“This day is a journey, this very moment an adventure”, these words by the photographer, artist Rebecca Pavlenko perfectly describe the feelings of a roadie. We all have this inner desire to keep aside all the stress of everyday life at a side and go on long journeys, perhaps in anticipation of finding answers to long lost questions, may be to search for an inner self with which we have since long lost any contact. While for some traveling is a way to unwind or to tie the loose ends of life, others are genuinely afflicted with a traveler’s lust, which makes it really difficult for them to stay at one place for too long. For any kind of adventure, a road trip is probably the best way out of any sort of mess troubling the mind or to seek out places and spots in the most outstanding way possible. India is a vast country and we have some authentically good roads dotting the country, which serve amazing conditions for an ideal trek. In this blog we introduce you to 25 Best road trips in India that you must take once in your lifetime. While some take you through the ancient trade routes revealing the amazing histories behind them, the others let you connect to some of the most picturesque and beautiful locations and journeys that will remain etched in your mind forever.
Manali – Leh Highway: The Ultimate Road Trip in India
This is one of the most beautiful and picturesque roads in the country that has captured many imaginations and has been a setting for many songs from Bollywood. This 474 km stretch has an amazing driveway, taking you through towering peaks, fabulous scenery, enchanting valleys and breathtaking terrains. The journey from Manali to Leh is normally covered in two days with facility of stopovers with overnight stay available at Sarchu, Pang, Keylong. Perched at an altitude of 3-4 kilometers above sea level, the excursion through this road can be taken only between June and September, after which the roads are closed. Thrilling adventure, fabulous views and ancient trade routes some of the high points of this road trek in India.
Mumbai to Pune Expressway
This incredible 93 km stretch passes though some of most beautiful scenery and verdant green cover and is a source of amazing thrill. The Mumbai – Pune Expressway is country’s very first concrete, six-lane, high speed, tolled expressway which has reduced the travel time between the two cities to merely two hours. In all, there are six interchanges through the lane which are at Shedung, Chowk, Khalapur, Lonavala, Kusgaon and Talegaon. In a way, this new highway has taken huge load off the old stretch which off late had become congested and accident prone. The road is very popular amongst the state locals due to its beautiful surroundings and the convenience that it has provided in connecting to other cities like Bangalore as well. Thus, if you are hanging around anywhere nearby, don’t miss driving through this incredible road trip in India.
Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley
Araku valley is a small, stunning valley, located at the distance of 120 km from Visakhapatnam and is popular for its Borra caves. Lying on the side of Eastern Ghats, the marvelous beauty of the road is both incredible and mystifying. Enveloped in the calming ambiance of hills, this curvy 116 km stretch features gentle elevations and small streams that crosses through the road, making it one of the most memorable road-trips in the South India. The region experiences pleasant climate through the months of October and March and this is when it is best to drive way through this highway enjoying the amazing climate.
Shimla to Manali via Mandi
The road wounds round and round the hills with stunning view of River Beas flowing alongside, being never too far away. There is always the possibility of stopping by and taking a dip in its cool waters and enjoying the salubrious weather of Himachal. This 250 km long amazing road trip from Shimla to Manali offers beautiful scenes of imposing mountains and lush greenery, which is very humbling. The road is relatively good, although it takes a little longer than usual traversing through the elevated hilly terrain.
Chennai to Pondicherry along the East Coast Road
The highway is said to be one of most beautiful roads for traveling on a cruiser motorbike and with such panoramic views alongside. The road stretches to 116 km in length and takes approximately 3 hours to traverse, winding along the sea on one side of the road. The road passes through some of most notable sites including the famous site of Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam, Idaikkazhinadu, Mudaliarkuppam and Marakkanama. Travelers can always stop and admire these landmarks. The breathtaking sight of rising or setting Sun while driving through and its corresponding reflection in the sea water is a sight to behold.
Guwahati to Tawang
The road runs through some cool and scenic sites such as Kaziranga, Imphal and Cherapunji. Guwahati to Tawang highway spans a distance of 480 km and takes about 9 hours to pass through. An ideal stopover through the trip could be made at Dirang, which is a beautiful, alluring valley. Besides, another option for halt could be Tezpur, which is famously called the cultural capital of Assam. Along the way one can enjoy the stunning sights of waving Buddhist flags, majestic snow clad mountains, the camps of Indian Army and a number of yaks. Due to heavy snowfall it is advisable to avoid this road during peak winters while March is the best month to take a trek along this route and witness the vast spectrum of different colors of its surroundings.
Puri to Konark on NH 203
One of the most photogenic roads trips around the country, the beautiful, quaint views of the tree canopy on the either side of the road, makes it a journey worth undertaking. Although stretched only 36 kilometers across, the cool, misty breeze and mesmerizing beauty around it makes it a road excursion worth undertaking. Keep your cameras ready for you won’t be able to resist the numerous exotic views that would be going to dot your way.
Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
North East is certainly the hidden and one of the most beautiful scenic treasures of India. From a few number of roads that offers a heavenly views across its surroundings, the Gangtok – Lake Tsomgo – Nathula Pass road is one of them. This 55 kilometers trek might be a bit challenging but the mesmerizing sights accompanying the journey are well worth the trip. The road ends in the friendly India-China border of Nathula. Before 1962, this road was the part of ancient trade route between the two countries. The area receives heavy snowfall during winters and due to this the road conditions usually remain bad around the lake and the pass but nevertheless, the alluring sights and excitement climbing to the international border makes it a memorable endeavor.
Bangalore to Bandipur Forest
This remarkable highway through the dense forests is one of the most amazing trips in India charting a forest route. The total length of the road is approximately 235 kilometers and there are a number of stopovers in between for relaxation and recreation like McDonald’s and Café Coffee Day. There are other routes, like those to Ooty and Mysore, that branch through the same road. Running through the Bandipur national park, there is always a high probability of catching a sight of some animal. But in any case, there is no other experience like the one driving through quiet and serene thoroughfare and behold the verdant greenery all around.
Shimla to Manali via Kinnaur and Spiti
This is an alternative route to Shimla than the one mentioned above via Mandi. The entire stretch is pretty long and it can normally take 3-4 days to complete the journey. Also known as the Hindustan-Tibet Highway, the route has about 3 definitive stopovers, i.e. Rampur, Nako and Kaza. The entire stretch varies along surrounding scenery and the quality of the road. While the expanse from Shimla to Rampur is in good shape, the roads in rest of the journey through Kinnaur, Spiti, Kunzum La and Rohtang La is slightly rugged. But, still the spectacular sights during one of the best road trips are more than consolation for any discomfort.
Pamban Bridge (Rameshwaram)
One of the most spectacular bridges with breathtaking views of vast expanses of water on either side this amazing stretch, connecting Rameshwaram Island to the mainland is an engineering marvel. Spanning about 13.5 km with 143 piers, it assumes second spot out of the largest bridges of India, the first being the Bandra – Worli Sea link in Mumbai. The work on the bridge was started in 1974 by the highway department of India and was remarkably completed in merely 14 years when it was named as Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. The amazing sight, with tremendous gush of moist air is a unique experience that must be undertaken. Besides reaching Rameshwaram, there are a number of spots worth seeing and admiring which makes the journey more favorable and enjoyable.
Chennai to Munnar Highway
Spanning a long stretch of 572 km, Chennai to Munnar is one of the most fabulous and refreshing road trips in India that might just be the ideal way to reach the beautiful hill destination. It takes approximately 10-12 hours including the stopovers to cover the length of the road, while leading through exotic lush greenery wounding the hills and a waterfall is just wholesome satisfying and is like a setting straight out of some fantasy.
Delhi to Agra via Mathura on Yamuna Expressway
Inaugurated only recently and largely anticipated by locals of both Delhi and Agra, the Yamuna Expressway seems to have fulfilled the expectations of being one of the best roads in India. That the amazing 165 km stretch can be completed in less than two hours, gives a fairly good indication of the road quality. However, lately there were many cases of accidents caused due to tire bursts. Thus, make sure to keep the pressure in your tires less than normal to avoid too much expansion of air due to heat. Moreover, designed being a single, log stretch without any stopovers, the road doesn’t feature any significant dhabas by its side, but in any case, if you have enough patience and stamina, the Expressway may lead you to cover Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and return back to Delhi by late night.
Jaipur to Jaisalmer
The roads being in excellent condition, the trip from Jaipur to Jaisalmer is a delight for a traveler, witnessing beautiful colors, landscapes, traditional fashions of the state terrain. Moving through an array of different villages and towns that will welcome you with their heart, you can make a stopover for fuel and food at Jodhpur. The total stretch of the road is huge 570 km but the road is very well-maintained ending in the “Golden City” of Jaisalmer, exhibiting different strains of State culture. The stunning view of the Thar with its magnetizing beauty is exciting part of the trek. The stretch normally take approximately 9 hours to complete.
Shillong to Cherrapunjee
The impeccable beauty of India’s North-East is conspicuous throughout its complete stretch of 53 kilometers with its amazing sights of waterfalls, lush greenery, villages, caves, drizzles along the way. The road is clean and devoid of any traffic, making the journey smooth and comfortable, which normally takes 1-2 hours to complete. There are stopovers along the way to serve your belly to delectable north-eastern food.
Mumbai to Goa
Running parallel to the Western Coast of the country, this lengthy 601 km stretch is as exciting as it can get primarily because of the destinations involved. This smooth, steady course, clocking about 10 hours to cover can be full of adventure and fun with a number of attractions and food joints along the way for lip-smacking highway food. There are beautiful scenes along the way including coconut palms, rice paddy fields, and areca nut plantations. Almost all of the Goa connects through a coastal road, thus ensuring a panoramic trip, delightful to heart. Be careful to slow your vehicle down at near villages and look out for accident prone area signs, otherwise enjoy your journey to the hilt.
