Last Updated: July 24, 2018 / Kamlesh Nayal
Sometime you don’t know where you will land up next … may be because of a conference meet, business meet, medical checkup, or any other activities. Such places in India also come in your life as overnight stopovers when you travel to some other distant locations… may be the villages in the outskirts of a city, remote places in the Indian Himalayan region OR a pilgrimage site. So there you are in a difficult situation… what to do throughout the day and where to go. You just have 7-8 hours and you really want to make use of every second by exploring the place you are in. Forget about that dull conference meeting or scoreless business meeting… when you have taken the effort to travel so far… why not check out the amazing places having natural, historical, religious and cultural significance. Meet new people, taste new food and preserve them forever in the immortal pages of your notebook.
Following are some of the best sightseeing options for a day tour in a city in North India:
Zest your day with the best sightseeing options for day trips:
Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali which is encircled by the beautiful Beas on all sides serves as a balm to an ached eye. Besides the panoramic view of this hill station there is a fistful of sightseeing that you can cover in a short span.
- Hadimba Temple- This is actually the Dhongri temple dedicated to Lord Hadimba, Bhim of the Mahabharata. The temple is constructed in pagoda shaped structure with legendary symbols. This is a must visit place if you are planning a day trip to Manali.
- Tibetians Monastries- There are three monasteries –two in the town and one at Aleo, on the left side of the Beas.
- Manali Sanctuary- This sanctuary preserves the beauty quotient of the place by further showcasing the flora and fauna of the region.
- Man Temple- This is the temple of Rishi Man, who is believed to be the creator of the earth.
No wonder this place is the capital of Himachal Pradesh, as it is well planned with all the modern amenities and has many exotic places around that one can visit on a day tour.
- Christ Church- This majestic church built to preserve the Anglican British Community is worth visiting.
- Shimla State Museum- You cannot miss the magnificent painting and sculptures of this place.
- The Mall- The mall has more or less everything that is needed by the localities and a myriad of woolens, spices, decorative which tourist would like to pick up.
- The Ridge of Shimla- This is a spacious platform that provides an ethereal view of the mountain peaks of Shimla.
- Shimla Kalibari- This is one of the most famous pilgrim haunts of the North India
This pink city and the capital of Rajasthan have a whole lot of history to share with you. Even if you are visiting Jaipur just for day… the city can afford to provide you a slice of royal diorama of Indian history and culture. Following are some of the places in Jaipur that you can cover on your day trip.
- Amer Fort/Amber Fort- Created by Man Singh, it comprises the royal legacy of Diwan e am and Diwan e Khsas. The unique feature is it is connected to the Jaigarh Fort for emergency during attack.
- Jantar Mantar- Built by Jai Singh it is an exclusive observatory with focused archaic devices for astronomical calculations, prediction of eclipses and orbits round the sun.
- The Jal Mahal- which is constructed in the middle of Sagar lake and the Hawa Mahal with its lattice work through which wind can enter are also exciting places to visit.
The world famous Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Shonar Kella, is made of yellow sandstone and is ethereal. It is characterized by beautiful architectures within. That is what going to pull in when you are visiting Jaisalmer just for a day.
- Gadi Sagar Lake- This rainwater lake provides water supply to the whole city and is a must visit place in Jaisalmer.
- Patwari Haweli- This haweli is very beautiful with amazing works of mirror on the walls and ceiling.
- The Jain temples and the unlimited spectrum of sand of the Thar Desert are the boons of the almighty to this place.
- Meherangunj Fort- Stands out on account of its own impressive features. It’s not just huge but royal and majestic too. It has a number of galleries and a museum inside it. A number of movies like Veer have been shot here.
- Umaid Bhawan- This is another castle and a fantastic one at that and was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh
The city happens to be a heritage site, made of broken bone china items, bangles and other rejected rock marble items. There is a beautiful artificial cascade that adds a new dimension to the area. The entire place is built in the form of a labyrinth to confuse and intrigue visitors.
- Rose Garden- This is Asia’s largest rose garden .February and March are the months when you see the garden in full bloom. There are many festivals which attract tourists to this place throughout the year.
The capital of Punjab is quite picturesque and is important historically too. Being the most famous Sikh pilgrim place, the famous Golden temple realizes thousands of footfalls every day. You can’t miss to step into this sacred place on your day visit to Amritsar. The ceiling is made of pure gold and precious stones. There is a huge holy poly in the premise. The Langar Khana provides meal to all who go there and get a glimpse of the shrine.
- Jallianwala Bagh- It was established in 1951 to commemorate the massacre by the British occupying forces that perforated 20000 innocent people by 1650 rounds of bullets.
