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Best Places To Visit Near Lucknow - Weekend Getaways
Lucknow is the city of Tehzeeb, where Nawabs once lived and their ways of life still persists. With its minarets and Imambaras, respect in even abusing one another and food that melts in your mouth, Lucknow is beauty personified. But of course, the city is crowded and noisy and hot for half the year. So it is no wonder that locals feel the need to get out of Lucknow from time to time. Weekend getaways are the best, taking you away from this city and to some peaceful, some religious, some greener climes. Here’s our list of the best places to visit near Lucknow.
The stronghold of Raghukul in Treta Yug, Ayodhya, also known as Awadh Puri became a pious piece of land when Vishnu’s 7th avatar Ram was born there. On the serene banks of Sarayu, Ayodhya is a beautiful and now peaceful town of myth, history, ghats and faith. There are mostly pilgrimage spots here and since it is only 136 km away from Lucknow, people prefer to take a weekend here to pray and rejuvenate. Visit the Ram Janmabhoomi area, where a Temple is in the process of being built. Explore Hanuman Garhi, Treta Ke Thakur and Kanak Bhavan temples too.
Erstwhile known as Allahabad, Prayagraj is the land of the holy triveni-sangam. Trinity has always been considered auspicious in Hinduism and here the three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati converge. In adi-kaal or the ancient time, Brahma chose this spot to perform Prakrishta Yagna, hence making the land even more holy today. Prayagraj is 200 km away from Lucknow and great for a long weekend. You can visit the Allahabad Fort, Khusro Bagh, Anand Bhavan, Hanuman Mandir, Allahabad Museum and the many enchanting ghats.
Who hasn’t heard of the marvellous Khajuraho? The temples and ruins of this town are world famous, one of UNESCO’s most visited World Heritage Sites. Located 310 km from Lucknow, Khajuraho should be on your winter getaway list. There are Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples, some whole and most in ruins. Beautifully carved and telling tales of the era that never got recorded on paper, these Khajuraho temples are worth a visit. You can also go for a day of wildlife fun at the Panna National Park nearby.
Dudhwa National Park
Home to dense forests and swamps, deer and tigers, rhinos and elephants, the Dudhwa National Park is a great escapade from Lucknow for those are in love with nature and wildlife. Located on the Indo-Nepal border, the national park falls in the Terai region. You can go for safaris, scouting animals and birds. The most common sightings here include swamp deer, tigers, leopards, rhinos and elephants. The park is 222 km away from Lucknow and can be easily driven to.
Chitrakoot finds mention in Valmiki’s Ramayan as the place where Lord Ram, Lady Sita and Laxman set the longest camp during their exile. The land of some of India’s most beautiful waterfalls, lush green jungles and temples, Chitrakoot is great for nature and history enthusiasts. At a distance of 230 km from Lucknow, Chitrakoot beckons you for its sites like the Gupt Godavari, Ganesh Bagh, Hanuman Dhara, Ramghat and Kamadgiri.
The province that became famous for its fearless queen, Jhansi will forever be known as the stronghold of Rani Laxmibai, who led a ferocious army into battle with far superiorly armed British and fought till her last breath. At 316 km from Lucknow, Jhansi is a good long weekend trip for lovers of Colonial history and the freedom struggle. This is the land of Tatya Tope and Nana Sahib, of forts and palaces, of martyrdom and bravery. Visit the grand Jhansi Fort, the Jhansi Museum, Maharaja Gangadhar Rao ki Chatri, Rani Mahal as well as the Mahalakshmi Temple.
Benaras, Banaras, Kashi… many ancient names, one vibe. Religion. If there can be one centre of Hinduism then it is this. The city where Ganga flows with all her might and where ghats have been penanced over by demigods like Rudra and Shiv and Brahma… visit Varanasi for its charm and aura, as well as for its ghats and temples. It is around 300 odd km away from Lucknow and the best for a winter visit. Explore the ghats like Dasaswamedh, Assi and Manikarika, tour temples (Kashi Vishwanath, Durga) and don’t forget to visit the famous Ramnagar Fort.
