We have had many movies over the years inspire us in their own unique ways. Travel, with a lot of focus on road trips, is one theme that has lingered on in the top Bollywood movies across decades. Road trips give you a chance to discover places like never before, build special bonds with loved ones that have stuck around for a long time and take home memories that you will cherish forever.
Without further ado, here are our recommendations on the top 5 Bollywood-inspired road trips you must embark upon with your childhood friends.
1. The Route from Dil Chahta Hai
Believe it or not, the beginning of the road trip culture in India had a lot to do with this 2001 Bollywood flick. Reason enough for you to get on the road with your chuddy buddies for an experience of a lifetime, isn’t it?
The Mumbai – Goa route via AH47 is among the most popular ones in India and definitely gets a whole new meaning when it is done with your childhood friends. It is a smooth road, and especially beautiful in the monsoon as the hills come alive with lush greenery and countless meandering waterfalls.
Duration: 12 hours with small halts on the way
When to Go: The winter months from October to February are great for the Mumbai to Goa road trip due to pleasant weather. During this time, Goa is also bustling with street markets, beaches and top bars/cafes open to visitors from across the globe. If you’d like a quieter and more peaceful vacation, plan the trip during monsoon when the road to Goa is lush and scenic, and the destination less crowded.
Top Experiences: Mid-way halts to savour Vada Pav and Sev Puri from local vendors; many small waterfalls in the hills if you drive through during monsoon; quality time with your friends as you drive down with the Dil Chahta Hai title track playing in the backdrop; Dil Chahta Hai inspired shots with your friends at Chapora Fort.
Tags: Nature | Gastronomy | Smooth Drive
2. Because Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Truly
Embark on a road trip on one of the most scenic routes in Spain just like Kabir, Arjun and Imraan did in the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Drive along the coast from Costa Brava, Barcelona, Castellon de la Plana and Valencia onto Buñol. Then head to Granada (via Murcia), the luxurious Málaga and Marbella, the scenic Strait of Gibraltar, the historic city of Sevilla and finally the capital city Madrid.
Duration: 8-10 days
When to Go: Between July and September, so that you can attend the La Tomatina festival held in August.
Top Experiences: Deep sea diving to pump up the adrenaline at Costa Brava; digging into delicious seafood paella and tapas in Barcelona; participating in the fun-filled La Tomatina festival held in Buñol on the last Wednesday of August; partying the night away in Málaga; discovering the rich history of Spain in Sevilla; shopping for souvenirs and local delights at Madrid.
Tags: Adventure | Scenery | Gastronomy | Nightlife | Festivals & Events
3. Let’s Get on the Highway
Pick from the highways of Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and all the way to Kashmir and you’re all set for a Highway-kinda road trip with your best friends. We admired Alia Bhatt and Randeep Huda as they want on and on in this well-known road movie. So now it is time for us to go along the same route and feel the goodness. Pick a smaller route if that is more comfortable. The more adventurous ones can opt for the entire journey, spending days on the road, learning the many secrets of life.
Duration: Rajasthan to Delhi (2 days) or the entire route from Rajasthan to Kashmir (4-5 days) with stops
When to Go: February to April and September to November are ideal months to plan this road trip, when the metro cities in the North are neither too hot nor too cold. However, ensure you carry enough warm clothes for the cold weather once you reach the hills.
Top Experiences: The changing scenery and vistas from the plains of Rajasthan/Delhi to the mighty Himalayas; transitioning from the massive highways to the mountainous roads; trekking along the beautiful nature trails in Himachal; capturing the lush greenery of Sangla; finding solace in the picture-perfect environs of Aru Valley in Jammu & Kashmir.
Tags: Nature | Adventure | Scenery
4. The Adventures of 3 Idiots
Farhan and Raju begin their trip in search of Rancho and it is this road trip that has fuelled the adventurous side of many people off-screen. Taking inspiration from this cult movie, why don’t you too plan a drive from Delhi to Ladakh, with some pretty little stops on the way? A non-stop journey for 6 hours will take you to scenic routes in the Himalayas.
Once you’re near Shimla, stop at the idyllic Chail Palace, pictured as the Chanchad Villa in the movie. After crossing Shimla, merge onto the Mahali-Leh Highway to satisfy the adventure seeker in you. Among other picturesque locations in Ladakh, Pangong Lake awaits you with a chance to pose with Pia’s yellow scooter from the film.
Duration: 3-4 days
When to Go: July to September
Top Experiences: Morning walk in the huge lawns of the Chail Palace as you book yourself a stay here; driving through winding hilly roads; getting instaworthy shots in the serene backdrop of Pangong Lake and while posing on the scooter from 3 Idiots.
Tags: Adventure | Mountains | Scenery
5. Relive Your Childhood as you go on the Jab We Met Road Trip
A road trip in the hills is all you need to relive those childhood memories, when the summer vacations were all about heading to the hill stations, enjoying Maggi in the lap of nature and walking through the woods. It is time to enjoy those experience all over again with your oldest friends as you plan a road trip in the great Himalayas. The cue for the route comes from Jab We Met, where Geet and Aditya travel through Kullu Manali and onto Rohtang Pass.
While you are here, visit Naggar Castle and trek along Rohtang Pass, the shooting locations of the song Yeh Ishq Hai.
Duration: 4-5 days
When to Go: March to October
Top Experiences: Eating Maggi at a café overlooking the mountains; dancing and having fun with your best friends around Naggar Castle just like Geet did in the movie; exploring the many nature trails in Rohtang Pass.
Tags: Nature | Mountains | Adventure