After a long hectic work week, you definitely feel bushed. Over the weekend, you can go see the sights of your city, have a nice meal at an unexplored joint or just laze around your house and watch Netflix all day. However, if you’re looking for an exciting weekend, we suggest taking a short trip to a nearby hill station, or perhaps pay a visit to historically rich places around the city.

Here are the top 7 places around Lucknow that will surely help you blow off steam and leave you refreshed to face the miserable Monday blues.

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Varanasi

There’s no denying that Varanasi is a hub of cultural and spiritual activities. From ghats to lavish temples to mouthwatering cuisine, Varanasi offers a unique experience to everyone who visits. The small alleyways are lush with color, vibrancy and a whole lot of heritage.

The city is shrouded in an atmosphere of its own. With all the extravagant aartis and otherworldly conversations with the spirits, you’ll feel yourself blending in with the city. In case you just want to see the sights, take a boat ride along the mighty Ganges in all its glory. If you’re lucky, you may just get to see a really interesting spiritual procession.

Varanasi is located around 304 kilometers southeast of Lucknow and it should take you about six and a half hours to get there by road.

Chitrakoot

For a mix of touristy activities, head to Chitrakoot. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, it is a small town with great potential for winning over your heart. This is perhaps because it is an all-inclusive place. Lush forests, enormous waterfalls and hallowed temples will all leave you at a loss for words.

A weekend is all you need to take in the inviting vibe of Chitrakoot. Places such as Sati Anasuya Ashram, Hanuman Dhara and Ramghat will have you wondering about the larger things in life while Janaki Kund, Bharat Koop, Jagdal Waterfall will give you a mesmerizing view of the lush forests.

Chitrakoot is located 234 kilometers south of Lucknow and it should take you about five and a half hours to get there by road.

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary

This one is for all the nature lovers and wildlife photographers out there. Step out of the city and enter the peaceful, calm world of Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary. In winters, from November to February, the sanctuary is home to over 1000 species of birds, with half of them being rare and migratory birds.

The aura of the place is calm and even a step in a broken branch echoes till the depths of the forest. Take in the beauty of nature and marvel at the multicolored birds that sit atop a nimble tree branch. It’s your best opportunity to see some of the rarest birds in the world.

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary is just 46 kilometers from Lucknow and it should take you about an hour to get there by road.

Khajuraho

This historic town in Madhya Pradesh has sacred temples which will transport you to another world. The temples are centuries old and hold a lot of historical importance. Each of the fort’s walls and lanes has a different tale to tell. Either about the invasions that it has seen or the many royalties that have lived there.

The place is lush with a variety of fauna and leaves nothing to be desired. It is ideal for nature lovers as the mountain range of Vindhya offers a breathtaking backdrop with Panna National Park surrounded by thick forest safeguarding the various animals. There are also loads of museums which give you all the history lessons you would want.

Khajuraho is 309 kilometers south of Lucknow and it should take you about seven hours to get there by road.

Agra

One of the most famous tourist destinations of the country and home to the majestic Taj Mahal and of course the cuisine, there’s no way you can be left wanting for things to do in Agra.

If you haven’t already been to the Taj Mahal, this is the perfect time to head there. The magnificence will leave you at a loss for words and all you can do is take in the sights. Take a historic walk down the lanes of Agra Fort, which has seen the beginning and end of an era. Maybe you want to shop till you drop and Agra is the perfect place to do so. Well known for its leather, you can don leather boots or jackets and have something to remember your trip by.

Agra is 335 kilometers from Lucknow and it should take you four and a half hours to get there by road.

Dhudwa National Park

Located just 220 kilometers away from Lucknow, Dudhwa National Park is the perfect getaway from the hullabaloo of city life. Unlike the bird sanctuary, this National park has a wide variety of fauna for you to discover. Apart from the 400 species of birds here, you can come across panthers, deers, black bucks, or, if you’re lucky, maybe even a Bengal tiger.

Don’t forget to take your camera with you because your friends may not believe that you stood face to face with a tiger. Apart from that, it will do well to make some great memories with your friends and family.

Dhudwa National Park is 220 kilometers from Lucknow and it should take you five hours to get there by road.

Shrawasti

A well known Buddhist pilgrimage site, it is a great place to take in the sights or just stroll around the lush gardens. Shrawasti is termed as the ancient capital of the Koshal kingdom. Additionally, you can come across famous Stupas such as ‘Kachhi Kuti’ and ‘Pakki Kuti’, both of which emanate otherworldly vibes.

Apart from that, it also houses the monastery that Lord Buddha stayed in for several years. A perfect place to explore the Buddhist culture and take in all it has to offer. Surely this peaceful place should give you the motivation to get to work or class on a Monday morning.

Shrawasti is located 159 kilometers from Lucknow and it should take you four hours to get there by road.

Also Read: 7 places in Lucknow for lip-smacking rolls that won’t burn a hole in your pocket

With so many options to choose from, you can mark your calendar and plan ahead for the coming weekends. A trip to any one of these places will leave you educated and informed about the better, simple things in life.

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