Soon Coronavirus will be history and people will be searching for places to visit near Delhi.
I think before most of you, it will be me searching for them. The only difference will be, I won’t be searching for them on the internet but inside my head.
If you’re new on this travel blog, let me quickly introduce myself and help you build trust in this list of places to visit near Delhi. I am one of those people who quit the job to travel the world. In 2016, I started this travel blog, and since then, I’ve only been travelling and writing about my journeys.
Where I sometimes travel abroad, most of my journeys remain in India. I have been to nearly 25 Indian states, all solo-travelled and self-planned. And since I live in Delhi, if there’s one thing I know it is about all those popular, offbeat, unknown, top-rated and famous places to visit near Delhi.
I am also into motorcycle rides a lot, and since I have bought a Jawa 42 bike, I have been doing a lot of road trips around Delhi too. This includes my recent 2-month motorcycle road trip from Delhi to Bangalore.
Sharing a quick youtube video from that trip before we start with the detailed discussion of the topic in hand…
Best Places To Visit Near Delhi
Before I start with details, explaining every destination in detail, I want to share an infographic that I have made. Feel free to download and save it in your phone. This can be your bucket list of places you should not miss around New Delhi.
Now let’s get to discussing them in detail…
Places To Visit Near Delhi – Under 250 Km
I know distances make it tough to travel – especially when we are talking about a country as huge as India and with road conditions as bad as in India. Having said that, I am going to discuss this travel blog on tourist places to travel near Delhi with destinations that are closest to places that are farthest.
From palaces in Delhi to hill stations near Delhi, this guide will include them all. If, however, you are looking for weekend getaways from Delhi within 100 kms (considering Cannaught Place as center) I suggest you read my 2-days in Delhi blog.
For weekend getaways near Delhi within 500 kms or 1000 kms, however, this guide will suffice…
The total distance to Bhindawas Lake is less than 100km from Delhi and even lesser from Gurgaon. Driving to Bhindawas is easy and takes less than 2 hours to reach from Delhi. The ideal way to get there is in your own car/motorcycle as there is no direct public transport from Delhi to Bhindawas.
Bhindawas Lake, which later turned into Bhindawas Wildlife and bird Sanctuary were originally constructed in 2009, to store the excess waters of two nearby canals.
Today, the area of the bird sanctuary accounts to a total of over 1000 acres, with an impressive ecosystem for the migratory birds. And that is its charm. It is a waterbody with migratory birds. And since it is home to some wildlife too, the government has made efforts and developed a wildlife sanctuary too – hence, Bhindawas wildlife sanctuary. Bhindawas remains one of the closest places to visit near Delhi in under 250 km distance.
Here’s a youtube video for Delhi to Bhindawas…
The hub of tourism for people living in Delhi, Rishikesh needs no introduction. It has something for everyone – from month-long yoga vacation courses to adventure sports to religion and spirituality. According to the Uttarakhand tourism website, Rishikesh is not just a popular destination from Delhi but it is the most visited place in the entire Uttarakhand state.
There are many overnight Delhi to Rishikesh buses, both ordinary and luxury, costing as less as 350 Rupees. Easy accessibility is the biggest driving factor for its increasing popularity as one of the popular weekend getaways near Delhi.
Kalagarh, or the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve, is located towards the western end (making it closest to New Delhi).
It is located 80km from Ramnagar and Kotdwar (Ramnagar is Jim Corbett). But if you’re coming from New Delhi, you do not need to go to Ramnagar – making it one of the best weekend getaways near Delhi and one of the closest places to visit near Delhi.
A comparatively more popular destination from Delhi to Kalagarh is Jim Corbett. Here’s a youtube video for Delhi to Kalagarh…
If you are planning to go towards Shimla but not Shimla, Barog, in Himachal Pradesh, is the place to be. Though Google says it is located 280km from Delhi, we are still adding it in the list as from the north end border Delhi to Barog is still less than 250 km.
Precisely speaking, Barog is located on the Kalka Shimla Highway (almost halfway from Chandigarh to Shimla). Barog is around 60kms from Chandigarh. The Delhi to Barog drive is moreover a pleasant one, including most of the hours driving the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, before a short climb on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway.
Why visit Barog? For its offbeat charm, Kalka-Shimla train ride, a quick feel of the Himalayas and a short drive from Delhi. Barog gets the last position in our list of places to see near Delhi in under 250 km. Here’s a youtube video for Delhi to Barog…
Places to Visit Near Delhi – Under 500 km
A popular ski destination in India, Auli is located at 490 km from Delhi. During winter, you will find people trying to learn skiing and snowboarding in India. During summer, it is a popular trekking and camping location.
To get there, take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh and then another bus to Joshimath. From Joshimath, regular taxis or a chairlift can be used. Auli is located on the popular Rishikesh to Badrinath Char Dham route. Other than that, if you happen to visit Auli during monsoon, you can also do Valley of Flowers trek.
So if you are looking for a few destinations nearby and still not go more than 500 km, Auli is among the best places to travel near Delhi.
