Do you want to get away from where you are, but don't wish to go to the same old holiday spots as everyone else? Are you looking for some respite from your daily life by discovering places that have not yet been taken over by the tourist crowd?
Here's a little help from me. These getaways listed below from Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai are little known and offer some quiet time away from the chaos. So plan a much-needed road trip vacation on this Independence Day-long weekend before time slips away.
And you know how you can enjoy your road trip even more? By putting someone else behind the wheel, while you sit back and enjoy the ride. With the comfort of Ola Outstation, you can now easily take that break you've been dreaming about with chauffeur-driven AC cars, at the best fares possible.
Away from the mainstream hill stations near Delhi, Gushiani in Tirthan Valley is a quiet village best known for trout fishing and picturesque homestays that have mushroomed here over time.
At 4,500ft above sea level, this village is at a distance of 550km from Delhi. The close proximity of the village to the Great Himalayan National Park makes it an excellent destination for travellers looking for hill stations near Delhi.
This hidden lake town in the Mandi district has been a well-kept secret for many years. The quaint hill station near Delhi is a religious hub for the Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh communities. Guru Padmasambhava of the Mahayana Buddhist sect left for Tibet from Rewalsar to spread the teachings of Buddhism.
Currently, this hill station near Delhi is home to many spectacular monasteries and temples dotted along the lake.
Popularly known as one of the highest paragliding grounds, Billing is located 14km uphill from Bir. This hill station near Delhi has become the next hot pick for adventure enthusiasts who come here for an experience of a lifetime. Professional instructors with the right equipment guide you at every step. The views of the stunning Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar Ranges at the height make it an unmissable adventure opportunity for Delhiites visiting Bir on a long weekend.
Dharamkot is one of the newly-emerging hill stations near Delhi that can still be visited if you wish to experience untouched beauty delicately wrapped in a sense of calm. A short walk away from Mcleodganj, this village is a perfect destination for travellers who wish to unwind in solitude.
Forget Nainital and give Sattal, an adjoining lake town, a chance! In the peak season when tourists are struggling for parking space in Nainital, the serene town of Sattal is all that a traveller can ask for. Sattal along with Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal and others form part of the Lake District of India.
The fortress of Irshalgad is perched between Matheran and Panvel, and has several water cisterns on the rock, making it an ideal trekking destination.
The nearest village is Irshalwadi, which often serves as the basecamp for the two-hour trek to the fort. The route is child-friendly, and can easily be done without a guide.
If you're looking for places to visit near Mumbai for a longer escape, the pristine beachside of Tarkarli awaits you on the Arabian seaside.
Tarkarli has over 5-km long stretches of white sand beaches. From chilling on the sand and doing nothing to diving into the sea, from snorkelling to scuba diving, Tarkarli has professionals offering everything you can ask for by the beach-side.
Formed around 52,000 years ago as a result of a meteor striking the surface of the earth, the Lonar Crater Lake is one of Maharashtra’s best-kept secrets. Located in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra, the Lonar Crater is the a preserved impact crater formed in basalt rock and is a one-of-its-kind on earth.
The white sand beaches of Ganpatipule are a must visit if you're looking for places to visit near Mumbai. The Aare Ware Beach in Ganpatipule is still a little far away from the eyes of mainstream tourists, so you should definitely consider heading over there this long weekend to experience a tranquil beach vibe.
If a fort has withstood 13 attacks from a great king like Shivaji, there has to be something extraordinary about it. The Murud-Janjira Fort was built in the 15th century by a Koli chief for protection from sea robbers and thieves. This unassailable 40-foot-high granite structure is situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in Raigad district, Maharashtra.
Avalabetta Fort is in the Chikballapur district in Karnataka, and if you like adventure, this could be your next destination. Avalabetta Fort offers enough opportunities for hikes and exploration. There is a small temple on top of the hill where the fort stands. If you visit it, make sure to talk to the priest, who can enlighten you with the mythological significance of the place.
Around 89km from Bangalore, Chunchi Falls is in Kanakapura, Karnataka. Indulge in a bit of rock climbing or crawling to get to the falls, and be rewarded by the sight of water gushing down into a series of cascades for your effort.
Situated between Shivanasamudra Falls and Mekedatu, on the banks of Kaveri, the town of Bheemeshwari is an abode of serenity located about 100km from Bangalore.
If you're planning a trip to Bheemeshwari, then I suggest you stay at the Bheemeshwari Adventure and Nature Camp for some delightful nature experiences such as jungle camps, rope walking, kayaking and a host of other activities. The best time to visit Bheemeshwari is just after the monsoon, between August and February.
The Land of Loom and Lores, Kannur is probably one of the best spots for a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Mid-way on the Mangalore-Calicut route, Kannur is renowned for its amazing climate and picturesque beauty. For a long weekend, the beaches of Kannur are extremely enchanting.
Mountains enveloped in mist and clouds at an arms distance, Sakleshpur is all about chatty locals, grazing cows and paddy fields. If you are keen on bird watching, there are many birds that will come your way and for nature lovers, trekkers and those with a love for the outdoors, this place is paradise.