11 Best Winter Road Trips in India

Photo of 11 Best Winter Road Trips in India by Namrata Das Adhikary

It's never a dull moment while you're on the road, and especially if you're on a roadtrip in India. The transition from the humid plains to the lush hills, from the crowded cities to the tranquil countryside, and from the chaos of everyday life to the freedom of the open road is enough to give you an adrenaline rush like no other.

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Photo of 11 Best Winter Road Trips in India by Namrata Das Adhikary

While the bumpy and dusty roads may test your patience at times, the stunning landscapes, delicious food and unexpected adventures more than make up for it. But which routes should you take to make the most out of your road journey? We have compiled a list of the best roadtrips in India that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Get ready to vroooom your way!

1. Manali to Leh

If snow-capped mountains, rugged terrains, and beautiful valleys are what tickles your fancy, then this road trip from Manali to Leh is just the perfect one for you. This 427 km long journey takes you through some of the highest motorable passes in the world, including the famous Rohtang Pass and the breathtakingly beautiful Tanglang La. The journey is not for the faint-hearted, as the roads are rough and the altitudes are high, but the views of the majestic Himalayas make it all worth it.

Distance: 427 km

2. Jaipur to Rann of Kutch

This otherworldly journey starts at the pink city of Jaipur and takes you through Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Ahmedabad before reaching the marvellous Rann. Along the way, you'll witness the grandeur of Rajasthani palaces and forts, and get a glimpse of the traditional way of life in the desert. And nothing can beat the experience of camping under the starry sky in the salt desert of Kutch!

Distance: 649 km

3. Mumbai to Goa

Think endless stretches of palm-fringed beaches, stunning coastal vistas, and mouth-watering seafood on your plate. Yes, that's the Mumbai to Goa road trip for you. The 590 km journey takes you through the picturesque Konkan coast, making pit stops at popular beach towns like Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule. Keep an eye out for the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and the lush greenery along the way.

Distance: 590 km

4. Bangalore to Coorg

Karnataka's very own Scotland, Coorg, is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The drive from Bangalore to Coorg is a scenic one, with winding roads, dense forests, and gushing waterfalls. The route will also take you through the charming towns of Mysore and Srirangapatna, before entering the serene and coffee-scented district of Coorg.

Distance- 242 km

5. Chennai to Pondicherry

The East Coast Road (ECR) in Tamil Nadu is one of the most iconic routes for a roadtrip in India, taking you from Chennai to the French-inspired town of Pondicherry. Feel the wind kiss your face as you journey along the picturesque Bay of Bengal, with stunning views of the sea and golden sands. The French colonial architecture, quaint cafes, and fusion cuisine in Pondicherry make it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

Distance - 170km

6. Shimla to Spiti Valley

This roadtrip in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh is not for the faint-hearted. But for those who dare, the journey from Shimla to Spiti Valley is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The long route takes you through some of the most remote and majestic landscapes in the country, including the breathtaking Kinnaur district and the high-altitude Spiti Valley. Prepare to be awestruck by the rugged mountains, deep gorges, and crystal-clear rivers along the way.

Distance- 412 km

7. Guwahati to Tawang

This roadtrip is a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty. Starting from the bustling city of Guwahati, the journey takes you through the mystical state of Arunachal Pradesh, with its rolling hills, dense forests, and Buddhist monasteries. The long route to Tawang, also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, is dotted with waterfalls, alpine lakes, and breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Eastern Himalayas.

Distance- 430 km

8. Chennai to Yelagiri

For a short yet fulfilling road trip, head to Yelagiri from Chennai. The 230 km drive takes you through the beautiful countryside of Tamil Nadu, with picturesque hills, lush green valleys, and quaint villages. The charming hill station of Yelagiri offers a refreshing change of scenery, and the scenic trek to Swamimalai, the highest point in the town, is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts.

Distance- 230 km

9. Ahmedabad to Diu

The road trip from Ahmedabad to Diu takes you through the rugged terrain of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat, and into the beautiful coastal town of Diu. The journey is a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, as you get to witness traditional Gujarati villages, ancient temples, and the sandy beaches of Diu. Don't forget to try the mouth-watering seafood here, as Diu is known for its excellent seafood cuisine.

Distance- 378 km

10. Mumbai to Mount Abu

If you’ve got an itch to travel through diverse terrains and landscapes, then the journey from Mumbai to Mount Abu is just the one for you. Starting from the bustling city life of Mumbai, the 750 km journey takes you through the beautiful state of Rajasthan, with its deserts, hills, and lakes. The highlight of the trip is, of course, the picturesque hill station of Mount Abu, with its refreshing climate and stunning views of the Aravalli Mountains.

Distance- 750 km

11. Bangalore to Munnar

Last but not the least, this road trip takes you from the bustling city of Bangalore to the serene tea gardens of Munnar in Kerala. Drive through the beautiful Western Ghats, with stunning views of valleys, waterfalls, and rolling hills. Munnar, with its idyllic landscape and pleasant weather, is the perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate after a long road journey.

Distance- 530 km

Road trip essentials:

Here's a list of must-haves to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey on the open road!

Emergency car kit, Spare tire and tools for changing tires, First aid kit, Water bottles and snacks, Phone charger, Cash and credit cards, Travel documents (driver's licence, registration, insurance), Toiletries (toilet paper, hand sanitizer, tissues), Sunscreen, Comfortable clothing and shoes, Sunglasses, Camera, Portable phone charger, Roadside assistance contact information, Weather-appropriate items (jacket, umbrella, etc.), medicines for motion sickness or personal medication (if any), Travel pillow and blankets.

Pro- tips you won't like to miss out on:

Pack light, but pack snacks – you never know when you’ll need an emergency snack break!

- Keep offline maps handy on your phone, just in case you lose reception.

- Take a break from the car and explore local street food – the best way to experience the flavours of India.

-Keep an eye out for “chai wallahs” – these roadside tea vendors make the best chai!

- Don’t be afraid to take the backroads – that’s where you’ll find the hidden gems.

- Be prepared for unexpected detours and delays – it’s all part of the journey.

- Don’t forget to pack a portable phone charger – you’ll want to capture all those special moments.

So buckle up, pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure like no other. These best roadtrips in India will not only take you through some of the most beautiful destinations in the country but also leave you with unforgettable memories and stories.

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