I happened to visit Chail during my 1-month monsoon Himachal Ride. I travelled from Chail to Shimla and comparatively loved Chail the more, hence adding Chail and not Shimla (for a tip, the best time to visit Shimla is monsoon).
Though Chail was also pretty crowded (it’s the crowd why I never recommended Shimla as a tourist destination) it still has enough quiet escapes nearby.
Beyond an unexciting mall road and the boring King’s Palace Chail has quite a few nature trails to enjoy. If nothing, there is no dearth of finding a peaceful corner in Chail (even in season time) and enjoy the serenity of mountains. So yea, Chail is one of the recommended places to visit near Delhi for me.
Located 350 km from Delhi, Mashobra is another offbeat destination near Shimla.
Despite located at a slightly lower altitude than Shimla, Mashobra remains a few degrees cooler throughout the year, and that is because of its rich forest land.
Where Shimla is crowded and bustling, Mashobra is greener, amble and surrounded by a dense deodar forest. It is a popular destination for camping and trekking. Many group tours leaving from Delhi go to this place called Mashobra Greens and have a quiet holiday experience. I spent 2 days at Mashobra Greens and loved it so much that it became one of my favorite holiday destinations and offbeat places to visit near Delhi under 500 km.
Honestly speaking, my first impression of my Delhi to Almora trip wasn’t a pleasing one. It had been only 10 minutes that I had arrived there yet I wanted to leave, because of a crowded city I found. But as I left Almora, drover 15km to Mata Kesar Devi temple, I loved it. I loved it so much that it became one of my favorite Uttarakhand travel places.
Almora can vaguely be divided into two geographies – the crowded and bustling part, and the comparatively quiet and greener part.
The bustling part is where you will find Almora main bus station. The Greener one is where Mata Kesar Devi Temple is located. And for that part, we are adding Almora in our list of top places to visit near Delhi under 500 km.
Some of the well-known people who’ve visited and meditated at Kesar Devi temple are Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Swami Vivekananda, among others.
Gangotri is another popular destination in Uttarakhand – more popular among pilgrims doing the Char Dham yatra. But many trekkers and weekend holidayers also visit Gangotri. Gangotri was my first ever solo destination (when I did Gangotri to Gomukh trek) and it is there it has always remained closer to my heart.
A drive from Delhi to Gangotri is one of the most scenic in entire Uttarakhand state. Having said that, the best way to go there is on a self-planned road trip. Additionally, you can also visit it on a bus as Delhi to Rishikesh to Gangotri.
It is Gomukh, in Gangotri, that is the origin of river Ganges in India. Hence, religious significance.
Home to Dalai Lama in India, Mcleodgunj in Dharamshala Himachal one of the best places to visit near Delhi. The place gives a kind of feeling that you are not in India anymore but in Tibet with many monks in their saffrons walking around the streets.
Outside of Tibet, it is Mcleodgunj that can give you the best experience of a true living Tibetan Culture and even meet the revered Dalai Lama if you’re lucky. It is possible to do a weekend trip from Delhi to Dharamshala, thanks to the many overnight buses that leave Delhi every evening.
When looking for a place to stay in the Dharamshala, look for something either in Dharamkot or Mcleodganj. I personally like Dharamkot the most because it is less crowded. Mcleodganj, on the other hand, is where the Buddhist leader Dalai Lama lives so staying there also makes sense. There are many hostels in Dharamshala to choose from.
Places to Visit Near Delhi – Under 750 km
The most popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is what Rishikesh is for Uttarakhand. I have personally been to Manali more times than I can remember.
Manali is popular for cafes, adventure activities, camping (see Manali camping destinations) motorcycle rides, snow activities, honeymoon holiday, and much more. I have written this detailed travel blog on things to do in Manali travel guide for more on what to see and do there.
The natural beauty (not in Manali main town) but the offbeat nearby Manali destinations is something to die for.
Located in Sangla Valley, Chitkul is another one of those popular places to visit near Delhi that has gained popularity lately. Located in Sangla Valley, it is also referred to as the last Indian town.
Chiktul is a 100% Buddhist town. The town also houses a popular 500 years old Mathi temple with images of Shakyamuni Buddha, a wheel of life Mangala and four directional kings on either side of the door.
Chitkul is also believed to be the last point of Kinner Kailash Parikarma. Any pilgrim who does it end their trip by praying at its Mathi Temple.
Chitkul is also popular for camping and trekking. See this Delhi to Chitkul road trip blog for more reasons to why it is one of the top tourist places to travel near Delhi.
Known as the city of lakes, Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities in India. The many natural lakes around the town, with a sunset or a sunrise in the backdrop, make love float in the air. Lake Pichola, Sajjangarh Palace, and Taj Lake Palace are a few popular places to visit in Udaipur.
Other than romantic lakes what makes Udaipur more beautiful is he many romantic dinners at one of the lakeside restaurants. Choose a perfect ambience with a perfect candlelight setting and let your story take a modern turn while stepping back in time at the same time.
Here’s a youtube video I have published on my Youtube channel, exploring Udaipur…
Though I didn’t like Jodhpur much, it still remains among India’s popular destinations and many people’s favourite places to visit near Delhi.
