahand into the lap of snow-clad peaks, pine trees and cloud-capped hillocks on your way to Almora. Binsar, an offbeat destination, is worth a visit for its rural backdrop and wildlife sanctuary.

Delhi from Delhi: 366.4 km

Time to reach by road: 10 hours

Alwar

alwar

This one is for those who like architecture and history. Alwar in Rajasthan is home to some of the best monuments that take you back in time. The Alwar fort or Bala Kila, for instance, is known for its stunning Aravalli range backdrop and sturdy structure. The Neemrana fort too is a majestic piece of architecture and reminds you of the royal era.

Distance from Delhi: 166.8 km

Time to reach by road: 3 hours 32 minutes

Nainital

Honeymoon in Nainital

Honeymoon in Nainital

The city of lakes, Nainital is renowned as one of India’s prime hill stations. The summer and winter seasons draw in huge crowds so October is just the right time to give the tourist population a miss and enjoy a quieter version of Nainital. The Naini lake and weather are just as beautiful as any other month of the year and you can enjoy the gorgeous mountain views just the same.

Distance from Delhi: 303 km

Time to reach by road: 7 hours 52 minutes

So, this long Diwali weekend, take a trip to one of these lovely destinations near Delhi. You can always perform the Lakshmi puja at home and then take off on your trip so you don’t even miss Diwali.