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 Journey or destination? Which do you crave for most? If your answer is a journey then you’re made for road trips. In a road trip, every stop is a story in itself. They can be spontaneous or pre-planned. You can explore at your own pace, advancing to offbeat destinations. Here’s a list of some beautiful places in India for road trips.

Exploring The North:

  • Shimla to Manali via Mandi

The trip from Shimla to Manali is a must-visit for everyone. Located in the foothills, the distance between these places is around 247km with the duration of approx 7 hours. Morning is the best time for departure from Shimla.

The green and beautiful mountains are awe-inspiring. On the way to Manali places worth seeing are Sundernagar lake, Gobind Singh Ji Gurudwara, hydroelectric project, hanging bridge.

For adventure freaks river rafting in Kullu is mind-boggling. April to June is the best time to visit as Rohtang pass is open so you can enjoy snowfall, skiing and other activities.

  • Mumbai To Goa

Road through Kolhapur and Satara (NH-14) distance 584 Km with duration around 11hr is the fastest route now for a Mumbai-Goa trip. Another one through NH66 (NH-17)- Ratnagiri Konkan route is a little crowded and risky but it is good for adrenaline junkies.

Morning is mostly preferred for departure as the journey is tedious. Warna river and Amboli forest have a scenic view. Amboli ghats are also a popular tourist attraction. Amboli is an ‘eco hotspot’. The topography of Maharashtra and Goa is worth seeing. Best time for this trip is Monsoon, as you can behold the lush greenery and Goa is cheapest during monsoon but driving is a bit challenging in this season.

Exploring The South:

  • Chennai to Puducherry

The journey from Chennai to Puducherry through ECR is 165 Km long with a duration of approx 3hr. 

Progressing through lanes of Mahabalipuram on the way you can sight stone carvings. Crocodile bank, rock beach, white Town, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Ganesh temple, Auroville, Matri Mandir and Buckingham canal are easy on the eye. Backwaters, villages, vendors selling coconut on the road all this can refresh your soul. Although you can make this trip any time of the year, the best months are from October to February.

  • Ooty to Mysore

Distance- 125 Km 

Duration- 3hr

This is like a trip to fairyland for nature lovers. Roads running through the forest of Bandipur give you a view that can blow your mind and you’ll adore them forever. 

Bandipur forest is a tiger reserve it also has an elephant camp in it so if you’re lucky you can spot a tiger or deer. Verdure makes the journey more alluring. Madumalai and Nilgiri are part of National biosphere reserve of India.

A bike ride will be a more thrilling experience. On the way, there is 36 hairpin bends road which can unnerve some people and it is also an accident-prone area. View of tea plantations is gorgeous. October to June is the best time for travelling and sightseeing. 

Exploring The West:

  • Ahmedabad to Kutch

It is a well known saying ‘Kutch nhi dekha to kuch nhi dekha ‘. This trip to the white desert should be in everyone’s bucket list. The journey of Ahmedabad to Kutch through Bhuj is 400 Km and takes around 7 to 8 hr. 

Dholavira, the only city of Harappa and the Indus civilization in India, excavation is the main area of attraction in the way. There is also a fossil park in the Kutch but it is mostly remote. Eateries are not easily available so carry food and water with you.

Trips in October-November are preferred as summer will be too hot to travel. 

  • Jaipur to Jaisalmer

Distance-558 Km 

Duration- 10hr 

Sight, sound and stories make way to your heart as you move from Jaipur to Jaisalmer. Impressive forts, villages, camel caravans, temples, palaces, endless desert any more incredible thing you’ll get to see in your way to the land of kings.

The incredible Rajasthan will not leave you disappointed for a moment.  Start the journey at the break of dawn to avoid rush hour and make sure you carry potable water with you. October-November is the best time to visit this place. 

Exploring The East:

  • Guwahati to Cherrapunji

The journey of Guwahati to Cherrapunji through Shillong is 147 Km and it takes 4 hrs 30 min to cover it. Sohra is the local name of Cherrapunji.

Church, mosque, temples you can find everything here, this place beautifully reflects the secular spirit of our country. Beautiful mountains and lakes will make your journey more delightful. You can do boating in the bada pani and can roam in the beautiful tea gardens.

The roads are in very good condition but you can find slow Moving traffic here. Altitude sickness can be a problem for some people. The weather keeps on varying so be prepared for that.

There are many things to see in Cherrapunji like seven sister falls, living root bridges and many more. Cherrapunji’s handcrafted items made up of canes and bamboo is something to take back as mementoes. The months from November to February are the perfect time for this road trip

  • Guwahati to Tawang

Distance around 462.2 Km and the duration to cover journey is around 14 hrs 30 mins. Depart early in the morning to avoid heavy truck traffic. Main attractions in the journey are Rafting in Jia Bharoli river and trekking in Nameri. Other attractions are Diran Hamla monastery, Narumi national park.

As we go closer to Tawang you can find snow-capped mountains. You can’t take your eyes off the scenery the view is breathtaking. If you’re not a resident of Arunachal Pradesh you have to take ILP- inner line permit to enter Arunachal Pradesh. You can apply online it takes around a day or so.

The main attraction in Tawang is Tawang Buddhist monastery which is one of the biggest monasteries in India. There are many other small monasteries in Tawang. Best months to visit is March to October.

A road trip is a great way to get in touch with yourself and the outside world. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start planning with our list of options for your next road trip. Bon, voyage! Have you visited any of these places? Comment below and let us know your experience.

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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