Delhi, India’s capital, also popularly known as Dili is one of the largest commercial centers in Northern India. Delhi is home to several beautiful monuments and sightseeing spots. Always bustling with life, most people visit Delhi for shopping and to experience a fast paced city life. But for Delhities or for that matter any city dweller, people crave to get away to a much quieter place. Getaways are very important for relaxation and for some much needed stress buster. If you are done exploring Delhi and its attractions, it is time that you plan a trip to beautiful and calmer places close to Delhi for a perfect weekend getaway. Lush landscapes, breathtaking backdrops and a pleasant climate, these getaways will ensure that your weekend is spent perfectly amidst untouched nature and pristine environs. Whether it is Tibeten settlement of Dharamshala, pink city-Jaipur or the godly Kasol- Delhi is flanked by the country’s most magnificent weekend getaways
Situated in Parvati Valley is the quaint and beautiful Kasol that is also fondly called as Mini Israel in Himachal Pradesh. To escape from mundane life routine, Kasol serves as a perfect holiday spot from Delhi. Nestled in misty hills, Kasol is resplendent in untouched nature and scenic beauty. Kasol is an ideal spot for backpackers, hikers and also nature lovers. The best part about being here is that this place hasn’t been ruined because of commercialization. Located 42 km east of Kullu at an elevation of 1640 m, this is where you should be if you want to spend some peaceful moments in the company of nature. Because Kasol is located in an open space by the banks of Parvati River, you can spend lazy afternoons here. The river is ideal for activities like angling and river rafting. For angling you will be required to get a permit from the forest department in Kasol.
Best time to go: The best time to visit Kasol is from March to May. So plan you trip in any of these months
Where to stay: Kasol being one of the biggest tourist destinations, this place does offer many stay options for tourists. On your trip to Kasol you can stay these hotels- Parvati Woods Cottage , Panchali Holiday Home and Hotel Devlok International.
Sightseeing Attractions: A very popular attraction in Kasol is the Kheer Ganga Peak which is an absolute delight for every trekker. Situated at the end of the beautiful Parvati Valley, you can trek in one of their easiest trekking trails which is just about 9 km. The trek will take you up to an uphill that overlooks majestic mountains and stunning landscapes. Also if you want to beat the cold climate, you can also take a dip in the hot water spring. For one of the most enriching trekking experiences, you must visit the Kheer Ganga Peak.
One must explore the quaint Malana village to experience Kasol’s local culture. Flanked by misty and majestic mountains like Chandrakhani and Deotibba, this village is a perfect breather for every city dweller. An absolute visual delight, the rugged terrains, scenic beauty and also ideal trekking trails makes Malana village a must visit. And if the stories and beliefs are anything to go by, it is also said that the army of Alexander the Great who founded this beautiful village.
Another major tourist attraction of Kasol is the alluring Parvati River that gushes through Parvati Valley. The magical river water, pristine surroundings and picturesque landscapes makes this place a true paradise. You can camp by the river or you could just sit back and enjoy nature for rejuvenation. Whether you are with friends or all by yourself, Kasol is sure to impress you.
Distance from Delhi: 518.8 km (11 hours approx)
Dharamsala is a gorgeous city situated in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Before being known as Dharamsala, it was called Bhagsu. It is also one of the hundred cities that has been developed as a smart city under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Smart Cities Mission.’ Popular for Dalai Lama’s residence, Dharamsala is a Tibetan settlement. At one point, Dharamsala was a summer capital of India and now it is one of the main tourist spot. For a perfect weekend getaway this is where you should be.
Best time to go: Dharamsala has a pleasant climate throughout the year. But the best time to visit is from March to October.
Where to stay: Dharamsala sees many tourists every year. If you are planning a trip to this paradise, these are the stay options for you. From luxury hotels to budget hotels, there is a stay for every kind of traveler depending on how much you want to spend. Hotel Eagles Nest , Hotel Bhagsu, Hotel Tibet and Om Hotel .It is always recommended to book rooms in advance since most of them are always full.
