7 Unusual Weekend Getaways Near Delhi/NCR
Ready for a retreat in the mountains? (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
Ready for a retreat in the mountains? (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

7 Unusual Weekend Getaways Near Delhi/NCR

The best part about living in and around a city like Delhi is that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to planning a vacation. Adding to the bonanza, 2018 is laden with several long weekends – giving you a perfect excuse to let that wandering spirit free.

There are hillstations, treks, river ghats, and more. Then there are are places that are brimming with tourists looking for some respite from their daily lives. Yet, there exist places that have not yet been taken over by the tourist crowd – leaving space for you to discover much more.

So before the year slips away, mark your calendars and plan that much-needed vacation. Here’s a little help:

1. Kareri Lake: Of Nature and Trekking

The picturesque Kareri Lake captured by a visitor. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
The picturesque Kareri Lake captured by a visitor. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

A one-night journey from Delhi, Kareri Lake is an almost untouched glacial lake situated between the ranges of Dhauladhar.

The lush green mountains, the calm of nature and the scenic views together make up for a great getaway – away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Sheep and dogs seen on a hill top in Kareri lake area. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
Sheep and dogs seen on a hill top in Kareri lake area. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

The Kareri lake trek is ideal for a weekend getaway. The trek originates from Mcleodganj and leads to Kareri village passing several pine trees and small villages on the way. From Kareri village there is a gradual ascend to Kareri lake and along the way you will pass through beautiful oak forests. The trek involves passing Kareri Nallah several times, which actually makes for the adventure in the trip.

Sounds exciting? Pick up your backpack as this is the best time to take the trek!

2. Kheerganga: “A Dreamlike Natural Pool”

Sadhu smoking away to glory in Kheer Ganga. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
Sadhu smoking away to glory in Kheer Ganga. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

If there is one place which is on the list of all the trekking aficionados, it has to be Kheerganga. Describing the trek, travel writer Sonal Kwatra Paladini says, “A trek so beautiful that the physical workout felt like a picnic... a destination so picturesque that I felt like I was in the land of Heidi... a dreamlike natural pool surrounded by snow but warmed by hot springs.”

Also Read: Road Less Travelled: Why You Must Trek to the Fantastic Kheerganga

The trek to Kheerganga usually starts from Barshaini and Tosh. If you are going from Delhi, you need to go via Bhunter, which would take around 14 hours. You will then need to go to Barshaini from Bhunter and this journey will take approximately 4 hours. We certainly suggest walking the rest of the way till Tosh because the fun lies in the journey through the hills.

A beautiful location in Kheer Ganga. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
A beautiful location in Kheer Ganga. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

The trek is approximately 14-15 kms long. You can stop at a few places along the way and devour the local cuisine, which is delightfully varied. If you wish to stay at Kheerganga, there are a lot of options along the way.

The clear night sky on your way to the trek is certainly a sight not to be missed. So, pick up your bags and get going NOW!

3. Renuka Lake: Ideal For Family Getaway

Glimpse of the Renuka Lake in Himachal Pradesh. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/neeraj_ramol">@<b>neeraj_ramol</b></a>)
Glimpse of the Renuka Lake in Himachal Pradesh. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@neeraj_ramol)

The largest natural lake in Himachal, Renuka lake is a perfect weekend getaway in the lap of nature. Situated merely 38 kms from Nahan, this lake is shaped in the form of a reclining woman – hence the name Renuka. The lake also has a myth associated with it. According to legends, when the evil Sahasarjuna killed the sage Jamadagini and tried to abduct his wife Renuka, she flung herself into the water – leading to the origin of lake Renuka.

The lake is ideal for a family getaway. If you are up for travelling around the lake area, you could even explore the Parshuram Tal and Renuka temple, apart from indulging in boating, sight-seeing and just having a good time with family.

Situated around 315 kms from Delhi, the lake is easily accessible via road. The Writer’s Hill Resort offers a great lodging option.

4. Hatkoti: A Land of Beautiful Temples

Hatkoti temple. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
Hatkoti temple. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

If you are longing for an arty sojourn amidst the hills, Hatkoti might be the place for you. No less than an architectural marvel, the Hatkoti temples situated a few kms from Shimla are a delight to visit. The stone temples are said to be dedicated to goddess Mahishasurmardinian, an incarnation of goddess Durga, and date back to the period between sixth and ninth century. A fair is held in the temple in the month of April which attracts a number of tourists.

Apart from the beautiful temples, there are other architectural delights to visit in Hatkoti. These include Khara Pathar, Jubbal, Sunpuri Hills, Chirgaon among others.

The summer months starting from April are the best time to visit Hatkoti.

5. Sangla: In the Lap of Nature

The drive to Sangla. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)
The drive to Sangla. (Photo Courtesy: Prasoon Vashistha)

A getaway to Sangla – a small town located between Karcham and Chitkul – is all you need to beat the summer blues. Though the town itself will take you back in time because of its rustic charm, the real fun of visiting Sangla lies in the valley of Baspa River. Dotted with snow-capped mountain peaks, the valley is beautiful. To enjoy to the fullest, we suggest staying in the wild at the heart of the Valley instead of a hotel. There are a number of tented accommodations to make your stay memorable.

You can even travel to the Chitkul village from Sangla along with other places such as Rakcham, Kamru Fort, Trout Farm and Sangla Buddhist monastery.

6. Brij Ghat: Of Rustic Charm and the Ganges

Situated on the way to Garmukhteshwar, Brijghat is the place where you can still see a clean Ganga in its glory. The water is ideal for enjoying a boat ride and the surrounding atmosphere gives you a rustic feel. As you reach Brij Ghat, you will see Sadhus all around, series of stalls selling modhas, and pilgrims taking a dip in the river.

It would take approximately 3 hours to reach Brijghat from Delhi via road. As there are limited options in Brij Ghat, you will have enough time to travel to Garhmukteshwar, which is called a smaller version of Varanasi, dotted with several temples.

7. Dhanachuli: Away From The Madding Crowd

The dramatic landscape of Dhanachuli. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/KumaonLitFestival/">@KumaonLitFestival</a>)
The dramatic landscape of Dhanachuli. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@KumaonLitFestival)

The Dhanachuli village around the Kumaun Hills (26 kms from Bhimtal) in Uttrakhand is a perfect weekend getaway for those who want to travel to a place beaming with nature’s bounty.

Dhanachuli is a small village with pleasant weather, apple orchards and beautiful mountain views. The best part is that it is not bustling with people and offers a retreat from busy city life.

A vacation to Dhanachuli also leaves you with the option of exploring nearby attractions. Prominent among these are Chauli ki Jali, Bhaalu Gaad waterfalls, Mukteshwar Dham, Ghorakhal Golu Devta Temple and Victoria dam. You must certainly visit Chauli ki Jali because as per legend, the place has served as the battleground in a war between Goddesses and fiends. Some evidence from the battle is allegedly still present. Why not find it for yourself?

Also Read: 2017 Is Packed With 14 Long Weekends; Make The Most Of Them!

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)