Who doesn’t look forward to change over the weekend? It’s only natural to wish for something adventurous or relaxing after a long, monotonous week of hard work. Luckily, Agra is extremely well-connected by both road and rail so all it takes is a spontaneous plan and a whole lot of excitement to decide your next weekend getaway. Read on to discover some of great places to visit from Agra over the weekend.
The bustling capital of India is an energy booster for all those ‘weekend-lazy’ workaholics – it’s the place to indulge in more than one kind of activity. Delhi is brimming with eateries, both roadside food vendors and some of the finest restaurants in the country. Shopping for something? Find it at Delhi Haat, Lajpat Nagar, Chandni Chowk or Khan Market, the most popular marketplaces among locals as well as residents of other cities. For a fun night out, head over to Connaught Place and explore the many bars and lounges that this lively city centre offers.
A haven for history and architect enthusiasts, the city is most known for its hilltop fort, famously referred to as ‘the pearl amongst fortresses in India’. Apart from history, the Tigra Dam, situated approximately 23 kilometres (14.29 miles) from the main city, makes Gwalior a great place to relax. Enjoy an evening of boating and bird-watching – the sight of migratory birds swimming in the water is not one to miss.
Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, +91 751 223 4557
Mathura and Vrindavan
Both these cities hold immense importance in Hinduism as they are thought to be the cities of Krishna. Mathura is a prime spot for art buffs as it is home to the Dwarkadhish temple, home to exquisite carvings and paintings. Once known for the Mathura School of Indian Art, the city is now famous for its large collection of ancient sculptures. Vrindavan, approximately 12 kilometres (7.46 miles) away from Mathura, is the holy city of temples and visited by thousands of people every year. One of the most popular temples is Banke Bihari temple, where the largest and wildest Holi celebrations take place every spring.
Bharatpur is the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time surrounded by nature. Drive down early in the morning to Keoladeo National Park (a World Heritage Site), one of the world’s largest bird breeding and feeding grounds and home to over 370 species of birds. Enjoy an ideal Saturday evening bird watching, boating and touring the park on a rickshaw. With a seamless blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, Bharatpur is also well known for such places as the Lohagarh Fort and the Ganga Maharani temple.
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, +91 564 422 2777
Chambal Safari Lodge
An hour’s drive from the Taj Mahal is a place not known to many: Mela Kothi, where the Chambal Safari Lodge holds adventurous excursions. The lodge has several different types of kothis (accommodation) as well as options for exploring the Chambal Valley to suit all types of visitors. In winter, the gardens are used for evening bonfires, ideal for interacting with guests or simply sitting back and stargazing.
Chambal Safari Lodge, Mela Kothi Rd, Village and P.O. Jarar, Agra, India, +91 999 706 6002
Whisk your partner or family away to Neemrana Fort-Palace, a magnificent palace that exudes magic and grandiosity. This 15th-century heritage hotel has seven palace wings built across 2.5 hectares (6.18 acres), hanging gardens and vast pools. This unique destination offers a range of fun activities, such as vintage car rides, an Ayurveda spa, regular weekend cultural performances and a thrilling zip-lining tour!
As they often say, Lucknow is the city of nawabs and kebabs. The city is foodie heaven, and there is so much to try that a single weekend might not be enough. The typical Lucknowi lifestyle is old and simple: happiness means good food, an evening of live soulful music and a walk down the popular Hazratganj. Visit the Bara Imambara to encounter the famous ‘bhool-bhulaiya’, a labyrinth of around a thousand passageways – it has intrigued travelers as well as architects for the last two hundred years.
Bara Imambara, Machchhi Bhavan, Lucknow, India, +91 702 912 0332
Nainital is one of the most popular hill stations in the country, situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 feet) above sea level. Nainital is quite popular among tourists as well as locals because of its favourable climate all year round. Naini Lake is the lifeline of this little town and is perfect for an evening of boating or lakeside strolling. The popular Snow View peak is accessible only by cable car, but it offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the snowcapped Himalayas, which can be seen 2.27 kilometres (1.4 miles) above sea level.
Last but not least, this pink city is the prime spot for history and culture aficionados. Start the day by visiting the plethora of breathtaking palaces and forts made up of red sandstone and marble. Spend an evening at the Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort that celebrates rich Rajasthani culture with folk music, magic shows, camel rides and acrobatics on a bamboo tree. End the day with delicious Jaipuri food at the Royal Rajasthani dining hall, where guests enjoy a meal alongside colorful cultural performances.
Chokhi Dhani Resort, 12 Miles Tonk Rd, Jaipur, India, +91 141 516 5000