Sightseeing Attractions: McLeod Ganj is where the famous Dalai Lama has his residence. Situated at an elevation of 2082 m above sea level, McLeod Ganj is one of the biggest tourist attractions. This place is where you will get to experience the Tibetan culture and because of the large Tibetan population, it is also known as Little Lhasa. This town as named after the former Governor of Punjab David McLeod. While in McLeod Ganj, you can also visit Hanuman Tibba which is the highest peak. The views are breathtaking.
Another best sightseeing spot in Dharamsala is the Namgyal Monastery which is one of the prime centers of cultural learning. The Namgyal Monastery currently is home to at least 200 Tibetan monks and is one of the most visited place by tourists.
If you love nature and its wonders, the Bhagsunag Waterfall is sure to leave you awestruck. An easy trek from McLeod Ganj is all it takes to each this magnificent waterfalls. Visited by several tourists, this waterfall is a treat to the eyes thanks to the surrounding mountains and naturally stunning backdrop. If you happen to visit the Bhagusang Waterfall, you can also go to the Shiva Café which is nearby. Attractions like this one will make your trip to Dharamsala a memorable one.
Distance from Delhi: 474 km ( 9 hours approx)
Agra, a city located on the banks of Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh is one of the best weekend getaways from Delhi. If you have very little time on your hands and want yet want to make the most of it, Agra is where you should be. And because Agra is also home to one of the world’s most beautiful monument- Taj Mahal, it is visited by both foreign and domestic tourists. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra forms the popular Golden Triangle. Unlike, other weekend getaway spots, Agra may not be a hill station, but with so many fascinating places of interest, this place makes for an ideal rejuvenation time.
Best time to go: Agra can be visited at any time of the year, but to enjoy Agra in its best, November to March is the ideal time of visit.
Where to stay: Agra has plenty accommodation options catering to every kind of traveler. If not a hotel, you can also check into a Homestay or even a hostel. The most popular and luxurious accommodation option is the Oberoi Amarvillas. Book a stay here if you can afford it. Apart from this the many budget hotels that one can opt for are- The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad Road , Hotel the Retreat and Hotel Dasaprakash . Avoid the low end budget hotels since they may be the dirtiest parts of Agra. Book your accommodations well in advance.
Sightseeing Attractions: When in Agra, they very first thing that every tourist prefers visiting is the Taj Mahal. One of the most famous monuments in the world, this was built by Shah Jahan in the loving memory of this wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was also a part of the Seven Wonders of the World and also a World Heritage Site. The beauty of this building is sure to leave you stunned.
Another very popular attraction is the Agra Fort which is sometimes also called as the Red fort. A World Heritage Site, this is Ahra’s another priced monument that was the seat of Mughal Empire. It is said that it the effort of 4000 workers in eight years is what it took to build the fort which was completed in 1573. The pearl mosque or Moti Masjid is the famous building in the fort that you must visit.
Built by the renowned and revered Mughal Emperor Akbar, the Fatehpur Sikhri is another major tourist attraction in Agra. Now a quaint city, this place has many beautiful red sandstone buildings. The Jama Masjid Mosque is one attraction that is visited by many people. The Buland Darwaza which is the main entrance to the mosque is worth watching. This beautiful mosque was built in the memory of Jahanara Begum who was Shah Jahan’s daughter.
One of the oldest and also the most beautiful garden in Agra is the Mughal Garden called Ram Bagh. It is a Persian garden through which alluring rivers flow with pathways and canals. Visit the Ram Bagh for its scenic beauty and its architecture. The garden has a Charbagh pattern followed that has four main divisions. The fountain adds to the charm of this garden.
Distance from Delhi: 232.7 km (5 hours approx)
Haridwar in Uttarakhand is an ancient city that is also popularly known as one of the seven holiest cities(Sapta Puri) of India, especially for Hindus. It also hosts the Kumbh Mela that is held every 12 years. The literal meaning of Haridwar is Gateway of Gods which is what exactly this place stands for. Rich heritage and culture, Haridwar is the main tourist attraction for pilgrims. Located beautifully on the foothills of Shivalik range and also on the banks of India’s holy River Ganga, a trip to Haridwar will let you have a taste of Indian culture and religion. According to many beliefs it is said that Haridwar was blessed by Shiva, Vishnu and also Brahma and that is how this place is the scared of all. The most important event that occurs here is the bathing in river Ganga. It is believed by millions of devotes and pilgrims that taking a dip in Ganga will wash off all their sins.
Best time to go: The best time to visit Haridwar is anytime from October to March. This is when the weather of Haridwar is in its best.
Where to stay: Since Haridwar is visited by millions of devotes and pilgrims every year, there is no dearth of accommodation options. For every budget, you will find hotels that offer some of the best views. Radisson Blu Hotel Haridwar, Sun Hotel Haridwar, La Casa Hotel and Classic Residency are some of the best options in Haridwar.
Sightseeing Attractions: The major attractions of Haridwar are mostly temples and ancient ghats. You can explore these even if you are not a believer to understand and explore the rich cultural values of this city.
Har Ki Pauri, a sacred ghat was built by Vikramaditya in his brother’s memory. Currently, this pilgrim spot sees thousands of visitors. People flock in huge numbers to witness the evening prayer for Durga that is done here. This is one experience that you mustn’t miss on. A perfect, visual spectacle of colors, music and traditions, Har Ki Pauri must be visited at least once in a lifetime.
On your next trip to Haridwar, make sure you also visit the beautiful Mansa Devi temple that was made in dedication to Mansa Devi. Since it is located on the top of Shivalik range, the breath taking views are an additional advantage. Also called as Bilwa Tirth, the Mansa Devi temple is one of the five pilgrim spots in Haridwar.
Another attraction in Haridwar is the stunning Birla Ghats which is also one of the oldest Ghats in the city. Comparatively lesser crowded, this is where you should be if you want to get away from the city’s hustle bustle. There is also a government tourist house where you can stay.
Distance from Delhi: 222.2 km (6 hours approx)
One of the most popular hill stations of the country, Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand, is a top favorite spot for anybody who is looking to getaway on a weekend from Delhi. Located in Uttarakhand, this is one dreamy holiday spot that will let you enjoy your short trip amidst pristine surroundings and untouched environs. Even though, this place sees many tourists, Dehradun has managed to keep its charm intact. And because it is nestled in the Himalayan foothills, it undoubtedly has the most picturesque landscapes. More often, this place serves as a gateway to other popular hill stations. But this time when you plan your short weekend trip, make sure this is where you go. The pleasant climate, ancient temples, vibrant landscapes and many museums makes this place an ideal vacation spot.
Best time to go: Any time of the year is a good time to visit Dehradun. It usually has a warm and cozy climate all through the year.
Where to stay: Dehradun being one of the most popular hill stations; it does have many accommodation options ranging from budget to even luxury hotels. These hotels are easily accessible from the railway station and also the airport. Some of the options are Hotel Softel Plaza, Hotel Aketa, Hotel Ashrey and Hotel Shiva Residency.
Sightseeing Attractions: Clemet town is an appealing town that is home to one of the largest stupa in the world. Situated at 9 km from Dehradun, this is one touristy spot that you should explore on your trip to Dehradun. The Mindrolling Monastery is where you will find this stupa. Famously called as the Great Stupa, it is said that it was built for world peace. It stands tall at 185 feet and the surrounding lush gardens and the views of the breath taking Himalayas makes this place paradise.
Another great tourist attraction is this small and charming hamlet Pauri which is situated close to Dehradun. A perfect spot with picturesque landscapes and the misty Himayalan Mountains,Pauri is resplendent with such scenic beauty. Pauri also offers stunning views of Nandadevi and Trishul peaks, along with ample trekking and paragliding opportunities.
One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Robber’s cave in Dehradun. The Robber’s cave has a river that flows through structures that look like a cave. The real beauty lies in the waterfall that can e reached as you walk through the stream of river. Cascading from a height of 10 m, the view of the waterfall will leave you stunned. The base of this waterfall is an ideal spot for trekking. One of the interesting parts about this attraction that you will hear the locals speak about is the mysterious disappearing portion of the river. On your trek you may notice a part of the river vanishing for quite some time. The whole experience is fulfilling.
Distance from Delhi: 243.2 km (5 hours)
Nainital is a renowned hill station in Uttarakhand and is also one of the most preferred tourist spots in India. And if you are want to get away to some place quieter and beautiful amidst nature and lush greenery, Nainital is where you should be. From Delhi, it is easier to reach Nainital and hence plan a trip in the coming weekends. Situated at an altitude of 2074 m above sea level, Nainital is also known as the Lake District and it got its name from Naini Lake which is a major attraction of this place. This city’s charm is only increased with the number of many temples and stunning peaks with splendid views of the mountains.
Nainital sees a lot of tourists, especially between May and July and also in October. For a little bit of history, it was in 1841 when Percy Barron discovered Nainital and even went on to write about it. Apart from the scenic beauty there are also many adventurous options that you have. Also you can visit the famous Jim Corbett National Park if you love wildlife.
Best time to go: The best time to visit Nainital is from October to March when the climate is favorable.
Where to stay: Nainital has both luxurious and mid range hotels and if you travel off season, you are sure to get heavy discounts. With no dearth of accommodation options in Nainital, these are some of the places where you can book your stay. Hotel Hill View Nainital, The Naini Retreat – Nainital Heritage Hotel, Hotel Happy Home and Hotel Vikrant
Sightseeing Attractions: The first and foremost attraction of Nainital that you must visit is the alluring Naini Lake. The blue green waters with freshwater, this lake offers breathtaking and captivating views of nature around especially during sunrise and also sunset. The landscapes look bright and magical and because Naini Lake is one of the four lakes that are situated on the Kumaon hills, this place is everything beautiful. There is also a temple Naini Devi temple that is dedicated to Shakti. And do not forget to take a boat ride, without which a visit to Naini Lake is incomplete.
Naukuchiatal which means nine cornered lake is a serene and pristine hill station in Nainital. It is popular among tourists for its lake which is also the deepest in Nainital. It is believed that if you are able to locate all the nine corners, then that person is sure to get nirvana.
Another very popular attraction is the Kainchi Dam which is situated at just 20 km from Nainital. It is famous among devotees because this Dam is in fact a very beautiful ashram that provides spiritual break amidst nature to anybody who is seeking solace. They offer meditation and spiritual camps for devotees who visit. This ashram gained more popularity after it was visited by Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
Distance from Delhi: 310.0 km (7 hours approx)
Mussoorie, a beautiful hill station in Dehradun district in Uttarakhand is abundant with lush greenery, majestic hills and varied flora and fauna. And one of the best views that one can enjoy from this charming hill station is of the Himalayas. More often than not, Mussoorie is also known as the Queen of Hills and was founded by a British who was enchanted with the beauty of Mussoorie and thus decided to make it his home. This city gets its name from the plants that grow here known as Mussoorie. With a perfect soothing climate to many breathtaking views of nature, a trip to Mussoorie is what you need for a respite from city life.
Best time to go: September to May is the best time to visit Mussoorie when the climate is in their best.
Where to stay: Mussoorie offers some great accommodation prices ranging from luxury to mid range hotels. Hotel Mall Palace, The Amber-Vermont Estate , Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Mussoorie.
