Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
Sanchi, the pride of Madhya Pradesh is home to several Buddhist temples, stupas, monasteries and the Ashokan Pillar has received the UNESCO World Heritage site status for the Mahastupa which is one of the oldest stone structures in India dating back to the 2nd century.
The four gateways also referred to as the Toranas are heavily embellished with intricate stone art. Intricate carvings from the life of Buddha and his followers, important relics of Buddha, Emperor Ashoka’s childhood and the art and history of the Mauryan period have been displayed throughout Sanchi.
Distance from Nagpur: Approximately 400kms via NH47 and NH46.
Attractions: Sanchi Stupa, Mahastupa, Udaygiri caves, Gupta temple, ASI Museum and Chaiyta Vihar.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
One of the famous Tiger reserves and the largest National park of India is situated at the heart of our country which was Rudyard Kipling’s inspiration for his famous literature, The Jungle Book.
Kanha tiger reserve takes pride in preserving the rare and exotic animals of India like the Royal Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Sloth bear, Bara Singha and Indian wild dog in their natural habitat.
The authorities have marked it into 4 zones, Kanha, Kisli, Sarha and Mukki along with 3 other buffer zones, Khatia, Sijhora and Khapa which can be accessed by tourists for Jungle Safari.
Distance from Nagpur: 260km via NH44 which takes close to 5.5hours.
Attractions: Jungle Safari at Kanha Tiger reserve, Stay at Kanha National Park and Kanha Museum.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Ajanta and Ellora caves of Aurangabad are very popular places to visit near Nagpur and have also made their way to the UNESCO world heritage sites famous for its rock cut sculptures.
The 30 rock-cut caves of Ajanta built in the 2nd century are basically masterpieces of Buddhist religious art which later influenced Indian art and culture. The paintings on the caves depict lives and rebirths of the Buddha inspired from the Jatakamala along with other Buddhist deities.
The jaw-dropping Ellora caves will keep you enamoured for it is the largest rock-cut monastery temple cave complex in the world featuring Hindu, Jain and Buddhist philosophies.
Distance from Nagpur: 412km, which takes approximately 9 hours by road.
Attractions: Ajanta Caves, Kailasanatha temple, Buddhist caves, Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar temple, Jain caves and Aurangabad cave.
Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
The unique rock shelters of Bhimbetka is an interesting place to visit as it has a rich history which dates back to the prehistoric era. Excavated by Dr Vishnu Wakankar in 1957, the 500 caves amidst lush green forest area have paintings done by ancient men to communicate with each other.
A few paintings are said to be as old as 30,000 years old is a testimony to prehistoric mankind and their lifestyle. Out of the 500, only 12 caves are open to the public for witnessing the vivid paintings done with natural colours.
Distance from Nagpur: 312km via NH46 and NH47 and takes close to 6 hours to reach.
Attractions: The rock caves, Hoshangabad and Bhojpur.
Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
This National Park in Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhyapradesh must feature in the list of places to visit near Nagpur due to its sprawling greenery spread across 758 Sq Km offering the finest Wildlife experience.
The National park is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild boar, Sloth bear, striped bear, gaur, antelope, Indian wolf and a host of other flora and fauna. A jungle safari during the winters along the meandering path is an exhilarating experience to indulge in.
For a cosy and a comfortable stay, there are numerous hotels and resorts in and around Pench National Park offering breathtaking views of wilderness around.
Distance from Nagpur: 100km via NH44 and takes 2 hours to reach.
Attractions: Jeep Safari, Elephant safari, Bird watching and Rookhad Wildlife sanctuary also referred to as the Bison Sanctuary.
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Pachmarhi, also referred to as the queen of Satpura in Hoshangabad district stands tall with all its glory embellished with several waterfalls, caves from the Buddhist era and tons of history tucked within.
The tallest hill station has featured in the list of UNESCO Biosphere reserve for its rich flora and fauna. Locals believe that the 5 Pandavas of Mahabharata had stayed in the caves of Pachmarhi during their exile.
Distance from Nagpur: 227km via Chhindwara road and takes approximately 2 hours to reach.
Attractions: Rajat prapat waterfalls, Pandava caves, Jatashankar caves, Dhoopgarh, Satpura National park, Hando Kho, Chota Mahadeo, Churches and Chauragarh temple.
Lonar lake was believed to have been taken shape from a crater formed some 50,000 years ago due to the collision of a meteorite. This mesmerizingly beautiful lake which is 6000 feet wide and 500 feet deep is an important site for scientific research and educational importance.
The only saltwater lake on the basaltic rock in the world looks magnificent, especially during the monsoons surrounded by greenery. Nestled between dainty hills all around, Lonar Lake looks like a priceless green jade with the natural abundance that is unmatched.
Distance from Nagpur: 350km and takes 7 hours to reach.
Attractions: Lonar Lake, Gomukh temple, Kamalja temple, Shankar Ganesh temple and Daitya Sudan temple
Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh
The spellbinding marble rocks alongside the Narmada, creates magic especially on moonlight nights, where the entire area gets dramatic with its natural beauty and flawless setting.