Delhi to Jaipur
Jaipur is one of the beautiful cities, famously called the “Pink City”. The total length of stretch between Delhi and Jaipur is 262 kilometers and as you move closer to Rajasthan, the beautiful sight of the Aravallis is just mesmerizing. The road is one of the best kept highways in India, but recently its condition has deteriorated significantly as constructions and trucks takes away a substantial amount of time and energy. Jaipur is one of the destinations that lies on the Golden Triangle Tour of the country and along with Agra and New Delhi and makes one of the important, exotic and best destinations to cover by road.
Mumbai to Mount Abu
A cool and serene place to explore and spend some time, Mount Abu is one the best destination for road surfers from Mumbai to travel to. The highway in question is NH8 from Mumbai via Vadodara and Ahmedabad and the entire tract is 754 kilometers, normally taking 12 hours to complete. There are several towns and spots along the way that one, if planning for a longer time, can seek out for their fascinating rural beauty and historical appeal especially Gandhian culture. The road is all interspersed with various dhabas, so don’t forget treating your tummy to some outstanding highway food along the way.
Kolkata to Digha
Digha is one of the favorite weekend getaway for Kolkatans, located 180 km and 3 hours’ drive from the “City of Joy”. The road along the way is cool and enjoyable, with pleasant views, green patches and mild breeze. However, damages are recurrent due to cyclonic weather afflicting the area intermittently. But if all things are in place, the stretch is a homey drive and picturesque and you can surely stop and click beautiful pictures along the way.
Jaipur to Ranthambore
The total span between Jaipur and Ranthambore is approximately 149 kilometers and is typically a three hour drive by car. Along the way there are beautiful scenic sights and towns including Basi, Lalsot and Justana, which makes the travel enjoyable, experiencing the vibrant, exotic countryside of Rajasthan. There are numerous food joints on the way serving mouth-watering Rajasthani dishes like ghewar and gattay ki subzi, etc. Besides, there are a number of ATMs, hospitals, resting places in addition to eating hot spots like Four Seasons in India and Niros, ensuring it to be one of the most enjoyable and thrilling road trips in India.
Bangalore to Ooty via Mysore
This not-to-be-missed road trip stretching 266 kilometers is curled up in the heart of Nilgiris and is a source of tremendous thrill and fun for a highway adventurer. The road, which is in perfect condition is a soothing experience and being pervaded with eateries all over is a good news for your belly. Along the way you can take a turn towards Mysore and revel in its ancient history and enjoy sightseeing its elegant monuments. There are joints like McDonald’s and Café Coffee Day, for the ones who avoid street food. Ooty, your destination, is a beautiful hill destination and is known for its cool and favorable ambiance and very much popular with the Bangaloreans as a weekend getaway. This is trip one should definitely undertake.
Delhi to Shimla
There is nothing that beats a road trip up and wounding the hills and savor the fresh and cool breeze in the lap of lush greenery and salubrious climate. The Delhi to Shimla trek is one such experience, full of chilly winds, excellent road and soft, trudging clouds amidst the hills. Taking the Grand Trunk Road from the National Capital, total expanse of the journey is 358 kilometers, taking more or less 7 hours. Following the course, there are a lot many dhabas and eateries along the way. Don’t forget to take a stop to indulge yourself with amazing parathas at Sukhdev ka Dhaba, gratifying your appetite and carrying forward to an amazing trek.
Bangalore to Goa
This calm and amazing excursion is one of the favorite weekend escape for IT nuts of Bangalore. The complete stretch measuring nearly 566 kilometers is lined with sumptuous Punjabi dhabas as a treat to your stomach and soul. The road, more or less, is in good condition and there are cab services for hire. You don’t need much preparation for this cruise, just a cool pair of sunglasses, a pair of sandals, biking shorts and you are off.
Kolkata to Puri
This pretty and well-maintained road between Kolkata and Puri is full of surprises with amazing surroundings and idyllic, calming beauty. The highway stands about 580 kilometers in length and starting from Kolkata early morning, the journey will take about 10 hours, just in time to witness the magnificent sunset from Puri’s enchanting beaches and satiate yourself with most delicious crab fries from nearby eateries.
Ahmedabad to Kutch
Taking approximately 8 hours to cover, the road journey between Ahmedabad to Kutch surely deserve a place in the top 25 road trips in India. The distance between the two destinations is nearly 400 km and ordinarily takes around 11 hours to complete. The amazing and stunning beauty of the Rann makes the trip, well worth to undertake. The road, passing through beautiful locales, cross through the Sabarmati Ashram, the iconic memorabilia of the Mahatma and then moving on, end up incredibly nowhere in the middle of the Great Rann.