- Wagah Border- Who does not know this place? And you would obviously like to visit Wagah Border on your day trip to Amritsar. The border line of India and Pakistan is continuously made memorable by celebration of individual cultural programs and marchpast.
It is green and beautiful. Religiously this place is of immense importance. Following places can be explored on a drip trip:
- Har ki Pauri- The Har ki Pauri ghat is the sacred riverside build by Vikramaditya. It is famous for the annual mela and the holy Ganga arati. The golden hue of the floral diyas provides an ethereal site.
- The Mansa Mandir- The auspicious mansa mandir is on top of the shivalik range and can only be reached by a ropeway. Pilgrims visit the mandir with a hope and tie knots which are expected to be torn when their wishes are fulfilled.
- Bara Bazar- This market area will give all the tastes of Haridwar. It sells colorful bangles, brassware, idols of gods, Prasad and off course a wide variety of pure milk sweets.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Who has not heard of the Nawabs of Lucknow and their passion. Besides being the house of authentic biriyani, Lucknow is of immense historical importance.
- Bara Imambara- The Bara Imambara, more famously as Bhul Bhulaiya, is a wonderful maze that has got accolades from across the world..It was constructed as a part of the relief project for a major famine in 1784. There are narrow passages with stairs which will never bring you to an exit until to take an expert or guide.
- Jama Masjid- This is a magnificent mosque built by Sultan Ahmed Shah with yellow sandstone
- Other attractions which you might like to check out are the Chikan market and Picture Gallery.
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Need I say more about the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the World …Agra! The sight of this tomb dedicated with love by emperor Shahjahan to his wife Mumtaz is ethereal. The white pristine marbles and the architectures inside are infested with love. The backdrop of Yamuna adds to the grandeur of the place.
- Agra Fort- This fort built of red sandstone speaks volumes of the Mughal rule and was built by Emperor Akbar. The building is erected in a semi circular way and one of the walls faces the river.
- Itmad Ud Daulah- This Mughal Mausolem was built at the command of Noor Jahan,wife of Jahangir for her father Itmad UD Daulah from where the architecture got its name. It is a magnificientedifice constructed at the bank of Yamuna and is set amidst a beautiful water body, and garden.
- Fatehupur Sikhri- This edifice definitely speaks of the victorious nature of the Mughals as it derives its name from the word’fateh’ meaning victory..It was the capital of the Mughal Emperor for almost fourteen years.
Following places/attractions can be explored on a day trip in Nainital:
- Naina Devi Temple- The essence of this temple derives her origin from the two eyes (naina) of the deity. This temple has got her own religious importance and is located on the shore of the Naini lake(Naini tal)
- Nainital or Naini Lake- Flanked by seven mountains …this water body has stagnant yet crytal clear water and has space for a lot of frolic that you can enjoy with your family, especially activities like boating. There is also a lucrative market area surrounding. The sun rising and setting in the ocean are sights to watch. This huge lake is divided into another two lakes called Mallital and Tallital
- The Mall Road- The Mall Road unites the two tals. The mall road is filled with shopping centres,restaurants and hotels
- The zoo and the aerial ropeway continue to attract tourists from far and near.
Following are best options for day trip sightseeing options in Ranikhet:
- The Golf Course- The Golf course of Ranikhet is majestic. The gamut of lush green grass of this 9 hole course is royal.
- Chaubatia Gardens- This garden is situated almost 10 kilometres from Ranikhet and hosts an apple orchard full of luscious and fresh apples.
- Ashiyana Park- This park is located at the heart of Ranikhet town and is recreated with a jungle theme for children.
- Tarikhet- Located at a distance of 8 kilimetres it is the home of Golu Devi.
- Katarmal- It is the second largest temple of the Sun God after the Sun God Temple in Odissa.
Following places/attractions can be explored in Patna on a day trip:
- Kumhrar- This city is scattered with the beautiful and archaeologically relevant remnants and ruins of the Mauryan Age and one such masterpiece is Kumhrar, whose excavation details go back to the 600 B.C.
- Didarganj Yakshi- This is a classic example of the intricate Mauryan art and is preserved in the Patna Museum.
- Patan Devi- Legends says the right thigh of the corpse of Sati which was chopped by lord Vishnu
- Ganges River banks- Bihar Government has taken an initiative to start a floating restaurant or a cruise journey you may say that focusses on the Ganges Ghats of Patna. Tourists can also visit
- Mahatma Gandhi Setu, one of the longest bridges of the world.
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
- The Dalai Lama Temple- This place will provide you peace and give you a lot of space to retrospect. The view of colouful prayer flags and long walks, green grass and chanting monks will take you to a different world.
