Wanderlust – an irresistible desire to travel to understand one’s very existence. This term has seen much face-time in the recent past for the millennial have been back to the very quest of a search for a purpose in life. The hermits and sages back in the ancient ages believed in this very mantra and wandered far and wide in search of peace and tranquility.
Similarly, the generation of today has been struck by wanderlust fever. They have begun treading on the same path once again in search for their “haven”. Unlike the hermits, they find solace in chasing sunsets and waterfalls, climbing mountain tops or even retiring in a quaint little village far from the everyday hustle-bustle.
If you are an old soul in a young body forever aching for adventures; then my friend, you have struck the right chord. If you dream of meandering roads, gushing streams, endless pastures of green or snow covered mountain peaks; then we present to you ten spellbinding roads in India. These journeys are sure to give you an adrenaline rush, catering to the need for adventure and thrill in every tiny cell in your body.
If you find yourself reading the above with a hunger to know more and shaking your head vehemently agreeing to all of this, then go ahead to read this carefully curated list of ten spellbinding roads in India.
10 roads to road trip on
My way or highway, this highway surely calls for you to ditch everything else and hit the highway. Can’t remember what I am talking about, okay! Let me paint a picture for you. Remember the quirky Kareena Kapoor Khan in “Jab We Met” dancing to the tunes of “Yeh Ishq Haye” while being fortified in a snow wall. There you go, now we have established the scenic beauty of that route, so let’s try and justify it in words.
Frankly, words would fall short to describe this captivating beauty, roughly 480 kms in length. The terrain of Manali is completely different from the rest of India. For people who believe that all mountains are the same, look at it closely and you would witness a different soul in each mountain.
Running at an average elevation of 13,000 feet, this highway connects Manali to Zanskar valley, Lahaul and Spiti. This road is accessible in the summer months till October and is dotted with snow-capped mountains and trees all along. One journey on this road will never be enough, for every journey you take will leave you yearning for more.
“The desert is a capricious lady, and sometimes she drives men crazy”. The orangish-gold sand of the Thar Desert with hints of pink is a mesmerizing sight. The prickly cactus and the camels lumbering by slowly is all set to give you a rustic vibe. This kind of scenery is sure to appeal to your sense of sight and hence makes it second on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India.
Imagine flying past a blue city in the middle of a desert merging into mammoth yellow sandstone architecture. This is the turn the landscape takes when one drives from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer. The desert caters to every mood by offering a quite bonfire under the starry sky to a fun-filled cultural Rajasthani night. For the adventure seekers, a jeep safari, quad biking or dune bashing could give you the perfect adrenaline rush. The desert will for sure fill you with a deep sense of self-introspection with its innate limitlessness and solitude.
This heavenly stretch of 166 kms makes it third on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India. The points where the Bay of Bengal merges with the Eastern Ghats will surely make an ardent nature lover sigh and marvel that this is what heaven must exactly look like! The pristine beauty of this place is unlike any-other and surreal to the point where you actually have to pinch yourself to make your brains process all that your eyes are seeing.
This stretch takes you through Borra caves and Tatipudi Reservoir while gently leading the way to the mystic Araku Valley. The serpentine roads, gentle elevation and lush green forests in the hills all along the way will leave you yearning for more. The ideal time to visit this region is between October and March.
4. Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
Talk about the best scenic routes in India and one cannot leave Sikkim off the list. Hence, number four on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India is the road from Gangtok all the way up to Nathu-La Pass.
Serpentine roads, super steep valleys, rhododendron groves along with lush green sub-tropical woodlands are unique to the picture perfect landscape of the State of Sikkim. The hilly terrain with some rough patches might make it a challenging ride. The pristine view, however, makes it all worth the time and effort. Tsomgo Lake (completely frozen in winter), surrounded by snow-capped mountains on all sides is a treat for the “urban-struck” eyes.
