New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANSlife) Republic Day is a day of greater patriotic fervour, and after initial celebrations, the national holiday calls for an enjoyable day-out with friends and family. Here are our top picks for some major cities, which are less than 100 kilometres away.
1. Damdama Lake, 63 kilometres from Delhi
Famous for boating and providing 360-degree views of the Aravali Hills, Damdama Lake makes for one of the best weekend getaways near Delhi. Tourists visit this lake, which is one of the biggest lakes in Haryana for a short escapade from their city life. The scenic lake has a serene, rural, and peaceful vibe associated with it.
Here you can indulge in some boating, camping, and even outdoor picnicking. For bird lovers, make sure to grab your binoculars and cameras along as you are likely to spot some of the 190 species of local and migratory birds like kingfishers, cormorants, cranes, fowls, and more. Many adventure activities can also be undertaken like kayaking, rock climbing, parasailing, angling, cycling, fishing, hot air ballooning, rowing, and nature walks.
2. Karjat, 63 kms from Mumbai
Tucked away in the lush green Western Ghats, Karjat is one of the most popular weekend destinations from Mumbai. Known for its scenic panoramic view, ancient caves, temples and forts, it is an ideal place for you to rejuvenate. Adventure lovers can give their getaway a spin by trekking their way to the famous attractions like Chanderi Fort, Matheran or Peth Fort. You can also enjoy water sports, like river rafting and parasailing in Ulhas River.
If you are a history enthusiast, make sure you include a visit to Kondana Caves in your itinerary. First discovered in 1-century, these caves have been gaining traction among travellers. The main highlight of the Kondana Caves is intricate carvings of the Buddhist architecture and Buddhist teachings.
3. Kasauli, 60 kms from Chandigarh
The cantonment hill station of Kasauli attracts tourists year after year owing to its scenic hills along with the mixed forests of pine, oak, and wildflowers.
Located atop Monkey Point, Hanuman Temple forms the highest point of Kasauli. One of the main attractions for trekkers, a climb up the fleet of stairs is surely rewarding with the best views of the town and surrounding hills.
With the cozy little corners of delicious food at Cafe Rudra on the Main Heritage Market to the trademark bun samosa at Narinder Sweet House, Kasauli is a foodie’s delight. The Mall road for the brisk shoppers, sunset point for the lovers of the calm and the lover’s lane for the namesakes, Kasauli gives every visitor a splendid experience throughout the year.
4. Makalidurga, 58 kms from Bengaluru
Makalidurga is a small village that is primarily known for the fort built by Vijayanagara Kings. You can spot remnants of this fort, which is perched atop a hill from where you can get a birds-eye view of the surroundings. Rappelling, night trekking, and rock climbing are the main activities one can enjoy at this place.
5. Sundarbans, 100 kms from Kolkata
Sunderbans, the World Heritage Site of the largest mangrove forest, housing the endangered Royal Bengal Tigers is a famous getaway attracting visitors from across the world and is every nature lover’s delight. The forests have a wide number of Sundari trees from which the region derives its name.
This area reflects a unique charm of simplicity in its intricate ecological web. The sheer scenic beauty of the mangroves will leave you spellbound. A stunning aquatic treasure of exotic flora and fauna rests in the meandering rivers and estuaries flowing through the thick mangroves.
Spot tigers at the Sundarbans National Park. This core region of the reserve consists of several islands and creeks. Take a mesmerizing boat cruise through the roaring waters for sightseeing. Bird lovers and watchers can head to Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary in the heart of Sunderbans. Catch sight of over 200 exotic bird species.
Want to watch turtles? Visit the island of Kanak. This nesting site of Olive Ridley turtles is flocked by a large number of turtles in the months between December and May.
To enjoy a splendid view of the ruins of a 400-year old Shiva Temple nestled in the verdant forests, go to the watchtower at Netidhopani. Also, visit the Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka viewpoints to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sunderbans wildlife.