- Namgyal Monastery- This is the largest Tibetian monastery outside Tibet and is the abode of the Dalai Lama. The purpose behind the creation of this monastery was to make it a centre of meditation and Buddhist education. The Namgyal monks here propagate the doctrines of the Dalai Lama and hold ritual prayers.
- Jwalamukhi Devi Temple- The unique feature of this temple is it has no idol. It is believed that Sati’s tongue fell here. There is an incessant blue flame burning between the fissures of the rock .The mystery of this temple with the flames that never cease burning attracts pilgrims all through the year.
- Along with a couple of other monasteries and temples there is this legendary view point called Hanuman Ka Tibba, which is said to be the place where Hanuman rested on his way back while bringing sanjeevani for Laxman.
- Fateh Sagar- Uday Sagar is famous as the Lake City or City of Lakes.It is not only a site seeing spot for tourists but also a famous joint for hanging out for the localites.
- Dudh Talai- Dudh Talai is another such lake which has a lot to offer you. You can enjoy boating here and then use the ropeway to visit Karni Mata Temple .The sunset point will mesmerize you and hold you back.
- City Palace- It is located at the centre of Udaipur and was built by Maharana Uday Singh ji. There is a museum inside which displays the attires, weapons and furniture of the royal family.
- Gulab Bagh- You can take a mini train ride inside this garden and enjoy the beauty and bounty of this region.
- Red Fort- It was the abode of the Mughals for more than 200 years. In the year 2007 it was recognized as a National Heritage site. On the occasion of Independence Day, the Prime Minister hoists the National Flag from the premise of the Red Fort.
- Dillihaat- It is a haven for food lovers and shopaholics. You get accessories and clothes of different cultures to shop. You will also hit into home decors and good food. This place has all the ingredients to entertain a traveller, who is a first-timer in Delhi
- Lotus Temple- Noted for its flower like shape it has become a must visit destination of the city. The nocturnal view of this temple is absolutely magnificent.
- Humayun Tomb- The tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun was the first Garden tomb of the Indian. It is made of sandstone and white marble and has the burials of his wives. Humayun’s cenotaph lies in the main chamber but the grave lies deep below.
- India Gate- This structure came to existence with the intent to pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. This place is thronged by visitors from all over India and abroad and is encompassed by beautiful gardens
- Tibetian Buddhist Temple- It is one of the noticeable sites in Dehradun. It has beautiful decorations, wonderfully carved architecture and the paintings of Lord Budha which are way beyond just beautiful.
- Sahashtradhara- It is a beautiful waterfall noted for the medicinal contents of the water. You can also stroll in the Sahashtradara Heights, a park 1.5 kilometres uphill from the waterfall.
- Robber’s Cave- It is naturally beautiful and that is what you will adore about this huge rock,throgh which there runs a river.It is picturesque and the rock has taken formation of a fort
- Clock Tower- No one misses the Clock Tower in Dehradun. It forms a landmark in Dehradun by its own virtue.It has got six faces and its mammoth height makes it visible from far away.
- Malsi Deer Park- If you feel you are stuffed enough with a knowledge of tombs and monuments, check out this deer park..it is a home for deers,neelgais and even tigers
- Mall Road- The Mall Road in Mussoorie is one of the popular tourist hubs that you can’t escape on your day trip. Like other hill stations, the Mall Road is a commercial hub arrayed with various shops, bar and restaurants, and hotels. With a valley view on one side, the Mall Road takes you to Gandhi Chowk and the Taxi Stand for Kempty Waterfall.
- Kempty Waterfall- Approximately 15 kilometers from the hill town of Mussoorie, the Kempty Waterfall is one of the major tourist attractions. On your day trip to Kempty Waterfall you can also visit the small amusement park at the bottom of the waterfall where you can go for boating and bathing. You also have an option for cable car ride if you want to escape the uphill and downhill climb.
- Gun Hill- The Gun Hill is one of the sought after tourist spots in Mussoorie for those who are on a day trip. Its proximity to the Mall Road makes it yet another bustling tourist hub. One can capture the panoramic view of the Doon Valley, Mussoorie town, and the vast stretch of Himalayan ranges atop the Gun Hill.
- Camel Back Road- After returning from Gun hill you can walk or take a rickshaw to travel through this camel back road. The name is given as the road elevation resembles a camel back.
- Mussoorie Lake- Located approximately 6 kilometers away from the town, the Mussoorie Lake which falls on the Dehradun to Mussoorie highway is the perfect retreat for a leisure break. Surrounded by lush green hills… the lake provides an eco-friendly environment and one can go for boating.
