The best thing about Delhi is that it is the perfect center from which to venture out and seek respite! Weary city dwellers in Delhi can look forward to some of the best getaways. Escape, discover and explore many beautiful destinations in North India! Rest assured – there isn’t a dearth of weekend getaways from New Delhi.
Whether it is chilling on a snowy mountain, trekking through lush terrains, spotting tigers in a dense forest or exploring ancient fortresses, you would be surprised at the things you can do and places you can explore, at a only a short distance from the nation’s capital. Are you ready to hit the road and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul?
Here are some of our favourite weekend getaways from Delhi:
(Also read: Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in India)
Distance from Delhi: 534 kilometers (11 hours by road)
Paragliding capital of India! And you’ll see why.
The little village of Bir lies in the western part of Himachal Pradesh, only an overnight drive from Delhi. Situated at the foothills of the Dhauladhar Himalayan ranges, the peaceful village is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Himachal.
Along with neighbour Billing Valley, Bir is officially the most exciting place to take off in a parachute in India – in 2015, this village hosted the first ever World Cup of paragliding. Best weather and favorable winds for beautiful take off mean that Bir Billing is among the top paragliding spots in the world. There are plenty of schools in Bir that offer certificate courses where you can clock in the hours and get a soloist’s license. Other things to do in Bir include trekking, mountain biking and stuff of a spiritual nature – such as exploring the unique culture of the Tibetan refugee camp and monastery that are situated here.
Ranthambore National Park
Distance from Delhi: 395 kilometers
Ranthambore National Park is one of India’s best tiger reserves. Located in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, the park covers an area of more than 392 square kilometers. According to a recent census, the number of tigers in Ranthambore is 67. This number reflects a steady rise in tiger population in the past decade – a testament to the conservation efforts by forest officials. It is a hair raising experience to come face to face with a tiger in their natural habitat, without a cage to safely separate us from them. Apart from tigers, the park is also home to leopards, hyenas, nilgai, sambar and mugger crocodiles among other animals. Treat yourself to this surreal experience – spend a couple of days in the heart of this majestic jungle!
Distance from Delhi: 230 kilometers.
Gateway to Garhwal Himalayas – Rishikesh is a town of special importance in Indian mythology. This is where the sacred river Ganga leaves her Himalayan abode and enters into the Indian plains. Rishikesh is therefore a venerated town with many ancient religious sites located here like the Triveni Ghat, Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. It is also proudly the ‘Yoga Capital of the World‘. But if you are not into religion, then another reason to go to Rishikesh is adventure! camping, trekking and bungee jumping river rafting. The thrilling experience of rafting in the foamy waters of the Ganges is something special – and only five hours away from Delhi!
Distance from Delhi: 304 kilometers
The quaint colonial town of Kasauli lies in Himachal Pradesh, only a few hours drive away from Delhi. This town was a favourite of British aristocracy during the colonial reign – the natural beauty of Kasauli, with gently sloping mountains, playful streams and pine forests make it look like something out of a picture book. Among the places to visit in Kasauli are the Mall Road, the impeccably architectured Christ Church and the Kasauli Brewery where the legendary Old Monk rum is distilled.
Distance from Delhi: 516 kilometers
Kareri Lake is a shallow, freshwater glacial lake around nine kilometers from Dharamshala. At an altitude of nearly 3000 meters from sea level, this lake is a hidden gem for beginner trekkers. Perfect for a weekend trek with Dharamshala as the base camp, this route takes you through alpine grasslands and lush subtropical forests. More experienced travellers can use Kareri as their base camp to hike further into the Dhauladhar ranges.
Distance from Delhi: 260 kilometers
The ‘Pink City‘ of Jaipur lies only about five hours from Delhi. Jaipur is best known for its old city, which was founded and maintained by the erstwhile King Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer. The old city is best explored on foot, for it is easy to get lost in the splendour of the place. As you walk through the bustling crowds, exploring the unique markets of Jaipur, monuments like the enchanting Hawa Mahal or the astounding Jantar Mantar seem to appear out of nowhere. Outside the old city, the great fort of Amer is a must-visit destination – to check out the opulence of the great kings of old.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Distance from Delhi: 202 kilometers
Located in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is also known as Keoladeo National Park. It makes for a perfect winter weekend trip from Delhi. Bharatpur is home to some of the most exotic bird species during winter, including the painted stork, Oriental ibis, white spoonbill, imperial eagle and the crested serpent eagle. An astounding 370 bird species find abode here, with many of them migrating from Siberia during winter. You can explore the forest through either an elephant back safari, rickshaw safari or jeep safari. While elephant and rickshaw are best to explore the birds, the jeep will take you much deeper into the forest.
Distance from Delhi: 251 kilometers
The cantonment town of Lansdowne in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand is a pleasure to visit. This quaint, beautiful hill station gets its name from Lord Lansdowne, the Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894. Presently, Lansdowne is the home to the legendary Garhwal Rifles division of the Indian Army. Lansdowne is different from most hill stations in that it is well connected by road and yet you get a sense of quietness and remoteness. The colonial history of this place means that there are many old churches and colonial buildings to explore. All in all, it is a perfect antithesis to everyday life in Delhi.
Distance from Delhi: 500 kilometers
The easiest way to get to Kheerganga from Delhi is to take an overnight bus to Barshaini. From here you can take a local bus to Kasol, which is the gateway to Parvati Valley. Start trekking from here in the late morning and you will be in Kheerganga in 3 to 4 hours depending on your speed. The trek is beautiful and perfect for beginners – you walk up a gentle slope through a pine forest with the sound of the mighty Parvati river gushing away in the background. Once you reach the top, there are a few cafes to relax in and a temple with natural hot water springs to bathe in for the perfect cleansing recharge.
It is just so easy to escape city life for a weekend and lose yourself in the beauty of nature. Recharge your weary soul. Get packing and hit the road. To know more and for help with planning your customized itinerary, get in touch with TripFactory!