“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.”
An endless ocean, an infinite sky, and a road leading to nowhere, yet everywhere; is there more to the world? Or is it more than enough?
How would we know the unforgettable charm of a road trip, amidst the spellbinding landscapes, intertwined with the serenity in our hearts and the sparkle in our eyes, without stepping out of our comfort zones into the streets, diving right into the romance of the empty roads?
So, here’s a list of the top offbeat and must-do road trips in India, to challenge your spirits this holiday season!
Best Road Trips in North India
Delhi to Leh Via Manali
Every biker’s and adventurer’s dream is to travel from Delhi to Leh via Manali! Although long and laborious, the journey gives you goosebumps as you navigate the uneven roads of Leh-Ladakh. The breathtaking grandeur of the Himalayan peaks in the background, as well as the interesting stopovers, keep you company as you travel to one of India’s best destinations.
Delhi to Spiti Valley
Another magnificent road journey that you would not want to miss is from Delhi to Spiti Valley. Spiti Valley, like Leh-Ladakh, is one of the best places to visit in North India. Spiti can be reached via one of two routes: Delhi-Shimla-Spiti or Delhi-Manali-Spiti. In the area between Tibet and India, this chilly desert mountain valley is known for its spectacular vistas, beautiful Dhankar and Chandrataal Lakes, captivating monasteries such as Key, Tabo, and Lhalung, and tranquil villages nearby.
Chandigarh to Kasol Road Trip
Kasol, a picturesque hamlet in Kullu, is a popular location for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and trekkers. Kasol, considered the “Amsterdam of India,” is also well-known among tourists and Israeli hippies who spend months traveling and exploring the area. The road from Chandigarh to Kasol is fascinating, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it. You can also visit Parvati Valley and participate in the iconic Kheerganga Trek.
Top Road Trips in South India
Hyderabad to Hampi
The drive from Hyderabad, the Nizams’ capital, to Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is thrilling, taxing, and unforgettable. Hampi is known for its huge temples and was once the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. Its splendor faded with time, and it is now home to the remnants of a glorious past. There are over 100 places to see in Hampi, which is also known as a backpacker’s paradise. You can go from Hyderabad to Hampi through many routes, the most popular of which are via Raichur or Kurnool.
Mangalore to Gokarna Road Trip
One of the finest road excursions you can have is from Mangalore to Goa. It is a great vacation option to travel from one of the most beautiful cities in Karnataka to the best party destination in India. While traveling to Goa, driving on the highway while listening to your favorite music is utterly relaxing and will put you in the mood to enjoy the Goa nightlife.
Vishakapatnam to Arakku Valley
One of the best road excursions in India is from Vizag or Visakhapatnam to Arakku Valley. While the city of Visakhapatnam is enchanted by the majestic Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal, the drive to Arakku Valley, a small village home to the famous Borra Caves, is even more so. The winding roads through thick foliage, the moderate ascent up the hill, and the tranquility of the valley are all worth seeing.
Best Road Trips in North East India
Shillong to Cherapunji
The most stunning road drives you’ll ever take are in northeast India. Shillong to Cherrapunji road journey offers everything from drizzle, misty clouds, caves, waterfalls, and sparkling views of the surroundings, despite the little distance. For an unforgettable journey, ride your bike or take a cab along this path.
Gangtok to Nathula Pass via Lake Tsomgo
A drive from Gangtok to Nathula Pass via Lake Tsomgo is one of India’s most difficult road expeditions and one you won’t want to miss! The hairpin corners and unpredictability of the terrain might be exhausting, but the gorgeous mountain ranges and sheer grandeur of the vistas outside will keep you going as you take it all in. Lake Tsomgo’s captivating charm will fill your hearts with unfathomable joy!
Guwahati to Tawang
Guwahati to Tawang is one of Northeast India’s most daunting yet rewarding road excursions. The severe weather, rough roads, and steep bends can make you nervous and think, but this is without a doubt the best journey you’ll have here. Drive uphill to high altitudes while admiring the tall, snow-capped mountains, taking in the spectacular scenery, and learning about Buddhist culture.