Road trips in India are always fun. Go on one of these four this winter.
With Indian roads getting better by the day and the availability of self drive options increasing, it is the best time to enjoy road trips in India. Yes, some time roads gets crowded especially on long weekends and holidays. But it is a good option to unwind if you love driving like we do!
Winter is the best month to do road trips in India. It is chilly in the north and pleasant in south. We thought of sharing four lovely road trips in India which you can do this winter. These are from different cities and we have chosen them keeping in mind the availability of Self drive option. Of course, one can always drive from your home in your own car and do these these trips as well.
1 Deccan Heritage Trails from Hyderabad
This road trip will give you an opportunity to explore the grand heritage of Deccan. Starting from Hyderabad, this road trip will help you explore magnificent fort at Bidar, the cradle of temple architecture in Pattadakal to the grandeur of Hampi to the influence of Islamic architecture in Bijapur and Gulbarga, this is a lesson in History.
Circuit – Hyderabad – Bidar – Gulbarga – Bijapur – Badami – Lakkundi – Hampi – Ballari – Alampur (Kurnool) – Hyderabad
Total Distance – 1161 KMs
Google Map of Circuit – Deccan Heritage Trails
Day 1 – Hyderabad – Bidar – Gulbarga (night stay)
Distance – 258 KMs
Tips – Check out the massive Bidar fort and other monuments. Don’t miss visiting Nanak Jhira Gurudwara, one of the holiest places for Sikhs. Make sure to visit Bahamani Monuments in Gulbarga and also the Buddha Vihar, the beautiful Buddhist centre.
Day 2 – Gulbarga – Bijapur (night stay)
Distance – 166 KMs
Day 3 – Bijapur – Badami (night stay)
Distance – 122 KMs
Tips – Check out the fascinating rock cut temples at Badami.
Day 4 – Badami – Pattadakal – Aihole – Mahakuta – Badami (night stay)
Day 5 – Badami – Lakkundi – Itagi – Hampi (night stay)
Distance – 176 KMs
Day 6 – Hampi (night stay)
Tips – Hampi needs days to explore and you can see main attractions of this largest city of medieval India in one day. Take a good guide which is provided by hotel where you are staying.
Day 7 – Hampi – Ballari – Alampur – Kurnool (night stay)
Distance – 236 KMs
Day 8 – Kurnool – Gadwal – Hyderabad
Distance – 245 KMs
Tips – Check out the Kondareddy Burj and Kurnool fort and on the way back to Hyderabad take a deviation to Gadwal to visit the famous fort in the town.
Travel tip – This Trip can also be done from Bangalore by adding another day. On day 1 reach Bidar via Hyderabad. Stay night. Next day explore Bidar, till lunch and then continue on remaining circuit as Given in the Itineraray. After Alampur, return to Bangalore.
2 Rajasthan Rhapsody from Jaipur
Winter is the best time to visit the desert state. Famed for its marvellous forts and palaces, this circuit will cover all the major attractions of Rajasthan. Explore the massive forts at Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh. Visit magnificent palaces at Jodhpur, Uadaipur and Bikaner, get mesmerised by temples at Ranakpur and Osian. And marvel at desert fort of Jaisalmer and play on sand dunes.
Circuit – Jaipur – Ajmer (Pushkar) – Chittorgarh – Udaipur – Ranakpur – Kumbhalgarh – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Bikaner – Fatehgarh (Shekhavati) – Jaipur
Total distance – 1800 KMs
Google map of the circuit – Rajasthan Rhapsody
Day 1 – Jaipur – Ajmer – Pushkar (night stay)
Distance – 155 KMs
Day 2 – Ajmer – Chittorgarh – Udaipur (night stay)
Distance – 310 KMs
Tips – Check out the famous fort at Chittorgarh which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 3 – Udaipur (night stay)
Tips – Explore Udaipur. Go for boating in Pichola lake, visit palaces. Enjoy sunset at Sajjangarh
Day 4 – Udaipur (night stay)
Tips – One may visit Nathdwara and Eklingji temples which are on the outskirts of Udaipur. Or visit the remaining attractions – Fatesagar lake, Saheliyon ki Boli, walk around in the small lanes near the city palace to experience the cultural ethos of the place. In the evening visit Bagore ki Haveli followed by the cultural show.
