Haven’t had the time to plan for that summer getaway? Don’t fret. All you need is a sturdy car with intelligent features, one that is also comfortable. You are then ready to set out on a road trip that brings along adventure, fun or quiet romance.
Here are a few options for road trip holidays with your loved ones.
Manali–Leh Road Trip, North India
If you haven’t done this, you aren’t an adventurer at heart. The long drive from Manali to Leh – almost 500 km – packs in the best mountain scenery possible. A precariously narrow road across five dizzying mountain passes puts your driving skills (along with patience and determination) to test.
Weather can be treacherous, adding drama and challenge to this two-day drive. En route, you are rewarded with ethereal scenery, a quaint mountain culture and a travelling experience paralleled by few other journeys. Driving along this route is a great way to test your car. The end result of the road trip, however, justifies all the hype around it. And that sweet ending comes in the form of the stunning lunar valley of Leh.
Bengaluru–Coorg Road Trip, South India
Nestled amid ageless hills that line the southernmost edge of Karnataka is the luscious region of Coorg, gifted with emerald landscapes and superb back roads that run through the scenery. This is an experience that few roadies are ever likely to forget. It is 260km from Bengaluru but with the growing availability of GPS, you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
A major centre for coffee and spice production, Coorg’s rural expanse is home to acres of leafy plantations. The only way to get around the region is by rolling down a network of narrow roads. Needless to say, it’s great fun trying to find your way through these arteries, drifting past entire mini forests of coffee, areca, pepper, cardamom, vanilla and other assorted spices in the process.
For more: Lonely Planet’s Best Escapes South India, 50 Great Adventures & Best Escapes South India.
Guwahati to Tawang Road Trip, East India
An impelling sense of journey is at the core essence of the road trip into the culturally magical and scenically spectacular region of Western Arunachal Pradesh. The three-day road trip, covering 500km from Guwahati in Assam right up to Tawang packs thrills, spills, fear and fun in equal measures. A mighty gash in the earth ringed by sharp ridges, Tawang Valley begins to work its magic on the minds of travellers the moment they start descending along patchworked sloping ridges to its lower floor after the arduous journey.
Swept by vast fields and dotted with Buddhist monasteries and Monpa villages, the route is prettiest in autumn, when waterfalls lining the road are in spate and cosmos shrubs lining the way come alive with a riotous blossom of red and pink. The road trip may squeeze the work out of your vehicle, so ensure a good car before driving out.
For more: Best Escapes East & Northeast India & 50 Great Adventures
Mumbai–Goa Road Trip, West India
A little developed shoreline running from Mumbai all the way to Goa, the Konkan Coast is a picturesque strip of land peppered with postcard beaches, vivid green paddy fields, rolling hills and decaying forts.
A road trip along this tropical back region can be sheer bliss. Covering more than 550km from Mumbai to Goa, the beauty of the coast will remind of you seaside sketches from childhood storybooks. You will be rewarded with an experience that money can’t buy and going along this route is a great option for a road trip with your family.
For more: Lonely Planet’s Beach Escapes, 50 Great Adventures, Goa for the Indian Traveller & Filmi Escapes