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    As we all know, this is a year of long weekends, which certainly means more trips! I must tell you this, as soon as a long weekend approaches, I’m asked a number of wide-ranging questions about weekend destinations near Delhi. And if you have stumbled upon this blog, then it’s quite obvious that you too are looking for some nice place to visit near Delhi, or just places you can go with your pals or your significant other during any month.

    I’m not going to turn you off with a long and lazy story here, so I’ll cut to the chase and tell you about all the places where you can spend this long weekend.

    1. Chail & Shimla – Lose yourself in the misty mountains

    shimla

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    Shimla is definitely not a new thing for many of you, but Shimla with Chail is a combination to die for. Shimla is probably one of the most visited hill stations in North India, for it’s easily accessible making it one of the convenient weekend getaways from Delhi. While Shimla is a little, lively place set amidst the pine forests, Chail is a serene hill station against a backdrop of snow-capped Shivalik Hills. On a clear, sunny day, you can see meandering Sutlej river making its way through the rocky hills.

    Ideal for: A relaxed holiday with a hint of adventure!

    Those who are into activities like rafting, camping, and trekking. Shimla also makes a great destination for those who want to relax in the middle of deodar trees surrounded by misty hills, do a bit of shopping.

    Chail is my favourite and I have always chosen Chail over Shimla. It’s a great place for those who love bird watching and want to capture some beautiful vistas. You can also go for horse riding, but I would say that Chail is basically a place for explorers and nature lovers like me, not adventurers.

    Ideal trip duration: If you are planning to cover Shimla with Chail (which is the best option), then you need at least 3 days for your weekend trip, which shouldn’t be difficult for anyone as the Good Friday long weekend is almost here.

    Places I suggest you visit in Shimla: Jakhoo temple, Christ church, Annadale Army Museum, Scandal Point, Prantika art gallery, and The Rashtrapati Niwas aka Viceregal Lodge are some of the places you can’t miss. Pay a visit to Krishna Bakery, it’s a popular shop for baked items.

    Places I suggest you visit in Chail: Kali Ka Tibba, Maharaja’s Palace, Gurudwara Sahib, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, and Stoned Kumbh Shiv Temple

    Best time to visit Shimla & Chail: Being someone who has travelled to Shimla as well as Chail between May to June, I would say it’s a very pleasant time. Since I love chilly weather, I also enjoyed my stay in Chail during winter (October to February). For all those snow freaks, you must visit the place in winter too.

    How to reach Delhi to Shimla & Chail 

    toy train coming out of a tunnel

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    Delhi-Shimla: Shimla is 345 km from Delhi, and it usually takes 7 to 8 hrs to reach the place. Although you can board a train from Delhi to Kalka, and then board a toy train that runs between Kalka and Shimla.

    A toy train ride is so romantic and fun-filled that you would want to do it at least once in your life, but the train covers a distance of about 100 km in 7 hours, and you don’t have soch much time. So I would suggest you to take a direct bus (volvo bus for better comfort and ordinary bus to save money) to Shimla from ISBT Kashmiri Gate.

    Shimla-Chail: Chail is approx 45 km from Shimla, and you can reach Chail in 1 hour. There are deluxe buses to reach Chail from Shimla. If you don’t want to waste your time waiting for a bus, I’d suggest you hire a sharing taxi to Chail.

    Average weekend trip cost: I spent about INR 5,500 on a 3-day long budget trip to Shimla and Chail, including stay, transport, and food. It also depends on the kind of hotel you book and food you prefer.

    Note: Shimla and Chail are places where you’ll have to do a lot walking, so don’t forget to carry a pair of comfortable shoes with you.


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    2. Kanatal – Get lost in the little hill station with stunning views of Shivalik range

    A group of tourists enjoy a speed boat ride in Tehri Dam at Kanatal

    Not many have heard of Kanatal, and that’s what makes it a unspoiled beauty. This little hill station is resting in a scenic setting surrounded by rivers and incredibly beautiful mountains. The peace of this place will pull you out of your worries and help you rejoice each moment here.

    Ideal for: Adventure and nature lovers!

    You can go for hiking, nature walks, trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, and camping.

