The national capital is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. Every year, people from not only different parts of the country but also from all over the world visit this city in large numbers. Apart from being strategically important, the city is also known for its rich culture as well as historical significance. Places around Delhi are also frequently visited by tourists, owing to its vast network and connectivity. This article gives a brief introduction to some of the most popular places one can visit near Delhi with family.
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Situated on the Yamuna river bank at a distance of about 210 kms south of Delhi, Agra is a historical city mostly known for its historical monuments. Best known for being home to the Taj Mahal (one among the Seven Wonders of the World), Agra is visited by tourists from all over the world. Established by Sultan Sikander Lodi of the Delhi sultanate, the city remained capital of the Mughal Empire for a long time and thrived as a centre for learning art and culture. Other notable places of interest in the city include the Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daula’s tomb, the Jama Masjid, Sikandra (known for holding Akbar’s tomb), Aram Bagh, the Chini Ka Rauza (known for its Persian style architecture), Mariam’s tomb, the Mehtab Bagh, the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary inside the Surdas Reserved Forest etc. to name a few. One of the most sought after tourist destinations in the country, Agra has a very extensive tourism industry. The city is also a part of the Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit along with Delhi and Jaipur.
Part of the Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is another historical city at a distance of about 268 kms from the national capital. Known as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur was founded by the Kacchawa Rajput ruler Jai Singh II in 1727, and is believed to be one of the earliest planned cities in modern India. Best known for its historical significance, Jaipur is among the most visited places in the country. Main attractions in the city include places like the City Palace, Amer fort, Nahargarh fort, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Jaigarh fort, Birla Mandir, Jantar Mantar etc. Apart from all this, Jaipur is also known to be the cultural hub in the city and offers an amalgamation of different cultures, traditions and art forms. Apart from all of these, the city also acts as a gateway to other popular historical tourist destinations in Rajasthan, which include places like Udaipur, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, Mount Abu, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner etc.
A small city situated at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, Rishikesh lies in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand and at a distance of about 261 kms from the national capital. Mostly known for being home to some of the holiest Hindu shrines in the country, the city lying on the banks of the river Ganga is visited in large numbers by pilgrims and devotees. Apart from its religious and mythological significance, the breathtaking scenic beauty of the region is a major attraction for tourists and no less than a paradise for nature lovers. The snow laden mountains and valleys inspire tourists from all over the country to set out to explore this place, also called the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’. Along with this, the region also offers ample opportunities for a range of different adventure activities, and is also known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the Country’. These popular adventure sports include river rafting, bungee jumping, flying fox, trekking and hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, paragliding and many more.
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
A hill station at a distance of about 344 kms from Delhi, Shimla is the capital and the largest city of Himachal Pradesh. Lying on the foothills of the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, Shimla is among the most visited tourist destinations in the country. The city used to be the Summer Capital of British India, and now is the centre of all commercial, cultural and educational pursuits in the state. Best known for its mesmerizing scenic beauty, the region is also known for its age old buildings and their architecture. Popular places of interest in the city include the ridge (a large open space which hosts all cultural activities in the city) and the Christ Church (the second oldest church in northern India) along the ridge, the Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex, the Jakhoo temple, Annadale, the Summer hill and so on. What makes the place even more special and worth visiting is that one gets to closely experience the rich culture and heritage of the people of the region.