Windows down, volume up and a bunch of your favourite people – nothing is more relieving and exciting than hitting the road. If you find joy in travelling offbeat, road trips are the best ways to explore and discover life. And in a country like India, so colossal and diverse, the beauty of a road trip just gets a notch higher.
We skim through the annals of our massive country and bring to you the best road trips in our country that you should definitely take at least once in your life. Be it with your family or friends or your better half.
Road trips with family
#1 Dehradun to Nainital
You and your family will pass through the fabled Kumaon hillside and there’s plenty of nature’s bounty to be devoured along the way. Get your adrenaline kick with all the turn and twists in the highway and treat yourself to Nainital’s magical views upon arriving at the destination.
#2 Delhi to Jaipur
Start your trip from the country’s hub and the roads will take you to the royal land of the Maharajas. Driving is the best mode of travel for a trip to the Pink City from the Capital City, all thanks to a great highway, good pit stops and a panoramic view of the Aravalli Range. Indulge in the Thar Desert’s charm and allurement and discover its grandiosity.
#3 Kolkata to Digha
Any local from West Bengal will swear by this road trip – most of them have taken it at least 4 times during their lifetime. And there’s reason to! The pleasing road, lined with green patches throughout is great for revving up your vehicles. Take your mind off things and relax on the appealing beaches with your family.
#4 Bagdogra/NJP to Darjeeling
This enthralling road trip will take you from the lush tea gardens and scenic meadows of Bagdogra/NJP to the scenic town of Darjeeling. Curvy terrains, narrow passes, evergreen pine forests and waterfalls will accompany you throughout the trip. This trip is the much needed family vacation we all yearn for.
#5 Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley
Witness the graceful marriage of the Bay of Bengal and the Eastern Ghats of Visakhapatnam as it’ll take you away by its pristine beauty. And once you’re on your way to Araku, there’s no doubt your entire family will be mystified by the beauty of the road. The curly roads, the gentle elevation and the sweet serenity of the hills will leave the memories etched for an eternity.
Road trips with friends
#6 Chennai to Puducherry
Imagine the sea by your side throughout the trip. Hit the road to Puducherry from Chennai along the East Coast road and the changing reflections of the Sun on the water as the day advances will leave you feeling thoroughly satisfied. Take your photographer friend along because every turn is a picture-perfect location.
#7 Shillong to Cherrapunjee
Sing and drive with your buddies through exotic terrains to one of the world’s rainiest places. The moment you hit the road to Cherrapunjee, you realize why this place is called ‘Scotland of the East’. For a stretch of just 53 kms, the road has a lot to offer from drizzles and waterfalls to caves and scenic views from your window.
#8 Bangalore to Goa
Ask any student or IT professional in this part of the country about their weekend chilling mantra, and they will swear by the road trip between Bangalore and Goa. Alluring, calm and serene – this road fulfills every criteria of an ideal road trip. Several Punjabi dhabas lining the course serving delicious food for both your stomach and soul just makes everything better.
#9 Jaipur to Jaisalmer
Experience the best of The Land of Kings in this road trip. Enjoy the colours of Rajasthan flash by as you drive to Golden City (Jaisalmer) from the Pink City (Jaipur) via the Blue City (Jodhpur). Refuel your gang’s tummy with the authentic Rajasthani cuisine that you’ll find anywhere along this route.
#10 Chandigarh to Chail
Get your cronies together and take this amazing road trip to the once a summer retreat of the British officials from Chandigarh. The mesmerizing beauty of Himachal Pradesh is just the perfect ambience to chill out with your friends. For the adventure buffs, an array of activities is awaiting you in Chail.
Road trips with your better half
#11 Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
Largely unexplored, Northeast is home to some of the best destinations for road travel. Don’t think much and get on the road with your partner and experience the beauty that lies underneath the challenging terrain. Take this trip in the winter and know happiness and romance like never before.
#12 Pamban Bridge (Rameshwaram)
Remember Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone from Chennai Express driving on a red jeep with vast expanses of water on all sides. That’s precisely why Pamban Bridge in Rameshwaram made it to our list. The infinite ocean under your feet and the moist breeze in your hair is all you the therapy you need to make this road trip a memorable one.
#13 Ahmedabad to Rann of Kutch
Escape into the white beauty of the Rann with your partner and you’ll enjoy every bit of it. Admire the beautiful landscapes, gorge on lip-smacking food and witness the exquisite are and culture of Gujarat while driving past the unique huts that’re lining the roads all the way from Ahmedabad to Kutch. Enjoy birds watching together in Kutch and have the time of your life.
#14 Mumbai to Mount Abu
If metropolitan life is sucking the life force out of you two, it’s time to take solace in Mount Abu. The beautiful road from Mumbai to Mount Abu will give you the essence of both urban towns and hilly terrain. The trip is as wonderful as the destination is and you’ll experience different cultures (Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan) while driving along lush greenery and misty mountains.
#15 Bangalore to Munnar
Call Munnar one of India’s most romantic destinations and you’ll never be wrong. The hilly terrains, passes through the lush tea-gardens, the scenic landscapes and the challenging turns and twists in this road trip will keep your vibes alive. Such a road trip is a must-go with your partner.
Solo road trips
#16 Guwahati to Tawang
Two absolute essentials from Northeast, this road trip from the capital city of Assam to one of India’s most stunning monasteries is challenging, yet spread across an extremely beautiful terrain. Explore and discover the pristine beauty of nature all along the way on your bullet. A few stops in between, and you will pull it off conveniently.
#17 Manali to Leh
The deadly twists and turns, the snow-capped mountains, distinct valleys, spectacular landscapes – Manali to Leh is an off-the-chart breathtaking road trip and needs to be experienced for yourself. Cruise along the road in all its snowy glory on an open jeep or a bullet and you’ll drown in nature’s best.
#18 Darjeeling to Pelling
If you’re dying to hit the road on your own but spending the nights alone in the middle of nowhere is stopping you from doing it, just get on your bike or car and just head off to Pelling from Darjeeling. Lush tea, gardens, majestic mountains and scenic landscapes are a sight to behold on this 4-5 hours long trip. Stop at a tea garden and sip a refreshing cup of tea while enjoying your own company at its best.
#19 Mumbai to Goa
An absolute mecca for car and bike enthusiasts, the road trip from Mumbai to Goa is nothing short of mesmerizing with all the scenic beauty and the Western Ghats from end to end. If you’re a thrill seeker, take the route via NH66 – the winding roads, narrow curves and fewer toll booths will give utmost pleasure to the adventurer in you.
#20 Dehradun to Kasauli
If you’re both a nature lover and an adventure junkie, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the treasure trove for you. Be ready to be awestruck by the meticulous beauty of Dehradun and Kasauli and all the fun and thrill of a road trip will follow.