Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

When you think of a road trip, the first thing that comes to your mind is the serene view and how relaxing it's going to be. It's a great way to break away from the monotonous life and experience something different. You get to explore more than just one place at a time and also experience the different cultures, food, and cities along the way. If you're an adventurer and want to experience all of this for yourself, you must indulge in at least one of the many long-distance road trips in India. In case you need help deciding which one should be your first or next long-distance road trip in India, here are some of the best ones to check out.

Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

  1. Mumbai To Goa
  2. The Golden Triangle (Delhi–Agra–Jaipur)
  3. Delhi To Manali And Leh
  4. Guwahati To Tawang
  5. Kolkata To Darjeeling
  6. Chennai To Pondicherry

1. Mumbai To Goa

Goa is a destination that’s on everyone's bucket list and is also a dream trip among car and bike enthusiasts. Even though Mumbai to Goa may seem like a cliche trip to take, it's nothing short of mesmerizing. The picture-perfect views are eye-pleasing, especially when you’re moving down south through the coastal areas of the states. You’ll not only be able to explore the beaches in Goa and Mumbai, but also the majestic forts and historical places along the way.

As you pull into Goa and hit the busy beaches, the mood and the atmosphere changes and is pleasant. The entire trip will give you major ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ vibes. If you've loved the reel journey, you’ll love the real one even more as it gets exciting with the distance and towns you cover with each passing hour!

You can navigate through a few routes; the Pune-Kolhapur route and the Chiplun-Ratnagiri one. If you're one who loves nature and its beauty, the Chiplun-Ratnagiri route is going to be exciting for you. You get to ride along rocky and narrow roads, while also enjoying the weather and observing the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats and small towns. The Pune-Kolhapur route is safer for those traveling by car, but is equally exciting. 

Distance: 

  • 590 kilometers following NH 4
  • 577 kilometers following NH 66

Best Time To Travel: November to March

Also read: Fun Things To Do In Goa During Monsoon

Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

2. The Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur)

The Golden Triangle is one of the best long-distance road trip routes in India that covers the historically and culturally diverse and rich cities of the country. The road through Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur is exceptionally picturesque, especially as the route packs plenty of architectural wonders, food places, tourist trails, and serene routes along the way.

There are two routes that you can take when starting this journey. The NH 93, popularly known as the Yamuna Expressway, is a long stretch, smooth, and has fewer hurdles as you move ahead. The second route is NH 8, which has construction work going on at times but also offers a scenic view that's absolutely breathtaking. Regardless of what route you choose, you get to explore all three cities and experience cultural diversity.

Another great part about this road trip is that you can visit all the gorgeous monuments, experience the culture, and try out the different foods as you move from one city to another. We recommend you start your journey from Delhi to start exploring places like Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, and Red Fort. Once you start moving to Agra and Jaipur, there’s Agra Fort, the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, City Palace, Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, etc. that you get to tour. Swinging by the sacred cities of Mathura and Vrindavan is also an option if you can squeeze that into your schedule.

Distance: 449 kilometers following NH 93 and NH 8

Best Time To Travel: September to March

Also read: Agra Travel Guide

3. Delhi To Manali And Leh

If you want to take a road trip to the mountains, Manali and Leh should be on the top of your list. Delhi-Manali-Leh is amongst the best road trip routes in India and an absolutely exciting journey to embark on. The roads will be a bit tricky and treacherous, but they’ll be accompanied by mountains and beautiful landscapes. As a daring traveler and biker, you’ll have a blast riding through the valleys and small routes, and passing by the quaint villages.

The best way to explore as much as you can when going on a road trip is to check out which route you’d want to take. The ideal route you can take for this trip is driving straight to Manali from Delhi. From there, you can go to Tandi, Sarchu, and finally get to Leh, your final destination! It's surely going to be a long journey, but one of the best ones that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

The ride is going to be exciting as it is, but imagine checking out all the hidden gems and historical places, and experiencing the culture and life of the locals in each city you pass by. You can also explore some of the touristy places in Leh and Manali. If you remember Kareena Kapoor dancing to 'Yeh Ishq Hai' from Jab We Met, you could recreate the same on your way on this road trip! It's going to be a fun ride along the hilly regions and roads that are all covered in snow.

Distance: Delhi to Manali is 538.2 kilometers following NH 44 and Manali to Leh is about 427 kilometers following the NH 3 route

Best Time To Travel: March to June

Also read: Experience The Zanskar Trek, Leh

4. Guwahati To Tawang

This Guwahati to Tawang road trip is going to be breathtaking as you ride through the snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, landscapes, gorgeous lakes, and ancient monasteries. Besides, both Guwahati and Tawang are some of the most sought-after places in Northeast India. So, exploring both these cities is going to be exciting. It's best to start the road trip from Guwahati early in the morning. If you don't live in the city and will be spending some time here before you start the journey, you can check out the best homestays in Guwahati for your accommodation.

If you're seeking the thrill of the road, Guwahati to Tawang road trip is undoubtedly going to be the best one. Riding or driving around the mountains will require skills as the roads are tricky and get narrow at some ends. You can take the NH 15 route, but it's a tricky one that requires a lot of time and patience to get through. The NH 13 route is comparatively a lot faster and easier to get by.

The best part about the Guwahati to Tawang road trip is that you get to experience the uniqueness of Northeast India for yourself. Also, you get to visit Bomdila, Dirang, and Bhalukpong cities as you move from Guwahati to Tawang. These cities are worthy of your time and attention as they’ll open up your eyes to the cultural diversities that stay hidden in the remote areas of the Northeast.

