Weekend Getaways from Delhi

Here are a few of my favorite un-crowded destinations for those of you living in or are visiting Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and are looking for places that can be driven to easily.

These getaways are family friendly, ideal for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, pet friendly and very safe if you're traveling by yourself.

Sariska National Park

Within four hours from Delhi and not too far off the Delhi Jaipur highway gets you to the Capital's nearest tiger reserve - Sariska in Alwar district. Although not so popular as Ranthambore, Sariska is getting back in action with a growing tiger population. But if you've seen enough tigers and a jungle safari is not your thing then I highly recommend the area for it's remarkable built heritage - ancient temples, haunted forts, stepwells and palaces. 

Heritage Fort Hotel on the Delhi Jaipur Highway
Heritage Fort Hotel on the Delhi Jaipur Highway

These historical attractions are scattered on both sides of the Delhi-Jaipur highway and are typically not crowded like the ones in Jaipur or Agra. If you're in Sariska on a moon-less night, I can also arrange a pretty decent star gazing experience for you as this is one of the least light-polluted places in the entire region. 

Glamping in Sariska
Glamping in Sariska

Sariska and several spots on the Delhi Jaipur highway are ideal weekend getaways for people looking to be in the wilderness within a few hours drive from Delhi. There are some outstanding hotels (luxury tents, heritage forts and jungle lodges) and I can help book your stay and experience. Some of these are in Sariska while others are on the Delhi - Jaipur highway. Read more about Sariska here.

Agra - Beyond Taj

If you're planning to visit Agra for the Taj, then do plan to stay for an extra night or two. I guarantee you won't regret it. There is more to Agra than just the Taj and the Fort. Within an hour drive from the city I can whisk you away from the traffic and the crowds in to the wilderness. There are plenty of lesser known historical monuments that we can explore on day tours such as the Bateshwar temples in Morena, Ater Fort and Holipura havelis.

Chambal River Safari near Agra
Chambal River Safari near Agra

If you like nature and wildlife, I highly recommend a river safari (in a motor boat) on the Chambal River - one of India's last remaining 'alive' river eco-systems also an hour away from Agra. You can spot gharial and marsh crocodiles, several species of turtles, migratory birds and if you're lucky even the rare Gangetic river dolphin. For details, read Chambal River Safari and Beyond Taj.

Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur

Sarus Cranes in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur
Sarus Cranes, Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur

Another great option and a favourite whether you're traveling as a family or solo is the famous Keoladeo National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Back in the day, this area was the hunting ground of the former Maharaja of Bharatpur. Great to be here in the winter months when thousands of migratory birds visit the Park. I can take you birdwatching on a day trip in the pedestrian and bike friendly sanctuary. If time permits, we can also visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Birds of Keoladeo National Park
Lesser Whistling ducks

To explore the National Park, you can also rent bi-cycles or be more comfortable in a driver driven rickshaw or a golf cart. I can recommend some hotels too in Bharatpur if you're planning to stay here for a few days.

Jim Corbett National Park

Birds of Corbett
Great Indian Hornbill, Jim Corbett National Park

About six hours from Delhi is India's first national park named after the famous hunter and conservationist - Jim Corbett. Like most parks you can do morning or afternoon jungle safaris and if you don't mind simplicity then I recommend staying inside the National Park in one of the Forest Rest Houses. Read more about Corbett here.

Some parts of the Park are closed from July to October (monsoon season) so please check with me for the latest on park opening dates. If you've never been on a jungle safari before, read my post on How to do a Safari Right.

Nainital, Uttarakhand

best sunrises in himalayas
Not your average sunrise

If you love the mountains then Nainital is one of the closest mountain getaways for people living in Delhi. The roads are in good condition or you can even take one of the two comfortable trains (5-7 hours) to Kathgodam train station. From there I can arrange a taxi to drop you to your hotel in Nainital. 

Misty Naintal Lake
Mist on Nainital Lake

Visiting Nainital in the summer can be hectic as it is generally crowded just like any other mountain destination in India. Traffic jams and queues are common and it may not just end up being a much wanted quiet weekend getaway. Instead, I like to go in the monsoon season (July onwards) when it's misty and raining, in the winter months November and December or Spring - March and April. Winter gets less traffic, is quiet, warm sunny days, clear blue skies and hence amazing views of the upper Himalayas and crisp cold but clear nights. Spring is ideal for bird watching and seeing flowers bloom especially the Rhododendron.

Naini Lake
Nainital Lake

In Nainital you can go on a leisure walk or a rickshaw ride up and down the Mall Road (touristy), hike up to Tiffin Top for breathtaking aerial views of the town, visit Jim Corbett's home (Gurney House), take a tour of the 120 year old Scottish Gothic architecture inspired Governor's Mansion or go for a boat ride on the Lake. 

Birdwatching near Sattal Lake
Birdwatching, Sattal Lake

If you have done these in the past, then I suggest going on day trips to places near Nainital such as Sattal, Pangot (both are great for birdwatching), Ramgarh, Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal.


There is plenty to do and see that lies far away from the crowded main town of Rishikesh. You can get on to one of many flights in to Dehradun airport and a short drive later step in to hidden retreats ideal for those of you looking for luxury living, peace, nature and open green spaces. If you're keen on a jungle safari or bird watching then visit Rajaji National Park also an hour away from Rishikesh. Unlike Corbett, Rajaji is not very commercial and promises to surprise you with it's endangered fauna. Read more about Rajaji here.

Please email info@travelwith.in if you have any questions, need help with bookings or would like to hire me as your naturalist when you visit these places.