Exploring new places is a thrilling experience. Understanding each location’s, history, famous spots and cuisine is no less than an adventure. While most of us spend five to six days working away, weekends are a great time to unwind and recharge for the upcoming week; and what better than quick getaways? We give you some suggestions from major cities.
The capital city is well connected to various cities, giving patrons ample options to explore while on a road trip.
Tagged as ‘The City Beautiful’, this city may come across as quaint, but there is always something or the other happening here.
Time Taken: 4 hours 30 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: Two of the most popular landmarks here are the Rock Garden, a man-made attraction of sculptures built out of carved rocks, glass shards, and other recyclable waste material spread over 40 acres of land, and the nearby Sukhna Lake where you can enjoy moments of calm by yourself or with family. Other attractions also include the Open Hand Monument and their local version of the Eiffel Tower.
Where To Eat: For authentic Butter Chicken, or Dal Makhni, head to Pal Dhabha. To satiate your sweet cravings, Nik Baker’s is the place to be. Their cakes are their specialty, followed by waffles, and white sauce pasta.
Shopping: Head to the ever popular Sector 17 market to find a mix of branded showrooms and authentic handicrafts. Don’t forget to pick a couple pairs of juttis and Phulkari dupattas while you’re here.
Insider Info: If you want to learn more about the history of this well-planned city, then you must schedule a visit to Le Corbusier Centre, in Sector 19, set up by the Chandigarh administration to display the life and works of the city’s architect.
The Pink City is a popular destination for Delhiites, and why not, Jaipur offers a variety of options when it comes to sightseeing, food and shopping destinations.
Time Taken: 4 hours 50 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: You could take a tour around Amer Fort, City Palace, and Hawa Mahal. Or make a quick stop and be captivated by the Jal Mahal, a palace right in the middle of a lake.
Where To Eat: The trip would be incomplete without devouring Dal Baati Churma at Spice Court and Pyaaz ki kachori at Rawat Sweets. You could also head to Rambagh or Shikarbagh palaces for high-tea amidst royalty. Head to Palladio, a recently popular café and bar, for snacks and Instagram-worthy pictures, thanks to the décor.
Shopping: Head to Bapu and Johari Bazaar to pick up some local handcrafted products, especially Bandhani or Leheriya sarees, kundan jewellery, and the popular Blue pottery.
Insider Info: If you are soon-to-be married, do not miss out on Tripolia Bazaar, a wholesale market for all your wedding needs. They have everything ranging from the outfits to all the paraphernalia one needs for the functions.
Many destinations from Mumbai offer a spectacular view of the Western Ghats. Isn’t that reason enough for you to set out for a drive? Here are some recommendations.
A popular destination to visit among Mumbaikars, you don’t really need a specific reason to hit the road to make your way here. There are lots of places to explore that cater to both, the adventurers and the laidback ones.
Time Taken: 2 hours (approximately)
Sightseeing: Some of the popular tourist spots include the Karla Caves and Bhaja Caves, which are ancient Buddhist shrines carved out of rocks. Other attractions include Tiger Point, Lohagad Fort, Rajmachi Point and Bushi Dam, which is a treat to visit during the monsoons as you can climb all the way to the top of the dam.
Where To Eat: There are various Maggi points on the way to these tourist attractions, along with stalls that serve tea and vada pav. For more options and services, you can visit the Lonavala Bazaar where you can find restaurants like Chaitanya Homely Food, which is favoured for its thali options.
Shopping: When in Lonavala, you must stock up on its popular delicacy, Chikki. Head to Maganlal & Sons to get your boxes of this crispy sweet item. You can also check out the bazaar for local handcrafted goods like wooden toys as souvenirs.
Insider Info: Amongst its various nightlife options, Tavern’s Bar is known as the place to be for a midnight getaway, and provides a very laidback atmosphere for those wanting to unwind. They’re known for their quirky décor, an elaborate menu, and excellent service.
The beaches and the coastline on one side and the mountains on the other, make for a stunning drive.
Time Taken: 2 hours 30 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: Kolaba Fort is a well-known spot here, and so are Korlai Fort and Jhanjira Fort. And of course, there’s the beach which you shouldn’t miss out on.
Where To Eat: In recent times, a lot of restaurants have opened up on the docks where you get a variety of cuisines. One of most popular spots include Boardwalk By Flamboyante, which takes its décor inspiration from the streets of Greece, and has a stunning view of the sea. The dishes to try out here are their wood-fired pizzas, and seafood delicacies such as peri peri tandoori prawns and Goan fish curry.
Shopping: Alibaug is popular for its fresh fruits and vegetables, especially Khandale Kande, or white onions, which are a specialty of this region. You can also shop for Kolhapuri chappals at both the main market and street shops lined along the beach.
Insider Info: Head to the Native Biodiversity Garden for a walk amidst nature. The park is divided into sections that would educate you about its flora and fauna.
There are many destinations within a range of a 100 km from Bengaluru that can be visited in a day.
Savandurga is known as one of the largest monolith structures in Asia, and is at a height of about 1200 m at the summit.
Time Taken: 1 hour 30 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: The monolith structure tops the list of attractions here. The panoramic views will be enjoyed by all, especially shutterbugs. One can also see the Machinbele Dam nearby, thus completing the picture. There is a short trek involved to reach to the top, but the stunning view at the end is worth it.
Where To Eat: There are limited options available in terms of food in this area. So it is recommended by travellers to drive to Ramanagaram, which is an hour’s drive from Savandurga. Here, you can head to Kamat Lokaruchi restaurant for authentic south Indian snacks and meals. There’s a folk museum right next to it, should you want to walk around.
