A lot many of us are daydreaming about the next time we can bust out of the hullabaloos that surround COVID-19 and peacefully take a trip, just like old times. Well, there is no harm in planning.
A private car road trip with just you and your loved ones would be a safe option in the immediate future when COVID-19 has disappeared.
Here are 10 awesome locations in India where you can go on a car road trips.
Old silk route
What used to be one of the trading routes between China and the middle-eastern countries is now a winding hair-pin filled scenic route through the foothills of Himalayas. It is located in East Sikkim and includes some famous landmarks like Lhasa, Nathu La, Jeep La Pass, Mankhim, IccheyGaon, Nathang and Sillery Gaon and Tamluk.
You can relish the stunning Kanchenchunga and the beautiful landscape that alternated through the seasons; from snow-capped peaks to pathways blushing with flowers.
- No of days: 10-15
- Total distance: 800 k.m
- Best Time to visit: May- November
Valley of flowers
Buckle yourself for a trip of the lifetime with a road trip, trekking and camping all rolled into one to Valley of Flowers. Reach Dehradun and travel to Rishikesh- Chamoli- Joshimath- GovindGhat, via NH 58.
From here on you can trek to this beautiful valley that teems with flowers and bushes of wide varieties. The valley only blooms for a short duration from June to September. You can catch glimpses of various glaciers on your way to the Valley.
- No of days: 7-10
- Total distance: 1200 k.m
- Best Time to visit: June- September
Shimla to Manali
Shimla Manali route via Mandi is every photographer’s paradise. Serene snow-laden mountains greet you on one side and deep valleys with whistling rivers on the other.
The landscape cycles through verdant greenery to snow carpeted grounds and is beautiful to visit anytime outside of the monsoon season.
- No of days: 1-2
- Total distance: 247 k.m
- Best Time to visit: September – July
Guwahati to Tawang
North-east India is a gem waiting to be explored. The roads could pose a daunting task, but the scenery is well worth it. You can also turn this trip into a culturally infused expedition where you can get to learn more about the Buddhist culture.
Stop to dot on the mesmerising greenery at Tezpur, the Monastery or Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary at Bomdila and take in the loft hills and snow-laden valleys of Dirang.
- No of days: 3-4
- Total distance: 515 k.m
- Best Time to visit: March- October
Mumbai to Goa
Mumbai to Goa is the easiest road trip that you can take this summer if you want to cool off on some well needed beachside vacation in Goa. Take the Pune-Kolhapur route via NH4 for a smooth glide through the four-lane roads.
Alternately, you can also choose the Chiplun-Ratnagiri route via NH66 that will have you twisting and turning your steering wheel as you navigate through the winding roads and narrow curves. You can also stop in to munch on the varied delicacies along the Western Ghats the line along this route.
- No of days: 1-2
- Total distance: 590 k.m
- Best Time to visit: September- March
Dehradun to Nainital
This pleasant road trip along the lush greenery and the teeming mountains is the perfect road trip to unwind. Take the NH 72 to Haridwar then along NH 74 to Najibabad-Ramnagar-Nainital.
Stop at Haridwar and peek into the holy rituals that happen along the ghats here while dipping your toes into river Ganges. You can then move onto the Jim Corbett National park in Ramnagar and get up close and personal with a few Bengal tigers. The road from Ramnagar to Nainital is a reasonably breezy ride, and you can reach there in 2 hours.
- No of days: 1
- Total distance: 279 k.m
- Best Time to visit: April- June, September- October
Delhi- Agra-Jaipur – The Golden Triangle
From Mewars to the Mughals, the Golden Triangle connects three most historically rich cities in India: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. You can catch all the three cities through the Yamuna Expressway and NH8. The top-notch road conditions will help you cover the 450 k.m in a stretch of 7 hours.
Explore the rich monuments in the capital city Delhi, dot on the wondrous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and then proceed to the Pink City Jaipur with its marvellous Hawa Mahal and Amer fort. Don’t forget to drop into the Tripoli Bazaar and Chandpole Bazar to get your hands on some traditional Rajasthani clothes and jewellery.
- No of days: 2-3
- Total distance: 450 k.m
- Best Time to visit: August – March
Read more: 10 Best Underrated Tourist Places in India
Darjeeling to Pelling
Sip on some authentic hot tea with a short drive from Darjeeling to Pelling. Nothing can beat the combo of drinking a strong tea while gazing upon the rolling tea plantation upon which misty clouds play peekaboos.
The Tista River and the beautiful Rangit River will keep you company till Legship, and you can then catch on their confluence at Melli. Drop-in on the Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling, Kanchenjunga Falls, Rimbi Falls, Tsangey Falls and Sinsore Bridge. Wrap up your day with a sunset over the mighty Khangchendzonga.
- No of days: 1
- Total distance: 85 k.m
- Best Time to visit: March–June, September–December
Bangalore to Ooty
For all the Bangaloreans tired of unmoving traffic all day long, the effortless drive through the swarming greenery to Ooty would make the perfect getaway. Take your journey through the Bandipur national forest so that if you are lucky enough, you can spot one or two wild animals in their natural habitat.
The kingdom of Mysore will leave you gaping at the awe-inspiring architecture that surrounds the city. Finally, cool off to the all-year-round cool climate at Ooty with a cup of chai.
- No of days: 2
- Total distance: 278 k.m
- Best Time to visit: October–June
Chennai to Munnar
Munnar will be the ideal getaway for anyone trying to escape the blistering heat of Chennai. Munnar is famous for its mist-covered peaks and undulating tea plantations. The green colours juxtaposed with the blue skies will leave a lasting imprint on your mind.
- No of days: 2
- Total distance: 600 k.m
- Best Time to visit: September- February
Important things to carry while going on your car trip
Don’t forget to pack these 5 important things while you plan your car trip post COVID-19.
- A Valid Car insurance Policy – Car insurance is a mandatory document that you must have while you ride your car in India. If you are caught without this, you will be liable to pay a fine of Rs.2000/-. But rather than being a mandatory document, a car insurance is also a necessary document to have while you embark upon a journey. If you ever happen to land in an accident, car insurance will help you cover for the damages caused to another person’s vehicle or injuries/death caused to them.
- Driving license, Id proofs and other documents – Along with car insurance, you must also have a valid driving license. It is illegal to drive without a driving license. You will also have to provide the registration certificate of your car when prompted by the police. Remember to carry your other id proofs like Aadhar card along with you in case you lose your license.
- COVID-19 protection – The future is uncertain, and we do not know how COVID-19 will be eradicated. It is best to keep practising the lessons coronavirus has taught you, i.e. keep washing your hands, wear a mask and social distance. Have hand sanitiser and hand wash products in handy. Keep enough stock of disposable and reusable masks.
- Reusable water bottle and compact water filters – Rather than buying more bottled water from everywhere you go, keep a reusable water bottle with which you can refill from trusted sources such as your hotels and restaurants. Keep drinking boiled water that has been cooled down. Use water filters whenever you drink from open sources such as lakes or streams.
- First Aid kit – First Aid kit is always necessary when you go on car trips. You must know how to administer the First Aid as well. It can help you and anyone in need in dire circumstances.
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