Chandigarh is one of the most well-planned cities that represent a classic example of urbanization and development. Located in the foothills of the Lesser Himalayas, the city’s location sets it just a stone’s throw away from some of the most picturesque weekend getaways. If you are tired from the mundane monstrosity of your work life and looking for instant respite, there are plenty of unexplored hill stations near Chandigarh that will rejuvenate your fatigued soul! No need to spend hours in planning out because most of these trips can be executed in a heartbeat.
Consider yourself warned – if you don’t visit these places at least once in your lifetime, you can’t call yourself a traveler. Here’s everything you should know about some of the breathtaking places to visit near Chandigarh within 100 km and maybe, a little beyond.
Morni Hills (27 km)
If spending a few peaceful hours is on your weekend agenda, then Morni Hills is your best bet. It is common for locals as well as tourists to travel to this hill station to chill at one of the many lakes surrounding the area. Covered in verdant greens and at a spitting distance from Chandigarh, you can easily stop by for a picnic here. The breathtaking views coupled with serene lakes make the only hill station in Haryana ideal for a relaxed breather.
An hour’s short drive will bring you to Morni Hills where you can take a long stroll in the forests, indulge in some bird watching, enjoy short hikes or boat on the lake. You can also visit the nearby Burj Kotian to visit perhaps the only waterfall near Chandigarh. Beat the heat and experience the cool breeze as you spend a day idling by the waterfall. Don’t forget to take a dip in its refreshing waters while you are at it. Take a trip to this hidden heaven of nature and it is sure to make you feel all refreshed and get you ready for the hectic work week to come.
Activities: Bird watching, hiking, boating, taking a dip in the waterfall
Must-visit Attractions: Tikkar Taal, Morni Fort, Adventure Park
Parwanoo (29.3 km)
You might not know that Parwanoo is known for its cable car! Want to spend some quality time with your kids? Then, bring them to Parwanoo, and let them experience the ultimate high of going over enormous hills. Due to its easy accessibility and the scenic drive, this hill station has found favor with many travelers and backpackers. The pine trees that grow in this region make it an emerald beauty. You can revel in its serenity or take one of the many biking trails in the area to feed the adventurer in you. There are plenty of things to do here, the most important of which is enjoying the ropeway ride. The ride, which covers a distance of about 18 km, offers you a bird’s eye view of the region and is a memorable experience in every sense. A trip to Parwanoo will make it a well-rounded day out with your family, to say the least.
Activities: Ropeway ride, trekking, mountain biking Ayurvedic massage
Must-visit Attractions: Kali Mata Temple, Dagshai, Gorkha Fort
Nalagarh (45.6 km)
One of the best places to visit near Chandigarh within 100 km, this picturesque hill station boasts soul-stirring natural beauty. Located right at Himachal’s entry point, Nalagarh is ideal for a day out with your friends and family. The most famous attraction here is Nalagarh Fort. This marvel from the annals of history has now been converted into a heritage property. Stand atop the residence of the erstwhile king, Raja Bikram Chand, and enjoy the stunning views of the Shivalik Range complete with the Sirsa River. Nalagarh is most commonly visited by travelers as a site for day picnics. You can also lounge all day enjoying the sights and scenes or indulge in one of many adventure activities. Yield to its charm my friend; any attempt to resist is futile.
Activities: Cricket, badminton, golf, hiking, rappelling, mountain climbing, river crossing
Must-visit Attractions: Nalagarh Fort
Kasauli (57.9 km)
Looking for a weekend destination not too far away from home? Head to Kasauli hill station near Chandigarh, a place blessed with rich natural beauty and impeccable old-world charm. Just a couple of hours from the city, it is perfect for people looking to spend some quiet time in the lap of nature while admiring rich flora and fauna. You can also marvel at the colonial-era mansions and houses, visit Christ Church that dates back to the 19th century, and take a soothing stroll through beautiful orchards.
Established by the British, this hill station is located between Kalka and Shimla. It may be a small place, but don’t be fooled by its size. Blessed with thick forests, the place is ideal for taking a hike on its well-marked trails and watching beautiful sunsets from misty meadows. You can explore its local attractions or go birdwatching, and when you are tired, have a plate of momos at Tibetan Market. How about doing something unique? Travel to Dharampur (10 km from Kasauli) and taking a toy train from there to Barog and back. The journey through small hamlets, hill tunnels, and dense oak and pine forests are going to be a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Activities: Hiking, bird watching, visiting local attractions, toy train ride, camping, nature walks
Must-visit: Gilbert trail, Lover’s Lane, Kimmughat, Tibetan market, Christ Church, Sunset Point, Monkey Point
Barog (58.8 km)
One of the many less-explored destinations, Barog is known for its scenic beauty and its tiny train station by the same name. The scenic drive to this hill town will take only an hour or so, making it an increasingly popular choice amongst travelers for a weekend away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Despite its popularity, Barog remains less crowded and breathtakingly beautiful.
While you are here, a ride on the toy train, which is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a must. The ride is so popular, even outside India, that it was featured in one of Anthony Bourdain’s travel episodes. Also, don’t forget to explore the famous Barog tunnel that is known to be the most haunted place in India. You can also take long, refreshing walks and let the clean mountain air invigorate your exhausted senses.
Activities: Hiking, nature walks, toy train ride
Mus-visit Attractions: Dolanji Bon Monastery, Choor Chandni Peak, Karol Tibba
Nahan (77.4 km)
Nahan is Himachal’s best-kept secret that is blessed with pristine lakes and rich heritage. It is a complete package for people who want a little more than just rest. This quaint hill town is not only an abode of beautiful nature, but also offers you plenty of things to do. Apart from taking nature walks, you can visit one of the many ancient temples and learn about their history. You can also explore Renuka Wildlife sanctuary to experience wilderness. Just a couple of hours away from Chandigarh, Nahan packs a power punch of fun activities and serene nature in a beautiful bundle, making it a promising travel destination for families and backpackers alike.
Location: Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh
Activities: Nature walks, boating, camping
Nearby Attractions: Suketi Fossil Park, Kalisthan Temple, Mall Road, Renuka Lake, Villa Round
Solan (66.6 km)
Did you know that Solan is also known as India’s Mushroom Capital due to its significant production of mushrooms? The bulk production of tomatoes has also earned it another moniker – the City of Red Gold. Who would have thought that this picturesque hill station within a drivable distance from Chandigarh will have so much to offer?!
Solan might not be the most popular hill station around Chandigarh and also, it fades under the glory of its distant cousins like Chail and Kasauli; however, there are so many things to do here if you know where and what to look for. From a Tibetan Monastery to a national park, Solan is a treasure trove of attractions for a curious traveler. If you have a day or two extra on hand, you can stop here en route Kasauli, Kalka or Chail and explore this quaint hill station that often goes unnoticed by people.
Activities: Sightseeing, forest walks, bird watching, trekking
Nearby Attractions: Yungdrung Tibetan Monastery, Gurkha Fort, Shoolini Mata Temple, Jatoli Shiv Temple, Solan Brewery
Chail (105 km)
Once you have spent some quality time in Solan, carry your journey forward to Chail. This popular hill station along with Shimla and Kufri make up the famous Himachali Golden Triangle. Chail is rich not only in natural beauty, but also in royal history. If you want to experience the majestic opulence first hand, head straight to Chail Palace. The highest cricket ground in the world (2444 meters above sea level) is also located in this hill station. This breathtaking paradise is a perfect weekend destination if you have at least 2-3 days at hand.
Activities: Nature walks, camping, wildlife spotting, hiking
Must-visit: Chail Palace, cricket ground, Sadhupul, Kali Ka Tibba, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, Siddh Baba Mandir
Shimla (110 km)
Late but never the least, Shimla! One of the most popular holiday destinations in North India, Shimla needs no introduction. From its trekking trails to serene picnic spots, this charming town has never failed to attract people.
Apart from exploring Shimla’s popular Ridge and Mall Road, there are many other places within close proximity, such as Kufri that can be covered in a day. The place has everything that makes up a perfect, fun-filled holiday with family and friends. It is the best you can do to your mind and body after spending months sitting behind an office desk!
Activities: Trekking, heritage walks, shopping, camping, rock climbing, rafting
Nearby Attractions: Mall Road, Jakhoo Hill, Ridge, Theog, Scandal Point, Lakkar Bazaar, Gaiety Theater, Bantony Castle, Rashtrapati Niwas
Naldehra (129 km)
A quaint and offbeat destination a little more than 100 km away from Chandigarh, Naldehra will bring you face to face with flaming sunsets and refreshing sunrises. Surrounded by deodar trees, it is a delightful spot for a tired mind. History has it that Lord Curzon was captivated by its beauty, and even better, he kept Naldehra as the second name for his daughter Alexandra!
One of the best things you can do here is to roam around its 18-hole golf course or even indulge in a game if you are ready to splurge. You can also enjoy galloping in the woods if you like to ride a horse. For adventure enthusiasts, refreshing hikes in the forests will be a treat for the soul!
Activities: Horse riding, hiking, golfing
Must-visit Attractions: Tattapani, Shaily Peak, Kogi village
So, don’t lose sleep planning your next weekend trip, not when you have this list! Depending on the availability of days and budget, you can choose an option that best suits you. Also look for the best hotels in Chandigarh from where you can visit these places. So what are you waiting for? Those bags will not pack themselves!