- Ram Jhula- Located at Muni Ki Reti, Ram Jhula which is an iron suspension bridge connecting Swargashram, Gita Bhawan and other temples with Sivananda Ashram is a must visit place in Rishikesh on your day trip. It is bigger than the Lakshman Jhula but almost similar to its design.
- Lakshman Jhula- It is one of the popular landmarks in Rishikesh and was built in the year 1929. The Lakshman Jhula, which is another iron suspension bridge in Rishikesh… holds the legend that Lakshmana crossed Ganges on jute ropes between the places where this bridge is built.
- Paramath Niketan- Built in 1942, Paramath Niketan, which is situated in the lap of the lush Himalaya, along the banks of the Ganges is noted as the largest ashram in Rishikesh with over 1000 rooms. It provides a blissful atmosphere that makes it an ideal place for practicing yoga. Further… occasional cultural and spiritual programs are organized by the ashram committee.
- Swarag Ashram- Renowned as the oldest ashram in Rishikesh, the Swarag Ashram is a haven for people seeking peace of mind on their day trip to Rishikesh. The ashram is built in between the Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula overlooking the Ganges and thus making it another blissful place.
- Neelkanth Mahadev Temple- One of the most prominent spiritual places in Rishikesh is the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a must visit place for all tourists on their day trip to Rishikesh. On the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri the temple is crowded with thousands of Hindu devotees from different corners of the country.
- White Water River Rafting from Brahmapuri to Lakshman Jhula- This you can’t miss even if you fall short of time. In Rishikesh and leaving without White Water River rafting is like doing nothing at all on your day trip. So to cover your day trip along with other sightseeing… the white water river rafting stretch from Brahmapuri to Lakshman Jhula provides you a slice of an adventure activity as well. Safe and sound… this stretch is 9 kilometers having grade I rapids and is perfect for family.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
- Dashashwamedha Ghat- Overlooking the River Ganga, the Dashashwamedha Ghat is the most spectacular ghat in Varanasi and is associated with two Hindu mythologies. It is also located close to the Jantar Mantar. The Dashashwamedha Ghat is the best place in Varanasi where you can experience in the evening the ‘Agni Pooja’ performed by the priests.
- Jantar Mantar- Built during the early 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar in Varanasi is one of the equinoctial sundials in India that revolves in the mind of tourists on their day trip to Varanasi.
- Asi Ghat – The Asi Ghat, which is the southernmost ghat in Varanasi is a popular tourist hub which is mostly visited for recreation and cultural festivals. It is one of the major shooting spots for Bollywood and other regional movies. The Assi Ghat is hence one of the sought after places in Varanasi on a day tour.
- Manikarnika Ghat- It is one of the oldest and revered ghats in Varanasi and is popular in Hindu culture. So if you are on a day tour in Varanasi… don’t miss this opportunity to experience a slice of age old Hindu tradition. You may also end up spending some moment with the Aghori Sadhus.
- The Kashi Vishwanath Temple- A popular pilgrimage center among the Hindu culture, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. A must visit religious places in Varanasi on your day tour.
- Durga Temple- Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the Durga temple in Varanasi that overlooks the Durga Kund is having its significance as a pilgrimage, historical site, and piece of medieval Indian architectural work.
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
- Dwarkadheesh Temple- Home to Lord Krishna, the Dwarkadheesh temple is quite popular in Hindu mythology and mostly visited by devotees from different parts of the country on the auspicious day of Janmasthami. It is a must visit tourist place in Mathura and boosts of many beautiful architectural works and paintings.
- Jama Masjid- Built in the 17th century by the governor of Aurangazeb, the Jama Masjid is one of the most sacred places in Mathura that is noted in the Islamic culture.
- Vishram Ghat- A major ghat in Mathura on the banks of River Yamuna… the Vishram ghat makes the list of must visit places on your day trip to Mathura having both mythological and religious significance.
- Kans Qila- Close to the Krishna Ganga ghat and Gau ghat in Mathura, the Kans Qila is an example of a marvelous architectural work from the late 16th century andwas built by Raja Man Singh of Amber, the Rajput general of Mughal emperor Akbar. It is a popular tourist spot in Mathura on a day tour.
- Gita Mandir – Also known as the Birla Mandir… it is one of the most visited sacred places in Mathura and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple hosts a neat, clean and well maintained atmosphere and also holds a beautiful idol of Lord Krishna.
- Potara Kund- Beautifully maintained and conserved by the Archeological Survey of India, the Potra Kund is yet another sacred site in Mathura that is believed to be the place where the water of this Kund was used to clean Lord Shri Krishna’s baby clothe.
