Be it dawn or dusk, let the wheels of your vehicle roll down winding paths till you reach to a world of unbound and ethereal beauty. India’s diverse landscape is a intertwine of mountains, water-bodies, deserts and wildlife sanctuaries, which grabbed the attention of wanderers time and again. Above all there are clusters of ruined monuments here and there that let you pause for a while to admire our glorious yesteryear. Why we always think of boarding a flight or train to explore such varied marvels? Why not we take a bike, a car or a bus to travel through India’s fancied roads or highways mingled with tiny hamlets and small towns? Probably the best way to experience our diverse geography is by roads. Many professionals, both bachelors and couples have already hit some Indian roads to explore a world of unimaginable natural and artificial grace. Let’s look at a slice of their road trips in India and travel tips they gave us:
A geologist from Mumbai loves to break her week-long monotony by hitting the roads of Maharashtra. She drove miles with her husband to conclude that road trip from Mumbai to Pune is the best of all. Stopover at cloud kissed Lonavala and savouring local ‘chikki’ can heighten your adventurous mood. Unending lush green foliage of Mumbai Pune Expressway along with cool pleasant mist lead to a picturesque setting for a long drive. Though monsoon is ideal to take this route, but other halves of the year are equally admirable.
Tips: Carry a sweat shirt because chill wind of the stretch can give goosebumps. Road conditions are good so stay free from bumpy rides.
Stopovers: Apart from Cafe Coffee Day and McDonald’s, there are dhabas like Kinara Village Dhaba and Suruchi Pure Veg that serve Indian delicacies.
Staying away from the outside world most of the time, a young doctor from Delhi decided to hit the roads of Himachal for rejuvenation and adventure. His first experiment was with Mandi- Tirthan route. Tirthan Valley can be reached from Delhi via Chandigarh-Bilaspur-Mandi route. It is the gateway to Great Himalayan National Park. Though the trip from Mandi to Tirthan Valley is as small as 51km, yet this short journey comes alive with vistas of rolling hills, pine trees, tiny rivulets, thin waterfalls and innocent locals. Tirthan Valley is untouched by commercialisation, absolutely pristine and blanketed with bottle- green electrifying landscape, which turn snow balls during winter.
Tips: Climate in Tirthan remains pleasant throughout the year so can be visited any time. Be careful of winding roads and deep valleys on your side.
Stopovers: There are no dhabas on Mandi Tirthan route. So dine at Mandi town before setting off for this scenic drive to Himalayas.
A fashion designer from north-east India always explores the secret gems of her state. This time she took the route from Tawang to Bumla Pass by bike. The spectacular beauty of Tawang defines the lavishness of nature that can only be travelled by wheels. Bumla Pass on Indo- China border is around 37km away from Tawang. Roads are definitely scary as it is at an altitude of nearly 16000 feet. Though there are numerous rules to fulfil before you head for majestic mountains, yet every moment of the ride will force you to pause and shoot the grace of nature devoid of chaotic cities.
Tips: Road from Tawang to Bumla Pass is maintained by BRO and inner line permit is required by Indians. Oxygen level will reduce as you approach the height, so need to have a healthy heart to be a part of this lifetime experience. Ideal time to visit would be from May to October.
Some 60 odd kilometres from Bangalore to Nandi Hills drove a Kolkata photographer crazy. This popular route from can be travelled by car, bike or cycle. At a height of about 4,851 feet, Nandi Hills is an idyllic escape. The ancient hill fortress dotted with shrines and monuments is an hour drive from Bangalore. Roads are in good condition, traffic is less and there are long stretch of greenery, so journey turns utterly delightful.
Tips: On arriving take a Vineyard Tour or a Temple Tour in this scenic fortress.
Stopovers: There are petrol pumps and eateries where you can get your car and yourself pumped up. Start driving during sunrise and return back right during sunset to catch amazing hues of blue, golden and orange over the Bangalore sky.
Come let’s pack up for some more road trips in India.