Bucket List - 10 Road Trips to Cover All of India

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Photo of Bucket List - 10 Road Trips to Cover All of India by Pragmatic Traveller

Road Trips are the best way to travel. Not only it allows you to customize your itinerary the way you want but also give you complete freedom to visit less popular and more authentic places. India is a big country to travel by road but if we disintegrate it in 10 individual road trips for all different regions we can do the whole country on wheels and even Bhutan, happiest country on earth.

1. Leh & Srinagar: 

12-18 Days, 2500Km, May - Nov

Delhi – Jammu (1N) – Srinagar (3N) – Kargil (1N) – Ladakh (3N) – Manali (2N) – Delhi

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Manali - Leh Highway is Mecca for Bikers

Leh is a dream destination for all road lovers. Traveling in between snowy peaks of himalaya on the highest motorable road is an experience in itself and it does exist in bucket list of each and every road trip enthusiast.

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Delhi - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh - Delhi

You can find tonnes of information available on internet for itinerary planning. Group bike tours are also available through tourist agencies which are safer and a good way to mingle with like minded people.

2. East Coast: 

10 - 15 Days, 2000 Km, Nov - Feb

Chennai – Mahabalipuram (1N) – Pondicherry (2N) – Pichavaram -Rameshwaram (2N) – Kanyakumari (2N) – Munnar (2N) – Yelagiri (1N) - Chennai

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Famous Pamban Bridge

While watching Chennai Express, you must be secretly desiring to experience the journey of SRK and Deepika. Here is your chance to drive on glorious Pamban Bridge over the sea. Road conditions are pretty good and all the enroute destinations are well known for its scenic beauty and unique culture in this circuit.

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East Coast Road Circuit

You will experience genuine Tamil culture on this circuit. Your trip will start with Jaw dropping views of east coast road and ancient coastal town of Mahabalipuram and conclude at refreshing Nilgiri Hills in between the tea states of Munnar.

3. West Coast: 

10 – 15 Days, 2500 Km, Nov-Feb

Agonda– Karwar - Gokarna(1N) – Udupi(1N) – Coorg(1N) – Wayanad(1N) – Alleppey(1N) – Kovalam(1N) – Kodaikanal(1N) - Ooty(2N) – Mysore – Chikmagalur (1) - Agonda

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World Heritage Western Ghats at Wayanad

This circuit includes everything a traveller wishes for; Serene beaches of Gokarna, Udupi and Kovalam, breathtaking ghats, lakes and forests at Coorg, Wayanad, Backwaters of Alleppey, majestic Mysore and hill towns of Kodaikanal, Ooty.

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West Coast Circuit

Goa or Bangalore is a perfect place to start the journey. Monsoon is a good season to experience the best of the northern region of the circuit while southern region is best explored in winters, you can choose from your convenience.

5. Road to Bhutan: 

7 - 10 Days, 1000 Km, Oct–Apr

Siliguri – Phuentsholing(1N) – Paro(2N) - Punakha(1N) – Gangtey - Thimphu(1N) – Gorumara(1N) – Siliguri

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Tiger Nest in Bhutan is one of the most popular destination on the globe.

Indian passport holders do not need visa to visit Bhutan and it is easily accessible by road too. You can hire car or bike from Siliguri and visit Bhutan in a week.

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Bhutan Road Map

For more enthusiastic traveller, continue forward from Punakha and exit to Guwahati on the other side of the map. Tiger Nest at Paro is one of the most beautiful treks in the world and visited by thousands of travelers.

6. Western Ghats: 

7 Day, 1000 Km, Jun - Nov

Mumbai – Lonavala(Della)(1N) – Satara - Ratnagiri(1N)– Chiplun - Mahabaleshwar(2N) – Tamhini – Kolad(Rafting)– Khopoli(Imagica)(1N) – Mumbai

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Western Ghats are world heritage site

Monsoon is the best time to explore the western ghats of Maharashtra Region. Mumbai or Pune is ideal base camp to explore the region. These are the places where journey is more beautiful than destinations.

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Western Ghats - Maharashtra Region

Visit Imagica and Della Adventures for some fun activities on the way. While exploring these uncomparable ghats you may find breathtaking small towns. Do not hesitate to spend a night or two in such innate places.

