My Favorite Indian Road Trips

My Favorite Indian Road Trips

When I was little, holidays meant road trips. I was a child struck by wanderlust, and with my head pressed against the window, I would gaze at the world going by. I seldom wanted to know where we were going, as long as the car kept moving. I was drawn by it all, whether it was the winding, snow-laced roads to Scotland or the picturesque dazzling waters that lapped at the Gokarna shoreline.

And so, I’ve put together a list of my favorite Indian road trips that are gold in my book. I’ve covered three of them, and have 2 to go. Let me know if you cover them before I do!

Ladakhi woman during a festival
Ladakhi woman during a festival
Pune to Tarkarli (March 2012):Route: Pune – Satara – Karad – Kolhapur – Kankavali – Tarkarli

Distance: 545km

Tarkarli is one of the most untouched, virgin coastal destinations in India. From the delectable seafood dishes to the unblemished, starlit sky, Tarkarli is a rustic little paradise. It offers a little bit for everyone; from the glorious remains of the Sindudurg Fort to scuba diving and snorkeling, it appeals to a wide spectrum of travellers. And when the belly beckons, a host of seaside shacks will serve you traditional homemade delicacies like Malwani Wada with Sol Kadi and Fish Curry. It’s best to visit Tarkarli in the winter, when the sun will be soft and the sky, a radiant blue.

Hyderabad to Kannur (this year for sure!):Route: Hyderabad – Kurnool – Anantpur – Penukonda – Bagepalli – Dibbur – Devanahalli – Ramanagara – Channapatna – Mandya – Kesare – Gunsur – Gonnikuppal – Iritty – Kunnur
Distance: 892km
Hyderabad to Kunnur is like cruising on an expansive bed of green. The looming trees arc inwards, forming an abundant canopy so that when you open your windows a crack, the fragrant forest air wafts in to soothe your senses. Kannur is a wonderful getaway that hosts private beaches and swaying palm trees. It is an ideal destination to unwind on a long weekend or extended holiday!
A monastery in Ladakh
A monastery in Ladakh
Delhi to Leh (I’ve done Leh, but I’d love to go there again via road):Route: Delhi – Sonipat – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Kharar – Rupnagar – Barmana – Mandi – Manali – Keylong – Zing Zing Bar – Pang – Rumtse – Leh
Distance: 1000 km
Leh is a happy cloud of open-air cafes, homely guest houses and fresh fruit laden trees. The journey from Delhi to Leh is supposed to be mesmerizing, and passes through snow-capped mountains, deep brown valleys, and soft snowfall. Definitely recommended during the summer months, I’m told!
Bangalore to Coorg (2008, 2009 maybe?):Route: Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramanagaram – Chennapatna – Mandya –Srirangapatna – Mysore – Yelwal – Hunsur – Bylakuppe – Kushalnagara – Suntikoppa – Madikeri/Coorg.
Distance: 260 km
Coorg is an enchanting land that features rolling estates of coffee plantations. It appeals to people of all ages, with numerous activities to keep one occupied. From elephant bathing and rides, to white water rafting and plantation tours, Coorg offers an invisible happiness insurance from the moment you enter.
Ahmedabad to Kutch (September 2013):Route: Ahmedabad – Viramgam – Dhrangadhra – Halvad – Lakadia – Bhachau – Bhuj
Distance: 400 km
Kutch is an infinite expanse of glowing white. At first, it seems like a magnificent blanket of snow, but then you look closer, and you realize that the ground is densely carpeted in salt crystals. Kutch is the largest salt desert in the world and definitely warrants a visit. Against its white backdrop, the Kutchis are vibrant people who adorn themselves in vivid hues and exude an equally colourful personality. Don’t forget to visit the Wild Ass Sanctuary and the local Hodko village where you can pick up some priceless handicrafts made by the local dwellers.

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