Are you feeling stuck between your office work and household chores? It’s time to plan a short holiday. With so many long weekends lined up, we bet your heart is wandering in many places. Although, there is so much to do and see in and around Delhi, the nearby top weekend getaways adds icing to the cake if you are interested to explore North India. If time is a constraint and you are looking for a much-needed break, take a quick look through our hand-picked list as it offers the travel enthusiasts with everything ranging from adventure, spiritual enlightenment, sightseeing, luxury and relaxation.
From the breathtaking hill stations in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, to the enthralling forts and palaces of Rajasthan, there are varied places nearby Delhi that appeal to all kinds of travellers. We guarantee that our list of the top weekend getaways near the national capital will mesmerize in every possible way, whether you are keen for river rafting or interested to explore the mesmerizing palaces that evoke stories from the past.
It’s time to get away from the mad rush and choose from this list of mind-blowing places offering options like trekking, wildlife spotting and more. We can bet that these exciting must-visit destinations will give surely give you a breather from the daily grind.
This small hill station, located nearly 475 kms away from the national capital, is famously known as the base of the Dalai Lama. This important centre of Tibetan culture is enclosed by the splendid Dhauladhar range. Dharamshala has often served as the starting point for many trekking routes and draws visitors from across the globe. The food lovers must try out the authentic Italian food at Oogo’s Café Italiano and Tibetan thukpa (noodle soup) and ting mo (bread) at small Tibetan stores on Jogiwara Road. Dharmshala is often referred as the ‘trekker’s paradise’ and considered among the best weekend getaways from Delhi.
Our advice – Camp amidst the Dhauladhar mountain range, pay your respect at the Namgyal monastery and don’t forget to visit the beautiful Bhagsunag Falls.
Image Source: Dharamshala
Located in the astounding lap of the mighty Himalayas, Rishikesh has everything ranging from natural beauty, religious fervour and lovely weather. Most frequented by backpackers, some of the most preferred adventure activities undertaken are trekking, white water rafting and cliff hanging. Famous English rock band, The Beatles, visited Rishikesh in the 1960s and wrote a few of their songs at the local ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Our advice – For all the adrenaline junkies, the 7-hour drive from the national capital is surely worth the effort. Stay at one of the riverside camps and opt for luxury rafting packages.
Image Source: Rishikesh
Most popularly known as the ‘Queens of Hills’, Mussorie is situated approximately 270 kms north of Delhi. Located in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges at an altitude of nearly 7000fts, Mussoorie gained popularity as a preferred hill station due to the British rulers. Discovered in the 18th century, this colonial hill station boasts of green hills, varied flora and fauna. Considered among Uttarakhand’s favourite holiday destination, Mussoorie derived its name from the berry-covered Mansur shrub found here. The cuisine and architecture of this town reflect the bygone colonial era and offers sights of snow-capped peaks in the northeast, glittering views of Doon valley, Shiwalik ranges in the south.
Our advice – For stunning natural sights, do visit the Gun Hill or Childer’s Lodge, which are the two highest peaks and the famous Kempty waterfall.
Image Source: Mussoorie
The historic town, situated on the banks of the Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh, spells history through the display of Mughal architecture in every part. The palaces and temples in this medieval town have successfully retained their original grandeur which gives the tourists an insight into its rich past. The ancient land enjoyed the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. This city, founded by the Bundela Rajput Chief Rudra Pratap in the 16th century, has witnessed a number of battles in the past. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Orchha comprise Chaturbhuja Temple, Jehangir Mahal, Raj Praveen Mahal, Ram Raja Temple, Raj Mahal, Phool Bagh, Chaturbhuj Temple, Laxminarayan Temple, Dimnan Hardaul’s Palace and more.
Our advice – For the nature and history lovers, the hassle-free and laid-back attitude boasted by Orchha will surely make for a relaxing trip. Go for walks, cycling or even rafting to enjoy the great surrounding nature of this lesser-known weekend getaway.
Image Source: Orchha
Endorsed as the most romantic city in India, Udaipur has something to offer to all types of travellers such as colourful shopping streets, rooftop restaurants, shimmering Lake Pichola. The city’s natural charms acts as a perfect breather for the travellers who wants to get away from the humdrum of the metro. Founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh II, Udaipur (known as the ‘Venice of the east’) is connected by autos and taxis making it easily accessible for the tourists. Nicknamed as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur’s old-world feel, marvellous palaces and monuments, boat rides, ancient bazaars are definitely worth exploring.
Our advice - The erstwhile capital of the Kingdom of Mewar is the perfect place to unwind and explore the famed City Palace, the Crystal Gallery, the Monsoon Palace or the beautiful Jagmandir.
Image Source: Udaipur
This small hill station is situated at an elevation of 2400 meters above sea level. Located in Almora district of Uttarakhand, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is the most popular tourist attraction of the town. Apart from being the highest hill station in the Kumaon region, Binsar is a picturesque, quiet and wild Himalayan destination located approximately 270 kms away from Delhi. An ideal destination for the nature lovers, the views of major peaks such as Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Kedarnath are distinctively visible from Binsar.
Our advice – Wildlife photography enthusiasts, add Binsar to your bucket list now.
Image Source: Binsar
This unexplored temple town in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is located just 13 kms before Shimla on the Ambala-Shimla Highway. This offbeat weekend escape has rich scenic beauty making it a popular destination among corporate tourists to rejuvenate, relax and re-energise. So, come explore the charms of this beautiful hill station where time stands still.
Our advice – This placid yet active place offers adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, valley crossing, guided forest hikes, night treks and more.
Image Source: Shogi
The Pithoragarh district stands synonymous for high snow-clad Himalayan Mountains, alpine forests, green valley, perennial rivers and beautiful springs. This unexplored weekend getaway is located at a distance of about 460 kms from Delhi. The main attraction of this peaceful and magical land bears great resemblance to Kashmir Valley.
Our advice – When you are in Pithorogarh (located in Uttarakhand), do visit the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, Pithoragarh Fort and Thal Kedar.
Image Source: Pithoragarh
Also Read: Jaw-dropping travel destinations for 2015
Have you started packing your bags? Go ahead and take that much-awaited break.
Did we miss out on any of your favourites? Please share your list in the comments section below.