Delhi is an ever-growing mass of humanity and development and the entire NCR today is basically a large stretched out city. However, there are still many laidback destinations in and around this area which make for great and short road trips. Here are some suggestions.
A Drive to Damdama
Located across the border in Haryana, Damdama Lake is a serene destination close to the rugged Aravallis. Many also come here to visit the hot springs, known to have healing properties. Those with a thirst for thrill and adventure would love a visit to Damdama. Some of the activities here include kayaking, parasailing, rock climbing and hiking. An old temple here provides an added attraction and also gives travellers a glimpse into the local culture.
Bastion of the Turks
Ancient monuments blend into the modern landscape quite naturally in Delhi. One such example is the Tughlaqabad Fort, old ramparts that are a far cry away from the busy suburbs nearby. Time spent here is like a journey back to another age – the fallen walls and stone bastions conjuring images of old wars and conspiracies. The Fort is home to some well-preserved monuments, most notably the tomb of Ghiyath-al-din-Tughluq.
An evening visit is recommended for shutter-bugs when the golden hour replaces the harsh lighting. There are some underground passages in the fort open to visitors.
A drive to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is recommended for those who need their regular dose of wildlife and pristine nature. Just 50 kms from the capital, this surreal landscape is a thriving migration stop for birds during the winter months. It is also home to a wide variety of feathered residents. Some of the birds found at the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary are cormorants, francolins, parakeets, mynahs and bee-eaters. During the cold season, bird watchers encounter guests like the Eurasian wigeon, Siberian crane and the greater flamingo. One can also expect run-ins with nilgais and black bucks.
There are a few more forest areas near Delhi where one can enjoy a short drive and some peace and quiet. Sanjay Van near Mehrauli is a good spot for bird enthusiasts. The Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary in the Tughlaqabad Ridge is home to species like jungle cats, hares, civets, porcupines and myriad birds. Rajokri is another place dotted with shrub forests and farmlands.
A self drive car rental is the best way to enjoy these impromptu trips. Compared to public transport, there is complete privacy to explore and make impromptu stops or detours. Even car owners are choosing rentals for longer distances, especially for trips with large groups, leaving their city-specific cars at home.
It is very easy to find a self drive car rental in Delhi. Companies like Zoomcar offer an app-based platform where a booking can be completed in mere minutes. 24/7 on-road support and all-India permits make the Delhi escapade a hassle-free experience. There is a lot of history and culture in the regions around the NCR – the best way to experience them fully is on one’s own terms, behind the wheel.