P.C: Tabea Damm
The freedom of an open road is a sensory cocktail of serendipity & liberation. The ecstatic feeling of setting off on a road trip to discover the tucked away nooks and crannies of an offbeat gem is second to none. Come alive by exploring the never-ending roads, behind the wheel, which makes you feel so free and liberated. When it comes to road trips, India has options aplenty. It is no secret that some of these trails are really getting common-place and crowded. However, what we bring to you is a list of some really underrated and offbeat road trip trails along the length and breadth of the country. The list may not make it to the cut of the top road trips' lists, but once having explored the lesser known trails, you may think that more people must drive through such breathtaking parts. The drives are spectacular with the culture, history and people you meet along the way, making your trip memorable. Bring out the inner Columbus in you and venture out on these as yet off the beaten road trip tracks of the country. Curated and shortlisted with much care and attention to detail, here are some of the most offbeat and underrated road trips of the country. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime and let's go!
1. Ahmedabad – Barmer – Jaisalmer – Ramgarh – Tanot
P.C: Travis Essinger
Travel to the far west and explore the uncharted effervescent sand dunes of the majestic Thar desert. Explore the trails from Gujarat to Rajasthan, stretching for about 657 km, and brave the heat of the grandiose stretches of the golden deserts. A road trip to the far away golden desert of the west, is like an assault to your senses, with a most unlikely blend of the silence of the desert and your roaring ride behind the wheel. Take a trip to the Pakistan border post-BOP 609 in Tanot, and you will come across heritage architectural beauty, historical museums and gorgeously decked up camels strutting along the streets.
2. Tezu – Hayuliang – Hawai – Walong – Kibuthu
P.C: Tobias Keller
Delve into and get lost in the easternmost part of the country, with stunning neon greenery pastures, cascading waterfalls, and glittering rivulets to keep you company on the highway. With your Inner-Line Permit in place, drive through the tiny hamlet in Walong district of Arunachal Pradesh, which is, cuddled sleepily between the countries of China and Myanmar, perched at an elevation of 1,240 m. Swivel and drift into aUtopian bliss as you continue your 200 km drive amidst the little hamlets enveloped in clouds and mist. With the winding serpentine Lohit and Chayu rivers to some mesmerizing mountain panoramas, natural hot springs and delightful little hanging bridges, a road trip in this part, is something you are gonna cherish for a long time.
3. Kochi – Chalakudy – Athirapally Falls – Sholayar – Malakkapara – Valparai
P.C: Jakob Owens
The Kochi-Valparai highway in the south, is considered as one of the most scenic and beautiful road trip routes in the country. On the way, you come across one of the most glorious and famous waterfalls of the south, the Athirapally fall. The almost 150 km westwards drive from Kochi along the Chalakudy river to Valparai, is home to one of the most scenic and picturesque panoramas. Expect the beauty of nature in all its glory, alight with lush vegetations of neon greenery, roaring waterfalls along sleepy hamlets. The entire road trip stretch is also flanked by boisterous little towns, which shimmer and glitter with utmost pomp and glory, filling you with awe and wonder, in the dark of the night.
4. Jammu – Sunderbani – Naushera – Rajouri – Azmat Bad – Bafliaz – Chandimarh – Peer ki Gali – Shopian – Pampore – Srinagar
P.C: Elena Kuchko
Any road trip itinerary list would be incomplete without involving a trip to the majestic Himalayas in the north. The Mughal Road, a historically significant and picturesque road of the country, makes for a must in this list. The 330 km of panoramic picturesque stretch runs through the verdant valleys of Kashmir, with the towering snow-capped peaks against the azure blue skies, as the backdrop. This particular roadtrip is that quintessence beauty of a little bit of heaven and wild served together. Get lost in the majestic vistas of Kashmir with steep serpentine curvy roadways, ample apple orchards and gurgling waterfalls and rivulets that come along.