Are you that kind of person who feels more alive when embraced by nature? Do rivers and mountains sets your soul on fire? You feel more connected when you’re lost in the wild? Well, great because I feel the same, Travelling is something which really makes me cherish this amazing world. I know many of you will argue that such romanticism can’t be practiced in the real world where you all are trapped in your hectic college schedule always running on a low budget. Don’t worry guys, I got it!
So here I bring before you 8 off beat places around Delhi N.C.R. that will provide you the much-needed weekend getaway without burning a hole in your pocket.
1.) Kasauli – Famous for its scenic beauty, this lush green town in Himachal Pradesh is surely a hiker’s paradise. Located at an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level, Kasauli is known for its tranquility and tourist caring locals. The Colonial style architecture gives you a deep insight on the European culture and tradition.
An evening at sunset point is must, the sunset point is also said to be the doorway to Gilbert trail (an amazing route to hike.)
Distance from Delhi – 290 kms (Buses are readily available from Kashmiri Gate ISBT)
2.) Dhanaulti – Situated on the lap of giant Himalayan peaks, this surreal Hill station is located at a height of 2285 metres above sea level. Dhanaulti is a small town, 24 km above Mussorie (Uttarakhand). Covered under Pine and Deodars, this quiet town has no grand attractions, but it offers what the busy and bustling streets of Delhi can’t provide i.e. Solitude and Peace. For all you Adrenaline Junkies, this place is Heaven as it provides variety of adventure sports like Rock Climbing, river crossing, commando nets, rappelling etc.
Things to do – The Dashavtar Temple is really a hidden gem of this Himalayan town. Constructed under the Gupta Empire, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and contains in itself the genius and secrets of the Vaishnav Mythology. The inscriptions carved on the side walls of temple are truly remarkable. The twin parks Amber and Dhara are perfect spot for your casual stroll and small hiking or take a walk-in apple orchards. Stargazing is a mandatory ritual in this town of Dhanaulti.
3) Rishikesh – Known as the Yoga Capital of the World, this gateway city to Himalayas is drowning in spirituality. In 1968 Beatles came here and submitted themselves to this holy town. With the legendary Ganges flowing by its side this city is a bohemian’s first preference. The attraction doubles itself when adventure sports like river rafting and Cliff jumping are combined with the mysticism.
Things to do – Learn Yoga and practice meditation at very nominal rates, Stay in Ashrams and immerse yourself in the holiness. Being a Rock music enthu, A trip to Beatles Ashram was must for me. You can also take a day out at Jungle Safari in the nearby located Rajaji National Park, spend your evenings at River Ghats and enjoy the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti.
(Stay in Ashrams is as cheap as 100 bucks for a day).
4.) Sariska – Just 201 kms away from Delhi, there lies this wonderful wilderness which is also home to the dreaded Royal Predators. Tiger Lovers and Wildlife enthusiasts from all around the world are attracted to Sariska and it’s wild. Apart from the rich flora and fauna this place contains ample number of forts and temples and their architectural Genius is bound to win the hearts of the visitors.
Things to do – The mythical Pandupol Temple on the rocky hills is said to be the place where Lord Hanuman defeated Bhima to make him realize the limitations that follows up with his strength, The Kanakwadi Fort located within the wild life sanctuary is easily accessible during your jeep safari. This is the fort where the Mughal army used to keep its stronghold and where the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh.
5.) Lansdowne – This unspoilt hill station in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand is truly one of its kind. Founded after the name of Lord Lansdowne this place has the command office of the legendary Garhwal Rifles Unit of The Indian Army. Well connected with roadways yet remote this place is an ideal spot for a lazy, long and Relaxing weekend.
Things to do – The War Memorial of Garhwal Rifles has always been of prime attraction to the visitors. Situated amidst pine and deodar trees, the Tarkeshwar Temple provides a picturesque view. The old cemetery in Kitchner Lines is said to be the most haunted place in Lansdowne. Many war veterans’ rests in the cemetery with their grave as old as 150 years.
The annually organized `Sharadotsava’, Festival of Autumn is also a major tourist attraction during autumn season.
6.) Gwalior, Agra and the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan – Located at few kilometers apart these four cities together can be the secret recipe of your perfect weekend getaway. Well connected by the best rail and road route of the country, these cities are just 3 hours’ drive away from Delhi. The cities of Agra and Gwalior will provide you glimpses of History while the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan will feed spirituality to your inner self.
Things to do – Raja Man Singh Palace at Gwalior Fort and Jai Vilas Museum of the Scindia Dynasty are major tourist attraction of the city of Gwalior. The world famous Taj Mahal and the Red Fort of Agra are some popular visitor spots in this city of Agra. The Banke Bihari temple at Mathura and The Prem Mandir at Vrindavan will surely bring out the believer in you.
7.) Parwanoo– Famous for its horticulture activities, this small town in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh is just 30 kms north of Chandigarh. Famous for its apple and peach orchards, this small town provide some amazing scenery and will surely drag you away from the chaos and hustle of big cities.
Things to do – Hiking in Shivalik hills will brighten up your day. The cable car operated by Timber Trail Resort will provide you with some breath-taking views. The army town of Dagshai which is one of the oldest British Cantonments in our country is just a few kms away from this hill station of Parwanoo. This palace is also gateway to many other places in Himachal Pradesh like Renuka Lake, Pinjore and Paonta Sahib.
8.) Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – Situated at a mere distance of 58 kms from Agra, the Keoladeo National Park or commonly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is home to more than 230 resident and migratory birds. The National Park is spread in an area of about 29 sq. km and derives its
name from an ancient Hindu Temple devoted to Lord Shiva which stands in the center of the Park.
Things to do – Along with several species of birds, this park hosts mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar. During the chilly winter months large Indian Pythons also attracts Wildlife Photographer and animal lovers from different parts of the World. The Bharatpur Fort depicts the perfect blend of Mughal and Rajput Architecture and will take you back again in History.