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Best Places To Visit Near Chandigarh - Weekend Getaways
A Union Territory in its own right and the capital of Punjab as well as Haryana, Chandigarh is a unique planned city. It is known to be modern India’s first modern city that was set up with a planned mission. Due to its close proximity to the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, the climate here is also beautiful most months of the year. If you have been living in Chandigarh or roamed across all its tourist places already, then here are some options to check out around this UT. For drives, short road trips and weekend getaways, here are places to visit near Chandigarh.
Only 35 km from Chandigarh, Parwanoo is a hill station in Himachal. Rolling hills adorned with amazing Mughal Gardens, the Gurkha Fort and fruit orchards make this destination pretty unique for a summer or winter getaway. There are cable car rides and hiking trails too for those who are after some adventure. Aside from all the sightseeing, you can also spend your weekend stocking up on preserves, jams, jellies and wines made from fresh fruit harvested from the hills of Parwanoo!
You would have heard this name many a times when hunting down hill stations for summer. Well, Kasauli is the best there is around Chandigarh. In terms of crowd, yes, this town draws massive footfalls, but it is also well developed for the same reason. Located around 58 km from Chandigarh, Kasauli is all dense forests peppered with colonial bungalows, Victorian streets and cafes. Some endangered fauna is also found in the thickets here. Some good weekend places to check out are Monkey Point, Christ Church and Sunset Point.
If you thought Kasauli is crowded then welcome to Shimla. The mother of all hill stations. Sumemrs here are beautiful weather-wise, but so busy. Hence a weekend winter getaway to Shimla is perfect for Chandigarh locals. Things are cheaper, markets are emptier and hotels serve better food. From Mall Road to Jakhoo, Mashobra to Kufri’s adventure, Simla is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Also, do not miss the Ridge, Kali Bari Temple and Tara Devi. The best part about Shimla is that it is not more than 114 km from Chandigarh!
67 km from Chandigarh lies a small city named Solan. Renowned for its history and throwback to the days of Mahabharat, Solan was that place where the Pandavas spent long years of exile. The Karol Peak houses the Pandava Cave where the five brothers once lived. Solan is also called the Mushroom City of India, because of the ICAR-Directorate of Mushroom Research here that trains and helps farmers cultivate mushrooms that are eaten all over the country. So don’t forget to pick up a fresh batch. Also worth visiting is the Mohan Shakti National Park here.
Haridwar & Rishikesh
Haridwar and Rishikesh are usually said in the same breath due to their closeness. While the former is 203 km from Chandigarh, the latter lies another 20 km away. Haridwar is a holy city, one of the holiest in fact, from where river Ganga flows. Ganga aarti on the ghat of Haridwar is a serene experience, one that you should see at least once in your lifetime. 20 km from Haridwar is Rishikesh, where whitewater rafting and camping are highly coveted. So plan a long weekend and make sure you experience both these places with their opposing thrills, in the same trip.
Chole kulcha and stuffed nan aside, Amrtisar is paradise otherwise too. Located 225 km away from Chandigarh, Amritsar should be on your list of weekend getaways if you are fond of a wholesome little holiday. From the Wagah Border’s ceremonial closing of the gates to Golden Temple’s peaceful prayers and langar, from Partition museum to Jalianwala Bagh memorial, Amritsar is perfect for a winter weekend. And then of course, stuff till you burst with all that street food — chole, fish, tandoori chicken and paneer paratha!
Nature enthusiasts and gold lovers, Naldehra is heaven for you. Situated all of 136 km from Chandigarh, in the lovely hilly region of Himachal, this little town is known for the oldest 9-hole golf course in the country. Now they have expanded it to an 18-hole course. Aside from playing a round or two of golf, you can also go visit the Nag Temple nearby, hike with your friends and click loads of pictures in the wilderness. A short summer weekend would suffice here.
This is a little hill station overlooking the Shivalik Hills. Once the capital of a princely state, Nahan is blessed with some royal architecture in the form of temples and streets. Stroll down the Mall Road, explore Jagannath Temple and Kailashnath Temples, do some educational learning at the Saketi Fossil Park and relax at Rani Tal. Nahan is 84 km away from Chandigarh.
Another famous hill station in Himachal, probably ranking second in popularity after Simla, Mussoorie is all about snow, sunshine and mountain flora. You must visit here during winter to play in snow, go to Lal Tibba and near frozen Mussoorie Lake. In summers, places like Kempty Falls, Bhatta Falls and Company Garden are likely better for their lushness and natural beauty. From Chandigarh, Mussoorie is a 202 km drive up high in the mountains, and leaves you thrilled after the road trip.
A serene quiet hill station renowned to host the world’s highest cricket ground — Chail is mesmerising at first glance. Fringed with pine and deodar forests, you would definitely wonder which hand made such beauty on earth? Once upon a time, Chail belonged to Patiala’s Maharaja and doubled up as his summer capital. Today, it is a tourist destination with adventure and nature alike. Some prominent places to visit while here include Chail Palace, Chail Sanctuary, Kali Tibba Mandir and Lover’s Hill. Chail is located 106 km away from the hubbub of Chandigarh.