With monsoon slowly playing peek-a-boo, the weather has been uncertain in the city. It is the perfect time to escape city life's bustle and pollution. Come weekend, and throw your essentials and bag to these pretty places near Delhi.
Delhi To Shoghi
It is no secret that Shimla is no longer the hill station it used to be. A short drive from Shimla, Shoghi offers all the perks of a vacation sans the crowd. Shoghi's verdant surroundings, pleasant weather, old temples, and adrenaline-fuelled activities make it an ideal weekend getaway from the capital. Opt for one of the city's many nature trails and hiking sites if outdoors are your jam. Close to Shoghi, Tara Parvat offers a peek into its detailed history with Tara Devi Temple, which is believed to be 250 years old.
Where To Stay It is ideal to stay in Shimla and explore Shoghi and its surroundings during the day. Wildflower Hall Shimla offers panoramic views of snowclad mountains and Victorian gardens, which is perfect for a weekend getaway if you seek a fairytale escape in a warm and romantic ambience. With amenities like heated pools, a spa, alfresco dining, a bar and a library, there is something for everyone here.
Delhi to Bir Billing
Want to fly like a bird Or would you rather camp it out with the hills on all sides, giving you company Fancy a trek, biking in the mountains, or even a walk by the river Bir Billing, the adventure capital of India, offers all that your outdoorsy heart desires. From paragliding to camping to hang gliding to treks to the various waterfalls, Bir (the village) and Billing (the takeoff site for paragliding) will rekindle the spirit of adventure in you.
Where to Stay With locally sourced food and beverages and eco-friendly toilets, The Himaal at Bir is a beautiful boutique lodge that offers immersive experiences around the property. You can also head to the Andretta artist village nearby and try your hand at pottery.
Delhi To Neemrana
An ancient historic town in Rajasthan's Alwar district, Neemrana has a royal history. Here, you can see the Neemrana fort, built by the descendants of the famous Rajput warrior-king, Prithviraj Chauhan in 1464. It was occupied till 1947, when the royal family moved out, after which the fort deteriorated rapidly and was later restored as the uber-luxurious modern hotel, Neemrana Fort Palace. A short drive from Delhi, this city will fascinate you with its architectural diversity and historical value. You can also make a beeline for the Sariska National Park and enjoy a safari as you camp overnight.
Where To Stay You can choose to experience the royal splendour of the olden times at the Neemrana Fort Palace, where the terraces at the multi-level structure make for the perfect space to spend your autumn evenings with chai and cookies. This fort also offers panoramic city views as the sun sets in Rajasthan.
Delhi To Agra
As part of India's iconography, Agra is on every itinerary regarding a short road trip from Delhi. Even if you've seen the Taj Mahal, this historic town has much more to explore beyond the marble wonder. Fatehpur Sikri, an hour's drive from Agra on the Jaipur road, is a small town founded by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the 1500s. As one enters the place, there are many marvellous historical buildings. First in line is Jodhabai's palace, home to King Akbar's Hindu wife, Jodha. The dargah of Salim Chishti also draws in visitors from far, hoping to make their wishes come true. You can also explore Itmad-ud-daulah and Mehtab Bagh, a splendid royal garden in the city.
Where To Stay Situated near the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal, the Taj Hotel and Convention Centre allow you to soak in the city. The hotel offers multiple dining options, but their pièce de résistance is Infini - The Sky Lounge, a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Taj Mahal. Guests can swim in the infinity pool, which overlooks the Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and other historical places and markets are a short drive from the hotel.
Delhi To Varanasi
We know it's not a short drive, but Varanasi is mystical and enchanting and continues to draw believers to its ambient shores. Famous for its ghats and the stunning Ganga Aarti, Varanasi never sleeps and offers a melange of everything - historical places and a hearty kachori and jalebi breakfast matched in its intensity by Kesar lassi. A boat ride at dawn seems like the best way to experience the city, followed by a visit to the Ramnagar fort, built in Mughal style by the ruler of Kashi, Maharaja Balwant Singh and said to be the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.
Where To Stay When in Varanasi, you can immerse yourself in history at the BrijRama Palace, a heritage hotel situated on the ghats and close to the tourist hotspots Dashashwamedh Ghat and Vishwanath Temple. This 210-year-old palace, in addition to offering a luxurious stay, also showcases the influence of the Maratha Dynasty, which was in power during the construction of the palace.