India is a diverse and beautiful country that is best discovered by driving. From beautiful mountain passes to scenic coastline drives, India provides a plethora of breathtaking roads ideal for a road trip. Here are the top five picturesque drives in India:
The Leh-Manali Highway is one of India’s most scenic and difficult roads. This 479-kilometer-long high-altitude route connects the towns of Leh, Ladakh, and Manali, Himachal Pradesh. The route takes you through breathtaking scenery, including snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, and high mountain passes like Rohtang Pass and Tanglang La Pass. The road is flanked by breathtaking Himalayan views, making it a dream drive for adventurers. Due to significant snowfall throughout the winter months, the route is only available for a few months a year, from June to September. Along the route, the trip offers stunning views of the Himalayan terrain, traditional Ladakhi communities, and Buddhist monasteries, making it a very unique and memorable experience.
Mumbai to Goa Coastal Highway
The Mumbai to Goa Coastal Highway is a lovely journey through India’s scenic western coast. The journey begins in Mumbai and continues through beautiful countryside, palm-fringed beaches, and charming coastal villages to the popular beach destination of Goa. The road is peppered with gorgeous overlooks, pristine beaches, and tranquil backwaters, providing plenty of possibilities for leisurely stops and photo breaks. The drive is approximately 600 kilometres long and can be completed in one day or spread out over several days to properly appreciate the region’s coastline splendour. The path passes through prominent seaside towns like Alibaug, Murud, and Malvan, offering a unique blend of environment, culture, and history.
Shimla to Manali via Kinnaur and Spiti Valley
The drive from Shimla to Manali via Kinnaur and Spiti Valley is an amazing road adventure through some of northern India’s most stunning vistas. The 450-kilometer journey offers breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Himalayas, green valleys, and beautiful villages. The route takes you past Shimla’s beautiful green woods, Kinnaur’s wild and rocky landscapes, Spiti Valley, and the famed hill stations of Kullu and Manali. The legendary Rohtang and Kunzum mountain passes provide amazing panoramic views of the surrounding surroundings. The path also passes through historic monasteries, apple orchards, and typical Himachali villages, giving you a look into the local culture.
Guwahati to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh
The travel from Guwahati to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is a breathtaking adventure across northeast India’s picturesque landscapes. The route is around 520 kilometres long and passes through deep forests, undulating hills, and picturesque villages. The trip provides stunning views of the powerful Brahmaputra River, flowing waterfalls, and snow-capped Eastern Himalayan peaks.
The beautiful Sela Pass, located at an elevation of 13,700 feet and offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, is the highlight of the drive. The road also passes past the lovely settlements of Bomdila and Dirang, both of which are recognised for their gorgeous surroundings and traditional Monpa culture. Tawang, at an elevation of 10,000 feet, is recognised for its gorgeous monasteries, stunning lakes, and tranquil landscapes, making it a must-see destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Chennai to Puducherry via East Coast Road
The East Coast Road (ECR) trip from Chennai to Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) is a picturesque coastal drive that offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. The ECR is a well-kept road that runs for roughly 160 kilometres along the scenic Bay of Bengal coastline. The route takes you by beautiful beaches, charming fishing villages, and lush green scenery. The route is surrounded with waving palm trees and provides breathtaking views of the turquoise sea on one side and lush flora on the other. The route also takes you via Mahabalipuram, which is notable for its UNESCO World Heritage temples and stone carvings. Puducherry is a former French colony famed for its exquisite French architecture, tranquil beaches, and spiritual ashrams. The ECR drive is a great combination of natural beauty, cultural legacy, and coastal charm.
In conclusion, India has a wealth of scenic drives that are ideal for road excursions, each with its own landscapes, culture, and charm. The various topography and cultural diversity of India make these trips genuinely unforgettable, from high mountain passes in the Himalayas to coastal routes along the Bay of Bengal. So grab your bags, buckle in, and prepare to embark on an incredible journey through some of India’s most scenic drives!