    Ideal trip duration: Kanatal is a small hill station, and I covered this wonderful suburb in just 2 days.

    Places I suggest you visit in Kanatal: Surkanda Devi Temple and Kodia Jungle (a photographer’s paradise)

    Best time to visit Kanatal: I think, Kanatal is one of those hill stations that can be visited anytime of the year, but the hill station becomes lively with the onset of summer, which means April to September.

    How to reach Kanatal

    A bus heading to Kanatal with Tehri Dam is the background

    Delhi to Kanatal is about 320 km and it takes 9 hours to reach via Dehradun. As far as I know, there are no direct buses to Kanatal from Delhi. Take an ordinary or volvo bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to ISBT Dehradun (takes 6 hours), and then you can either take a shared taxi or a local bus to reach Kanatal (3 hours). Again, I would suggest you to share a taxi, there are plenty of them.

    Average weekend trip cost: My trip to Kanatal cost me about INR 5,000 including food, stay, and transport.

    If you are planning a trip with your gang, then you must read how this gang of friends spent their long weekend in Kanatal.

    3. Dhanaulti – Travel the trails to witness the beauty of Garhwal

    A group of travelers pose in front of a viewpoint in the woods in Dhanaulti

    Dhanaulti is a fast emerging weekend destination. This little hamlet’s charm allures youngstres and couples alike. The sight becomes absolutely magical at the darkest stage of twilight when the town lights up and looks like a zillion stars are twinkling down below.

    Ideal for: It’s great for adventure lovers!

    You can go on a nature walk, try zip line, mountain biking, horse riding, rappelling, trekking camping, night trekking, and cave exploration.

    Ideal trip duration: I would suggest you to stay here at least for 2 days if you want to try adventurers activities and also want to explore.

    Places I suggest you visit in Dhanaulti: Eco Park, Dhanaulti Adventure Park, Camp Thangdhar, and Apple Orchard Resort.

    Best time to visit Dhanaulti: September to June is the best time to visit Dhanaulti because of its comfortable weather conditions.

    How to reach Dhanaulti

    Travelers pose in front of the campsite on their trip to Dhanulti

    The hill station is about 300 km from Delhi, and is well connected by motorable roads. For all I know, you won’t get a direct bus from Delhi to Dhanaulti, however, you can take a bus from Delhi to Dehradun, and then local buses and shared taxis are easily available to reach Dhanaulti from Dehradun (about 2 hours and 30 minutes journey). This is the easiest route!

    Average weekend trip cost: Your trip to Dhanaulti can be done in just INR 4,000, and that too, including food, stay, and transport. Isn’t it cool!

    4. Mukteshwar – Witness the old-world charm of this beautiful town

    a guy standing at the end of a cliff in mountains

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    A small valley nestled in dense & evergreen pine forests, and surrounded by fruit orchards and, Mukteshwar makes a great weekend getaway for the Delhi janta. If you wish to witness the magnificence of nature and try some adventurous activities, then this is a not-to-miss kind of destination.

    Ideal for: Mukteshwar is equally enjoyed by adventure lovers and those who want a lazy weekend.

    You can enjoy nature walks, trekking, bird watching, hiking, heritage tour, paragliding, and camping.

    Ideal trip duration: My trip to Mukteshwar was a long one, but generally tourists spend 2-days at max.

    Places I suggest you visit in Mukteshwar: Chauli Ki Jali, Mukteshwar Dham, Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow, Bhalu Gaad waterfalls, Chocohouse Chocolatiers, Kilmora Shop, Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple, Brahmeshvara temple.

    Best time to visit Mukteshwar: March to May is the perfect time to visit Mukteshwar.

    How to reach Mukteshwar

    A group of tourists pose in front of a waterfall on their weekend trip to Mukteshwar

    Mukteshwar is about 360 km from Delhi, and it will take about 8 hours to reach there. There are no direct buses from Delhi to Mukteshwar, so you’ll have to take a bus from Delhi to Kathgodam ( 7 hours journey). From Kathgodam, just like I did, you can take a shared taxi to reach Mukteshwar.

    Average weekend trip cost: It’ll cost you about 4,500 that includes food, transport, and stay.

