Traffic, building, traffic, dog, traffic, cow, traffic, traffic. That about sums up moving in a car within the city. Plan your escape and go on a road trip today. They’re short, easy and fun. When it comes to road trips, there’s not much convincing needed. Only inspiration. And that’s where we come in.
As beautiful as these places are, this list doesn’t include Leh and Shimla for the simple reason that they’ve been done to death. Even by you. Well, you’ve covered it at least once. It’s time to expand your horizon. Take your pick and get a-packin’.
1. Guwahati to Tawang
Roughly 510 km long, this route affords you some of the best views of nature in the northeast. Make sure you get the Inner Line Permit (ILP) before entering Arunachal Pradesh, something that’s applicable even to citizens. Since this route is longer, booking rooms ahead of the trip is recommended. The best time to go would be anytime between March and October but check for weather updates on the region before burning your tyres.
2. Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley
Imagine 114 km of scenic valley views that’ll take you to a whole other level. This meeting of the Bay of Bengal and the Eastern Ghats is easily one of the best road trips to be covered in south India. You could also plan a pit stop at Borra caves and Tatipudi Reservoir that lie on this route. Although the weather in Vizag remains pleasant all year long, the best time to take this trip is between October and February.
3. Puri to Konark
This 37-km-long trip on NH-203 can be covered in almost an hour. If you’re from farther away in the country and have an hour to spare, tie this picturesque route in to the road trip you’re already on. Imagine an open road, a beautiful canopy of trees, and miles and miles of fantastic photo opportunities. You could plan for this one between November and March.
4. Chennai to Pondicherry
Flanked by the sea on one side, this 155-km-long route on the East Coast Road is not to be missed. There are plenty of opportunities to create amazing photographs here since some of the best views of the sunset lie along the way. If you have some time to kill, make the most of it and make a quick trip to Mahabalipuram, Alambara Fort, and even Mudaliarkuppam.
5. Chennai to Munnar
Munnar’s green tea plantations await you at the end of these 588 km from Chennai. A sight for sore eyes, this trip should be on any city dweller’s list.
6. Gangtok to Nathu La
Once you cover this 56-km-stretch, your final destination, Nathu La, is a good place to start livin’ on the edge at 14140 ft. While the terrain may be challenging, the views more than make up for it. There’s plenty for the camera here, too. One of the most picturesque lakes, Lake Tsomgo, is worth a stopover. Since the region gets a lot of snow, the best time to plan this trip would be between May and mid-November.
7. Shillong to Cherrapunjee
The roads leading up to here are steep so driving carefully is no longer just a rule, it becomes important. Plenty of of waterfalls and caves dot the 54-km distance between Shillong and Cherrapunjee. Visiting the ‘wettest place on earth’ during monsoon has its own reward but if its scenic views from the comfort of your car you’re looking for, you can skip monsoon season and head here later instead.