5 Long Weekend Getaways within 5k
How long have you been waiting for a break?
What is the point of all the drill when you can’t treat yourself with a quick weekend escape?
Let me help you here, I think what you need the most to push yourself from your desk is Curiosity- to look outside the daily life and explore newer possibilities. The curiosity to be open and learn, to take out time for personal growth and to nourish ourselves- we all must Travel.
Now that you are curious, there are 2 practical things you must be concerned about- Time and Money. I here share a simple solution; the list of 5 long weekend getaways from Delhi that you can plan without giving your pocket a big lift.
Surrounded by the Dhauladhar Mountains in the Outer Himalayas, Dharamshala is Dalai Lama’s residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration. It is also called little Lhasa because of Tibetan settlement and the cultural imprints on the hillside. The beauty of Dharamshala lies in the tranquility of monasteries, between the strings of multicolored prayer flags, prayer bells and buddhist chants.
How to reach: There are morning and evening bus services available. From basic to AC Volvo bus, the price ranges between Rs. 550 to 1250/-
Where to stay: Cheaper and better hostel options are available in McLeodganj and Dharamkot. One dorm bed in Hostel Lavie is at the price of Rs.350/- , another option is Backpackers Inn with dorm beds staring from Rs.400/-
The distance from Dharamshala to Mcleodganj is only 5.5kms and can be covered in 15-20mins.
Things to do: Tea tours with tea tasting sessions, at Wah Tea Estate. Explore art and craft gallery at Tashi Jong Monastery, and Norblinga Monastery. Take Meditation class in Tushita Mediation Centre. For food lovers, there are plenty of restaurants serving variety of cuisines in Mcleodganj, you can try Tibetan food in one of the local food stalls.
It is considered one of the best spots in the world for Paragliding. And for the non-adventurous ones it has a panoramic view of the Dhauladhars with one of the best sunset views in the valley.
How to reach: Direct bus service is available by Himachal Road Transportation. The ticket price starts from Rs600/- and goes up to Rs1300/- for AC Volvo buses.
Where to stay: Deer Park Institute is a Buddhist monastic institute that conducts various art, wisdom and meditation workshops. You have to register online if you wish to join a program or to book an accommodation. Dorm beds starts at the price of Rs200/-. Also there is Zostel Bir with dorm bed at the price of Rs.400/-
Things to do: Paragliding from Billing will give you an astounding view of Kangra Valley, evening slot is the best to add beautiful skylines. For a spiritual twirl make a visit to Palpung Sherabling Monastery and Dzongsar Khyente Monastery. You can enroll yourself for one of the events in Deer Park Institute as per the schedule and availability. To give your body a pump, you can do Mountain Biking or take a day trek to Rajgunda.
An abode for spiritual seekers, Rishikesh is the Yoga capital of the World. Rishikesh has something exquisite to offer to all age groups. It holds its importance in Indian mythological history; all devotees and pilgrims attend a quaint holy prayer every evening. It also excites the modern day audience with its natural beauty and adventurous activities like river rafting, cliff jumping and bungee jumping. Rishikesh is one of the most famous towns of India among foreign tourists.
How to reach: From Delhi to Rishikesh, all day bus services are available. The ticket price ranges between Rs.275-741/-
Where to stay: There are plenty of Hostel options in Rishikesh that caters to diverse crowd. Moustache Hostels offers choice of private room and dorm beds starting at the price of Rs. 499/-, Hosteller and Zostel are other hostel options in the same price range.
Things to do: When you are in Rishikesh you mustn’t miss the evening prayer on the banks of river Ganga. One of the major reasons of popularity of Rishikesh is the visit of The Beatles in 1968 to practice meditation. If you have time, you can visit The Beatles Ashram that is part of The Rajaji National Park now. You can also dare yourself and try an adventurous activity like white-water river rafting, ziplinig, rippling or kayaking.
Viceroy founded this pre-eminent hill station, back in 1850s. With it’s scenic landscape of pine-clad valleys, distant mountain views and colonial architecture it retains the aura of an English country village. Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie British-Governor General who established it as a Summer Retreat. With it’s carefully tended gardens, tudor-style restaurants, and adorable picnic spots it is a great weekend place for people from the plains.
How to reach: Private and Himachal Road Transportation AC Volvo buses are available in the price range of Rs.1050-1390/-
Where to stay: Zostel Dalhousie is a perfect scenic backpacker hostel situated slightly away from civilization. It offers private rooms and dorm beds starting at the price of Rs300/-
Things to do: Apart from sipping hot coffee with view of snow-clad mountains and enjoying the weather, you can travel a little further for sightseeing points. Located on the outskirts of Dalhousie is Chamera Lake, the sparkling shades of green and blue add to the view. Khajjiar known as mini Switzerland is at a short distance from Dalhousie and is a lovely picnic spot. Going a little ahead is Kalatop Wildlife Reserve, that houses a plethora of various fauna such as the Himalayan Black bear, Pheasants and Himalayan black marten.
5. Old Manali
Surrounded with apple orchards and snowy peaks, Old Manali is the perfect place to experience the beguiling serenity and cooler summer temperatures of the Himalayas. As you would love the scenic beauty of the place in the daytime, it is exactly the best of night-jam sessions in the evening. It is a hub of creative cafes where you can enjoy appetizing food over interactive conversations with travellers from different places.
How to reach: Basic to AC Volvo bus services are scheduled in morning and evening starting from Rs.650 to 1490/-
Where to stay: Old manali is a hub of backpackers, and thus has a lot of Hostel options. Zostel is built in a village that provides dorm beds at the price of Rs.499/- and is famous for its Garden Café that serves delicious Himachali food. You can look for more options like Nomads Den, The Lost Tribe, and Bonfire Hostels, for affordable accommodation.
Things to do: Hadimba temple is one of the oldest constructions visited by pilgrims to honor Hidimba-demon wife of Panda. The evening café culture is very entertaining and relaxing. There are a lot new outlets providing various services like snowboarding, skiing, trekking, photo walk etc. You can spend some time exploring old and new reads in Bookworm, it is a bookshop with an exclusive collection. Vashist Waterfall and Solang Valley are two sightseeing points that can be visited on a day trip.