In a country like India, where every possible scenic beauty is at your disposal, from the country side to hillside, to an oceanic view, the best bet of an avid traveler who wants to see it all is a road trip. On some weekends, you want to just take your bike and head off to a destination, but if what matters to you is the journey and not the destination then road trips are just what you are looking for. The excitement, the tranquility, the joy of roads is something only a traveler who has experienced this before will understand. And if you are a first timer, then it’s never too late to experience this joy firsthand. Here are some of India’s best road trips that we have sorted from the so many options that might have confused you.
1. MANALI TO LEH HIGHWAY:
For all those who dream of a magical road trip with friends or your loved one, this one is just the choice that you are looking for. From sky-high mountains to waterfalls, to snowcapped valleys, to serenity, this highway gives you all of it in just one trip. It takes about 2 days to get through this highway and one stop over should be good. This highway has its best to offer in the monsoons.
Though challenging, this is a life changing trip for all those who have experienced it. And for all those who fancy Kareena Kapoor and remember her dancing in Jab we met the locals in snow, this is the place you must be, as it was shot in these valleys. The total length of this highway is about 480kms with an altitude of 3-4kms above sea level. This highway remains open for 5 months all around the year during summers and mid-October.
2. PURI TO KONARK:
This is a small trip of only 35kms from Puri to Konark on NH 203. This is known to be a photographer’s paradise. From beaches to forest landscapes to touristy places, this highway has it all. And mind you all this for you in just an hour’s drive. Most of the route from Puri to Konark is covered with canopies formed by the trees. With misty cool breeze along the way making it a haven for the traveler. This road is at its best in the monsoons. The scenic beauty in Orissa and mesmerizing idyllic beauty. This trip will offer will leave you to mind boggled now and forever. And so, for all those who have little time in your hand but want to experience a road trip, this is your best bet.
3. MUMBAI PUNE EXPRESSWAY:
Want to get away from your busy life in Mumbai? Want the roads to enthrall your senses? Have only the weekend with you? Well, this road trip is all you need. This trip is only 95kms long making it a perfect getaway for people living in these two cities. It’s a must do for Mumbaikars in the monsoons.
When in these busy cities, all of you need to calm your jittery nerves and the lush green foliage and picturesqueness of this highway will just do the trick. For all those who fancy a trip on your bike, there is good news. Two wheelers are allowed on the old Mumbai-Pune highway while the four wheelers are recommended to take the expressway. Going to Lonavala is almost everyone’s bucket list and going there on this highway is what will make the destination worth it. Sunny da Dhaba and The Kinara village dhaba are good to eat outs on the way.
4. VISHAKHAPATNAM TO ARUKU VALLEY:
For all, you travel junkies out there, this 114-km route is an ideal choice. This road trip gives you a mix of mountainous view on one side and greenery on the other. With some waterfalls on your way to Aruku this trip will almost seem complete to you. The roads here are in good condition as well which is the added topic to this scenic cake. The curvy roads with some gentle elevation and the merger of the Bay of Bengal with the Eastern Ghats will make this trip a permanent memory in your mind and senses. On the way, you can stop over at Borra caves and Tattipudi reservoir. The best time to make this trip is from October-March.
Cliché’s is one thing when you should mostly always avoid, but not when choosing your travel destination. Shimla Manali is just that most talked about and most visited road trip, but nonetheless this one deserves all the talk. With the rives, Beas flowing along the side of the road throughout the trip. And this is one of the reasons you should make this trip. It is one of the best trips you can make in the Himachal and nothing better than playing in the ice-cold waters in this road trip can make you unwind and relax. This trip is about 250kms long but it takes longer than usual to cover this distance due to its hilly terrain. This trip is a must take for all those who look forward to witnessing the snow.
6. CHENNAI TO PUDUCHERRY:
This is a 160kms journey which everyone needs to add to their list of road trips, and this one especially in the monsoons. East coast road famously called as ECR connects Puducherry to Chennai via Cuddalore. With the east coast road on one side, this drive is one of the most romantic drives in the south of India. Experiencing it with soulful music along with the cool breeze that the road will offer will leave you mesmerized. Chetan bhagat wrote about this road in his book and rightly said the sea on one side is a sight to watch as the day grows. The reflection of the sun in the water will leave you thoroughly satisfied. On the way, you can see Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam which is famous for nuclear activity, Marakhhanam which is famous for salt pans.
7. BANGLORE TO BANDIPUR FOREST:
For all those who’s bucket list has forest expedition on it, well Bandipur is the place to be. And what better when the road to Bandipur is full of bliss. It is said to be the most beautiful roads passing through a forest. One can also take the same route from Ooty to Mysore by passing Bandipur. With friends in a jeep with a sunroof, singing all the way and witnessing the lush green landscapes, well that will be a trip to remember and what better if you witness a deer cross the road. Yes, there will be many such sights to behold while you are on this trip. This stretch is about 235km long and takes over 5hrs to cross. There ae quite a few stopovers here with popular places like Mc Donald’s and Café Coffee Day also having their outlets on the way.
8. DELHI TO AGRA:
This trip via Mathura on the Yamuna Highway is one of the favorites of the North Indians and they have all reasons to favor this one. This is said to be one of the best highways across the country. For all you avid travelers out there, you can drive through this road visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and be back by night. Getting on this expressway from Delhi is about 60kms which will take you an hour to reach considering the bumper to bumper traffic that Delhi always offers.
Once you are on the expressway it is about 160kms which will take you only 2hrs to cover as the roads are just to die for. Since you will be driving at a faster speed than usual, the air pressure in the tires needs to be checked for. The only minor setback on this highway is that there are no dhabas on the sides of the road along the stretch. Although there are a couple of eat outs after every toll which will quench your hunger and thirst but do not expect delicious Delhi style dhabas here.
9. KOLKATA TO DINGA:
East India has never failed us, especially when it comes to offering the best natural beauty. Any local of Kolkata will swear by this trip and would’ve taken it a couple of times already. The route is basic. Clean neat roads, with green patches throughout making it a perfect journey to unwind and relax. Dinga is a very popular weekend getaway for the easterners. A long walk on the beach or a horseback ride or just savoring the sunsets and sunrises, this place offers it all. The road stretches to about 180kms. Taking you 3hrs to get there with plenty of eat outs and dhabas on the way. So, eat your way through this trip and enjoy. Don’t forget to keep that camera handy.
10. BANGLORE TO OOTY:
This road is nestled between the Nilgiri hills making it the perfect road trip for all those nature fanatics out there. A perfect combination of smooth roads with green leafy trees this trip makes it a must for first-time travelers. This road is along the SH17 and stretches about 266kms taking you over 3hrs to reach your destination. There are plenty of eating joints for all the foodies.Try out the Kamath on the way or if you don’t fancy experimenting then it has the CCD’s. Also the Mc Donald’s for your comfort. Don’t forget to visit Mysore on the way to experience its historic beauty before you entry the lap of nature at Ooty.