Best Road Journey

10 Most Scenic Road Trips in India

Many people would argue that road trip is a waste of time as one can travel cheaper and faster. No one is here trying to contest the legitimacy of a train or flight journey but if you did not have had a road trip, you have missed it all. Moving slow has its own benefit as you enjoy the bumps, the snake like roads going zigzag giving a vertigo effect, going high and low crossing against cultures and communities living in most difficult of terrains yet carrying a beautiful smile, an euphoria of its own. Having your tea served from a wooden cart, lunch in a traditional dhaba, experiencing the spices and flavors of real India is actually what your life misses most.
Let us share with you a collection of some of the best road trips in India that would lead you through a personal journey, as you widen your horizons in gasping nature being there yourself.

1. Delhi-Manali-Leh
Well if you are in the capital, the corridor to the entire Northern India were lies the mighty Himalayas than one of the most incredible road trips on the circuit is from Delhi to Leh via Manali. The road passes through some of the most exotic destinations which one would call adventurous with strenuous mountain cliffs, eroded roads whirling around them and deep narrow gorges that compete with you alongside your way. Indeed it is difficult to just gasp the utter hugeness of the Himalayas that is known for their enthralling and divine landscapes. Divided in to two parts, the first one is from Delhi to Manali which is a smooth drive. As you climb further ascending towards Leh is where you get to know the meaning of a treacherous road trip. It is one of the highest and toughest roads to travel. The scenic beauty that the route offers is just breath taking and compels a person to dive within, overlooking the tough roads.
Travel route- Delhi – Chandigarh – Mandi – Kullu – Manali – Rohtang La – Kokhsar – Tandi – Keylong – Darcha – Sarchu – Pang – Upshi – Leh
Approx. Distance- 990 km
Travel Taken – 3 days
Travel tip: Keep proper warm cloths, dry fruits and chocklates. Do proper acclimatization at regular intervals. There are numerous picturesque places on this route some of which are Rohtang Pass, Barlacha La, Taglang La Sarchu, Keylong and Upsi are the places worth stopping by apart from the Buddhist monasteries along the way. Khardung La, the highest motorable road is something which riders should not afford to miss on this road trip.

2. Mumbai to Goa
As it is said either you love the mountains or you find your solace with in the serenity of the sea, and if the option is the latter then one of the best drives that is loved by everyone who have been on this journey is Mumbai to Goa. The land that has gained independence after the rest of the country is the called the destination of sun, sand and parties is a good 10 hrs drive from Mumbai, through NH 17 and would make everyone sure to be enthralled by the picturesque landscape that greets travellers along the way with tons of food joints that play their magic upon the travellers by their smoky, palatable sea food dishes. Whoever plans on taking up this road trip must keep in mind to leave Mumbai early morning around 5am so that you catch the numerous natural transitions and the beaches while you ensure the sunset unwinding at any one the numerous beaches in Goa and as the sun sets, roar to reach to the person next to you so that the partying begins!
Travel route: Catch the NH 17 and its one beautiful road right up to Goa!
Approx. Distance: 615 km
Time taken: 10 hours
Travel tip: The roads are beautiful. All you do is look out of the window and be amazed by the picturesque views. Start early morning to live the journey.

3. Jaipur to Jaisalmer
As you drive to Jaisalmer from the Pink City Jaipur via Nagaur and Jodhpur you would get the chance to enjoy the colours of Rajasthan like a screen flashing by. Whether it is experiencing there rich hospitality or witnessing the grandeur of the temples and forts that exquisitely represents the lavishness and the rich cultural heritage they still preserve even after taking extreme foreign invasions, it is the utter simplicity of these wonderful people that you would find the only reason.
The roads are in top notch condition and a pleasure to drive on with peacocks and sand dunes everywhere! Go along the RJ SH 19 which is the best option as far as routes are concerned. Make a refuel stop at Jodhpur, both for your car and your tummy. However, if you’re looking for authentic Rajasthani cuisine, you may find it anywhere alongside this route.
Travel route: Jaipur – Merta Road – Jodhpur – Mathaniya – Osiyan – Phalodi – Ramdevra – Pokaran – Lathi – Jaisalmer
Approx. Distance: 570 km
Time taken: 9 hours
Travel tip: Do make a pitstop at Kumbalgarh to visit the Kumbalgarh Fort and the Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.

4. Guwahati to Tawang
There is a magic in the air of the North East. It will not make you see life slow but magnify your lenses of vision to observe life simple, absolute and beautiful. This strenuous, yet beautiful drive from Guwahati can be made relaxing and a lot more convenient by making a stop at Dirang, an attractive valley town. Reaching Tawang, is like reaching in the lap of Mother Nature, it would not only make you feel secure, but crucially change the course of your life routine. Don’t forget to participate in the morning prayers with monks at the monastry.
Travel Route: Take NH 36/37 – Bhalukpung – Chariduar – Tezpur – Jang Falls – Dirang – Tawang
Approx. Distance – 521 kilometres
Time Taken– 10 hours
Travel Tip – Along with Dirang, another good stopover before heading your way to Tawang is Tezpur, the cultural capital of Assam. With several historical ruins dotting the landscape, the stop is ideal for avid photographers that would only add to your compulsions.

