Short Breaks To Take During The Republic Day Long Weekend

The long weekend for Republic Day is around the corner, and we are all thinking of places to escape. We have put together a list of destinations near metro cities where you can take a short break
An aerial view of Kasauli hills
An aerial view of Kasauli hillsSudip Jotshi/Shutterstock

The Republic Day holiday is coming up on Friday, January 26, 2024. Take Monday off and you have the makings of the year's first four-day long weekend. Take a break from work and hit up nearby hills, riverside retreats, or heritage destinations. There is a wealth of destinations for short breaks near metro cities. Here are some ideas for interesting holiday spots near Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata.



Located between Chakrata and Dehradun near Dakpatthar on the banks of Yamuna river, this quaint village offers visitors the pleasures of a hill station without the crowded vibes. Indulge in leisurely picnics by the riverside, hike around the hills, and go on scenic drives, like the one to the Asan barrage past the powerhouse and Dak Pathar. This area also has many birding opportunities. Kalsi has historic importance. Check out the serene Timli Pass through which columns of British soldiers once moved to assist Major General Ochterlony in his retaliations against the Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa's army. The area is also home to the celebrated Ashokan Rock Edict. In the 3rd century BC, it was under the dominion of King Ashoka.

Getting There: Jolly Grant, Dehradun is the nearest airport at 77km. Dehradun is the nearest railhead. From there, you can hire a taxi to Kalsi.


Bairat, also known as Bairath or as the ancient Viratnagar, was the capital of Matsyadesa and was established by King Virat. The Pandavas spent their thirteenth year in exile in disguise within the realm. The site, which is located on the hill known as Bijak-ki-Pahari (Hill of the Inscription), has yielded several ancient objects of great historical worth. It houses the ruins of Bairat Temple, a Chaityagriha (prayer hall) erected by Ashoka in 3 BCE. Two of Ashoka's Minor Rock Edicts, the Bairat and the Calcutta-Bairat Rock Edicts, were also discovered. Bairat, the first round Buddhist shrine, has a monastery and numerous Asokan pillar fragments beside the circular temple. Read more about it here.

Getting There: The nearest airport is in Jaipur (104 km). The nearest railhead is in Alwar (61 km). The Jaipur railway station (103 km) is better connected. Travellers from Delhi can take the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway to reach the site. Viratnagar is located on the Delhi-Alwar highway and is accessible from major cities.

Christ Church in Kasauli
Christ Church in Kasaulirevoshots/Shutterstock


Kasauli, a charming hill station in Himachal Pradesh, is renowned for its colonial architecture and tranquil walks. Strolling down quiet country lanes lined with aged chestnut trees, with not a sound to be heard save for the sweet chattering of birds, Kasauli will help you rid your mind of its clutter and your body of its lassitude. A six-hour drive from Delhi and about an hour and a half from Chandigarh, the cantonment town is the perfect weekend destination. The Christ Church, built in the Gothic style, is a testament to the town's colonial past. The Kasauli Brewery, established in the 19th century, adds a unique touch. The Gilbert Trail, a scenic walking path, offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests, adding to the peaceful retreat. Check out our guide to Kasauli here.

Getting There: The nearest airport to Kasauli is located in Chandigarh, which is approximately 60 km away. The nearest railway station is Kalka, which is about 30 km away.


A view of Vengurla jetty
A view of Vengurla jetty Satish Parashar/Shutterstock


If you enjoy unhurried travel, spending time in nature, or outdoor activities, Vengurla may be the place for you. It is located almost 500 km from Mumbai, on the Konkan coast, between the beautiful Sahyadri Hills and the Arabian Sea. It is the starting point for several uncrowded beaches. Head to Sagareswar's wide white sand beach, which is hidden between rows of casuarina trees. The area gets its name from a Shiva temple near the beach. To the north of Sagareswar is the old harbour of Vengurla, which was used by the Dutch as a trading centre in the 17th century. The beaches of Kondura (approximately 10 kilometres away) and Shiroda (about 20 kilometres away) are a little further away. There is also a lighthouse here, which was used to guide ships across the dangerous Vengurla Rocks once. Read more about Vengurla here.

