As my best friend and I downed beers on a Tuesday night, while trying to tackle the mid-week crisis, we realised how long it had been since we had travelled together. Back in college, setting off on random budget treks and camps was the order of the day. Years later, here we were — making money yet not putting it to use. Enough is enough, we said to ourselves! Then we sent our respective HRs sick leave emails and set off the very next morning, just like the good old days.
Instead of going down the old 'mountains vs beaches' route, we decided to hit the road and go tiger spotting, which would, interestingly, be a first for both of us! Since we are both working outside of our hometowns without access to cars, road trips have always been tough to execute. However, this time around, we decided to try out Avis, one of the biggest self drive rental services in the world. The booking process was easy breezy, to say the least. And the best part was, we actually ended up spending a lot less than we usually do! We were handed the keys to a swanky new SUV next morning and with that, the boys were officially back on the road!
We kicked off our journey from New Delhi, driving down on NH8 to reach Ranthambore National Park on the first day. The next day we dived straight into the wildlife haven state of Madhya Pradesh and ventured into another wildlife hotspot, Panna National Park. On the third day of our trip, we covered more than 700km to get back to New Delhi.
Here is a suggested route you can take if you want to treat yourself to a tryst with the wild:
New Delhi – Ranthambore National Park – Panna National Park — New Delhi
The itinerary for the road trip is spread across three days: