If funds are limited, but the travel bug has bitten, don’t despair! Surrounded by mountains and wildlife-rich national parks, and with several fascinating cities that are brimming with culture and history close to hand, Delhi is close to many cool getaways that won’t break the bank. Here is a travel guide some of the best places that you can easily get to within a short four-to-five-hour drive, of the Indian capital:
Surajkund (48 km)
A historic destination with plenty for the whole family to enjoy, Surajkund offers a slice of rural peacefulness within easy reach of the capital. Part of Faridabad district, it is known for its artificial lake. Built in the 10th century and constructed in the shape of the sun as it rises, peacocks surround the lake and you can enjoy boating and kayaking when the water level is high. Do note that it is often dry during the summer. The nearby Siddha-Kund is a natural spring, popular with pilgrims, and you can also visit Anagpur Dam.
Alwar is a popular tourist destination that combines historic sites and natural attractions. Natural highlights include Jaisamand Lake and Garbhaji Water Falls. Built before the Mughals, Bala Quila Fort is a must for history lovers. Get yourself an Alwar cultural tour guide to appreciate the past at places like the forts of Ajabgarth, Neemrana, and Bhangarh, Kesroli Hill Fort, and Vijay Mandir Palace.
Mathura (162 km) and Vrindavan (185 km)
Mathura is where the Lord Krishna was born; call by the Krishna JanmaBhommi, the prison cell where he was born, and Dwarkadheesh Temple to soak up some spirituality. Visit the Mathura Museum to see examples of archeological finds, such as ancient sculptures. Gita Mandir boasts beautiful paintings and carvings. See the large turtles in the river, and visit attractions like Bankey Bihari Temple, Dwarkadheesh Temple, and the Old Fort. Nearby Vrindavan also has several stunning temples dedicated to the Lord Krishna. Hindu pilgrims visit to follow the six-km Parikrama.
Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park (213 km)
Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park is within Rajasthan’s district of Alwar. Located in the foothills of the Aravalli Hills, the large reserve is a terrific place to spot lots of flora and fauna. Despite the name, you are unlikely to actually see tigers roaming the area; there are very few tigers living in the park. Explore the lush jungles and look out for leopards, jungle cats, jackals, wild boar, hyenas, deer, and birds, amongst others. The area is also a great choice for those who like visiting historic archaeological sites. The best time to visit Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park is between November and March.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park (233 km)
Formerly known as Bharatpur, Keoladeo Ghana National Park offers an awesome wildlife-rich break from the bustling capital of Delhi. A top place for bird watching, visit the park between October and February to see the largest numbers of bird species. You can explore much of the fairly small park by foot, although other options include bicycles, boats, and rickshaws.
Agra (232 km)
It’s possible to admire the splendours of the magnificent Taj Mahal on a short getaway from Delhi. The former capital of the mighty Mughal Empire, Agra boasts a number of other fascinating architectural sights, including the Agra Fort, the Baby Taj, Sikandra, and many temples. Within Agra District, the UNESCO-listed Fatehpur Sikri was at the heart of the Mughal Empire before being mysteriously abandoned.
Rishikesh (242 km)
The Gateway to the Himalayas and known as the World Capital of Yoga, Rishikesh attracts numerous global visitors throughout the year. Activities are plentiful, with yoga, meditation, and reiki for spiritual healing, and hiking, camping, biking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, white water rafting, and kayaking for adventurous souls. Swim in the Ganges and visit Triveni Ghat, pay your respects at Gita Bhavan, Trayambakeshwar Temple, and Bharat Mandir, and visit one of the many ashrams dotting the Rishikesh landscape.
Jaipur (268 km)
Nicknamed the Pink City, Jaipur plays host to many interesting sites around the city, including temples, palaces, fortresses, museums, and monuments. The city’s bazaars also attract many visitors. Ride an elephant up the hill to the huge Amber Fort and admire the diverse architectural styles, discover the unconquered Jaigarh Fort, and enjoy the views from Nahargarh Fort. The sprawling city palace contains numerous fascinating buildings. Significant temples in Jaipur include Birla Temple, Moti Doongari, the Hindu pilgrimage destination of Galtaji, and Govind Devji Temple. Other major places of interest recommended by Jaipur tour guides include the UNESCO-listed observatory of Jantar Mantar, the Marriage Garden, and the City Museum.
Jim Corbett National Park (248 km)
Just over five hours to drive from Delhi, Jim Corbett is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries located in the state of Uttarakhand. While you may have a good chance of spotting the famous Indian tiger, wildlife enthusiasts can also look forward to a diverse array of wildlife from ghariyals sunbathing by the Ramganga river and roaming herds of wild elephants to various species of deer and birdlife flocking its Sal forests. Not a wonder that many a New Delhi travel guide espouses this forest reserve as one of the most popular getaways from Delhi.
So where will your next getaway from Delhi be to?