Orchha, one of Madhya Pradesh’s gems, is located 322 km away from Lucknow. A Rajput stronghold in the ancient times, Orchha was home to Rajput rulers in the days of yore. Probably this is the reason for its fortified architecture styles that are a unique blend of Rajasthani and Bundeli. Here you will find forts and palaces and temples, like the Orchha Fort, Dinman Hardaul Palace, Jhansi Fort and the Laxminarayan Temple. One unique element of architecture here is the ‘chattris’ or small stone towers with a domed stone cover.
Agra is 336 km away from Lucknow, and home to the grand Taj Mahal. Most tourists visit here for this magnificent monument of lasting love. If you are slightly bored of the usual hubbub in Lucknow then take a train to Agra or get your friends together for a road trip. While in Agra, ensure to also visit Fatehpur Sikri for the massive Fatehpur Fort that is legendary for being home to Emperor Akbar.
A hill station in Uttarakhand, Nainital is located 416 km away from Lucknow. Yes, it is quite far for a road trip but if it is summer and you are fed up of all the lowland heat then why not? A 7-8 hour drive will land you in the town of lakes, with lush mountains and sunrises out of valleys, waterfalls and boating expeditions, picnics and cool cave explorations. Visit the Nainital Zoo, Bhimtal Lake and Eco Cave Gardens for more fun.
468 km north of Lucknow, Ranikhet or the Queen’s meadow is the crowning glory of Uttarakhand. A hill station that literally has golden meadows and beautiful snow covered peaks, where summers are pleasant and cool while winters white wonderland. You can take an overnight road trip to Ranikhet and enjoy its sites, temples, viewpoints, orchards and trekking trails.
India’s own skiing resort, Auli is also sometimes called Asia’s Switzerland. What with its perfect slopes and powdered snow maintained all through the year, Auli makes for the most thrilling getaway for skiing enthusiasts. If you are a ski lover or want to dabble in it, then Auli is a good place to start domestically. 432 km away from Lucknow, Auli also borders the mesmerising Valley Of Flowers. So you can also plan treks there. You can ride cable cars, live in plush resorts that open their windows to snowy mountains and enjoy a European feel in India.
Another hill station in Uttarakhand at 435 km from Lucknow, Almora beckons you for its mild cool climate, temples and a palpable spiritual vibe. There are so many temples to visit here, from the Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple to Jageshwar Temple, Nanda Devi to Paatal Devi and Chitai. A winter holiday here is mild as Almora is not as elevated as the other hill stations around. But a summer holiday is perfect, not too hot and not too cold.
Now popularly known as the city of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Gorakhpur is popular for its religious sites. Located around 250 km from Lucknow, this city is admired for its culture, along with a confluence of music, art and dance styles. Tourists mostly make Gorakhpur a base city to take excursions to places like Kapilavastu, Kushinagar, Lumbini and Chauri Chaura. In the city itself, you can visit Gita Vatika, the Railway Museum and Gorakhnath Temple.
A town in UP known for its expanse of thick lush forests, historical buildings, heritage monuments and the elusive tiger. Visit this town for safaris at the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, expeditions to Devha-Ghagra Sangum, Raja Venu Ka Tila and Gomat Taal. Visit the Gauri Shankar Temple along with Chhathavi Padshahi Gurudwara, Methodist Church and Dargah Hazrat Shah Md. Sher Mian Ki, so that you get a round about of religious harmony that this place represents.
One of UP’s most important cities, Kanpur is a part of the Oudh region. It sits on the banks of River Ganga and attracts tourists round the year. Being the biggest city of the biggest state of India, Kanpur enjoys many privileges. It is also home to many historical buildings and temples. Visit the Buddha Park, Allen Forset Zoo, Shri Radhakrishna Temple, Gurudwara Banno Sahib, Lord Hanumanji Temple and more to enjoy your time here.