“……but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep”. As Robert Browning said, "And I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” It is the road that goes on and on beginning from your doorstep. Pursuing with eager feet until it joins other larger path, a road trips is all you want with the best company.

7 best road trips that you must take this year as it can change your view completely giving u a new outlook altogether are:

1. Manali to Leh highway – Manali to leh is one of the most the most celebrated road trips that gives you a chance to explore the incandescent beauty of the mountain region marked by snow capped mountains, chilled breeze, rugged terrains and some well known passes. The best time to visit this route is between June to September and will at least take two days with adequate stops while travelling by road. The approx distance from Manali to leh is 478 kms and the road map gives you the paths you must take in order to reach your destination – Rohtang, Jispa, Bharatpur, Nakeela, and many others that finally take you to leh. The trip offers you a spectacular journey with breathtaking views of the Pirpanjal ranges and exhilarating activities such as paragliding, rafting and skiing.

2. Mumbai to Goa – depicted extremely beautifully in one of the blockbuster movie ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, this is one trip that every traveler wishes to experience. The trip offers immense scenic beauty of the mesmerizing western ghats to the land of beaches, Goa. It is just a 12 hour drive from Mumbai to Goa whenever you get a long weekend. The best season to visit Goa is during the months of December and January and is advisable to book accommodations in advance. A trip to Goa can be the cheapest in monsoon. One can take the route of NH4 i.e Pune to Satara to Kohlapur to Belgaum a distance f 590 kms. The road is simple, smooth and straight. Satara offers many road side eateries too. Another alternative road is NH66 i.e Bombay – Goa highway. The total distance through this route is 577 kms. But is not advisable to people suffering from motion sickness.

3. Shimla to Manali via Mandi – Shimla and Manali are two most popular destinations in Himachal Pradesh. For this road trip, one needs to start early in the morning to reach Manali before it is dark. Bilaspur is 105 kms away from Shimla which offers several restaurant, dhabas with Sundarnagar lake on the other side. After travelling 25 kms from Sundarnagar, you will reach Mandi where you meet river Beas which remains on the right side upto Manali. One can enjoy the drive by the side of the river watching distant snowpeaks and waterfalls. Although one must be warned about the sudden rise of the water level and slippery sides to avoid any kind of accident through slippage. This route remains open throughout the year and serves as a main connection to Manali. This is 250 km stretch and requires more time due to uneven roads.

4. Chennai to Pondicherry – Chennai to Pondicherry off the east coast road is a very well laid and marked road trips that saves at least half an hour as compared to the other routes via Tindivanam. The road is a single lane road which has well managed traffic as only few state transport buses are allowed to take this route and no trucks take it due to higher toll. The route excites enthusiastic car drivers too. The trip offers the view if the Bay of Bengal while heading towards Pondi. The major attraction on the way include the Kovalam sea driving, Olive island, Crocodile bank, tiger caves etc. It has one of the stunning beaches and a mixed culture where people speak in about 55 languages. The food here is a dominant combination of French cuisine.

5. Vishakhapatnam to Araku Valley – the Araku valley is 114 kms from Vishakhapatnam, close to the Odisha state border. Anantagiri and Sunkarimetta reserved forests are a part of the road trip which are extremely rich in flora and fauna. Along the coastal bank of Vizag, the road trip takes more terrestrial routes and the trip may take a maximum of 3 hours to reach the valley or a little more according to the traffic. The most convenient way to travel in and around Araku is on motorcycles. One can visit Borra Caves at Araku as it is only 35 kms away. One can also take a ride to Chaparai to see the water passing over rocky slopes. 

6. Dehradun to Nainital - this distance of about 280 kms takes almost 8 hours to reach Nainital from Dehradun. The best way to reach Nainital is by train and the closest railway station is Kathgodam. From Kathgodam, Nainital is about 33 kms away and there are plenty of buses and taxis available to reach the place. It takes about one and a half hour to reach the place from Kathgodam. The preferred route by car from Dehradun is along NH 72 to Haridwar then travel along NH 74 to Najibabad-Ramnagar-Nainital. Haridwar is the first major stop from Dehradun, where one can take a short break from the journey and visit the holy town and go to the ghats along the river Ganga or continue the journey and travel towards Najibabad in Uttar Pradesh. Alternately, one could travel via Kashipur on NH 74, skipping Ramnagar and shortening the journey from Dehradun to the hill station of Nainital.

7. Bangalore to Coorg - Located in the western ghats, Coorg or Kodagu is a district of the state of Karnataka well known for its hills, plantations, rivers, wildlife and refreshing coffee. it is also known as "Scotland of India." The road trip is near about 250 kms that can take 6-7 hours of journey. From Bangalore to Mysore, includes a no. of attractions like natural rock clusters, palatial structures, highway eateries, and the railway line that may add up to little joy. Mysore to Coorg via Kushalnagar is a steady noticeable transition of landscapes from wildforest covers and then to coffee, tea and spice plantation. The closest routes are through Mysore SH17  and Kushalnagar SH88. Wildlife lovers can also camp at Dubare which provides an close opportunity to go on rides with elephant. There are numerous pastures spread across for great golfing experiences at Coorg golf links, Marcara down gold club etc. 

Ayushi Arora