Travel by flight or by train can never quite give you the sense of adventure and freedom that travel by road is sure to provide. The image of a long road, snaking into the horizon as images of scenery and people flit past you like a movie on either side, a mere inkling of the destination but more passion for the journey itself; and that is what a snapshot of what your road trip will look like! So, are you game?
India is no doubt as vast as it is beautiful, so there are many places that are ideally travelled by road. However, by collective experience, we are proud to present our pick of five road journeys that is sure to change the way you look at travel for good. Here are the five road journeys, that don't really require a destination, just the right company, a safe ride and of course a good ten days or more worth of leave!
1. Kukke Subramanya to Goa
It is the best journey to undertake any time of the year except during the monsoons. The lush landscape that stretches from Kukke to Goa is a feast for the senses. Stop for a brief prayer at the Kukke Subramanya temple and then head to the ultimate destination for chicken ghee roast and some delicious see food in Mangalore. You can proceed from Mangalore on the NH-48 to cross scenic vistas of Udupi, Marvanthe and Murdeshwar. Traverse the coast and stop at beaches such as Malpe and Turtle Bay to stretch your legs. The entire journey is dotted with bridges and waterways. Head to Gokarna and spend some time at the beautiful Om beach before proceeding to Goa by the NH-17. It sure is one of the most unforgettable journeys you will make!
Scenic Roads from Kukke Subramanya to Goa.
Photo Courtesy: abcdz2000
2. Guwahati to Tawang
Make a trip with friends across the less explored trails of Assam. The lush landscape that is home to UNESCO world heritage sites; the rich sanctuaries and national parks of Kaziranga and Manas. A journey to explore the wild, the stunning culture, beautiful art forms and a seemingly never-ending road! If you choose to travel via Kaziranga, you can stop there for a few days to enjoy the rare sighting of the endangered Single Horned Rhinoceros. Then cross the raging Brahmaputra River and continue travelling through the scenic trails of Assam, including various wildlife parks and sanctuaries to reach Tawang. The journey will primarily be on the NH-37 and NH-229.
Natural beauty aplenty on the route from Guwahati to Tawang.
Photo Courtesy: Utpal Nath
3. Pune to Goa
We are not talking about the usual Mumbai to Goa for a reason, anyone who has visited Maharashtra in the post-monsoon season is sure to agree that the magic of the region is in its ghat sections. And if you are looking forward to some thrilling sights, make a journey from Pune to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. Spend a few days at the eco-camp in Panchgani and maybe try your hand at their offering of adventure sports such as paragliding. Reserve a day for a drive via Satara to Kaas Plateau, even if it is not the season of bloom, as the trail itself is mesmerising. Journey onward to Goa by taking the NH-47 through Kolhapur or opt for the coastal route via Ratnagiri that joins the NH-17 eventually to Goa. The sights of beautiful waterfalls, cloud covered valleys, stunning rock faces of the hills and misty roads will want you to continue on the road forever!
Monsoon magic of Maharashtra best witnessed on a road trip.
Photo Courtesy: UrbanWanderer
4. Delhi to Leh via Manali
Among the most popular road trips to make in the country is the Himalayan road trip to Leh. For the first part to Manali, you will need to take the NH-1 via Murthal, Karnal and Ambala, the road side food options are great, so indulge yourself. The drive is amazing and involves hill driving, the scenic trails are mesmrising to say the least. The drive on the Leh-Manali highway, a part of the NH-21 involves the tougher task, it is open only in the summer months, so plan your trip accordingly. The nearly 500 km journey is to be covered slowly, as the highway has many parts of roads and bridges in a bad condition. However, en-route you will find many camps to halt for a night or more. This route is not about the destination but rather about enjoying the journey! The view of valleys, mountains, stretches of barren land, lakes and rivers all on a scale of nothing you have seen before is sure to enthrall you.
The dream road trip, from Delhi to Leh.
Photo Courtesy: Saad Faruque
5. Bangalore to Calicut
The journey from Bangalore to Calicut in Kerala is among the road trips you have to make in the country. The beautiful stretch is great to drive through, and by that we are referring to the natural beauty and not the roads! The route passes through the Bangalore-Mysore highway to Mysore and connects to Sultan Bathery, from where you can proceed to Calicut. You will traverse the scenic trails of Bandipur forest, but make sure to time your journey, as the forest road is closed post 6 pm. You can make a turn towards Wayanad from Sultan Bathery and spend some time soaking up the natural grandeur of the place. The route is sure to annoy you with some poor stretches of road, but it makes up for the slow drive with sightings of wild animals and of course the immense scenic beauty.
Wildlife sightings and crossings on the route through Bandipur forest.
Photo Courtesy: Ravi Jandhyala