There are numerous kinds of holidays, however, recently, road-trips have consistently grown popular. And justifiably so. There is something freeing about a road-trip. From taking in the fresh cool breeze, admiring the stunning views and the beautiful landscapes, road-trips in India are definitely something worth experiencing. Whether you decide to take a solo trip on your much-loved bike, or a trip with your family and friends packed in a 7 seater car, blasting music from the speakers, road-trips are just the perfect way to experience nature in all its glory.
Apart from being a bonding experience, especially, if you are with your family and friends, road-trips allow you to take a break, step away from the constant buzzing of everyday, and really soak in nature. Not only does it allow you to relax, but also push yourself out of your comfort zone. From engaging and interacting with locals and learning more about the culture to indulging yourself in the delicious meals, road-trips produce some of the stories and memories.
While road-tripping is loved everywhere in India, journeying through the North has a certain charm to it. Brimming with absolutely gorgeous destinations and popular among adventure-seekers, North India is home to some of the most-loved and frequented destinations of India, especially during the winters. The snow-sprinkled mountains, the snuggly weather, the cosy holiday homestays in the company of your loved ones, strangers or just yourself, all make for the perfect recipe for a North India road-trip during the winters.
While some holiday-goers indulge in micro-managing every aspect of the trip, others simply choose a destination, pick a rucksack and embark on the trip. Regardless of whether you love planning down to the T and ensuring that you have all the essentials, or if you are more of a spontaneous person and like living life on the edge, a road-trip to North India definitely caters to you. Here’s a list of some of the most cool, quite literally, road-trips you can take during this winter and make it memorable!’
Delhi to Mussoorie via Dehradun
One of the moderately long, but beautiful, road-trips, Delhi to Mussoorie is the road-trip for every mountain lover. Though a popular destination among couples, Mussoorie is also a beautiful location for solo bikers. Approximately, Delhi to Mussoorie is 288.7 kms in distance, hence ideally it should take you about 7 hours to complete this road-trip, but taking into account the number of breaks, and if you choose to halt at Dehradun, the time could vary accordingly.
The road between these destinations is fairly good except a few patches. Hence, it is always recommended that you start your journey early in the morning, as travelling at night could be risky, considering this road-trip involves travelling through the Upper Ganga Canal Road, one of the most dangerous roads in India. Hence it is always advisable to travel in broad daylight. Once, crossed this, you can stop for your first halt in the nearby dhabas, thelas and restaurants.
Upon reaching Dehradun, you can choose to halt at private villa rentals there, enjoy a night or two, and start your journey to Mussoorie the next morning. From Doon, as it is popularly known, Mussoorie is only about 1.5 to 2 hours away. Featuring scenic views and fresh breeze, you will land in the Queen of Hills. The view itself upon reaching Mussoorie will make all of your efforts worth it. A quaint town home to some of the most popular wooden and wollen items, you can shop, eat, and chill.
Amritsar to Dharamshala
If you are looking for a short, hassle-free road-trip, this one is just for you. Approximately 222 kms, it would take you about 5 hours to reach Dharamshala from Amritsar. A road less taken, but stunning nonetheless, Amritsar to Dharamshala involves snow-peaked views. A smooth road till Pathankot owing to the NH54, your journey till the Punjab border will be without any bumps. Filled with dhabas on either side, most people stop here for a short lunch break before they carry on. Upon commencing your journey into Himachal Pradesh you will come across ghats and sharp turns, with the scenery changing as you move up. Experience the temperature drop down gradually as you keep ascending along with lush greenery on both sides. Plan your stay, book a villa in Dharamshala and enjoy this serene city, which is situated at the edge of Himalayas.
Delhi to Leh via Manali
Every bikers’ dream and featured in every adventurer’s bucket list, Delhi to Leh is a road-trip not for the faint-hearted. One of the most popular trips taken by tourists and locals alike, Delhi to Leh is an amazing journey. Absolutely stunning backdrops scattered throughout, twisty paths, and various stopovers, this road-trip will be no short of an adventure. Due to inaccessibility to Leh, the best time to visit it would be between May to September, when the snow slowly slowly starts melting, allowing easier access.
One of the most common routes involves a stopover at Manali, and it goes via Ambali and Mandi. Approximately 1100 kms, this journey will take you up to 25 hours or more. The initial journey is comparatively smooth, however, once you reach halfway, the roads can get steep. Upon reaching Manali, you can choose to stay for a night at some of the most amazing homestays, and continue the journey the next day. Upon reaching Leh, indulge in some oh-so-famous momos and shop for some amazing pashminas.
Gangtok to Nathula Pass
One of the other road-trips leaning towards a more difficult path, this again is for the adventure-seeker in you. As they say, the journey is more important than the destination, however, here it is the opposite. The destination makes the challenge worth it. However, road-trippers are always advised to be cautious. One of the shortest road-trips from among the ones listed here, Nathula Pass is just 55 kms away from Gangtok. However, do not underestimate it, as these 2 hours could be slightly unpredictable. The turns are sharp and the roads rocky, but the views accompanying you throughout will make everything worth it. Filled with mountains covered in snow, waterfalls and more Gangtok and Nathula Pass both are amazing destinations making your road-trip absolutely worth it.
North has been increasingly become more and more popular among road-trippers, and you can see why! Twisted, risky, granular, all roads lead to some of the most amazing views, that just make all of it worth it. I am planning my next trip, are you?