Taking a road trip in India can be an unforgettable experience, offering travelers a chance to explore the country's diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant local communities. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, India has something to offer everyone.
One of the main reasons to take a road trip in India is to experience its varied landscapes, from the towering Himalayas in the north to the tropical beaches of the south. The roads in India are well-maintained, making it easy to travel from one region to the next and discover all that this diverse country has to offer.
India is also renowned for its rich cultural heritage, and taking a road trip is an excellent way to experience this firsthand. You can visit historic sites, such as the Taj Mahal, and learn about the country's diverse religious traditions. Whether you are interested in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, or Islam, you will have the opportunity to explore India's religious heritage and understand its significance in the country's history and culture.
Another reason to take a road trip in India is to enjoy its delicious cuisine. Each region of India has its own unique flavors and cooking styles, and taking a road trip gives you the opportunity to sample the local cuisine and experience the country's food culture firsthand. From street food to fine dining, India has something to offer everyone.
Finally, taking a road trip in India is a great way to meet the friendly and welcoming local people. Throughout your journey, you will have the opportunity to interact with local communities, learn about their customs and traditions, and experience the country's hospitality and warmth firsthand.
In conclusion, taking a road trip in India is a unique and rewarding experience that offers travelers a chance to explore the country's diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant local communities. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, India is the perfect destination for a road trip.
Delhi is a true symbol of India. Among its most notable attractions, you’ll find the fragrant Old Delhi, the beautiful Old Fort, and the imposing Jama Masjid mosque. The capital of India will be also a perfect place to start your culinary journey around the diversity of tastes available in Indian cuisine. However, India is not only about the capital. At a stone’s throw away, you’ll find such urban jewels as Ghaziabad, Noida, and Agra to the south.
Rajasthan is one of the most popular and favourite destinations among travellers. It offers stunning hillsides of the Aravalli Range, the mesmerising Thar Desert, and the fecund Dhundar basin. Its main highlight is the city of Jaipur, known as the Pink City, offering intriguing and unique architecture.
At a stone’s throw away, you can also take a trip across the desert to reach Jaisalmer built mostly from sandstone and nicknamed as the Golden City. Another architectural gem is Udaipur, referred to as the White City, where you’ll find beautiful houses covered in limewash. The fans of natural wonders will be pleasantly surprised by the Keoladeo National Park with plenty of trekking paths.
The most famous northern state is Uttar Pradesh. It is a treasure trove of landmarks, such as the imposing Taj Mahal. Travel to Lucknow to try delicious cuisine, visit Varanasi, one of the holiest cities of Hinduism, or check out Sarnath, where Buddha had his first sermon.
Garhwal is a town worth visiting owing to its religious significance. It is a pilgrimage place where thousands of worshippers flock each year. At the source of the Ganges, you can also visit one of the four notable temples: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Further to the south, there’s a beautiful Corbett Tiger Reserve where you’ll learn more on the life and habits of these dangerous animals.
Suggested Road Trips in India
Leh-Ladakh Road Trip: This road trip takes you through the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas, including the highest motorable road in the world, the Khardung La Pass. Along the way, you can visit monasteries, experience the local culture, and admire the breathtaking scenery of the Ladakh region.
Goa-Kerala Road Trip: This road trip takes you from the beaches of Goa to the lush tropical landscapes of Kerala, also known as "God's Own Country." Along the way, you can visit spice plantations, go on a backwaters cruise, and explore the beautiful hill stations of the region.
Golden Triangle Road Trip: This road trip covers the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, and includes stops at famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and the Amber Fort. This road trip gives you a taste of India's rich cultural heritage and history, and allows you to experience the country's bustling cities and charming rural communities.
These are just a few of the many road trip options available in India, each offering its own unique experiences and attractions. Whether you are looking to explore the country's natural beauty, cultural heritage, or modern cities, there is a road trip in India that is sure to suit your interests and travel style.
India can boast a well-developed system of buses. It is a very affordable way of travelling around the country. The timetables are pretty reliable and there are frequent arrivals and departures. You can also try travelling by train which will grant you unforgettable and breathtaking views behind your window. Trains also offer overnight travel.
However, holidaymakers who enjoy staying totally independent of the public transportation and rigid schedules should definitely consider renting a vehicle. There is a wide choice of car rental companies in the capital and at the international airport. They offer an interesting selection of vehicles that will live up to your most demanding expectations.
Just like many Asian countries and former British colonies, India follows left-hand traffic. Therefore, it’s advisable to try your hand at driving in less frequented places just to acquaint yourself with the hardships of new conditions. The greatest problem on the road will be the hectic behavior of native motorists.
What’s more, avoid driving at night as livestock often likes to casually cross the street. The roads aren’t too well-maintained and many sections are unpaved. That’s why you should consider renting a 4x4 vehicle that will make your traveling experience more pleasant.
There are many restrictions to follow and breaking them may result in high penalties that can be easily avoided. Remember that passengers sitting in the front and in the rear seats must wear seatbelts. When it comes to blood alcohol levels, the allowed amount is 0.03% in India. You can only use hands-free sets for talking on the phone while driving; otherwise, you may face high fines.
In order to drive a vehicle in India, the drivers have to be 18; however, renting a car is possible when you are 21-25. There’s a great likelihood that you will be asked to pay an additional fee if you are an inexperienced driver.
