If you’re a traveler stuck in the big city life of Hyderabad, consider yourself lucky. You are surrounded by some of the most alluring places in the country that proves to be perfect weekend getaways near Hyderabad.
The village of Hampi is placed inside the remains of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and among the best places to visit near Hyderabad since it houses the ancient Virupaksha Temple along with several other monuments belonging to the bygone era and holds great regards in historical backgrounds. It remains an important religious centre till date.
Attractions in Hampi: This popular tourist place near Hyderabad has several Hindu temples with Vedic mythology on display inside. The most prominent of these are Achyutaraya Temple, Badavi Linga, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple and Chandramauleshwara Temple.
The Hazara Rama Temple Complex, although ruined, is famous for its intricate carvings & inscriptions depicting the story of Ramayana. The Vittala Temple Complex is the most renowned among the Hampi ruins with the stone statue in its grounds forming the symbol of Karnataka Tourism.
Activities to do in Hampi: Hampi’s temples are perfect locations for pursuing photography and appreciating ancient architecture. There are huge boulders on the edge of the River Tungabhadra which flows adjacent to the village border. This region is frequented by adventure tourists to practice rock climbing and bouldering since the granite rocks are ideal for their exploratory activity.
Location: In the northern part of Karnataka with Hospet being the nearest major town.
Best time to visit: October to February
Dandeli is a small town in close proximity to the Anshi National Park and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. It is known as an eco-tourism destination since a wide variety of birds and animals are found here.
Attractions: Around 25km from Dandeli are the Kavala Caves, the entrance to which can be reached by walking down a thousand steps. There are signs to show that these ancient limestone caves were once inhabited by humans during prehistoric times. These caves are one of the best places to visit in Dandeli.
Activities to do in Dandeli: wildlife safaris that are conducted within the Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve is among the best things to do in Dandeli. You are likely to catch sight of some of its over 300 bird inhabitants along with animals such as elephants, tigers, sloths, deer, civets etc.
During a longer weekend getaway from Hyderabad, adventure tourists can indulge in white water rafting in the River Kali that flows nearby and is an active rafting destination throughout the year.
Location: In the Western Ghats region of North Karnataka
Best time to visit: October to May
Goa was once the colonial outpost of the Portuguese and has managed to retain its old-world charm despite its new-found reputation for being a party hotspot. Thousands of tourists, both domestic and international, visit this state for having a fun-filled vacation which can be both action-packed and relaxing – as one chooses. Goa holds a plethora of adventure activities to do for visitors to enjoy, hence making it a must place to visit near hyderabad.
Goa’s numerous beaches are its prime attractions. From isolated and serene ones like Palolem and Cavellosim to bustling ones like Baga and Calangute, where water sports are conducted, tourists are spoilt for choice here.
Those interested in visiting religious places can head to its synagogues, churches and temples that dot this state. One can also come across charming and quaint bungalows painted in vibrant colours as one drives through the various locales of Goa.
Activities in Goa: Water Sports in Goa like parasailing, banana boat ride, jet skiing and snorkelling are possible at several beaches in the North of Goa. For those of you interested in wildlife, Dudhsagar Falls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are the places to head to.
Bird watching, boating, photography, water sports, and sightseeing – there is no dearth of activities that one can indulge in while on a long weekend getaway from Hyderabad to Goa.
Location: Western coast of India, bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra
Best time to visit: November to February
The hill station of Lonavala is 2041 feet above sea level and becomes a trekking hub during the monsoon season. Located in the Sahyadri Ranges, it has several caves in its vicinity and many overflowing waterfalls too. due to its easy accessibility, it is one of the most coveted hill stations in the vicinity of Hyderabad.
Attractions in Lonavala: There are many caves like Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves and Bedsa that are nearby Lonavala. During a visit to this weekend getaway around Hyderabad, one can opt to go to the twin hill station of Khandala along with visiting the two fortresses of Lohagad and Visapur. Another place of interest is the Tungi Fort near the village of Karjat.
Activities in Lonavala: Many adventure enthusiasts head to Lonavala during the rainy season for trekking expeditions in the valleys around Lonavala. With plenty of waterfalls in the region that are in full spate during this season, the scene is a refreshing one and visitors can expose themselves to a variety of activities in this must place to visit near Hyderabad.