6. Traditional Rajasthan: 

10–12 Days, 2400 Km, Nov–Feb

Delhi – Jaipur(2) – Pushkar – Ajmer(1) – Jodhpur(2) – Jaisalmer(1) – Mt Abu(1) - Udaipur(2) – Ranthambore(1) – Delhi

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Sand dunes at Jaisalmer is a lifetime experience

Most foreigners visit India to experience the culture of Rajasthan and it deserves the special attention. Winters are ideal season to enjoy the traditional hospitality of Rajputana homeland.

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Rajasthan Road Tour

Above circuit can be completed either way, starting from Ranthambore or starting from Jaipur, decide from your convenience. Udaipur and Jaisalmer are the highlights of the trip and concluding it with a jungle camp and safari is a perfect way to end the long journey.

7. Road to Himalayas: 

7 - 10 Days, 1400 Km, Mar – Sep

Delhi – Rishikesh(1N) – Dehradun – Mussoorie(2N) – Chakrata – Auli(1N) – Kinnaur*(2N) - Spiti(1N) - Kufri – Shimla(2N) – Solan – Delhi

Apart from Manali - Leh highway there are other hill towns which offer breathtaking curves and innate natural panorama along the road.

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Tunnel enroute to Kinnaur

Start your journey with river rafting and bungee jumping at Rishikesh and move forward to beautiful hill stations of Uttarakhand.

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Road to Kinnaur and Spiti remains closed till May

Road to Kinnaur and Spiti is considered dangerous due to poor maintenance and remains closed till last May so always confirm from news or local resources before moving ahead from Auli. A shortcut to the above circuite is moving directly from Auli to Kufri.

8. Valley of Flowers: 

7 – 10 Days, 1200 Km, May – Sep

Delhi – Lansdowne(1) – Chopta – Valley Of Flowers(2) – Kausani(1) – Almora – Ranikhet(1) – Nainital(1) – Delhi

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Valley of Flowers Trek

Valley of Flowers is a lifetime experience in itself. It is a complete package of road trip, trekking and camping in wild. You will need to do trekking to reach there and it remains open for a very short period of year.

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Roads are available till joshimath only

While returning spend a day or two along the beautiful naini lake relaxing your legs after a laborious trekking.

9. Sikkim – Old Silk Route: 

10 – 15 Days, 800 KM, May – Nov

Siliguri – Darjeeling(2N) – Pelling(1N) – Ravangla - Gangtok(3N) – Lachung(2N) – Nathula – Zuluk(1N) – Kalimpong(1N) – Siliguri

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Scenic Silk Route at Sikkim

Silk Route, used for trading from china to western and middle eastern countries is one of the most scenic routes on himalayas with several hairpin bends.

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Sikkim Silk Route Road Map

Restricted Area Permit will be required to travel to Lachung, Nathula and Zuluk (Silk Route) which can be obtained at Gangtok. Keep a day spare in Gangtok for arranging same.

10. North East Road Trip: 

10 – 15 Days, 2000 KM, Mar – Oct

Guwahati – Tawang(2N) – Kaziranga(1N) – Majuli(1N) – Kohima(2N) – Haflong(1N) – Dawki – Cherrapunji(1N) – Shillong(2) – Guwahati

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Famous River Village of Majuli
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Tawang Monastery

To explore all the hidden gems of north eastern india, a road trip of 20000 km passing through all major states of north east india is perfect.

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Road Map for a perfect north east trip

A trip from Guwahati to Tawang is a challenge in itself as weather conditions are extreme and you will find very few resources on the way.

Above road trips are designed after a proper research and analysis. Some of the circuits are extreme and very difficult to execute practically. For such cases partial circuit can be planned and remaining destinations can be covered in next trip. Some areas of Gujarat, MP, UP, West Bengal & Orissa are not included in any of the trips because it consists of individual tourist spots which are difficult to link with each other but small trips of Araku Valley, Rann of Kutch, Golden Triangle of Agra, Puri and Kolkata and cultural circuit of Kashi, Khajuraho & Sanchi can also be planned conveniently.

Happy Travelling!

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