Known as the Blue city, Jodhpur is all about forts and culture and history. More than Indians, Jodhpur is popular among European and American tourists, maybe because there are more history and art than anything else here. From royal cenotaph built in white marble to India’s one of the largest forts, Jodhpur has culture and history in its every nook and corner.
Read this detailed Jodhpur travel blog for more details on how to get there.
A 4000-metre-high mountain pass in Chamba District, Sach Pass is a popular trail for adventure motorbiking and trekking. I happened to visit Sach Pass in 2019 and was totally startled with its beauty.
Other than beauty, it is one epic concoction of narrow gorges, deadly river crossing and isolated roads. Google for India’s deadliest motorable roads and it is not Ladakh or someplace in Spiti Valley that will appear in the searches but the route that take you from Bairagarh to Killar via Sach Pass – hence, an obvious mention in this blog on places to visit near Delhi.
Pangi Valley, in Himachal Pradesh, is often referred to as the big daddy of mountain passes – a name just enough to give most riders shivers down their spine.
If, however, you are looking for something more offbeat, and just as adventurous as Sach Pass or some other place in the Himalayas, visit the Highest motorcycle pass in Shimla district – Chanshal Pass.
At over 3500m above sea level Chanshal Pass in Pabbar Valley is just high as Rohtang Pass, gets almost as much snow, and is just as much far from Delhi. Yet, it’s hardly visited. Why? Because no one knows about it. And that’s what makes it more beautiful.
A Delhi to Chanshal Pass journey will take you some of the most spell-bounding landscapes minus the crowd. Hence, it is a deserving destination and one of the top tourist places to visit near Delhi.
Located in Pithoragarh district in Kumaon region, Darma Valley is formed by Darma river. The valley starts near a village called Dave with Sino-Indian border on its one side.
The entire Darma Valley has 13 villages with a population less than 1200 people.
Out of all the places I have visited in Uttarakhand, Darma Valley remains my favourite. Why so? Because of the many distinctions. I found people in Darma Valley more friendly and helpful. Not many people know about it and hence it’s an offbeat place. It is also home to Uttarakhand’s one of the highest mountain peaks – Panchachuli (read this Panchahuli base camp trek for more details).
Darma Valley is a great place for camping.
Places to Visit Near Delhi – Under 1000 km
This is one of those popular places to visit in India that needs no introduction. Leh, in Ladakh region, is one of the most travelled destinations in the Indian Himalayas – for people in Delhi – despite being located almost 1000 km away.
It is possible to travel from Delhi to Leh on a flight or do a road trip from Manali to Leh. Speaking of the road trips, the Manali to Leh road is the most popular road trip tails in the Himalayas. I have personally done this route more than 5 times – the most recent of which was in 2020.
Here’s a youtube video of my Leh to Manali solo motorcycle trip…
Also known as Benares, Varanasi is the holiest of all Hindu towns (as often stated) and that’s why it’s among the popular places to visit near Delhi. It is believed that death in Varanasi, and getting a cremation there, brings salvation – a direct ticket to heaven.
Throughout India’s long history, it is in Varanasi, that many prominent figures – including Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi – have spent time on the Ganges River, meditating and practising spirituality.
There are nearly 90 ghats in Varanasi – all of which offer a different feel. Some ghats are popular as cremation centres, while others are popular for evening aarti. From naga babas to Indian travellers to western people seeking spirituality, you can find everyone here.
Varanasi can be a chaotic and quite indiscreet, depicting some of the dark realities of Hindu culture. Here the most intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells in and around the ghats and the streets of Varanasi – can feel overwhelming. So persevere.
Just like Leh, Spiti Valley is one of the popular places to visit near Delhi for the same reasons – road trips. Other than that, Just like Leh, in Spiti Valley, you will find some of the oldest monasteries in the world. One thing that differentiates Spiti Valley with Leh is unlike Delhi to Leh, Delhi to Spiti Valley is possible in winter too. It remains accessible throughout the year.
Though if you are doing the entire Delhi to Shimla to Spiti Valley to Manali trail, it is more than 1000 km, Delhi to Shimla to Kaza is under 1000 km, hence the inclusion in the list.
I did my first solo Delhi to Spiti Valley road trip back in 2016, and since then I have been there a few times. And every time I get there, my love for Spiti Valley only grows more.
Located in the Gaya district, in Bihar, Bodhgaya is where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath a Pipal tree, some 2500 years ago. And that is its significance. Today, in Bodhgaya you can find over 50 monasteries from countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and more.
In terms of the popularity, consider Bodhgaya for Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims, or Varanasi for Hindus. The town attracts thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from around the world to pray and meditate under the same Bodhi tree where prince Siddhartha meditated.
If you have been to Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh or Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe and found significant Buddhism influence there, in Bylakuppe you are going to find it even more of it. And that’s why, Bodhgaya in Bihar, remains among the must-visit places to visit near Delhi in under 1000 km distance.
That’s all on this list. If you have more places to add, please leave a comment below explaining why you like the place. I would love to hear your suggestions and add more places in this travel blog.
Here’s my Instagram channel for more travel photos from around the world…
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