Do you love to travel but has the pandemic been messing up all your plans lately? That’s probably one of the many things in view of the recent developments in the world that we genuinely miss, i.e., our ability to freely travel without any hassle. Road trips that were earlier only limited to bikers and thrill-seekers are now making a comeback once more because it is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to travel. Road trips let you enjoy the journey as much as the destination. They are safer and you don’t have to wait anxiously in fear till the last moment that your flight/train might get cancelled.

Furthermore, road trips provide you with a great opportunity to bond with your loved ones (family/friends). Given the rising cost of fuel, you can avoid having to pay for 4 or 5 people’s tickets and just opt for a big car and travel in a budget-friendly fashion. There is a lot of flexibility in a road trip experience and you get to meet a lot of new people on the way. Every moment on a road trip is fun and the best part is you are fully in control of your journey.

Also Read: 5 Driving holidays in India You Must Take with Your Kids

Given the umpteen benefits, here are a few great road trip destinations that you can consider in the New Year!

1.      Amritsar to Dharamshala

A trip to North India is always a pleasant experience due to the presence of the mighty mountains. Although Amritsar to Dharamshala is not a commonly opted route, once taken the drive is a worthwhile time and effort investment. With a distance of about 202 km, the total time taken when travelling via NH54 and NH20 is 4-5 hours. If Amritsar is your starting point, then you will have to cross Pathankot and thus you can witness the beautiful fields on both sides of the road.

Pathankot is the bridge between Amritsar and Himachal and is flanked by not only mustard fields but also dotted by innumerable dhabas that serve some of the most delicious food items in all of Punjab.  You can stop by any of these dhabas and eat to your heart’s content butter naan, dal tadka, sarson ka saag aur makki di roti, butter chicken, lassi and more!

Once you reach Dharamshala which is only a short distance away, make sure to take up lodging in a comfortable resort. Club Mahindra Resort in  Dharamshala is the perfect place to relax with your family after that long road trip and feel completely rejuvenated before you begin sightseeing the next day. Dharamshala features some popular tourists sites such as Triund Hill, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium in the backdrop of the Dhauladhar Mountains, Library of Tibetan works and archives, St. John in the Wilderness Church, War Memorial, Gyuto Monastery, Tea Gardens, Bhagsu Waterfall and Namgyal Monastery to name a few. The ideal time to visit Dharamshala as per the weather conditions would be between March and July.

2.      Hyderabad to Hampi

Hampi is referred to as a backpacker’s paradise but a trip to this UNESCO Heritage Site from Hyderabad, the city of Nizams, is exhausting and long. The distance between the two points is around 385 km and takes 9-10 hours to cover when travelling via the NH167.

Although the journey from Hyderabad to Hampi is a long one by road, it is safer than having to travel by flight or train where you have to abide by tons of travel guidelines and safe travel would have still remained a questionable issue given the spread of the coronavirus.

A road trip unlike other modes of transport provides you with timely meals and ease of toilet accessibility. These need to be factored in as extra stops on the way. So a 10-hour journey can very well stretch to around 11-12 hours. You might not have the privilege to get dhaba-style food on this South Indian route, but you will, however, come across a few canteens or coffee shops.

Once you reach Hampi, do not forget to put up at Club Mahindra Vijayshree Resort and Heritage Village which has put in place strict travel guidelines and thus is ideal for leisure travel. Hampi was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, so when there be sure to be blown away by the marvels your eyes will behold starting from the Hampi ruins, Aihole Temple, Badami, the Capital of Chalukyas, Pattadakal Jain Temple, Lotus Mahal and Anegundi Fort.

Also Read: 5 Coastal Road Trips in India That You Must Undertake

Amritsar to Dharamshala Hyderabad to Hampi

3. Chennai to Pondicherry

Puducherry, the Mini France of India, is a traveller’ delight no matter when you are visiting this coastal city. Located at a distance of 158 km from Chennai, a visit to Puducherry makes for one of the best family road trips where every moment spent on the journey is a wonderful experience as you drive along the Bay of Bengal coastline.

If you take the ECR (East Coast Route), then make sure to factor in a few sightseeing stops which are as follows:

  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram, Mamallapuram
  • Kovalam Beach
  • Portuguese Catholic Church
  • Alamparai Fort
  • Cholamandal Artists Village

For lunch, you can feast on some fresh seafood from any of the restaurants flanked along the coastline. Puducherry has pleasant weather all year round but it can get quite humid from time to time. To avoid the discomfort brought on by humidity, plan your trip between March and October and make sure to pack lots of cotton and comfortable clothes!

Once there, do not forget to visit French Quarter, Serenity Beach, Botanical Gardens, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville and Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple and then call it a day by enjoying a quiet evening with your family at Club Mahindra Puducherry, Manapet.

4. Darjeeling to Pelling

If you come to the north-eastern part of India, a road trip from Darjeeling, the most beloved hill station of West Bengal to Pelling in Sikkim is highly recommended to all those looking for a refreshing change. A journey of 2-3 hours covering 73 km, drive past the magnificent snow-clad mountains of the endearing Kanchenjunga. The journey from Darjeeling to Pelling is an uphill climb so it is best advised to visit this quaint hill station between February and May or from September to December. Avoiding the monsoon season will be ideal as rains in the mountain regions can often put you at risk of experiencing a landslide.

When in Pelling you should make it a point to visit all the waterfalls, the calming monasteries and pretty little villages strewn about. You can also spend your nights at Club Mahindra Baiguney Gangtok which is nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of Sikkim. The resort provides you with complimentary breakfast, a Sikkimese traditional thali for lunch and a number of activities for your entertainment such as Maruni dance classes, yoga sessions, Chakung trek, rock painting and candlelight dinner with bonfire by the pool.

Also Read: 4 Road Trips from Delhi for The Perfect Christmas Getaway

Chennai to Pondicherry Darjeeling to Pelling

5.  Jaipur to Jaisalmer 

Are you in love with the most favourite desert state of India, Rajasthan? Then a family road trip from Jaipur to Jaisalmer is ideal for you!

Located about 555 km away, it takes around 9 hours to travel from the Pink City to the Golden City or to the city of Sonar Kella. Jaisalmer is right in the middle of the Great Indian Thar Desert. So, planning road trips between November and March when the weather is cooler and the sunlight isn’t so strong is recommended to get the maximum out of your trip in terms of daytime sightseeing. Planning the road trip during winters would also mean that you don’t have to keep the air-conditioning on at all times thereby you can cut down on costs. If you are planning a solo trip with your bike, then no other time of the year aside from winters is suited for you.

Jaisalmer has a lot of places for sightseeing so make sure you make a booking at a clean and comfortable resort like Club Mahindra Jaisalmer Resort well in advance before you hit the road.

If road trips are on your mind, then the beautiful topography of India will surely not disappoint you. No matter where you plan your trip whether North India, North-east, South India or West, rest assured you will have a wonderful time and come back fully rejuvenated. 



About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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