Even as winter is sneaking in, and we are making our own preparations for life in a new decade, let’s not forget that this is one of the best times of the year to travel.
Don’t you worry if you have already ‘used up’ all your leaves, we give you a list of quick weekend getaways that you can travel to with ease and be back to face your Mondays with renewed vigour:
Nature-lovers might want to head to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. A three-hour drive from Delhi, this Rajasthani city plays host to an array of bird species, especially those with seasonal migrations. From Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia, birds of many feathers flock to this former royal hunting reserve, dating back to the 1850s. More recently, the area has been declared a national park, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site. Apart from over 370 varieties of birds, you can spot pythons, painted storks, deer and nilgais. Other nearby places of interest include Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur Palace and Museum, Chawad Devi Temple and Bankey Bihari Temple.
Nahan, Himachal Pradesh
Sprawling atop Shivalik Hills, in Himachal Pradesh, is the picturesque town of Nahan, founded by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621. Located around 250 km from Delhi, Nahan serves as an ideal starting point from which to visit sites such as Renuka Lake, Poanta Sahib, Trilokpur and Suketi Fossil Park.
Nahan also offers a number of trekking options. For travellers interested in spending time amid its pristine surroundings, Renuka Lake is an idyllic stop. Another interesting place is the Jaitak Fort built by Gurkha leader Ranjor Singh Thapa in 1810.
Founded by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1354AD, Hisar means fort in Arabic. Earlier called the Hisar Firoza, or the fort of Firoz, the subsequent city is situated around 170km from the national capital, on NH10. Hisar Fort houses an iron pillar, which dates back to the time of Emperor Ashok (234AD). Another not-to-be-missed site is the Jahaj Kothi that got its name from impression it gave of a ship on an ocean. Hansi, located 25km from Hisar, is home to one of the oldest forts in Haryana.
World-famous for its fort built by Thakur Nawal Singh in the 18th century, which has now been converted into a heritage hotel, Mandawa in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan is also known for its havelis.
Located around 250km from Delhi, the other places of interest here include Goenka Double Haveli, Goenka Chhatri, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, and Bansidhar Newatia Haveli.
Morni Hills, Haryana
Situated close to the Shivalik mountain range, Morni Hills is the sole hill station in Haryana. Located around 250km from Delhi, Morni Hills is best known for the picturesque Tikkar Taal, where two man-made lakes are connected with one another. Further from Morni lies the famous Gurudwara Nada Sahib. The fort, constructed in the 17th century, houses a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Thakurdwara Temple here is believed to have been constructed during the times of the Pandavas.