Bhedaghat has stood the testimony of time and archaeologists have found Dinosaur eggs in several ghats of this interesting place. A boat ride on the serene Narmada surrounded by white marble rocks will transport one back to a tranquil space.
The 10th-century temple of goddess Durga at the Chaunsath Yogini Temple adds to the mystic beauty of this place.
Distance from Nagpur: 280 km via NH34 and NH44 and takes a little more than 2.5 hours to reach.
Attractions: Marble rocks, Chaunsath Yogini Temple, Banda Kudni and Dhuandhar Falls.
The holy town of Ramtek is believed to be a halting-place of Lord Rams along with Lakshman and Sita from the Ramayana, thus making it a pilgrimage places to visit near Nagpur.
The Vakatakas also happened to reign this place during the 2nd to the 4th century, thus the town is adorned with several edifices and beautiful structure of relevance. Ramtek is thus a destination of choice for both history lovers and pilgrims making it a hotspot during the weekends.
Ramtek is dotted with hillocks, breathtaking lakes and temples done up in Hemadpanthi architecture making it picturesque.
Distance from Nagpur: 56km via NH44 and takes a little above 1hour to reach.
Attractions: Ram-Laxman temple, Kapur Bawli, Shantinath Atishaya Khestra, Ram Temple, Khindsi lake, Ramtek Dham, Sur river and Kamthikhairy Dam.
One of the largest and oldest National parks of India, Tadoba National park is just 3hours away from Nagpur. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger reserve attracts a lot many visitors round the year due to its wide variety of flora and fauna making it a destination of choice amongst nature lovers.
Besides the 40 plus tigers residing in the forest, it is home to leopard, sloth bear, Gaur, Sambar, Barking deer, flying squirrel and a host of many exotic animals and birds.
Distance from Nagpur: 146km via NH44 and takes 3 hours to reach.
Attractions: Tadoba National Park, Tadoba Lake, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger reserve, Moharli and Kolsa.
If you are looking for places to visit near Nagpur for adventure and some fun-filled moments, your next short trip should be at Khekranala nestled on Chhindwara road near Khapa. Tourists are often attracted by the tranquil lake and the Dam which is enveloped by dense green forest area.
It is an ideal setting for nature lovers and adventure seekers for trekking, camping and nature trails making it a destination of choice, especially during the weekends or even for a picnic with family and friends.
Distance from Nagpur: 56km via NH47 and takes close to 1.5 hours to reach.
Attractions: Khekranala Dam and Shiv Temple in a naturally built cave.
The only coffee growing region in Maharashtra, Chikaldhara boasts of serene lakes, acres of coffee plantation, cascading waterfalls, forts and a rich reservoir of flora and fauna tucked in the dense forests. Chikaldhara is an extremely picturesque location dotted with the gifts of mother nature abundantly.
The place is also of historical relevance tucked into the many bricks of the forts like Narnala, Teliagarh and Zafragarh situated on the hills of Satpura.
Distance from Nagpur: 231km and a drive down the Aurangabad Highway and takes 4.5hours.
Attractions: Bhimkund, Narnala Fort, Melghat tiger reserve, Muktagiri, Gwaligarh fort, Bir lake, Kalapani lake, Panchel point, Amner fort, Gugamal national park and museum.
Waki Woods, Maharashtra
Scouting for places to visit near Nagpur for a break from the monotonous city life? Your search ends at Waki woods, where nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts flock in huge numbers to witness the beauty of the woods.
Trekking, boating, archery, bird watching, photography, village walks, picnics are a few of the activities here to be one with nature and experience the wonders of the place. In the last few years, Ecotourism in this area has evolved manifolds providing eco-stays and sustainable accommodation for visitors.
Distance from Nagpur: 33km by road.
Attractions: Waki River and Waki Taj Darbaar.
Nestled atop a tiny hillock is the shrine of Lord Ganapati in all his glory. A small trek of 100 metres takes one to the shrine to offer prayers to the elephant god. A 360-degree bird’s eye view from the hillock offers a splendid landscape of the region.
The major attraction is towards the eight Ashtavinayak Ganapati Temple standing tall with a looming magnitude. Visitors also spend a day with family and friends gathered at the various picnic spots close by.
Distance from Nagpur: 40km via NH47 and takes less than an hour.
Attractions: Adasa Ganapati Temple and other temples.
Planning for a picnic during the weekend? Amba Khori is one of those hidden places to visit near Nagpur where locals come in hordes to spend some soulful moments on the lap of nature.
Situated on the banks of river Pench, one can spend hours just in awe of mother nature and her splendid beauty. Several Bollywood movies have been shot here amidst this exotic location with irresistible charm. The flowing water of Pench just adds to the serenity of this place enveloped in various hues of green.
Distance from Nagpur: 1078km and takes a hectic 21 hours to reach.
Attractions: Totladoh Lake Dam, Meghdoot reservoir