    Must Read: 6 Super Fun Things To Do In Mukteshwar For A Kickass Weekend Retreat

    5. Bir Billing – Begin your adventure travel in the valley

    three guys paragliding in Bir Billing

    Image Source

    In the west of peaceful Joginder Nagar Valley, lies a relatively lively village called Bir Billing. Bir Billing is an emerging weekend destination that supports ecotourism. I would go so far as to say, Bir is the best for paragliding and also a paragliding hub of India. Even if you are not looking for an adventurous kind of holiday, Bir Billing’s verdant meadows, graceful oak trees, and the sense of spirituality in the air of the hills will be an experience to cherish for a lifetime.

    Ideal for: Mainly for adventure lovers, but equally enjoyed by nature lovers.

    Paragliding, hang-gliding, trekking and camping are the major adventurous activities you can try in this mesmerizing valley.

    Ideal trip duration: Although, I was in Bir Billing just for a day, but those who not only want to explore the place, but also go for paragliding should spend 2 days here.

    Places I suggest you visit in Bir Billing: Deer Park Institute and Bir Village

    Best time to visit Bir Billing: Although, I didn’t try paragliding, but according to the experts there, the best time for paragliding in Bir billing is from March to May and then October to November. Are you game for it!

    How to reach Bir Billing

    a guy landing on road after paragliding

    Image Source

    Delhi to Bir Billing is about 520 km, and it takes about 10 hours to reach there. There are no direct buses from Delhi to Bir, however, there are two overnight buses from Delhi to Reach Baijnath (a popular pilgrim about 30 minutes drive from Bir). From there, you can either take a local bus (buses to Bir runs at 30 minutes interval), or take a personal taxi to reach Bir Billing (a little expensive).

    Average weekend trip cost: A trip to Bir Billing including stay, food, and transport will cost you about INR 4,500 and a 30-minute long paragliding can cost you anywhere between INR 1,500 to 2,000.

    Since I didn’t try paragliding in Bir Billing, you can read Aman’s paragliding experience for more information.


    Planning your holiday but confused about where to go? These travel stories help you find your best trip ever!

    Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.


    6. Kausani – Explore the true beauty of Kumaon hills

    mountains covered under fog

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    An unspoiled secret place lost in the mists of time—Kausani is a writer’s dreamland. The beauty of this place is too good to be true and too divine to express in words. Kausani is basically a land of serene trails and glorious sunsets.

    Ideal for: Absolutely relaxed weekend!

    You can explore the ancient temples, walk to Rudradhari falls, and buy Kausani tea leaves from the tea estate. If you have enough time, then don’t forget to trek to Rudradhari cave temple.

    Ideal trip duration: You won’t need more than 3 days, but this place is so charming that I can never get enough of its beauty. And if you are planning to spend your long weekend here, you may bump into me!

    Places I suggest you visit in Kausani: Sumitranandan Pant Gallery, Anasakti Ashram, Rudradhari falls, Kausani Tea Estate, and Handloom shawl factory

    Best time to visit Kausani: You can visit Kausani from late March till the end of June. I prefer Autumn season (September end to January end); it is a great time to visit for those who enjoy solitude and also for couples who want to spend some quality time with each other.

    How to reach Kausani

    a road in mountains surrounded by trees

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    The distance between Delhi and Kausani is about 450 km, which usually takes about 11 hours to reach. There are no direct buses from Delhi to Kausani, and the nearest bus stand is Kathgodam. So I would suggest you to board a Delhi-Kathgodam bus ( about 7 hours journey), and then you can take a shared or personal taxi from Kathgodam to Kausani (about 4 hours journey).

    If you want to travel by train, then you can board a train from Delhi to Kathgodam, and from Kathgodam station, take a shared or personal taxi to Kausani.

    Average weekend trip cost: A short trip to Kausani will cost you about INR 5,000 for all the expenses including stay, food, and transport.

    7. Binsar – Head off to the sleepy hamlet in the lap of Himalayas

    foggy mountains

    Image Source
    Binsar! A little piece of beauty in the middle of Himalayas on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills. It may not be quite convenient to reach Binsar for some people, but it sure is one of the mesmerizing offbeat destinations near Delhi. The valley offers wonderful views of mighty, snow-capped Himalayas. Evenings here are even more mystical when the sun goes behind the ridge painting the sky with a vivid splash of colour. Doesn’t it sound like an idyllic place for a romantic weekend!

