August is here and there are one two three fabulous long weekends of Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Independence Day and Ganesh Chaturthi to relax, rejuvenate from our busy work lives. It’s also a great opportunity to travel and the long weekends this month August are of 3 and 5 days each, Rakshabandhan is on a Monday (7th August), Janmashtami is on a Monday and Independence Day is just the day after (so there are 4 days off including the weekend) and Ganesh Chaturthi is on a Friday (again clubs with a weekend). There are some great destinations from Delhi/NCR which can be covered in the long weekend of August and I have compiled a list here of top 10 destinations for long weekend getaway from Delgi/NCR, based on my previous long weekend travels. All of these destinations
can be covered in 3-5 days. So here we go:
Destinations in Alwar, Rajasthan
Alwar is adjacent to the Delhi and is the only district of Rajasthan which is part of the Delhi – NCR (National Capital Region), which is not surprising, as its really easy to drive down to from Delhi or Gurgaon. We have visited couple of destinations in Alwar, including the Alwar city itself and recommend these places:
- Neemrana Fort Palace – It is the most famous luxury heritage property in Alwar. Located in Neemrana, Alwar and run by Neemrana Hotels, this all year round luxury property is a dreamy place in monsoons. One can spend hours gazing at the clouds and green landscape all around from the different vantage points, lounge in the pool or just spend time lazing around the palace in the various nooks & corners.
- Kesroli Hill Fort – This luxury hill fort property is also owned by Neemrana Hotels, though it’s a smaller property. The charm of Kesroli Hill Fort are the amazing views of the farmlands and in the monsoons, it’s quite a visual experience.
- Alwar city – The city is quite small and surprisingly very un-touristy compared to Jaipur, given its proximity to Delhi. There aren’t many great hotel options in the city itself and most of the historic monuments are not very well preserved. In fact the city palace now functions as the district judicial court and it broke my heart to see its condition. There is also Bala Quila/Fort, the path to which is not always open due to bad condition of the road. Places to stay here are the Rajasthan State Tourism Development Corporation Hotels or Circuit House.
- Dadhikar Fort. Nestled amongst pretty farmlands and surrounded by aravallis at some distance from the Alwar city, the views from the fort are simply stunning!
- Farmstay in Alwar – There are many farmlands all through Alwar district and couple of them practice organic farming, along with taking in guests for farmstays. We actually found this rather charming Farmstay called Satya-Jyoti Trust Farm at Tijara, Alwar via AirBnb and have stayed with them twice (once during monsoons). It was a lovely experience, though not recommended for people who aren’t fond of insects (as they tend to be more during rainy season).
The hill state offers couple of easy driving holiday options. However, do check the weather status before going as August happens to be the monsoon season and the time for heavy pours and landslides at many of the highways to these destinations.
- The Glasshouse on the Ganges, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – I keep going to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand once in a while, but the best experience for me and my family out of those numerous trios have been a weekend getaway at The Glasshouse on the Ganges, by Neemrana Hotels in Rishikesh. The property is located away from the main town and by river Ganga. We stayed in the luxury tent and it was a most lovely experience (read here). If you want to spend a lazy weekend by nature in Rishikesh, this is one place you should try out.
- Dhanaulti,Uttarakhand – Lesser known but very near to its more famous (and crowded) cousin Mussorie, Dhanaulti is full of deodhar trees and laid back life. There are eco-cottages here by govt. of uttarakhand tourism department and also couple of lodges.
- Bhimtal in Kumaon, Uttarakhand – While there is the famous (and totally crowded and commericalized) Nainital in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, I prefer to recommend Bhimtal, which is laid back and more greener. There are some pretty homestays here and we stayed with one of the top recommended ones – Emerald Trail and we loved our time here. We went for long walks in the woods, spend lazy afternoons on the swing, eating homemade food and when it rained (one evening, sat in one cozy corner with chai & pakoras eading books).
- Chamba-Tehri-Kanatal in Uttarakhand – Depending on the number of days one has, one can either do only Chamba-Tehri /Kanatal-Tehri or all the three(Chamba-Tehri-Kanatal). There is a decent GVMN cottage in Chamba which is easy on the pocket and there are some nice homestays in Kanatal (there’s a new eco-homestay called Pahari house that’s just opened up and I am tempted to try it out next time I visit Kanatal). One can stay at either of these destinations and take a day trip to Tehri Dam & new Tehri town. There is also Surkhanda Devi Temple here nearby Kanatal.
- Khirsu in Uttarakhand – This tiny village in Pauri Garhwal, Khirsu is on the busy pilgrimage route of Badrinath yet totally a world apart, being 20 km off into another route from Srinagar. We spent a beautiful long weekend here in summer at the GMVN tourist rest house and totally recommend it for a relaxed getaway of doing nothing!
Himachal Pradesh destinations
Major part of the state will be under heavy downpour and the only destinations recommended during August are on the lower altitudes. We have been to two of these which are as follows:
- Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh – Kasauli is my original love and choice for a long weekend from Delhi, I have been here twice and completely love this place. Thanks to being an army cantonment, it has and will not be commercialized. I would recommend to stay at Ros Common which is the only property inside the heritage town (and away from the commercial activity once one goes out of the army cantonment area). Long walks are strongly recommended here to truly appreciate the beauty of this pretty hilltown.
- Palampur – Famous for its Kangra tea, beautiful hill town of Palampur has many attractions, including Bir-Billing – rated #2 on the best world paragliding sites. We spent a long weekend here and completely loved it!!
You may also like to check out some more destinations listed down by fellow travel blogger VJ sharma here.
Hope my list of long weekend getaways from Delhi/NCR is helpful to you guys & gals!!
Long Weekend August Travelling!!