Sightseeing Attractions: The highest peak in Mussoorie is Gun Hill is one of the major attractions in Mussoorie. This attraction has an interesting story to it. The peak got is name before Independence when there was an unexpected gun fire. The residents, because of this gun fire were asked to change their clock to 12 noon and that is how this peak was named Gun Hill. The best part about exploring this beautiful peak is the journey towards it. You can take a rope car which is about 400 m and 40 minutes starting from the Kutchery on the Mall. Once you reach Gun Hill, you will be treated to stunning views of the Doon valley.
Situated on the Dehradun-Mussoorie road, the alluring Mussoorie Lake was recently developed and revamped for tourists. You can enjoy boating to take a scenic ride around the lake. Visit this lake for a perfect getaway amidst pristine surroundings.
Cloud’s End is a beautiful bungalow that was built in 1838 and was also one of the first buildings of Mussoorie. Initially though a bungalow, it is now turned into a hotel and is a major tourist attraction. Flanked by dense forests and the myriad variety of flora and fauna, all this makes this place more attractive. You can also make the most of views of snow capped Himalayas and River Yamuna. You can also consider this place for stay.
Distance from Delhi: 290.4 km (6 hours approx)
Jaipur is one of those few cities of India that is so rich in history and heritage. Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur also fondly known as the Pink City, is place that symbolizes the royal life. From Hawa Mahal to the beautiful Jantar Mantar, there are numerous historical and magnificent forts that are no less than paradise. The culture of Jaipur is what attracts people the most to this city. Be it any time of the year, and you will always see Jaipur swarming with tourists. Palaces that are grandeur, vibrant markets, intricate handloom garments and lavishly spread out lush gardens, it is difficult to resist the magnificence of Jaipur. A perfect combination of tradition and modernity, this city will never cease to impress you. A weekend is all you need to explore some of the major attractions of this city.
Best time to go: October to March is the ideal time to visit Jaipur.
Where to stay: Jaipur which is one of India’s biggest tourist destinations has many accommodation options. From luxury, mid range to budget, there is a stay option for every kind of traveler. For a luxurious stay, the ITC Rajputana and Jaipur Marriott Hotel .
Hotel Pearl Palace and Hotel Kalyan are the budget hotels where you can book your stay without burning a hole in your pocket.
And for mid range hotels, you have Hotel Mahal Khandela and Red Fox Hotel Jaipur.
Sightseeing Attractions: Most of the major attractions of Jaipur are forts and monuments that are visited by people for its architectural beauty. One of them is the famous Amber Fort which is one of the finest examples of the Mughal and Hindu architecture. Built with red sandstone like most forts here, the construction of this beauty was started in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I and later it was given modifications by successive rulers for 150 years.
Another great attraction is the City Palace, which was the reigning center for Maharaja of Jaipur. The City Palace is an absolute visual spectacle that includes the renowned Chandra Mahal and also the stunning Mubarak Mahal. Visit the City Palace if you love architecture and heritage. The Palace even today is home to the ex royal family.
Your trip to Jaipur is certainly incomplete till you visit the historic and attractive Jantar Mantar. T was built by Sawai Jai Singh in 1798 and exhibits an interesting collection of astronomical instruments and also a huge sun dial which is the world’s biggest. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar is situated at a walking distance from HAWA Mahal and also City Palace. One of the biggest tourist attractions in Jaipur, visiting this fort may also give you a chance to spot some peacocks, if you are lucky. You will have to pay an entry fee to explore this beauty. For foreigners the fee is Rs 100, while for Indians it is Rs 5.
Another magnificent building is the Hawa Mahal that was also built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1747. He built latticed windows in this palace so that the ladies of the palace can make witness and enjoy the city life and festivities. From these windows, one can view the Jantar Mantar and also the bustling Siredeori Bazaar. In those days, women were not allowed to step put or seen by public. The Hawa Mahal has a total of 953 windows that are also known as jharokas. No better attraction than the Hawa Mahal to witness Jaipur’s architecture of those times.
Distance from Delhi: 281.2 km (6 hours approx)