Day 5 – Udaipur – Ranakpur – Kumbhalgarh (night stay)
Distance – 127 KMs
Tips – Enjoy the drive though the rural Rajasthan and pristine forest of Aravali ranges. Visit the largest and beautiful Jain temple at Ranakpur. Explore the Kumbhalgarh fort – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and don’t miss to see the evening lighting of the fort.
Day 6 – Kumbhalgarh – Jodhpur (night stay)
Distance – 187 KMs
Tips – Visit the excellent fort palace complex at Jodhpur and the Jaswant thada
Day 7 – Jodhpur – Osian – Jaisalmer (Night stay)
Distance – 286 KMs
Day 8 – Jaisalmer (night stay)
Tips – Explore Jaisalmer. Visit the fort and Sam Sand dunes.
Day 9 – Jaisalmer – Bikaner (night stay)
Distance – 329 KMs
Tips – Visit the places at Bikaner
Day 10 – Bikaner – Fatehpur – Jaipur (night stay)
Distance – 338 KMs
Tips – Stopover at Fatehpur to visit the beautifully restored Haveli by French woman Nadine le Prince
Travel tip – This Trip can also be done from Delhi by adding two more days. On day 1 reach Jaipur. Stay night. Next day, continue on remaining circuit as given in the Itinerary. After Jaipur on last day, return to Delhi.
3 Coromandel Charms from Chennai
Coromandel Coast in Tamil Nadu is a fascinating stretch of beaches and heritage. From early shore temple at Mahabalipuram to the grandest of temples at Thanjavur, Madurai, Chidambaram and Rameshwaram and holy cathedral at Velankanni you get an opportunity to see a kaleidoscope of cultures which flourished in this state. Add to that some lovely beaches at Taragambadi, Rameshwaram and French city of Pondicherry and Portuguese town of Manapad.
Circuit – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Taragambadi – Velankanni – Rameshwaram – Tiruchendur – Manapad – Kanyakumari – Madurai – Karaikkudi – Thanjavur – Chennai
Distance – 1677 KMs
Google map – Coromandel Charms
Day 1 – Chennai – Dakshina Chitra – Mahabalipuram (night Stay)
Distance – 57 KMs
Tips – Spend an hour or two exploring the south indian vernacular architectural heritage at Dakshina Chitra. Check out the monuments at Mahabalipuram – Arjuna’s penance, Pancha Rathas and in the evening enjoy the beach.
Day 2 – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (night Stay)
Tips – Visit Shore temple at Sunrise. After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Visit Auroville centre in the afternoon.
Day 3 – Pondicherry (night Stay)
Tips – Explore Pondicherry.
Day 4 – Pondicherry – Pitchavaram – Chidambaram – Taragambadi(Night Stay)
Distance – 139 KMs
Tips – After early breakfast drive straight to Pitchavaram and enjoy the boat ride on last remaining mangroves. After that visit the massive Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. Visit the Danish fort at Tharagambadi and enjoy the lovely beach.
Day 5 – Taragambadi – Velankanni – Rameshwaram (night Stay)
Distance – 290 KMs
Tips – Drive along the east coast. Visit the famous Cathedral in Velankanni on the way. Don’t miss visiting Kushi beach before the Pamban bridge.
Day 6 – Rameshwaram (night Stay)
Tips – Explore the famous temple at Rameshwaram and drive to Dhanushkodi. Go to the land’s end.
Day 7 – Rameshwaram – Tiruchendur – Manapad – Kanyakumari (night Stay)
Distance – 316 KMs
Day 8 – Kanyakumari (night Stay)
Tips – Get up early to see spectacular sunrise in Kanyakumari. Visit the temple and go to jetty for a boat ride to Vivekananda memorial rock. Also visit a nice museum on Swami Vivekananda. In the evening don’t miss watching sunset from Gandhi Mantap.
Day 9 – Kanyakumari – Madurai (night Stay)
Distance – 246 KMs
Tips – Explore the massive Meenakshi temple complex of Madurai in the late afternoon on arrival.
Day 11 – Madurai – Karaikkudi (night Stay)
Distance – 87 KMs
Tips – After lunch, explore the the Chettinad mansions in Karaikkudi town and walk around the antique shops
Day 12 – Karaikkudi – Thanjavur (night Stay)
Distance – 112 KMs
Tips – Stop over at Kanadukathan on the way to see magnificent mansions including Chettinad palace. After lunch, visit the magnificent Brihadeeswara temple
Day 15 – Thanjavur – Chennai
Distance – 333 KMs
Tips – If you can get up early, be there at Brihadeeswara temple when it opens. It is a lovely experience to see the temple at sunrise. On the way to Chennai, go via Darasuram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram to see the magnificent Chola temples which are now UNESCO World Heritage site along with Brihadeeswra temple
Travel tip – This Trip can also be done from Bangalore by adding another day. On day 1 reach Mahabalipuram via Kancheepuram. Stay night. Then continue on remaining circuit as Given in the Itinerary (skip Dkashina Chitra). After Thanjavur, return to Bangalore.