At an elevation of about 18,000 feet above sea-level, the moment you set your eyes on the Indian Flag fluttering at the Indo-China border, your heart swells with a sense of pride and patriotism. The feeling of that place cannot be described but just felt. The quaint town of Gangtok with its super friendly local folks and scenic landscape will make you fall in love with it all at once.
5. Chennai to Munnar
The sickly heat and humidity of Chennai is sure to weigh you down sooner or later. The saving grace, this 10 hour journey of approximately 600 kms to Munnar. Fifth on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India, this journey is surely going to be worth every ounce of effort.
Almost the whole expanse is lined and dotted with tea gardens. Situated at a height of around 1,600 meters you can feel the instant drop in temperatures around you. This for sure is a welcome change from the sweltering coastal heat in Chennai. In addition, Munnar is a perfect hiking destination in South India. While in Munnar, chase the Lakkam Waterfalls and witness the surreal sunset from Anamudi Peak.
6. Delhi to Agra via Mathura on Yamuna Expressway
Ever felt like Michael Schumacher flying past other cars at neck-breaking speed. Yamuna Expressway (undoubtedly) the best road in India (as at date) is surely going to make you feel the same. Making it sixth on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India, this is an absolute must do for every person who loves driving.
As you leave the traffic and hustle-bustle of the Capital behind you, this road leads you to the gates of the picturesque Taj Mahal all in but two hours by your watch (personally timed by me on several occasions). The road is lined with villages on both sides and it is a very common sight to spot fodder animals and people making their way back to their homes. Do remember to make a pit-stop at Mathura, to experience the air brimming with devotion and faith.
7. Mumbai to Goa
Making it seventh on our list of ten spellbinding road trips in India is the Mumbai to Goa highway. This is a ride of awesomeness for it a gateway to the packaged deal of sun, sea, sand and beautiful memories.
The road is smooth and offers a panorama of views all along. If you leave Mumbai early in the morning, you will surely make it to Goa right in time to hit your favorite night spots in town. Along with breath-taking views, the road is well lined with a plethora of eating joints. Surely the best deal all rolled in one for a roadie and a foodie!
8. Ahmedabad to Kutch
Craving for a “brake-free ride”? The endless expanse of salt desert is surely your best bet making it eight on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India. Kutch is blessed with one of the most ecologically and culturally abundant landforms. The place is teeming with natural beauty, culture and tradition, colors and celebration & joy and beauty. The remarkable sight of the boundless white desert spread under the moonlight truly is the stunning creation of nature.
The best time to visit the Rann of Kutch is from November to February. This time marks the famous Rann Utsav and is celebrated at the full moon. During that time the place is a cacophony of colors, happiness, culture, tradition, fantasy and all good things during that time.
9. Pamban Bridge (Rameshwaram)
Making it ninth on our list of ten spellbinding roads in India is the Pamban Bridge in Rameshwaram. This stretch of 13.5 kms makes you feel like a bird. Imagine the feeling of being able to glide effortlessly while eyeing the expanse of blue and green. Sometimes that is all the therapy a tired mind, body, and soul needs.
This bridge is the Mecca in South India for every bike lover. Only a biker alone knows the ultimate bliss of feeling the wind in their hair. This stretch truly personifies the statement of “Chota packet, bada dhamaka”.
10. Guwahati to Tawang
Last but not least, the stretch from Guwahati to Tawang surely finds a spot in the ten spellbinding roads in India. The stretch boasts of incredible views and plenty of precarious hairpin bends that would leave you thrilled. This is surely one of those journeys that would make you reminisce life-long.
Tawang is the birthplace of His Holy Highness The Dalai Lama. This place will surely flatter you with its natural beauty wrapped in the scent of spirituality. A beautiful orchid sanctuary is also an ideal place for your list of places to visit. Dig into the local cuisine which will surely tingle your taste buds.
Hope this carefully curated list of the ten spellbinding roads in India will make your souls itch to hit the roads. If you want to know of more places or need help with planning a trip to any of these places, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. We will surely help you with all we can and take you #AageSeRight.