    Ideal for: Mainly a relaxed holiday!

    From mumbling streams, majestic Himalayas, to incredible meadows, you will find all kind of beauty in Binsar, but this isn’t it! You can also go on hikes, watch birds in the sanctuary, and explore some archeological sites.

    Ideal trip duration: Since Binsar is a small hill station, it won’t require more than 2-3 days to explore the place. Although I wanted to stay for longer, for this little heaven is so peaceful and beautiful, right out of Ruskin Bond’s book.

    Places I suggest you visit in Binsar : Binsar Zero Point (the highest accessible point of the sanctuary for majestic views of Himalayas), Kasar Devi temple, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Bineshwar Mahadev temple, Priyadeva Pashan (a glimpse into ancient past), Khali Estate, and Mary Budden Estate

    Best time to visit Binsar: I would suggest you to avoid travelling to Binsar during monsoon (July-August). The best time to travel to Binsar is undoubtedly April to June and then September to November.

    How to reach Binsar

    a road in mountains

    Image Source

    Reaching Binsar can be a little tricky—at least for me it was—, for there are no direct buses from Delhi to reach Binsar. I’d suggest you to take a volvo or ordinary bus from Delhi to Kathgodam. Delhi is approx. 310 km from Kathgodam, which will take you about 8 hours to reach the place.

    From Kathgodam, you can hire a personal or shared taxi to reach Binsar. The distance between Nainital and Binsar is 110 km, which usually takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach your destination.

    If you are planning to travel by train, then board Delhi-Kathgodam train, and then from Kathgodam station, you can hire a taxi to reach Binsar.

    Travelling to Binsar from Delhi is comparatively expensive. That’s why sometimes I prefer going with tour packages whenever travelling to such destinations, for I find them quite pocket-friendly.

    Average weekend trip cost: My last trip to Binsar cost me INR 6,500 including food, stay, and transport. There are not many hotels in Binsar, so you must book your hotel in advance to avoid unreasonable room tariff. You can also book KMVN Tourist Rest House (govt property) online in advance. I have stayed there once; they aren’t as comfortable as a 3 or 4 stay hotel, but travelers on a shoestring budget would love it. There are 5 stars properties for those who want to stay in absolute comfort.

    Suggested Read: Top 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand

    8. Dalhousie – Breathe in the fresh air of the Deodar forest

    reflection of mountains on lakewater

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    Who hasn’t heard of Dalhousie! It’s one of the most popular hill stations in Himachal. With pine-clad valleys and splendid Dhauladhar mountain ranges of the Himalayas—Dalhousie is a place right out of a holiday brochure.

    Ideal for: An adventurous holiday!

    You can get on a boat and sail on Chamera Lake, try horse riding, paragliding, and hiking.

    Ideal trip duration: I stayed in Dalhousie for only 2 days and realized that it wasn’t enough. There are plenty of stunning points and places, you need 3 to 4 days to explore the place.

    Places I suggest you visit in Dalhousie: Dainkund Peak, Chamera Lake, St. John’s Church, Saach Pass, and St. Patrick’s Church

    Best time to visit Dalhousie: Although, Dalhousie is a year-around destination, but I would say March to May and October (summer) is considered the best time to visit the valley. Again, snow freaks or those who love chilly weather can visit it anywhere between October to February.

    How to reach Dalhousie

    a road with a beautiful view of mountains

    Image Source

    Dalhousie is about 560 km from Delhi, and there are no direct buses to reach there. You can reach the place from different routes, but according to my experience, the easiest is to catch a bus from Delhi to Pathankot, and then a local bus from Pathankot to Dalhousie ( a 2-hour long journey).

    From Dalhousie, Pathankot’s Chakki Bank station is the nearest (about 70 km). From the station, you can hire a private or shared taxi to reach Dalhousie (a 3-hour long journey).

    Average weekend trip cost: Including food, stay, and transport, your weekend trip to Dalhousie will cost you about INR 6,000, but if you are travelling in a large group, it will certainly come down to INR 5,000. Tried & tested!

