Top 5 Road Trips in India
By far the best way to experience India is by road. And our mighty Ford Endeavour is doing just that on “MyEndeavour alterrain” drive with 5 celebrities who have taken on their unfinished journeys to rejuvenate, to revive, to retrospect; while cascading through the most remote terrains, zooming along fancy new highways, negotiating their way on small interior roads, interacting with friendly and hospitable locals, and enjoying landscapes.
While the show will air on National Geographic in May, you can follow the celebrity drives as we bring to you some real time updates here, we’ve put together a list of the five best road trips that you can take on to relive some of the best times of your life!
1. Mumbai to Goa (677 KM) – Every year, thousands of Mumbai’s strained workaholics hit the NH66 and head to the beaches of Goa to de-stress. NH 66, the west coast interstate highway is among India’s best to drive on, except for some bad patches. Double check your brakes, since you’ll be traveling through the Ghats and negotiating plenty of twisty corners. Protection for your car in the form of rubber matting will save it from the undesirable effects of salt water and sand in Goa.
The 500-odd kilometres virtually fly by – a charmingly picturesque drive, with paddy fields, coconut palms and areca nut plantations zipping past your window. Chiplun in Ratnagiri District is a popular halfway halt for most Mumbai-Goa travelers. You’ll want to look out for mango-sellers en route offering Alphonsos at throwaway prices.
2. Guwahati to Tawang (1,238 KM) – The area’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty make for a spectacular trip. The road trip from Guwahati to Tawang is indeed a scenic route to travel, and the roads are mostly in good condition. Do not indulge in night travel however; as the roads in some parts are not safe, and mudslides are possible. In case of an emergency, help may not be readily available. Plan your trip during the summer, as the roads are covered with ice in the winter, which makes it very difficult to control your vehicle.
It is advisable to break your journey at either Bomdila or better still – the charming little valley town of Dirang. On this route, you can visit Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, the wettest place in the world, and gawk at the living bridges’ built out of the growing roots of trees.
3. Delhi to Manali (552 KM) – Delhi to Manali is the classic Himalayan road trip. Starting from Delhi to Manali, the road is in good condition and the spectacular panorama is worth your time. The best time to take this trip is in the two-month window that is August through September. Before you leave on this trip, make sure your battery is in good condition, especially for a diesel vehicle, as older diesel cars can take time to start in the cold temperatures. If you have a car with especially low ground clearance, it may be a good idea to get an aluminum plate or shield installed under the engine sump and gearbox to prevent rock damage.
4. Dehradun to Nainital (355 KM) – This is the road trip where you can ride your way through the the Kumaon Hills in Uttarakhand, one of the most idyllic places that is rich in natural beauty, wildlife parks and religious shrines. Find your inner self at Rishikesh before heading to Corbett, one of the last few places on earth where you can catch a glimpse of a tiger in the wild, and arrive in Nainital, where the beauty of the place lies in seven lakes.
Some of the roads are narrow, so be careful while overtaking. As your sight of vision will be shorter while driving uphill and also the fall of the headlights would be limited, drive with utmost care because the traffic against you, moving faster coming down the hill.
5. Jaipur to Ranthambore (1,299 KM) – Jaipur to Ranthambore is one of the most interesting and adventurous road trips. The Jaipur-Ranthambore route has a perfect balance between architecture and nature as Jaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer and nearby places are covered by Palaces and heritage hotels, whereas the Ranthambore area is dominated mainly by wildlife including Tigers, deer, Snakebirds, Peacocks etc.
Choose from one of spectacular road trip picks, and get ready to hit the road!