Getting There: The nearest airports are Chipi Airport (Sindhudurg, 35km away by road) or Dabolim Airport (Goa, 90km away by road). The nearest railheads are Sawantwadi (20km by road) or Kudal (25km by road).


Dahanu is a tranquil coastal hamlet in Maharashtra's Palghar district, around 134 km from Mumbai. It is well-known for its quiet beaches, classic Parsi houses, and chikoo orchards. Indeed, chikoo grown in the Dahanu-Gholvad region has been designated as a Geographical Indication (GI). The surrounding countryside is a trekkers’ paradise—you can visit the Bahrot Caves, Mahalaxmi, Gambhirgadh, and Asherigadh. There are instances of built heritage, such as the Dahanu Fort and temples. Visit the Hiranyakeshwar Temple nestling within verdant hills. Adjacent to the temple is a deep cavern from where emerges the Hiranyakeshi River. An uphill trek takes you to Mahadevgad where the panoramic view of the mist-covered countryside is stunning. Dahanu is home to people from diverse communities such as the fisherfolk of Dhakti Dahanu, the Kolis, Mitnas, Mangelas, toddy tappers, basket weavers, potters, Warli painters, and horticulturists. Find out more about the rich heritage of Dahanu in our interview with resident and INTACH convenor, Dahanu Chapter, Phiroza Tafti.

Getting There: The nearest major airport to Dahanu is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai, around 135 km away. The nearest railway station is Dahanu Road.


Kavlesaad Point near Amboli
Kavlesaad Point near AmboliAmitrane/Shutterstock

Located at 2,000 feet, Amboli is among the last places in Maharashtra before the Western Ghats drop off to the coast of Goa. The clouds above this village in the Sahyadris pour rain for many months, making it one of the wettest places in Maharashtra, which is probably why the British declared Amboli a hill station in the 1880s. Even before them, Amboli's potential had been discovered by the Sawants of the neighbouring taluka of Wadi. Check out Madhavgad Fort, four times the size of Shaniwarwada in Pune, now in ruins. Another attraction is the abandoned Summer Palace of the Bhonsles of Sawantwadi. There are unbeatable views of the hills from this vantage point. There are plenty of small eateries on the main road, which have a basic lunch of fresh bhakri, amti, mula or pao bhaji. All of this washed down with sol kadi made from fresh kokum solam.

Getting There: The nearest airport to reach Amboli would be the Dabolim Airport, Goa, 57km away, or Belgaum Airport, 70 km away. The nearest rail heads are Sawantwadi Road, 28km, Sangli, 148 km, Belgaum, 70 km. Both Sawantwadi and Belgaum are well connected with all the important rail heads from all parts of the country.


Skandagiri Hills

Located in Chikballapur district, Skandgiri is a picturesque weekend getaway if you love nature and are up for adventure. Trekking is one way to enjoy the hills. It is part of the "Panchagiris" (Nandi Giri, Channagiri, Skandagiri, Brahmagiri and Hema Giri), or five hills of Chikballapur district. The Skandagiri trek is one of the most popular in Karnataka. A fortress built on top of a hill and the ruins of a temple lend the Skandagiri trek a heritage charm. The Papagni Mutt, located on the slopes of Skandagiri, is one of Karnataka'sKarnataka's most ancient mutts. The trek generally begins from here, and the trail leads to the summit, where you will see the remains of the 18th-century fort. This was once under the rule of Tipu Sultan and later the British as a military outpost. The trekking trail offers a mix of natural beauty with incredible rock formations, vegetation, and history through the fort and the ancient temples. The nearest big town is Chikballapur.

Getting There: The nearest airport and railway station to Skandgiri is in Bengaluru, around 60km away.

