Short Getaways around Delhi
Rush hours and monotony of a metropolitan can begin to get on your nerves after a certain saturation point. Breaking this monotony with that little time you have for yourself may seem impossible. A drive away from the city might be the most relaxing thought at this point, but most of us aren't aware of the stress-busting places that we can visit around this city in such limited time spans.
Even one day off the vicious hook of tedium can prove sufficient for rejuvenating yourself, provided you're aware about the options at hand. Here are some single-dayers for all those occupied heavily throughout the week.
1. Damdama lake
2. Haveli (murthal)
3. Neemrana fort
4. Bhangarh fort
Location: Sohna Road
Distance from Delhi: 53 Kms.
A water body near delhi is something like an oasis in midst of this desert of buildings and people.
I would like to start off with this one as this is where my wanderlust actually began. A small lake located close but aloof from the hustle bustle of the city. Let me warn you, the drive to damdama lake is pretty bumpy being a small dirt road. Once your destination is reached, right ahead the lake stands silently surrounded by the majestic aravalis and that simply makes you forget the torturous way you just went through.
Apart from the Haryana tourism resort, there are a few other private so-called resorts which cater to basic activities such as boating, rock climbing, table tennis, etc. However, the key to have a good time here is to get in with the least possible expectations. If you love travelling in large groups, then contacting these resorts in advance may surprise you with added facilities such as rain dance and a hand-picked buffet. For those who believe in spontaneous plans, the government-run resort does have a restaurant with a limited food and alcohol menu. If you're lucky, the item you choose to order might just be available!
Out of all the activities, boating has been my personal favourite, especially when the weather is pleasant and the wind readily blows you away. (You don't want to take this trip on a hot summer day.) If possible, visit the lake on a weekday in case you want a more silent getaway. Choose a spot, open that bottle and loose yourself! (Do make sure you have someone to drive you back, else book a room with the haryana tourism resort and relish the escape)
Damdama Lake Roadmap
Distance: 60 Kms
The best getaway for a foodie who enjoys long drives every now and then. Whether its a huge butter smacked parantha or an inviting glass of sweet lassi, you can have it all at this lovely location. For some its a pitstop while travelling through delhi towards chandigarh whereas for others this itself is the final destination.
The Haveli has an ambience worth a mention and food worth some fuel. After the long drive and a growling stomach, the site of a grand entry, leading to a beautified outdoor section, with a tinge of modern touch warmly welcomes you in. Kiosks of fast food are neatly lined up at that point to tingle your taste buds. As you look further ahead, living up to the name, a humongous mansion stands tall. The indoor section is graced with the traditional indian touch starting from the chandelier at the entrance to the wall frames holding royal pictorial arts.
The food is particularly vegetarian, which might come as a disappointment for the core meat-eaters, but the rich mughlai cuisine if tried unbiased may prove your convictions about vegetarian food wrong. A special mention to the hygiene and cleanliness. It just adds up to make this one a wholesome experience.
Location: Bhangarh, Rajasthan
Distance: 243 Kms
If the regular getaways don't seem to excite you enough, how about an expedition to check in on a legend about this haunted fort located in Rajasthan?
To get back within a single day you need to be behind the steering before dawn strikes. Load the car with couple of snacks and cola as this can be quite an exhausting drive. A pitstop at the manesar 24X7 Mcdonalds for a quick breakfast could be a good idea. If in luck, you might be accompanied by some super-bike groups riding by and halting to flaunt some wonder wheelies and stunts at the drive-in. We did get lucky at that!
The road leading to bhangarh is a mixed bag. It includes a refreshing drive by the aravali ranges with scenic beauty on one side in contrast to a bumpy ride ahead of alwar city while crossing through the siriska national park. Patience is the key as there are no signs or boards after a certain point and navigation is aided only through the directions given by passers by or shady villagers found on the way, adding up to the curiosity about this haunted city of ruins.
Finally, the fort of bhangarh comes in sight. To our dismay, this place was swarming with visitors (we were expecting it to be dramatically cold and secluded as imagined after a night spent going through the frightful legends!). But then the tell-tale ruins of the city, the ancient architecture and a lovely view from up above the fort are promising enough to make up for the busted expectations.
Best time to visit would be during winters unless you're okay with being tanned and dehydrated. The visitors are made to leave before sunset, as some mishaps have led them to keep the legend alive. (We still believe its just a gimmick to attract tourist attention.) On the way back you can choose out from a number of dhabas to enjoy a sumptuous north indian meal either at the alwar junction or the jaipur-delhi highway.
Neemrana Fort Palace
Neemrana Fort Palace
Location: Neemrana, Rajasthan
Distance: 122 Kms
In case you are confused between a leisurely or an action-packed getaway, need not worry. Here's a place not-so-far-away which shall cater to both and engage all types of travellers equally!
A heritage site, beautifully transformed to match up with the modern state-of-the-art facilities, while still holding on tightly to the traditional feel of an ancient fort. It can be reached through a clean drive, over the delhi-jaipur highway. The fort-palace has been transformed to a resort wherein you can either plan a day trip for a quick lunch while you enjoy the view over the hillock or you can have an extended overnight stay in the beautifully decorated rooms, feeling like a royalty for a day. The rooms may seem a bit overpriced but the services offered and the decor maintained somewhat justify the rates. Whether you're a couple looking for a romantic hideout or a group of friends and family seeking a quality get-together away from the city, the fort-palace stands equally inviting.
Alongside the breathtaking view from the palace, the majestic ambience and the mouthwatering delicacies one can experience a quick adrenaline rush, by participating in zip-lining. Zipping through a cable over the expansive fort and looking down the valleys between hilltops, you can be certain to have ensured a weekend well-spent.
© 2014 Whirlwindinmyhead