Gurgaon is the second largest city in Haryana and is also known as the industrial & financial center of the state. Most of the people travel to Gurgaon for business purposes but proximity to Delhi and being of historical significance gives the city an edge over other cities in the national capital region. If you are traveling to Gurgaon (the Millennium city), here is a list of things to do and places to visit:
Sheetla Mata Shakti Peeth
The Sheetla Mata Shakti Peeth is a pilgrimage and is visited by pilgrims throughout the year but mostly during the Hindi month of Chaitra. The temple was renovated by the King of Bharatpur and is a centre of devotion since then. Legend has it that the King’s horses could not cross Gurgaon until he himself paid homage to Mata. The king renovated the temple later.
Sultanpur National Park & Bird Sanctuary
Located 15 kms from Gurgaon on the Farukh Nagar Road, the Sultanpur bird sanctuary and national park is a popular weekend getaway for bird watching and family outings/ picnics. Upto 250 species of birds have been spotted with many of them migrating in the winter season from places such as Siberia, Afghanistan and other European countries. Visitors can also spot Neelgai and Black Buck in the sanctuary.
Kingdom of Dreams
Kingdom of Dreams is the first of its kind of entertainment, theatre and leisure destination in the country. Located in Sector 29, Gurgaon, KoD offers an 835 seater art auditorium, arts, crafts & food boulevard, 350 seater amphitheater and IIFA Buzz lounge. Carved like a huge palace on a 6 acre area, KoD is a must visit place in the city. Shah Rukh Khan, the ambassador of KoD, describes Nautanki Mahal productions as “A theater experience comparable to the best in the world. As good as Moulin Rouge, Broadway…An experience you can only dream of.”
Located at 23 kms from Gurgaon in Sohna, Damdama Lake is the biggest lake in Haryana and was commissioned to be built up to store monsoon rain water at the base of the Aravali Hills. Usually, the water level is 20 feet which increses to upto 60 feet during monsoon. Activities that you can enjoy at the Damdama Lake are boating, Artificial Rock climbing, Valley Crossing, Burma bridge, Commando Bridge, Travoline trevasse, Commando Net, Australian Trolley, Double Trouble, Blind Fold Commando, Tug of War, Cricket, Music & Dance, Rain Dance & Swimming.
Sohna Hot Water Spring
Around 20 kms from Gurgaon, Sohna is famous for a hot water spring that is located near an ancient Lord Shiv temple. The water from this spring is said to have medicinal qualities for people who have skin diseases. Gangasnan fair is organized every year in November for festivities in the temple.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Amusement Park
The Wet ‘n’ Wild amusement park is located at 45-Milestone in Sec 78, Naurangpur, NH8 in Gurgaon and offers activities like theme/ business parties, anniversary celebrations, marriage functions, rooms, suites and restaurants apart from a water park and indoor games. Wet ‘n’ Wild offers different packages for couples, families and groups for a weekend getaway.
Museum of Folk & Tribal Art
The Museum of Folk & Tribal Art (or K.C. Aryan’s Home of Folk Art) is located in Sector 4, Gurgaon, where one can go through an exquisite collection of masks, textiles, paintings, bronzes, patakas, terracotas, wood carvings, Lord Shiv Mukhlingas, stone carvings, tribal artefacts, metal artefacts, folk/ tribal jewellery, Lord Hanuman collection and some other miscellaneous items. The museum was founded by late Mr. K.C. Aryan in 1984 in Gurgaon and has since been operated from his home, though, efforts are on to construct a new museum building in New Delhi.
Carterpuri, or Chuma Kheragaon, is a village 6 kms from Gurgaon and is known for the historical visit of Jimmy Carter (then US President). Carter visited the village on January 3, 1978, and stayed in a haveli. After his visit, the US ambassadors to India visited the haveli on 3rd January every year and halwa-puri was prepared for them. The haveli where Carter spent some time became a part of every American’s tourist travel itinerary through to 1981. Regular mail exchange happened between Carter and the village council till he was the president.
The Pataudi Palace was the former residence of nawabs of Pataudi since the 19th century and is now a heritage hotel run by Neemrana Group of Hotels. One can make their stay memorable with their stay in suites named Faiz Mahal, Taqi Mahal, Iftikhar Mahal and Sher Mahal. Movies like Mangal Pandey, Veer Zara, Rang de Basanti, Gandhi My father, Mere Brother ki Dulhan & Eat, Pray, Love have been shot here.
The Ambience Mall is the largest shopping mall in India to date and offers 1 sq km of shopping space on every floor. Located on the Delhi-Gurgaon border one can indulge in ice skating, bowling and movie watching too. Leela Kempinski Hotel is also situated in the Ambience mall.
The ‘Appu Ghar’ of Delhi is also expected to be shifted to Gurgaon very soon. Construction is in full swing at the 17-acres site in Sector 52A premises of Appu Ghar.
Image courtesy: Kingdom of Dreams