Location: Western Maharashtra, on the way between Pune and Mumbai
Best time to visit: Monsoons
5. Belum Caves
With a length of 3229 metres, Belum caves are the longest in the plains of India. Its long passages, large chambers and smooth walls make for interesting viewing as you venture into their interiors.
Attractions: There is a huge Buddha statue on a hillock near the Belum Caves. A part of the caves known as ‘Meditation hall’ was used by Buddhist Monks earlier. Patalaganga is a perennial stream deep inside these caves. Different formations of stalactites and stalagmites can be seen which appear surreal and some of them even produce musical sounds.
Activities: Exploring the caves’ interiors and appreciating the natural beauty of these formations is sure to engage you during a trip to Belum caves. As one views the various structures that were also once inhabited by monks, one is filled with awe at the spiritual ambience of the place.
Location: To the south of Hyderabad, in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh
Best time to visit: August to December
Vishakhapatnam, or Vizag, is a port city that has the only natural harbor of India. It has one of the most beautiful beaches in India, extensive hill ranges and lush greenery along its entire coastline. Put Vizag into your list of places to visit near Hyderabad, if you like the idea of relaxing on a cosy beach.
Attractions: Ramakrishna Beach and the adjacent Lawson’s Bay Beach are the most popular among residents. Kailasagiri Hill has a temple and a big park on its top and one can choose to either drive up or take the ropeway to reach it. Submarine museum, located on the RK Beach, is housed inside a real submarine which was decommissioned years ago.
Activities: Go for drive along the coastline up to the Rishikonda Beach on the city’s outskirts. Take a walk on the promenade along the RK Beach. Go to the zoological park which is spread over 625 acres. One can escape to the hill station of Araku Valley and also explore the Borra Caves which are not too far from Vizag.
Location: Coastal Andhra Pradesh, north of the state
Best time to visit: October to March
The port city of Machilipatnam stands at the mouth of the Krishna River, just before it enters the Bay of Bengal. It was once a flourishing centre of sea trade and fishing place near Hyderabad.
Attractions: Various temples and religious places are located in this city, which include Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Sri Nageswara Swamy Temple¸ Sri Ramalingeswara and Sri Ranganayakaswamy Temples. Pilgrimage sites like Dattashram, Panduranga Swamy temple, Anjaneya Swamy temple and Sivaganga Temple are visited by thousands of devotees each year during religious festivals.
Activities: One can head to the Manginapudi Beach which is a fishing hamlet on the city outskirts. Its waters are shallow and the scenery in the backdrop is relaxing, just what one looks for on a day outing.
Location: Coastal Andhra Pradesh, south-east of Hyderabad
Best time to visit: October to March
Adilabad is a small town of Andhra Pradesh and is home to a multicultural society. This tourist place lies North of Hyderabad.
Attractions: Mavala Lake, built during the Nizam period, is just on the outskirts of Adilabad and has a park next to it. Kuntala and Pochera Falls are natural attractions in this region. Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary is around 66km from here and one can spot marsh crocodiles in the River Godavari flowing here.
Other sanctuaries located in the area are Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary and Pranahitha Wildlife sanctuary which are apt choices if one wishes to sight wild beings.
Location: North of Hyderabad
Best time to visit: October to March
A World Heritage site, Pattadakal stands on the banks of the Malaprabha River. This village in Karnataka is an important tourist destination due to its famed Chalukya monuments and temples which display amazing craftsmanship.
Attractions: There are a series of ten temples, including a Jain sanctuary, in Pattadakal built in different architectural styles. The largest of all the temples here is Virupaksha temple which is full of intricately made sculptures – a sight to behold for their splendor and magnificence.
Activities: History buffs, photography enthusiasts and travellers with a keen eye for ancient architectural marvels as well as spiritual souls will have plenty to keep them occupied during a long weekend getaway from Hyderabad to Pattadakal.
Location: Karnataka’s Bagalkot district, 22km from Badami
Best time to visit: January to April
This urban tourist spot is a major pilgrimage site with many temples built on the Gadavari River’s edge, and boasts of being listed in the best tourist places to visit near Hyderabad. Rajahmundry is also considered the cultural capital of Andhra since the state’s language, Telugu, is said to have originated here.
