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5 Best Road Trips in India for Every Passionate Traveller

9 mins. read

I have always believed roadways are the best of the all the modes of transport. Well, air travel is swift and easy but just think of the amount of magic one loses out when just flying above the places, giving all that runs beneath a miss. Someone has rightly said, ‘An open road is like a story just waiting to be told’; and we couldn’t agree more. Since ages, roads have helped shape the world we are living in today and have enriched civilizations and cultures we inherit. Be it the Silk Road, Grand Trunk Road, Amber Road or the Royal Road… Just imagine what life would have been without the exchange of ideas, cultures, philosophies, gastronomies and arts between the East and the West.

Likewise, roads also have a major role to play when it comes to travel. It’s so true, that ‘it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey’. Roads enrich us with myriad experiences they have got to offer on the way. India is a country where the language and culture changes after every few kilometres. So what better way to explore a land with such rich diversity than taking to its roads, quite literally! In this blog, we bring to you 5 best road trips in India, which are must-include in your adventure tour package. The roads are calling…. Chalo, Bag Bharo, Nikal Pado!

1. Jaipur to Jaisalmer: From the Pink City to the Golden City

The unmatchable road trip from Jaipur to Jaisalmer makes for a perfect opportunity for you to witness the many colours, culture and beauty of the Land of the Kings – Rajasthan, as you ride past the many villages. Connecting the Pink City - Jaipur with the Desert City – Jodhpur, also known as the Golden City due to its bountiful golden sand dunes and castles clad in golden honey sandstone, the roads are in perfect condition, granting you a smooth ride. Take the RJ SH 19, which is the best route to travel to Jaisalmer from Jaipur. On this journey of around 560 km. that takes around 9 to 10 hours, make a stopover at Jodhpur to indulge in the true Rajasthani heritage and also some authentic cuisine. It would be a refuelling stop, both for your car and your tummy. What’s more, you can also visit Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary on the way.

2. Manali to Leh: Every Biker’s Passion

Manali To Leh Every Bikers Passion 2
Photo by Sandeep Yadav

There are certain experiences that just cannot be put into words. One of such travel pleasures is the absolutely magical Manali to Leh highway drive, the beauty of which is best witnessed in all its snowy glory, either on your motorbike or an open-roofed jeep. Who can ever forget Kareena Kapoor dancing to ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ from Jab We Met! Needless to say, a road trip in the Himalayas is always accompanied by some breath-taking vistas all around, making them some of the best and most enthralling road trips in India. With some very adventurous twists and turns, the snow-capped mountains, distinct valleys, spectacular landscapes, and stunning monasteries, which are just perfect for indulging the passionate traveller within you, will absolutely spice up your journey. The road spans over a total of around 480 km. and has a mean altitude of 3 to 4 km. above sea level. The road conditions are safe and remain open for 5 months during the summer up until mid of October and the best time to visit is from June to September. With a stopover at Keylong and further at Sarchu to relax and acclimatize to the high altitude, the total journey should take 2 days.

3. Guwahati to Tawang: A North-eastern Delight

Spread across an extremely beautiful terrain of mountain roads, Guwahati to Tawang is perhaps one of the must-take road trips in Northeast India. The roads are rough but well worth the trip for nature’s bliss that includes both snow-clad mountains and lush greenery at every turn. With a distance of about 520 km. and travelling time of more than 14 hrs., the drive is unarguably long and challenging but is indeed ‘love at first drive’ for all those who are deeply passionate for the roads and find magic in the hum of a bike or a car. With both Guwahati and Tawang being must-visit spots in Northeast India, the cherry on the cake is this road trip connecting the two. Although the trip is an extensive one, there are several good places for a stopover or two and thus makes it completely doable. The entire trip can be conveniently pulled off over a course of 2 days. The road trip lets us witness the marvels of the Buddhist culture. Make a stopover at Dirang in West Kameng to witness Buddhist culture at Kalachakra and Ngingmapa Monastery, or stop at Tezpur in Assam and explore its cultural and historical attractions. Don’t forget to indulge in the lip-smacking and piping hot momos, Maggi and tea at one of the many shops and stalls along the way. The best time to take this road trip is between March and October, since the rest of the time the roads may be blocked due to snow.

4. Delhi to Shimla: A Blissful Journey between the Two Capitals

Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and India’s most popular hill station is adorned with some stunning views of Himalayan peaks, alpine forests, and colonial charm. Matching up to the beauty and magic of Shimla is the journey towards it on a road trip from the capital city, New Delhi. While travelling from Delhi to Shimla by road, you pass through the villages of Haryana and Punjab, and hilly locales of Himachal Pradesh. The best time to travel to Shimla from Delhi is between March and June when the temperatures are perfect for long journeys and nature is also in full bloom in the hills. However, if you are keen on enjoying the winter chills, travel in December and January. The distance between Delhi and Shimla is of around 350 km. which can be covered over 7.5 hrs. or a little more. The best highway route to travel on from Delhi to Shimla is unarguable NH 44 and NH 5. You’ll find very light road traffic on this route. Moreover, on this route, you’ll find many popular tourist places along the way, like the historic battlefield of Panipat, the sites from Mahabharata at Kurukshetra, Chandigarh, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary at Kalka, Parwanoo – which is known for fruit farming, and Kasauli. Eating on the drive is not a problem on this route. Feast your taste buds on multi-cuisine buffet or a la carte options at restaurants and eateries and also on sumptuous local dishes like Paranthas and Chana Kulcha, and home-style lunches at family-owned old homely Dhabas.

5. Vishakhapatnam to Araku Valley: Just You and Nature’s Bounty

What could be more serene than the meeting of the aquamarine waters of the Bay of Bengal with the majestic Eastern Ghats? This favourable meet of the ocean with the mountains creates for a wonderful experience for those wanting to take a weekend self-drive tour. The journey from Vishakhapatnam towards Araku Valley is of about 120 km., which can be covered in 3 to 4 hrs., winding through curly roads, verdant green canyons, and serene hills overlooking the magical Bay of Bengal, majestic waterfalls, forested hillsides, and coffee plantations – all under the grey sky with the smell of fresh flora in the air to accompany you on your drive. It’s all about embracing nature’s bounty and running out of your camera’s memory as you try really hard to capture as many magical moments as possible. There are interesting places like Borra Caves and Tatipudi Reservoir on the way. You can stop at Jungle Bells nature camp at Tyda, which houses nice restaurants for a snack or lunch break. The best time to take the trip would be from October to March.

The great American poet and the father of free verse Walt Whitman had once so rightly said, “I take to the open road… Healthy, Free, the world before me.” A road journey is truly liberating in so many ways, not just physically but also mentally and spiritually. And roads for most of the time lead to unexpected stopovers, making way for fortunate stokes of serendipity. It’s time to hit the road yet again… Happy Journey!

Celebrate Road Trips! Celebrate Life!

September 02, 2020


Jitesh Ghag
Jitesh Ghag

An optimist to the core, he constantly seeks the best out of everything he experiences in life. He believes, 'Emotions' is the most valuable asset of mankind and thinks the best destination to travel to is always one's fond memories and sweet nostalgia. Deeply in love with all that is living and non-living, he considers Love and Life to be synonyms.

More Blogs by Jitesh Ghag

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