India imposes various speed limits depending on whether you are driving along expressways, roads in rural areas, or roads in built-up areas. However, it’s always best to stick to the speed limits indicated on road signs.
When it comes to toll roads, there are a number of paid sections in different parts of India so be prepared for some costs. The tolls are pretty affordable and will allow you to drive on well-maintained roads on a certain section of your route.
When taking a road trip in India, it is important to be aware of the following:
Traffic: India has high levels of traffic, especially in its cities, which can make driving challenging and slow. Be prepared for slow-moving vehicles, honking horns, and other road users who may not always follow the rules of the road.
Road Conditions: The quality of the roads in India can vary greatly, with some areas being well-maintained and others being poorly maintained or under construction. It is important to check the conditions of the roads you plan to travel on and to be prepared for sudden changes in road quality.
Safety: India has a high rate of road accidents, so it is important to drive carefully and defensively, especially in urban areas. Also, be aware of the high number of pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the roads.
Fuel Availability: Fuel is widely available in India, but it is important to carry extra fuel with you in case you need to make an unscheduled stop. Be aware that fuel prices can vary between states, so it is a good idea to check prices before you travel.
Local Customs: India has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when driving through rural areas.
Weather: India has a diverse climate, with hot and humid temperatures in some areas and colder temperatures in others. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather, especially during the monsoon season, and take care on roads that may become slippery during heavy rain.
By being aware of these considerations, you can make the most of your road trip in India and have a safe and enjoyable journey.
The best time for a road trip in India depends on your destination and personal preferences. However, generally speaking, the winter months of November to February are the most popular time for road trips in India. During this time, the weather is relatively cool and dry, making it more comfortable to travel. The days are also clear, offering good visibility for scenic drives.
If you plan to travel to the hills, the summer months of May to July can also be a good time for a road trip. The hills are cooler and offer a respite from the heat of the plains, making it an ideal time to explore the mountains and forests.
If you plan to visit the beaches or the tropical regions, the monsoon season from June to September can be a good time for a road trip, although the roads may be affected by heavy rains.
It is important to note that traffic patterns and road conditions can change depending on the time of year, so it is a good idea to check the latest travel information before you embark on your road trip.
If you're planning a road trip in India, it's important to pack smartly to ensure you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some items to consider bringing with you:
Appropriate Clothing: India has a hot and humid climate in many regions, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing. It's also important to pack conservative clothing if you plan to visit religious sites or conservative areas. Consider packing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Comfortable Shoes: India's cities and towns can be crowded and chaotic, so it's important to pack comfortable shoes that can handle a lot of walking. Closed-toe shoes are also recommended for protection from pollution and debris on the roads.
Medications and First Aid Kit: It's a good idea to bring a basic first aid kit, including bandages, pain relief medication, and insect repellent. If you have any prescription medications, be sure to bring enough to last for the duration of your trip.
Technology: A smartphone, charger, and power bank are essential for staying connected and navigating your way through India. Additionally, a physical map or GPS device can be useful in areas with limited internet connectivity.
Travel Documents: Bring your passport, visa (if required), driver's license, and any other important travel documents. It's a good idea to make copies of these documents and store them separately from the originals.
Cash and Credit Cards: While credit cards are widely accepted in larger cities, it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller transactions and for use in rural areas.
Water Bottle and Snacks: Staying hydrated is important in India's hot climate, so pack a refillable water bottle. Snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fruit are also good idea for long car rides.
Camera: India has a rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and iconic landmarks, so be sure to bring a camera to capture all the memorable moments of your road trip.
Remember to pack light and leave room for souvenirs and purchases along the way. Additionally, research the specific region you'll be visiting to ensure you have any additional items you may need based on the weather, local customs, and activities you plan to participate in.
The cost of a road trip in India can vary greatly depending on your itinerary, accommodation choices, and activities. Here are some general guidelines to help you plan your budget:
Accommodation: Budget accommodation options in India include hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels, which can range from $5-$30 per night depending on the location and amenities. Mid-range hotels and Airbnb rentals can cost between $30-$100 per night, while luxury hotels and resorts can range from $100-$500 per night.
Food and Drink: India has a diverse culinary scene to suit all budgets, from street food to fine dining. A typical meal at a casual restaurant can cost around $5-$10 per person, while a nicer restaurant can cost upwards of $20 per person. Grocery store prices are generally very low, making it easy to save money on food by shopping for essentials and cooking meals on the road.
Transportation: The cost of renting a car in India can vary depending on the type of vehicle, rental period, and location. A basic compact car rental can cost around $25-$50 per day, while a larger SUV or van can cost $50-$100 per day. Alternatively, many travelers choose to hire a driver or use public transportation, which can be much more affordable.
Activities: India has a wide range of free or low-cost activities, such as exploring historic sites, hiking, and visiting local markets. Some attractions, such as guided tours or amusement parks, may cost extra.
Overall, a budget road trip in India can cost around $20-$30 per day per person, while a mid-range trip can cost $30-$75 per day per person. A luxury trip can cost upwards of $100 per day per person. It's important to plan ahead and research prices for the specific areas and activities you plan to visit, as costs can vary widely depending on location and time of year.
Additionally, keep in mind that some areas of India, such as major cities or tourist destinations, can be more expensive than other areas. Budget accordingly and prioritize your spending on the experiences and attractions that are most important to you.