American penman, John Green once said, “It’s a road trip! It’s about adventure! . . . It’s not like we have somewhere to go.” A road trip is just about that—privacy, fun, unwinding, and finding time for yourself, most often without a purpose in mind. It does not matter whether we put our time to good use; sometimes it is that unplanned journey that gives us the utmost pleasure in life. Set out on an impulse to wherever you feel like, and transform it into a golden opportunity to get away from the humdrum we go through each day. A road trip gives you a chance to let your mind wander while you soak in the grandeur of nature. Venturing out on your own, on a bike or in a car, presents the occasion to slip away into much needed oblivion, and escape from all concerns without feeling guilty. Often, it’s a spontaneous voyage to a beautiful destination that helps you find remedies to all your troubles. India is a country which provides you with exactly that, scenic beauty and the thrill of an escapade. Explore the article to know about the 10 best road trip routes in India.
1. Pamban Bridge
If you love the sea and driving is your passion, this short road trip definitely has to be your pick. Take the Pamban Bridge if you are travelling from Tamil Nadu to Rameswaram Island, and be prepared to get spellbound by the beauty of the blue waters that you will cross. It definitely is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that asks absolutely nothing of you, but a brief twenty minutes of your busy schedule, and instead returns to you memories to cherish forever.
2. Bangalore to Ooty via Mysore
If you are up for a scintillating trip to the spectacular hill station of Ooty, the best place to start your road trip would be from Bangalore. 181-kilometers away from this metropolitan city lies Mysore. From then on, the road trip is a game-changer, taking you through some of the most amazing locales. Dotted with small, affordable eateries along the way, some of which are open throughout the night, you would cross Nanjangud and Gundlupet to eventually reach the Bandipur National Park. If you’re in your car, roll up your windows, or wear your helmets in case you’re biking. There’s every chance you might encounter some wild animals, and hence the best time to reach there would be when there’s sunlight. From Bandipur, move on ahead through the hairpin bends of the hills, to reach the mesmerizing town of Ooty.
3. Rohtang Pass
41.3kms away from Manali in Himachal Pradesh, the Rohtang Pass is not just an ordinary pass. The snow-covered mountains on each side of the road form arresting white walls, creating a view so perfect, that it’s nothing short of the most unique of all quests. It isn’t a road that visitors travel through; instead it’s a tourist attraction in itself. On your way, pull over and visit the Beas Kund Temple, constructed in the shape of an igloo, as well as the Buddhist Shrine. The presence of both is symbolic of the religious importance that the Rohtang Pass has for Hindus as well as Buddhists.
4. Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley
The Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh is blessed with picturesque mountains, waterfalls and small streams. The perfect way to enjoy this interesting sight is to plan a road trip to the idyllic hill station from the city of Vishakhapatnam. It takes just about four hours through the Eastern Ghats to reach your destination. If you do have ample time on your hand, do not miss the Borra Caves, which are a haven of stalactites and stalagmites made of limestone. On your way, it’s hard to ignore the dark green deciduous forests and the meandering hilly topography.
5. Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
The passage from Gangtok to the Nathu-La Pass and Lake Tsomgo may seem like a Herculean task, given its jagged topography, but the landscape is definitely a sight to cherish. Tall snow-capped mountains, the Elysian Lake Tsomgo and the utopian view in general are rewards you would die for. The only drawback is the lack of gas stations and eateries, so ensure you are prepared to face a few hurdles.
6. Mumbai-Pune Route
In case you are planning a road trip to Lonavla, either from Mumbai or from Pune, there’s only one route to take. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, stretching for a distance of 93-kilometers, provides you with one of the best experiences ever, and that’s even before you can reach your desired destination. In case you intend to ride your bike, you need to take the Mumbai-Pune Highway. The roads have been maintained well, so the ride is comfortable, and the quaint greenery that you pass on your way is like relief for sore eyes. If you’re hungry, all you need to do is stop at restaurants like Sunny Da Dhaba, which serves up a delectable cook.
7. Guwahati to Tawang
The thoroughfare from Guwahati in Assam to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is an unforgettable one, with striking scenic views of Meghalaya and Cherrapunji. If you jump at the opportunity to venture out on a long drive, this journey is sure to prove exhilarating. On your way, be sure to notice graves from World War II, located at Imphal, as well as the natural bridges formed from roots of trees. On your way, you can also stop by at the Kaziranga National Park, for an exciting jungle safari atop an elephant, or maybe relax at the stunning Tawang Monastery if you want to savor a few moments of solitude.
8. Old Silk Route
A photograph of the snow-covered Old Silk Route in the Sikkim district of India is enough to make your heart yearn for a drive through this amazing path. A road of major historical and geographical significance, the Old Silk Route, through the Jelep La Pass, used to be the link between India and Tibet. These mountainous pathways, with its twists and turns at regular intervals, and the stunning view that is offered, make for a worthwhile experience.
9. Dehradun to Nainital
Located at a distance of around 275-kilometers from Dehradun, Nainital is one of the most spectacular hill stations to go to in case you want to enjoy an elusive sense of independence. Choose to go alone, or with friends, or even with ‘that special one,’ a road trip is the best way to revel in the beauty that nature has to offer. The obvious choice of a route for such a trip would be the National Highway 72 and 74. En route the Kumaon region, don’t miss the temples of Rishikesh and Haridwar, before you reach the magnificent lake town of Nainital.
10. Manali-Leh Highway (NH 21)
Though this stretch of road is onerous and not too comfortable, the 470-kilometer long Manali-Leh Highway stands out as one of the best routes for road trips. While on your journey you get to experience the colossal range of mountains like the Ladakh Range, Pir Panjal Range, and the Great Himalayan Range. The path with innumerable convoluted passes, almost feels like it’s the gateway to heaven, and its beauty is renowned all over the world. However, it is always best to explore this locale as a part of a bigger group of tourists, than all alone, because of the perils that accompany its charm.
Have a great trip!