So you’re planning to cruise the road and travel across the length and breadth of India! Well, good for you! India has a great range of diversity in its geography, quite as much as its diversity in its people: what with everything from mountains and valleys to rivers and waterfalls, from lakes and streams to deserts and snow! Before you hit the highway, here are a bunch of places you should be keeping in mind as potential destinations.
- Cruise across from Leh to Manali: The Leh Manali highway is considered to be one of India’s most dangerous roads, and is easily among the world’s most deadliest roads. Perfect if you are a daredevil with a reckless spirit – or if you have it in your head that you belong to the cast of Fast and Furious, this is where you belong. Stretching across the beautiful Lahaul and Spiti valleys, the 490 kilometres long highway is about 13,000 feet high, and houses the highest spot in the stretch, at Tanglang La mountain pass offering a stunning view of mountain ranges.
- Enjoy the Delhi to Jaipur highway: National Highway 8 is a hot favourite among most people who love road trips – and it works if you have an appetite that is as big as this driving stretch. With 238 kilometres that stretch through two of India’s most colourful states in India, you’ll find yourself in the heart of India’s Golden Triangle – connecting Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
- Deserting the urban side, head from Barmer to Jaisalmer through the Great Thar Desert, and indulge yourself in the splendid magic of the mountain ranges and the salty marshlands of the Great Rann of Katch. A modest 159 kilometres, this two hour journey will make you the Prince of Persia in India – with all those sand dunes and camels and Sting playing in the backdrop, what more could you ask for?
- If you’d rather wear your bell bottoms, swing on a pair of shades that will cover a good 90% of your face, and a smile that will cover the remaining 10 percent, hop onto a vehicle of your choice and head from Bombay to Goa. A perfect throwback to yesteryear Bollywood magic, this would be a good trip to make when you haven’t much interest to spare to the countryside.
- If you’re the kind that would get in touch with the Schumacher who lives within – or simply didn’t exist, but it feels all awesome to say he does – the Mumbai–Pune highway is yours to cruise through. All of 93 kilometres, this is India’s first six-lane concrete high-speed, access controlled tolled expressway in India. You’ll get to see the majesty of Lonavala and Khandala in the backdrop.
- Chennai to Pondicherry remains a hot favourite for anyone travelling about in the South! Across the length of the delightful Coromandel Coast, this road trip will leave you with spell-binding views of the Bay of Bengal, dotted with temples and reliefs from South India’s marvellous past.
- The unchartered terrains of the North East are a magical sight to behold. Stretching from Darjeeling to Gangtok, the frozen road that snakes through the lower Himalayan region, all the way from Darjeeling to Gangtok. Think tea gardens, picturesque locales and mountain ranges: and the beautiful assemblage of all things peaceful.