5. Darjeeling to Pelling
If it’s not the destination but the journey that matters to you then this trip is made for you. As you breathe the chilled air flashing over your face, you would pass through gorgeous valleys and mountains on heading towards Pelling from Darjeeling. En route there are no fixed pit stops, but every point where you feel of taking a break, is worth stepping out of your vehicle to just hold the beauty for few more moment. You can also route your journey through Kalimpong for some local sightseeing.
Travel route: Darjeeling – Kalimpong – Manpur – Jorethang – Geyzing – Pelling
Approx. Distance: 110 km
Time taken: 3 hours
Travel tip: Do check weather updates before embarking on the road trip as the route is prone to blockages due to harsh weather conditions

6. Ahmedabad to Kutch
To the land that is barren and adorned by vibrant people, revel in the white beauty of the Rann of Kutch and enjoy a short weekend holiday while you explore the land of contrasts spread over in 400 kilometres. Leave little early as the roads are little untamed and rowdy. Embellish yourself with the vivid choices of local handicrafts and jewellery from the land of Kutch. Do not miss the Hodko Village for local handicrafts and jewellery shopping and the Wild Ass Sanctuary to have a taste of wilderness.
Distance: 160 km via ECR
Time taken: 3 hours
Travel route: Ahmedabad – Viramgam – Dhrangadhra – Halvad – Lakadia – Bhachau – Bhuj – Kutch
Travel tip: Do visit Hodko village in Kutch to shop for some local handicrafts.

7. Chennai to Munnar via Pondicherry
The coastal regions of Chennai is usually neither too cool nor too hot, oceanic climate has something very good but on the other hand restricts you to enjoy the 4 seasons of nature. So, if that is what you want to add this winter for the upcoming weekend, a trip to Munnar via Pondicherry should definitely be on the to-do-list. As you pass the Golden beach the road opens up and your ride becomes smoother and pleasant. The beauty of the road is that you drive alongside the entire East Coast (ECR) watching the color of the sun go from red, to yellow and brighter as the day passes. You will find plenty of eateries serving authentic sea food all your way.
The road from the French settlement (Pondicherry) to Munnar is rather a winding one, experiencing the roads swirl and pleasant weather will make your trip a memorable one. Once at your destination, you will find yourself in the nature’s womb. Either just become walk through in the wilderness, or you can bring out the adventurer in you by rock climbing and paragliding, but if you just want to enjoy the serenity may be you can simply learn the art of tea making.
Approximate Distance – 650 kilometres
Time taken – 12 hours
Travel tip – An ideal midway stop is Tiruchirappalli, which was one a part of the renowned Chola kingdom. The city, with a large number of beautifully sculpted temples and fortresses, is a treat for photography enthusiasts.

8. Bangalore to Ooty via Mysore:
It is dramatic that we do not find our solace with the increasing population of the country. Every time our longing asks for a ride to return to that absolute nature which we so vehemently are destroying. The road from Bangalore to Ooty, nestled in the lap of the Nilgiri hills, is one of those journeys every road fanatic should undertake once in his lifetime. The roads are the perfect combination of green leafy and asphalt, and the drive is a great idea to soothe your jittery nerves dotted with plenty of eateries alongside the route. Stop over at Mysore to enjoy the history of the ancient city. Buy some rose wood artefacts and sandal wood before gearing up to Ooty to sit in the lap of the nature.
Approx. Distance: 266
Time taken: 6 hrs
Travel Tip: Do not miss to carry your camera and ride in the day so that you may not miss anything along the way.

9. Bengaluru to Hampi
Drive from Bangalore to Hampi a Unesco World heritage site. Discover some secrets of this once crowded walled city of Vijaya Nagar with it marvellous temple architecture and palaces, the only city that stood strong despite of the Mauryan and later Mughal invasions. It is set against a striking landscape made of large rocky boulders and dotted with banana plantations. Difficult to believe is the craftsmanship that brought in existence such an enormous yet artistically cultivating culture into a living reality which is enthralling. The city’s past paradise and glory can only be imagined from the splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city.
Approx. Distance: 350 Km
Time taken: 7 hrs
Travel Tip: Alongside the way walks with you the entire Deccan Plateau, so just don’t miss to give your complete concentration along the way. Start early morning so that you may reach Hampi in the evening, stay a night and do the sight-seeing the day after.

10. Kolkata to Digha
Ask any Bengali and he/she you ask you in return “Tui Digha Jashni”? A question mark as of what you have seen if not Digha. Digha is a small seaside township that is home to a sea beach that to extends 7km. Watch the simplicity of the people and enjoy delicious Bengali food along the way as you make this perfect short trip! The journey won’t take up much of your time.
Approx. Distance: 180 km
Time taken: 3 hours
Travel route: Kolkata – Vidyasagar Setu – Kolaghat – Nimtouri – Bajkul – Kanthi – Digha
Travel tip: Start really early from Kolkata, preferably at 5, or leave after 12 pm, to avoid traffic jams. Ideally, leave early, reach Kolaghat by 7.30 for a hearty breakfast

Authored by Deep Bhattacharya, a passionate traveller and writer.

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