- Rangbhoomi- Close to the Mathiura post office… Rangbhoomi is one of the most sought after tourist places in Mathura where it is said to be the arena where the battle between Lord Krishna and king Kansa took place and the latter was killed. It is hence a must visit on your Mathura day trip.
- Kusum Sarovar- The peaceful surrounding along with the glistering water makes Kusum Sarovar a must visit place in Mathura on a day tour. It is a water tank that is said to have belonged from the period of Lord Krishna.
- Kesava Deo Temple- Quite popular as a sacred Hindu site in Mathura, the Kesava Deo Temple is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. According to traditions the original deity was installed by Bajranabh, who was the great-grandson of Krishna.
- Banke Bihari Temple- One of the sacred Hindu sites in Vrindavan, the Banke Bihari Temple which is dedicated to Lord Krishna is a must visit place on your day tour in Vrindavan. It was built by Swami Haridas in mid 19th century and displays exquisite Rajasthani architectural work. It holds several Hindu legends.
- Madan Mohan Temple- Of all the pilgrimage sites in Vrindavan, the Madan Mohan Temple is one of those most revered because it has the distinction of being the oldest temple in Vrindavan. On Tours to Vrindavan, one cannot possibly let go the chance of visiting it. It is not just simply a place of worship; it is an old structure that has stood the test of times.
- Nidhi Van- An amazing place in Vrindavan having spiritual significances… Nidhi Van is said to be the most mysterious and sacred place in Vrindavan that is covered with small trees, known as Vanatulsi and believed to be as gopis according to Hindu mythology. Visiting the place after the evening Aarti is not permitted.
- Govinda Dev Temple- The Govind Dev Temple at Vrindavan was built in 1590 by Raja Man Singh. Made of red stone, this imposing structure is a must-visit site in the holy city.
- Rangaji Temple- Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Rangaji temple also hosts several idols of other Hindu deities and hence is considered as one of the prominent religious sites in Vrinadavan. During the Brahmotsava Festival of Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu)… this temple comes alive with several religious and cultural events.
- Seva Kunj- It is a forest of small trees where it is believed that Lord Krishna visited this place every night. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
- Mughal Gardens- The three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar… spreading over hundreds of acres of land along the Dal Lake, they are must visit places when you are on a day tour in Srinagar. The Mughal Gardens in Srinagar are noted for hosting a sprawling lush green environment dotted with several species of colourful flowers.
- Pari Mahal- Close to the Mughal Gardens is the Pari Mahal, which was once a royal observatory. The Pari Mahal is one of the notable attractions in Srinagar that is perched at the spur of a mountain and holds a marvelous architectural work.
- Challi Point- One looking for a laid back evening on their day trip to Srinagar… must visit Challi Point that overlooks the Dal Lake. It is mostly occupied by both tourists and locals. The view of the Dal Lake with the Sankaracharya hill on the backdrop is a memorable sight that you can enjoy from here. It is also the starting point for the Shikara rides. You can book for an amazing ride on the Shikara here. Even if you want to spend some leisurely moments, this place will not disappoint you.
- Lal Chowk- A popular hangout in Srinagar, Lal Chowk can’t be missed on a day tour. It is a place having political significances.
- Polo View Market- If you are seeking to shop some exciting souvenirs for your dear ones on your day tour in Srinagar… then Polo View Market is a must visit place for you. It arrays shops of pashminas, items like Jamawars, wooden jewelry boxes and walnut carved items.
Gurgaon, Hariyana, Delhi NCR
- Damdama Lake- A popular picnic spot on the outskirts of New Delhi and located in the bustling commercial hub of Gurgaon… the Damdama lake makes for a serene escape into the confines of nature after encountering a draggy conference meeting. Surrounded by the Aravalli hills… the ambiance also makes for an excellent opportunity for birding.
- Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary- If you are a bird lover then a visit to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a must for you on your official trip to Gurgaon. The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is home to wide range of indigenous and migrating birds. It is also a wonderful place for nature photography around Delhi NCR.
- Qutub Khan’s Tomb- It is one of the prominent historical monuments in the least explored state of Haryana… the Qutub Khan’s Tomb which was built in the late 18th century is a must visit places in Gurgaon; it is maintained by the ASI.
- Kingdom of Dreams- It is India’s first live entertainment, theatre and leisure place that was inaugurated in 2010, comprising two theatres, Nautanki Mahal and the Showshaa Theatre, and a cultural and cuisine area known as Culture Gully. If you are looking forward to be a part of a cultural event on your day tour in Gurgaon then step into Kingdom of Dreams.
First Published on: 16 Jan, 2015