4 Kaptivating Kumaon from New Delhi
Kumaon captivates. No dubt about it. Whether it is the magnificent tiger reserve of Jim Corbett or the best views of Himalayas in Munsiyari and Kausani or beautiful lakes at Nainital and Naukuchiatal, it has everything a curious traveller can look forward to.
Circuit – Delhi – Jim Corbett National Park – Nainital – Naukuchiatal – Binsar – Munsiyari – Kausani – Delhi
Distance – 1429 KMs
Day 1 – Delhi – Jim Corbett National Park (night stay)
Distance – 233 KMs
Tips – Leave after breakfast and reach the park comfortably by afternoon.
Day 2 – Jim Corbett national park (night stay)
Tips – Go for safari and enjoy the wilderness of the park . You may be lucky to spot a tiger.
Day 3 – Jim Corbett – Nainital (Night stay)
Distance – 150 KMs
Tips – Go for a boat ride in the lake which is the highlight of Nainital. Wander in the Mall road. Go for a ride in the ropeway.
Day 4 – Nainital – Bhimtal – Naukuchia Tal – Nainital (night stay)
Distance – 60 Kms (round trip)
Day 5 – Nainital – Almora – Binsar (night stay)
Distance – 86 KMs
Tips – Stop over for few hours at Almora to explore the town.
Day 6 – Binsar (night stay)
Tips – Explore Binsar
Day 7 – Binsar – Munsiyari (night stay)
Distance – 185 KMs
Tips – A long drive in the hills. Enjoy the Himalayan landscape on the way.
Day 8 – Munsiyari
Tips – Explore Munsiyari. Go for small treks. Enjoy the vistas of Himalayas all along.
Day 8 – Munsiyari – Kausani
Tips – A long drive in the hills. Enjoy the Himalayan landscape on the way.
Distance – 135 KMs
Tips – Explore Kausani Go for small treks. Enjoy the vistas of Himalayas all along.
Day 9 – Kausani – Delhi
Distance – 400 KMs
a) Make sure you get familiar with the map and plan it well. We have given an itinerary which is for a very comfortable drive.
b) We have provided links to all the important places. Click on them to know more about them and explore it.
c) If you want to stay over at a place for more than what is mentioned in the itinerary, please do so and replan it accordingly.
d) There are opportunities for deviation from itinerary provided you have more time at your disposal. For example, you can also go to Trichy from Thanjavur and then to Chennai or travel to Lansdowne from Kasauni and then to Delhi.
e) Make sure you follow the five thumb rules of safe driving like we do. Road trips in India is safe and fun if you follow these.
- Wear safety belts always. Both front and rear passengers
- Do not overspeed. No drowsy driving.
- Make sure your car is good condition.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not use mobile phone while driving
f) Always plan to book accommodation well in advance. Portals like Tripadvisor are helpful.
g) We always believe in the adage of “Early start and early arrival” when we go on road trips in india. Start early and have breakfat on the way. That will give you enough time to spend time on the places on the way.
h) The mornings and evenings in North India and Rajasthan will be enveloped in fog. Make sure you have a good fog lamps.
i) Though the road conditions are very good on most of the routes, we strongly recommend you to become a member of a driving community like H V Kumar Forum on FB where you can get real time updates on road conditions and any information which will help you plan for road trips in India.
j) We happened to stumble upon this nice website on Uttarakand Tourism. All details about the places and pictures in Kumaon mentioned above is from this website. Please click the link here – Uttarakand Tourism
We wish you a safe drive. Come back refreshed. Come back with fond memories!
Lastly, the road conditions may change. It will be good to join a road trip enthusiasts group HVK Forum managed by H V Kumar, the doyen of road trip in India. You can get the latest updates on the road conditions in this very active group.
We strongly suggest that you download customised Routo app from H V Kumar. HVK as he is fondly called, provides you customised route maps, live support on the road trip and will also help you with hotel accommodation as well. Check out all details here.
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