    Read this traveler’s blog to know what others are doing on their trip to Dalhousie!

    9. Jim Corbett – Spend your weekend in the wilderness

    All girls trip Jungle Safari in Jim Corbett

    If you wish to enjoy your long weekend in wilderness, then Jim Corbett is your kind of place. Tucked away in the foothills of Himalayas, the national park offers so many things to do and a lot of unique and unforgettable experiences to visitors. This place is nature’s blessing and it has never disappoint a single traveler.

    Ideal for: A relaxed weekend with some adventure!

    Jim Corbett is known for jungle safari and bird watching. So those who love nature walks, jungle safaris, fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, and rappelling would love this place.

    Ideal trip duration: According to my experience, you will need at least 2 days in Jim Corbett to actually experience the beauty of this place. I won’t be surprised if you stay longer, it’s such a peaceful place.

    Places I suggest you visit in Jim Corbett National Park: Kosi river, Corbett falls, Go Wild Adventure Park, Garjiya Devi temple, Corbett Museum, and Sitabani Temple.

    Best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park: All you bird lovers can visit this Jim Corbett in winter (October to February). And summer (March to June) is certainly the best time to visit Jim Crobett, and that is when every zone of the park is open to visitors. FYI, I regretted big time visiting Jim Corbett during monsoon, so don’t do that!

    How to reach Jim Corbett National Park

    Jeeps leaving for the jungle safari at Jim Corbett

    The distance between Delhi and Jim Corbett is about 250 km, and takes about 6 hours to reach there. You can easily get a direct bus from ISBT Anand Vihar to Jim Corbett. In case you don’t get a direct bus to reach Jim Corbett, you can take a bus from Delhi to Ramnagar, and then a taxi to Jim Corbett, which will take about 2 hours to reach.

    If you wish to travel by train, then you can board a direct train to Ramnagar that runs from Delhi. From the station, you can hire a taxi.

    Average weekend trip cost: I have done Jim Corbett in about INR 4,500, and that includes food, stay, and transport.

    Checkout this all-girl weekend trip to Jim Corbett before you decide to plan yours.

    10. McLeodganj – Leave for the little tibet to admire nature’s bounty

    A traveler atop the Triund hill

    A popular hill station of Dharmshala, and one of the most happening weekend getaways, McLeodganj is a place you can chose to visit anytime and for any occasion. If you really want to enjoy the place, you’ll have to get out of the market area, and head off to Dharmkot or Bhagsu.

    Ideal for: Mainly a relaxing destination with a little bit of adventure.

    If you are off to McLeodganj, you must take a trek to Triund (moderate level), visit the stunning monasteries, explore unique-style cafes, and go on photography walks.

    Ideal trip duration: I would suggest you to stay here for only 2 days, but if you are planning to trek to Triund (which you should), then you’ll need an extra day with you, which means 3 days will be more than enough for it.

    Places I suggest you visit in McLeodganj: Gyuto Tantric monastery, Namgyal monastery, Tsuglagkhang, Bhagsu falls, Bhagsunath temple, Dal Lake, Triund, Dharamkot, and Church of St. Johns in the wilderness.

    Best time to visit McLeodganj: September to June is the best time to plan a trip to McLeodganj.

    How to reach McLeodganj

    A group of travelers on their weekend trip to Mcleodganj

    McLeodganj is about 480 km from Delhi, and it takes around 9 hours to reach there. You can take an HPTDC deluxe bus or a private volvo bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Mcleodganj. I can tell you that it’s the best and the easiest way to reach McLeodganj.

    Average weekend trip cost: A 3-day long trip to Mcleodganj will cost you about INR 6,000 including stay, food, and transport by road.

    Note: Carry a pair of comfortable shoes because you’ll have to walk a lot here.

    Checkout what these girls have to say about their trip to McLeodganj.

    I really hope that my experience helps you plan your coolest long weekend trip. Do share your experience and travel stories just like I shared mine to help you.

    See how travelers enjoy their weekend trips with Travel Triangle

    • In the hills of Mukteshwar

     


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    Category: Destinations, Weekend Getaways