Sholas and grasslands of Western Ghats in Chikmaglur
Sholas and grasslands of Western Ghats in ChikmaglurReality Images/Shutterstock


Abundant with coffee plantations and breathtaking waterfalls, Chikmaglur presents every possible reason for you to take a step back from the city's hectic life and spend a few days admiring nature's pristine beauty surrounding it. You can do a trek up the majestic Mullayanagiri Peak located at an altitude of 2,000 ft. The area has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visit the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary which has the serene Bhadra River meandering through deep forests. Chikmagalur boasts numerous picturesque waterfalls cascading down stunning landscapes, including the Hebbe Waterfalls and Manikya Dhara Falls. The Kudremukh National Park. is a unique horse-shaped mountain range which overlooks the grand Arabian Sea. Read more about it here.

Getting There: If travelling by train, Chikkamagaluru is connected through the Kadur junction on the Bengaluru to Shivamogga route, about 40 kilometres away.


Kalaburagi (previously Gulbarga) town in north Karnataka has seen the dominion of various well-known dynasties, from the Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas to the Bahmanis. The town serves as a starting point for numerous interesting sites, such as forts, temples and mosques, dams and trekking trails, and so on. The famous Gulburga Fort located on a plateau may be in ruins but it speaks eloquently about past architectural splendour with its imposing bastions, cannons, halls, and passageways with pillars and arches. The 14th century Jumma Masjid inside the fort complex draws inspiration from the Moorish architecture of the mosque in Cordaob, Spain. Dedicated to Sufi saint Syed Muhammad Hussaini, the Hazrat Khwaja Banda Nawaz Dargah is built in Indo-Saracenic style, and houses a library with over 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian, and Arabic on diverse subjects.

Getting There: The nearest international airport to Kalaburagi is the Rajiv Gandhi International Terminal in Hyderabad, approximately three hours away. Kalaburagi city is well connected with all major cities of India like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai through a number of regular trains.


The historical Rajbari at Narajole
The historical Rajbari at NarajoleManishankar Patra/Shutterstock


Narajole, about 100 km from Kolkata, is a former royal kingdom tucked away in a part of the Paschim Medinipur region. Although much of the original palace built in 1840 is in ruins, the architecture is remarkable. There are multiple temples located inside and outside the palace. Do not miss out on experiencing the water palace in the centre of a lake. The wrought iron decoration exhibited in front of the temple of Joy Durga (the family goddess) at the Nat Mandir is supposed to have influenced Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who later integrated it in Shantiniketan.


The 13 kilometre-long beach of Mandarmani, located about four hours from Kolkata, is said to be India's longest motorable beach. The long stretch of hard sand beach lapped by the waves of the Bay of Bengal makes for a pleasant getaway. The been the backdrop for several Bengali films. Go slow and watch the red crabs playing on the hard sand beach washed by the turquoise waters of the Bay of Bengal. Walk to the 'mohana', or river delta, where the beach ends and the river meets the sea. There are a few fishing villages on one side of the river and dense jhau trees on the other. Read more about it here.

Getting There: The nearest airport is in Kolkata, from where Mandarmani is a four-hour drive. The nearest railway is Contai, from where local taxis go to Mandarmani. Air-conditioned buses leave every morning for Mandarmani from the Esplanade bus station in Kolkata.

The rajbari of Serampire
The rajbari of SerampireBappa Pabitra/Shutterstock


Located around 30km from Kolkata, Serampore used to be a Danish trading post, and was once called Fredric Nagar after King Fredric VI of Denmark. The riverside town was also a pioneer of printing in India with Baptist leader William Carey setting up the first printing press in Bengal here in 1800. The Carey Library and Research Centre located inside Serampore College is a repository of the early print and publishing history of India. Check out the centuries-old zamindari mansions and colonial era structures such as the restored Olav Church, and the Danish Government House (now a museum). The centuries-old Jagannath Temple on the outskirts of Serampore is also worth a dekko. You can stay at the Denmark Tavern & Hotel, which was originally built in 1786 by a British innkeeper, James Parr.

Getting There: The nearest major airport is in Kolkata and the nearest major railhead is Howrah in Kolkata. You can take a train to Serampore from Howrah.

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