The capital region of Delhi NCR is beautiful in many ways, but sometimes it helps to take a break from its ancient monuments, busy streets and roller-coaster auto rickshaws. Thankfully, folks in Delhi are spoilt for choice when it comes to weekend getaways. There are plenty of destinations to choose, from the usual tourist haunts to lesser-explored places tucked away in the northern mountains. There are destinations to match every traveler’s interest located less than 300 km from the capital city. So the next time the weekend comes, take a bus, hire a taxi or rent a car if you dont have a bike or car of your own, and head out to these destinations. They offer everything from history lessons to a chance to face nature’s wild side, all without burning away your savings. ALSO READ: 8 tempting places in Delhi to chat over chaat
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Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Since we talked about history lessons, let’s start the list with a city that is the living embodiment of Rajasthan’s royal heritage: Jaipur. Founded in 1727, a trip to Jaipur and its Old City (also called Pink City) is just around 295 km from Delhi and is a great way to know more about the history of the kingdom of Amber and Jaipur and, by extension, the history of Rajasthan and India in general. This is a place closely connected to some of the most legendary monarchs, like its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II, Maharani Gayatri Devi and Maharaja Man Singh II. Spend your weekend here exploring the city’s historical landmarks, like the expansive Amer Fort on its outskirts and the Nahargarh Fort that lies on a hill in the Old City. Also Read - Corona Effect: Maoist Leaders in Odisha Announce Ceasefire, Urge State Govt to Help Them With Medicine, Basic Amenities
The holy city of Rishikesh is known by many names and for many things. Located along the banks of the holy river Ganga, Rishikesh is called the world’s Yoga capital and a gateway to the Garhwal Himalaya mountains of Uttarakhand. It is known among pilgrims for its sacred position in the mythology of Hindu god Vishnu and his avatar Ram. Among adventures, it is a place where you indulge in white-water rafting, cliff jumping, bungee jumping, rappelling and more. For those who want to relax, what better place to do so than by the banks of the Ganga? Lying around 230 km from the city, Rishikesh offers more than enough activities for the weekend. Also Read - 'Suspending MPLADS Will Cause Delays in Devolution of Funds,' Shashi Tharoor Writes to PM Modi
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Tiger at Sariska Tiger Reserve
The Sariska Tiger Reserve lies around 211 km from Delhi, in the Alwar region of Rajasthan. It was established in 1978 and spread across 866 square kilometers. The Sariska Tiger Reserve lies along the splendid Aravalli hills, located around 37 km from the center of Alwar and 107 km from Jaipur. For those who prefer to spend their weekend with wildlife, Sariska makes for a compelling alternative to Corbett. You have the elusive tigers as well as other interesting creators like leopards, wild dogs, jackals and hyenas, along with plenty of migratory birds. There are several government and private rest houses near the reserve and in Alwar, which has some heritage sites also.
Jim Corbett National Park
Wild Asian elephant mother and calf, Corbett National Park
If we talk about tiger reserves and wildlife, the famous Jim Corbett National Park cannot be left behind. Corbett is probably among the best known national parks and wildlife reserves in the country, after the Sunderbans and perhaps Gir or Ranthambore. And luckily for the folks in Delhi, it lies just around 246 km from Delhi, translating to an around six-hour drive. At the end of that drive, you reach one of the first and best tiger reserve in the country and a very diverse national park, thanks to its location in the Terai region. Corbett draws visitors through the year and from around the world, and for good reason. The shire variety of flora and fauna here is hard to beat.
The town and quaint hill station of Nahan lies around 250 km from Delhi if you catch the National Highway 44. Once the capital of the small but proud Sirmur kingdom, Nahan is free from the bustle and usual traps of a commercial tourism zone, which is what makes it refreshing as a hill station and weekend getaway from Delhi. The hill station lies at an altitude of around 5,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by beautiful mountains along the Churdhar range. You can trek up the Churdhar mountains or visit the beautiful Renuka Lake. There is also the Fossils Park and activities like rock climbing, rappelling and more on offer. ALSO READ: 5 romantic weekend getaways from Delhi that you may not have considered at all!
Naini Lake in Nainital
The busy hill station of Nainital, located around Naini Lake and in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand, lies around 4,320 feet above sea level. It lies just a smidge over 300 km from Delhi, at 301 km via the National Highway 9 route. Here, you can experience both the business of a hip and happening hill station and the quiet comfort of a secluded mountain, depending on where you are. There are viewpoints and sites a little away from the commotion, where you can experience nature in bloom or sit by the lake to engage in angle fishing. Or you could just go to the nine corners of Naukuchiyatal. It is said that those who find a place where you can see the lake’s nine corners will attain enlightenment.
Mussoorie, the Queen of Hill Stations, lies around 280 km from Delhi and is the place to go to for a royal experience. Mussoorie is surrounded by views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains, much like the more mainstream Shimla that lies farther away from the capital region. Here, you are treated to dense green forests with tall pine trees and a cozy, relaxed atmosphere where you can refresh and rejuvenate yourself. You can spend your weekend here visiting the various sights, like Cloud’s End in the west and Rockville in the east, the Tibetan School and Home, Gun Hill, Camel’s Back Rock, Lal Tibba and Jharipani Falls.
The city of Bharatpur in eastern Rajasthan is around 210-220 km from Delhi, and home to the 18th-century Lohagarh Fort. In fact, the city itself is often called Lohagarh, a name that stems from unsuccessful attempts by the British to conquer the kingdom. Today, the fort remains strong and so does the Bharatpur Palace, the erstwhile residence of the kingdom’s royal family. Bharatpur is also famous for housing the Keoladeo National Park, a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site. Keoladeo is actually a manmade wetland, and is home to a number of birds, residential and migratory.
Bhullar Lake, Lansdowne
The hill town of Lansdowne is located around 250 km from Delhi and gets its name from a former British Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne. The hill station lies around 1,700 meters above sea level and makes for a great spot for solo travelers and couples who want to escape to a secluded, relaxed space for the weekend. You can walk through the pine and oak forests or go bird watching, boating or trekking. Or you can just relax and watch the weekend go by in a pleasant atmosphere, away from worldly troubles. Lansdowne has a few local sights you can cover too, like Tip In Top, St. Marys Church and Bhulla Lake.
Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Mandawa
Mandawa lies around 260 km from Delhi, and is home to the splendid Mandawa Fort that was built in 1812. The fort itself is worth the visit from Delhi, with its incredible painted gateway that depicts the Hindu god Krishna and the castle with its many frescoes, engravings, mirror work and other artwork. A lot of the work focuses on Krishna and his stories and forms, so this should be an interesting place to visit for anyone interested in the figure. Mandawa has several hotels to serve the needs of its visitors and travelers, and there are many other forts and mansions worth exploring here. ALSO READ: Top 5 cheap vacations from Delhi for a perfect weekend
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