Shopping: The main attraction here are the treks, hence one can mostly find supplies in nearby shops, such as torches, plastic bags, etc. However, there is a small terracotta shop opposite the museum at Kamat Lokaruchi restaurant, where you can pick up handicrafts for souvenirs.
Insider Info: Every full moon day, there is a night trek at Savandurga. However, the seats are limited, and those who are physically fit are given preference. If you’re going for the first time, fellow travellers recommend daytime or early morning treks.
(b) Nandi Hills
A popular tourist destination, Nandi Hills is a bird-watcher’s paradise. It is also known for its trekking trails.
Time Taken: 1 hour 30 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: Nandi Hills is home to Tipu Sultan’s fort, which is a popular tourist attraction. Nandeeshwara Temple, situated at the foothills, is another well-known spot.
Where To Eat: NH7 Refuel is a restaurant located on the highway, which specialises in tandoori food items, and north Indian delicacies. The different types of parathas and flavours of lassi are what make this place a popular spot amongst travellers.
Shopping: The district administration sets up temporary shops atop Nandi Hills every weekend to promote local arts and crafts. You can pick up goods like silk cocoon garlands, handmade dolls, and organic food items.
Insider Info: A two-hour drive from Nandi Hills would lead to Kolar, which was known for its gold mines. In recent times, it has gained popularity amongst biker groups for their weekend rides, and there are ample eateries around.
The City Of Joy has much to offerbe it the variety of street food or historical places. However, if you want to get away from the monotony of daily life, here are some destinations that should be on your list.
Arguably one of the most popular destinations amongst the people of Kolkata, Shantiniketan serves as a centre of culture and education.
Time Taken: 4 hours (approximately)
Sightseeing: The residence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, one can explore the Vishwa Bharati University campus, catch a show at one of the cultural centres, or visit the banks of the Kopai river. Another aspect that is unique to this region is that the colour of the soil is red.
Where To Eat: You can enjoy a host of Bengali delicacies, such as Maangsho Bhaat (mutton curry and rice) from the Vishwa Bharati campus canteen at subsidised rates, or head to Umul – The Himalayan Café for some Tibetan dishes such as momos and thukpas.
Shopping: Get your hands on the famed Kantha Stitch and Batik sarees and dupattas which are popular in this region, from Amar Kuthi, a government-run emporium, or many local artisans in the common marketplace area.
Insider Info: If you visit the region during the month of February, you can attend the Poush Mela, an artisan fair where craftsmen from all over West Bengal gather to showcase their work. Similarly, on Tagore’s birth anniversary month, in May, there are many cultural events that take place throughout the town to celebrate his life and work.
Also known as the Land of Terracotta, Bishnupur is famous for its temples made out of terracotta.
Time Taken: 4 hours (approximately)
Sightseeing: To have a look at the architectural beauty, head to Radha Shyam Temple, Kalachand Temple, Shyam Rai Temple, Madanmohan Temple, which are all made out of terracotta.
Where To Eat: When in Bishnupur, you must try out their local delicacies such as Mecha Sandesh, which is a sweet, Pera and Postor Bora. They are widely available in the street stalls that are lined outside the various temples.
Shopping: Apart from shopping for terracotta goods, you should also get your hands on a couple of Bishnupuri silk sarees, which form the base for Baluchari sarees, one of the most expensive weaves in the country. You can either find them in the state run emporium,or through local shops by the artisans.
Insider Info: While this place is popular for its temples, you can also check out the large reservoirs at Lalbandh, Pokabandh, and Krishnabandh, which not only provided water to the nearby villages, but also served as protection against enemy attacks, in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Situated in the ‘Heart of India’, how can one leave Central India behind? Owing to its location, it is well connected to the rest of the country. Here are some one day trip destinations nearby.
History lovers will definitely enjoy exploring Bhimbhetka, as there are many tales and structures that make this place a popular destination amongst tourists.
Time Taken: 1 hour 30 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: Spread across 10 km, it has more than 700 rock shelters, replete with rock paintings from the past. It has been listed under UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Bhimbhetka is also popular for its cave-like structures. You can also visit the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, which holds the status of a tiger reserve.
Where To Eat: The state run facility, Highway Treat, is situated right at the entrance of The Rock Shelters at Bhimbetka. You can order a full meal from their menu, or gorge on some snacks along with a piping hot cup of tea or coffee.
Shopping: The area around the Rock Shelters is mostly empty, except for the restaurant and some street stalls. However, locals can guide you to nearby shops which have small wooden souvenirs to take back home.
Insider Info: You can visit the Kuldevi Temple, which is a shrine dedicated to Vaishno Devi. It is situated inside a mountain. One can even find a large rock overlooking the terrains, which is known as ‘Bheem Ki Baithak’ or Bheem’s seat. Bhimbetka gets its name from this powerful Pandava brother in Hindu mythology.
This hill station is extremely popular among locals and tourists alike.
Time Taken: 5 hours 20 minutes (approximately)
Sightseeing: The Pandava Caves are a popular attraction, as it is believed that it provided shelter to the five brothers when they were exiled. You can also trek up to Dhoopgarh, the highest point at the Satpura range, and witness some magnificent sunrises and sunsets.
Where To Eat: Your best bet at this location is to head to the state tourism board run Enize Café. They are known for their thalis, impeccable service and hygiene standards.
Shopping: The local artisans specialise in artefacts made from bamboo, and metal which can double up as excellent souvenir options. This region is also popular for its production of honey.
Insider Info: For those interested in wildlife, head to Satpura National Park, also classified as a tiger reserve. You never know when you might spot one during the safari. The diverse flora and fauna present here makes for amemorable experience.
So, where are you heading next?