Also read: 10 Things To Do In Assam For An Exciting Holiday

Distance: 

  • 251 kilometers following NH 15
  • 450 kilometers following NH 13

Best Time To Travel: Late September to October and April to May

Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

5. Kolkata To Darjeeling

Kolkata to Darjeeling will be an adventurous road trip, simply because it takes you across some of the unknown small towns between the two destinations. Botolbari, Dhantola, Rohini, Kurseong, and Siliguri can be some of the pit stops you make for your breaks. Exploring these cities, their culture, and their food is something that will make your road trip even more adventurous and exciting. 

You can plan this long road trip from Kolkata to Darjeeling in a way that enables you to check out each of these cities a little before you move to your destination. Ideally, taking three days will be great as it's enough time for you to visit at least some of these hidden gems. 

If you don't want to do that, you can break down your trip into two parts. The first being Kolkata to Siliguri and then from Siliguri to Darjeeling. Siliguri is a place for you to take some time off, relax, roam around, and just tour. It will take you about a day to do that and you can then start your journey to Darjeeling the next day.

Regardless of how you plan this beautiful road trip, it's going to be one of the best ones you take. The hills, plains, and greenery you see as you move from one place to another is an experience you don't want to miss out on your Kolkata to Darjeeling road trip. Plus, Darjeeling has ample for you to check out and travel. So once you get there, you can take some time off and check out a few places that you must visit in Darjeeling.

Distance: 

  • 641.8 kilometers following Badshahi Road
  • 640.8 kilometers following NH 12
  • 689 kilometers following NH 27

Best Time To Travel: April to June

Also read: Must-Try Street Food in Kolkata

Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

6. Chennai To Pondicherry

Whether you’re awaiting a beach vacation or a weekend getaway, Pondicherry is the ideal destination for both. It's even better to take a road trip to this destination with your family and friends. Chennai To Pondicherry road trip is certainly thrilling as you get to explore the southern region of the country. The food, music, beauty, and culture of this region are something you must not miss out on experiencing. 

There are different routes you can take for this road trip. Each route explores various regions and cities along the way. The ECR route runs along the Bay of Bengal coastline and makes for the most picturesque view. Also, as you make your way out of Chennai, there are ample places that you could sightsee. Cholamandal Artists’ Village, Mamallapuram, Kovalam Beach, Portuguese Catholic Church, and Alamparai Fort are just some of the many pit stops that you can explore. 

Overall, this road trip will be a relaxing one. Along with the places you explore in Pondicherry, you also have the opportunity to soak in the beauty that the Bay of Bengal coastline offers you on your way. The aura of this entire trip will be extremely peaceful and calming. That's exactly why Pondicherry has been a popular destination among people who want to experience bliss and serenity.

If you want to explore Pondicherry while you're there, don’t forget to check out our Pondicherry travel guide!

Distance: 

  • 156 kilometers following ECR route
  • 170 kilometers following NH 32 
  • 204 kilometers following NH 48

Best Time To Travel: October to February

Best Long-Distance Road Trip Routes In India

Summing Up

As you can see, all the long-distance road trips mentioned above cover different regions of India. This gives you the opportunity to pick a road trip that enables you to explore all these different regions. Driving along the roads, and sipping on some chai at a dhaba is an experience you should never miss out on. So, get packing and trace out the route you want to take on your next long-distance road trip in India!

FAQs

Which Is The Best Place For A Long Drive In India?

If you're the one to love long drives and traveling, taking a road trip might just be the next thing for you to do. Some of the best places for a long road trip in India are:

  • Mumbai to Goa
  • Kolkata to Darjeeling
  • Guwahati to Tawang

What Is The Longest Road Trip In India?

The longest road trip in India connects the country from Srinagar to Kanyakumari. These are the country’s north end and south end points, and cover a distance of over 4,112 kilometers.

How Can I Plan A Long Road Trip In India?

There's a lot that goes into planning a long-distance road trip in India. You need to decide what region you want to go to, then finalize what destination you like. Once you have that in place, things like your budget, duration, itinerary, and a lot of other aspects need to be well planned.

How Can I Travel Whole India?

If you want to explore the entirety of India, you can do so by planning a nice long road trip. Starting off from your hometown, you can trace the states you want to cover and narrow it down to the cities of your choice. A road trip will be an exciting way to explore the different cities in India.

Which Road Trip Is Best In India?

If you're up for an adventure and are looking for your next road tip in India, you may want to check out routes from Mumbai to Goa, Guwahati to Tawang, Chennai to Pondicherry, and Kolkata To Darjeeling as your options.

How Much Does It Cost For A Road Trip In India?

The cost of a road trip depends on many factors such as the distance, the destination, and the kind of place you eat at and live in. If you want to save up on some costs, you can book hostels and pre-book a few things. To give you an example, a road trip from Mumbai to Goa will approximately cost you INR 15,500. This cost is taking into account that you take about 4 days and 3 nights to complete the road trip.

Is India A Cheap Place To Travel?

Traveling in India can be affordable considering you plan your trip accordingly. There are plenty of affordable accommodation options for you to choose from, along with food and transportation as well. The trick is to make a few bookings in advance so as to get the best deals on transportation and accommodation.

What's The Best Time To Visit India?

The best time to visit India is winter, which is anytime between November and March. This time around, the weather is pleasant and perfect for exploring most places in India. Summer in the country gets humid and the monsoon season becomes a bit inconvenient in terms of traveling.