Attractions: The River Godavari, with its three long bridges and several ghats and parks on its banks, is the prime attraction here. ISKCON temple, Markandeya temple and Kotilingeshwara temple are all sited on the river’s edge and can be visit during a day trip to the city.
Activities: Go for a boat cruise on the Godavari River to get a different view of Rajamundry.
Location: Eastern coastal Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of River Godavari
Best time to visit: December and January
11. Maredumilli and Rampachodavaram
Both Maredumilli and Rampachodavaram are well-known picnic spots due to the waterfalls that are located here. These cascades brim with rain waters soon after monsoons and are located within forest areas, making it a pleasant outing to head with friends and family.
Attractions: Jalatarangini, Amrutdhara and Swarnadhara waterfalls near Maredumilli are quite popular attractions with groups of tourists. Rampa waterfalls and a Shiva temple nearby are the popular destinations in Rampachodavaram.
Location: East of Hyderabad, near the coast
Distance: 430km and 451km
Best time to visit: Soon after monsoons
Previously known as Vatapi, Badami is famed for its rock cut temples and is located in a narrow valley at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone projection that surrounds the Agastya Lake. Badami is well-known for its 4 sandstone cave temples which differ architecturally from each other.
Attractions: There are several striking, stone carved temples found here including the Bhutanatha temple, the Dattatreya temple, the Mallikarjuna temple, temple of Banashankari, Agasthya Tirtha, temples of Goddess Yellamma, Mallikarjuna, Datttreya and Virupaksha – all built over several centuries.
There is also a dargah, a Buddhist cave, and a Jain temple situated here. Apart from these, you can visit the Badami Fort situated on top of the hill which provides the entire view of the ancient town below.
Activities: During a longer weekend getaway from Hyderabad to Badami, one can look forward to seeing cave temples, gateways, forts, inscriptions and sculptures. This site is sure to leave its visitors spell-bound with its unmatched architectural uniqueness.
Location: In Bagalkot district of Karnataka
Best time to visit: September to February
13. Horsley Hills
The picturesque Horsley Hills is a hill station that stands at a height of 4,312 feet above sea-level and with its cool climate, its perfect for a weekend getaway around Hyderabad. Fresh air, stunning views of the surrounding hillocks and thick forests that are a natural treasure trove of deciduous flora and fauna – Horsley Hills offers these and a quiet escape from the city life.
Attractions: The main tourist attractions around Horsely Hills are the Gangotri and Mansarovar Lakes, Highview Point, Gaalibanda, Environmental Park and the Horsley Hills Museum.
Activities: Adventure activities like zorbing, rappelling and trekking are conducted here which can be tried on your trip to this quiet retreat. Close by Horsley Hills is the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary and elephant reserve where one can expect to catch sight of wild creatures.
Location: On the south of Andhra Pradesh, near the border with Karnataka
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
14. Andhari Tiger Reserve, Chandrapur
Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located in the state’s Chandrapur district. Andhari River and Kolsa Lake are major water bodies here where birds and animals head to for splashing around. The Nationaal Park is a must see place to visit near Hyderabad for wildlife enthusiasts on a weekend getaway and one can spot them easily at this site, which makes it a popular place for photography.
Attractions: Tigers are the major attraction of this animal park. Other than these, there are several species of wild flora and fauna to be sighted here.
Activities: Jungle safari in open-topped jeeps and mini-buses is possible for those visiting this national park. There is a high likelihood of spotting a large number of unique birds around the Kolsa Lake.
Location: Central India, near Nagpur in Maharashtra
Best time to visit: February to May
15. Pench National Park
Pench Tiger Reserve stands on the Southern slopes of the Satpura Range. This national park has the River Pench flowing through it and is said to be the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’.
Attractions: Wild creatures in their natural habitat are the major attractions of Pench National Park Tour.
Activities: Going for jungle safari to see birds and animals including tiger, leopard, sloth bear, chital, hyena, barking deer, peafowl, pheasant, drongo and robin among others, is the prime activity one can look forward to here. Elephant rides and nature walks on some earmarked jungle trails can also be done.
Location: Southern Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra
Best time to visit: February to April