Delhi is a fascinating city to start your travels in India, but if the crowds and bustle is a bit overbearing, one can head off to nearby refreshing destinations in a day trip. Below are our top recommendations!
1. Vrindavan, the land of Krishna
Vrindavan is a holy place of Lord Krishna and an interesting outing from Delhi. It takes a 2 hour long drive from Delhi and it is said that the young Krishna grew up in the village. The Hare Krishna society is active here and gets visitors from across the country and even internationally. There are dozens of temples here like the Iskcon Temple, Gokulnanda Temple, Radha Raman Temple and Mirabai Temple. Vrindavan is also close to Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna and another culturally rich destination. This is a pilgrimage town close to Delhi and temple hopping is a favorite pastime here.
Address: Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh
2. Agra, the Taj Mahal
Agra is located a 3 hour drive from Delhi and is an interesting day trip, famous for the wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal, built by emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz. The place is also known for the fabulous Agra Fort and other structures of cultural heritage from the Mughal empire. Agra is also known for chowks or markets bustling with hordes of people and also rickshaw wallas and autos. Agra is located along the holy Yamuna River and the Taj Mahal also lies by its side and looks splendid at night.
Agra, the Taj Mahal
Address: Agra, Uttar Pradesh
3. Neemrana Fort
Neemrana Fort is located on the Delhi to Jaipur highway and is a splendid day trip from Delhi. The place contains the majestic fort built by Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan, an ancient emperor of India, and is now a heritage hotel with hanging gardens, swimming pools, an ayurvedic spa on the lines of Indian traditional medicine and a zip line that makes this a spectacular day trip from Delhi. The heritage hotel is a luxury property and close to the Neemrana village for some authentic Rajasthani rural life. The fort has been converted to a heritage hotel, similar to other conversions of heritage properties in the state to boost tourism.
Address: 122nd Milestone, Delhi-Jaipur Highway, Village Neemrana, District Alwar, Rajasthan 301705
4. Jaipur, The Pink City
Jaipur is the planned city of Rajasthan, the pink city, and can be easily reached from Delhi in a few hours. The city has charming and colorful streets which are also chaotic thanks to camels dawdling along buses, rickshaws buzzing all over and swarms of motorcycles and pedestrians giving an idea of bustling India. The City Palace houses the former royal family of princely Rajasthan State and the other structures in the city include Jantar Mantar, the Royal observatory of celestial viewings and the Hawa Mahal, a mind boggling architectural wonder. The Amber Fort provides the star attraction of a fairy tale while the Aravalli hills provide a fascinating backdrop.
Jaipur, The Pink City
5. Damdama Lake, Gurgaon
Gurgaon is a planned upbeat city close to Delhi and can be reached within an hour, and the Damdama Lake is a prime attraction there for nature lovers. Bird watching is a favorite pastime in the area along with hiking trails for treks, some picnic spots and resorts for a casual brunch. Boating is also done in the lake and television programs are also sometimes shot in the resorts there. With no beach or water body in Delhi other than the crowded Hauz Khas Lake, the Damdama Lake in Gurgaon offers a fascinating watery cool alternative with the backdrop of the Aravalli hills.
Address: Off Sohna-Gurgaon Road, PO Damdama, Gurgaon, Haryana 122102
Website: Damdama Lake
6. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan is a fascinating day trip from Delhi and takes just a few hours. It is a UNESCO listed site and a paradise for bird lovers. There is rich vegetation and swamps and it is home to a variety of birds like the Siberian crane. The sanctuary is the forest cover in the desert state of Rajasthan and can be a fascinating green alternative to arid Delhi. The town of Bharatpur is not especially remarkable other than nosiy and dusty roads, but hosts the popular and colorful Brij festival prior to the Holi festival. The park is now called the Keoladeo National Park and is a sought after nature haunt near Delhi.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Address: Agra - Bikaner Rd, Jawahar Nagar, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001
Website: Bharatpur Sanctuary
Manesar provides a traditional Haryana village experience compared to developed Gurgaon and is an alternative to the urban busyness in Delhi. Easily reached from there on the Delhi to Jaipur road, the place contains the upscale Manesar Heritage Hotel and Spa that is located in a Rajasthani haveli or a traditional family house. The resort and spa offers landscaped gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a concierge service, besides authentic Indian and international cuisine at its flagship restaurants. Manesar is very close to Gurgaon and offers relaxing massages, gym and sports facilities for the inclined. It is also developing as an industrial town similar to Gurgaon but is definitely a refreshing day trip from Delhi.
Address: Gurgaon District, Haryana
Unchagaon is a village in Uttar Pradesh close to Delhi and lies by the side of the Ganga River and is a fascinating alternative to the holy and touristy town of Rishikesh, to experience the majesty of the River Ganges. The village only takes 2 hours to reach from Delhi and contains a majestic fort besides an authentic village experience and activities like pottery and jaggery making. Dolphins can also be spotted in the river and boating is also done there, and the lack of holy endeavors and temple tourism compared to Rishikesh makes it a fascinating alternative to experience Ganga River near Delhi other than Rishikesh.
Address: Garh Mukteswar, Moradabad New Delhi National Highway, Uttar Pradesh
Website: Unchagaon Fort
9. Sariska National Park, Alwar
Alwar is a fascinating historical city in Rajasthan close to Delhi and has been a kingdom of the Rajputana empire of the princely state. Besides the glory and greatness of Rajasthani architecture, there is also the Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park for some great wildlife tourism near Delhi. The City Palace of Alwar shows some royal architecture and grandeur and complements the forest cover of the national park. The haunted Gothic style ruined Bhangarh Fort is also close by, and offers some creepy and black magic tourism near Delhi other than the famed Kali Temple in the city of Delhi.
Sariska National Park
Address: Alwar District, Rajasthan
Website: Sariska Park
For a fascinating hill station within a day trip from Delhi, one should come to Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh, which is also home to hill stations like Shimla, Kulu Manali and the Tibetan exile town Dharamshala. Parwanoo offers some great views of the majestic Himalayan Mountain range and is a hot spot for trekking and hiking near green hills.
Address: Solan District, Himachal Pradesh
Want to break out of Delhi?
You don’t have to travel far, just a day trip can take you to exciting destinations in a few hours and you can experience forts, lakes, hills and even forests during you stay in Delhi.
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