Six most epic long weekend getaways in India for last-minute planners

Make the most of your upcoming holidays by bringing these long weekend travel plans into action!

If there’s anything better than a weekend, it’s a long weekend! While most passionate travellers knew exactly when to ditch those mid-week blues and enjoy short vacations during the first half of 2022, there were many others who sadly missed out. But there’s still a chance to redeem yourself. From the Independence Day to Janamasthmi to Diwali, there are still a few upcoming long weekends when you can plan out a quick getaway from your city.

Weekend getaway from Delhi

Alwar, Rajasthan (185 km)

Bhangarh fort
Visit the haunted Bhangarh Fort near Alwar. Image: Shutterstock/keshavadav1111.

The four-hour drive to Alwar from Delhi, especially during monsoon, comes with a promise of rugged Arawali ranges, silken-smooth roads (mostly), and a sublime weather all along. Located at 340 metres above the city, the 15th-century Alwar Fort is a must-visit with 51 small and 15 large towers, six intricately carved gates, 446 musketry openings, 15 temples, reservoirs, and several palaces.

Do visit the haunted Bhangarh Fort as well as the museum on the first floor of the City Palace filled with ancient artefacts owned by the royals. The nearby Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve offers a wide variety of flora and fauna and some incredible wildlife sights, including the Royal Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, four-horned antelope, and rare Indian Eagle Owl. 

Where to stay: Base yourself at the Tijara Fort Palace, a stunning heritage hotel by Neemrana Hotels that offers an idyllic and regal experience amidst verdant pastures.

Weekend getaway from Mumbai

Malshej Ghat (126 km)

Malshej ghat
Malshej Ghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats, perfecto for a long drive. Image: Shutterstock/V K Madhav.

Rolling verdant hills glistening in rains, brimming waterfalls tumbling down and crashing on winding roads, and an earthy aroma of the forest hanging heavy in the crisp mountain air — that’s Malshej Ghat for you. Certainly one of the best places to drive to from Mumbai or Pune during the monsoon, this misty little land is dotted with a peaceful countryside, breathtaking trails, ancient forts, and temple complexes.

Take up the monsoon trek to the 6th-century Harishchadragad Fort, perched atop a hill with temple caves and a serene lake nearby. The soaring Taramanchi peak with astounding views of the Naneghat range, the primeval Shivneri fortress, and the hill-fort of Ajoba are other popular spots to explore here during your long weekend getaways.

Where to stay: Saj By The Lake sits in a peaceful setting, inviting you to sink your feet into the cool, still waters and be enthralled by the serenity around, as you enjoy the peace and quiet of this boutique resort.

Weekend getaway from Bengaluru

Wayanad, Kerala (286 km)

Have memorable encounters with the wilds at Wayanad! Image: Shutterstock/Vinod Pillai.

Slowly climbing its way up to become one of the hottest destinations in Kerala, Wayanad is blessed with beautiful natural formations and possesses a deep history that precedes modern civilisation. The 345-sq-km sanctuary here is accessible only by two-hour jeep safari, on which you can spot langurs, chital deer, sambar, peacocks, wild boar, elephants, and even leopards and tigers if you are lucky!

The nearby Edakkal Caves house petroglyphs believed to be at least 8,000 years old. Wayanad is also famous for its trekking trails including Chembra Peak, Brahmagiri Peak, and Pakshipathalam. Find serenity in the middle of reservoir lakes formed by Banasurasagar Dam and Pookode Lake that offer surreal boating experiences.

Where to stay: When at Windflower Resort and Spa Vythiri, take long walks through tea and spice plantations, enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and lounge in the pool surrounded by silver oaks.

Weekend getaway from Kolkata

Mayurbhanj, Odisha (247 km)

Long weekend getaways
Tribal communities of Mayurbhanj. Image: Shutterstock/ABIR ROY BARMAN.

Known for its tribal communities and their unique cultures, the former princely state of Mayurbhanj is most popular for the ancient village of Khiching that houses black-stone Kichakeswari Temple constructed during 920-925 CE. Drive here from Kolkata to immerse in abundant natural beauty and thriving wildlife.

The Similipal National Park here is home to serene waterfalls and red silk cotton tree forests teeming with Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, gaurs, and four-horned antelope.

Where to stay: The 18th-century Belgadia Palace is a Victorian-style boutique property owned by the Bhanja royal family. The sustainable homestay provides livelihood to local tribal people and offers bespoke experiences.

Weekend getaway from Chennai

Yercaud, Tamil Nadu (263 km)

Yercaud is famous for its coffee and spice plantations. Image: Shutterstock/P.V.R.Murty.

The six-hour-long southern sojourn to Yercaud takes you through the breathtaking Shevaroy Hills in the Eastern Ghats. And while the drive is full of interesting pit-stops like Kanchipuram, Vellore, and Dharmapuri, arriving at this quaint former British colony means exploring endless farms of coffee and aromatic spices, colonial building with glorious past, and walking trails through thick woods.

Yercaud is also famous for its guava, orange, and jackfruit plantations, as well as its decadent homemade chocolates that make the perfect souvenirs. Do visit the eponymous lake for its shimmering emerald waters, Kottachedu teak forest, Pagoda Point, and Arthur’s Seat.

Where to stay: Set amidst the serenity of the vast stretches of coffee plantations, Great Trails Yercaud has luxury rooms with modern amenities, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a swanky bar, and a holistic spa.

Weekend getaway from Hyderabad

Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh (213 km)

Srisailam dam is a sight to behold during monsoon. Image: Shutterstock/Sarathi Ganesh.

Trust Srisailam to offer respite from the strong southern sun as the historical town is encompassed by the cooler climes of the verdant Nallamala Hills. It is popular as the home of one of the 12 jyotirlingas and a shaktipeetha. Take a ropeway ride, and then hop on a boat to glide on the calm waters of Krishna River to reach the ancient caves of Akka Mahadevi.

There’s also a dam where you can feast on the views of lush hills and gushing water. The Chenchu Lakshmi Tribal Museum displays the life of Chenchu community that live in the thick forests of Srisailam. Before you head back, remember to say your prayers at Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramaramba Devi temples.

Where to stay: There’s a dearth of luxury options in the town but you can find decent accommodation and other facilities at Hotel Srisaila’s Nest.

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