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Delhi’s strategic location makes it an essential gateway to many exciting road trips. From adventurous journeys that take more than a day to the leisurely ones that can be covered in a few hours, here are some of the most memorable trips you can take from the capital.
A road trip from Delhi to Leh is extremely challenging but this is exactly why this route is so coveted among adventure seekers. There are two different ways to reach Leh, which is situated at an altitude of over 11,000 feet. The first is through Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the second is through the popular hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. The best time to set off on this adventurous road trip is between May and October. Prepare yourself for rough and narrow roads, hairpin bends and harsh weather conditions, which are very small prices to pay for the spectacular views you’ll encounter throughout the journey.
The three cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are collectively known as the Golden Triangle. This is because of their historic and cultural importance and due to the large number of tourists they host every year. Instead of opting for a guided tour, taking a road trip of the Golden Triangle will provide a unique travel experience. Besides the famous Taj Mahal in Agra and the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, the other major attractions that you can cover on this journey include the ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri and the stunning Amer Fort located just about 11 kilometres from Jaipur.
Dharamshala came into prominence after the Dalai Lama set up his residence here following the 1959 uprising in Tibet. Today, the town is home to a large population of Tibetan refugees and has become an important centre of Buddhism in India. A road trip from Delhi to Dharamshala covers about 475 kilometres and can be completed in 10 hours. The changing landscape from Delhi up to Dharamshala, which is surrounded by thick deodar forests, makes for quite a sight. Additionally, one of the perks of travelling by road on this route is the number of roadside dhabhas (eateries) that serve delicious North Indian food, like buttery paranthas.
Rishikesh, which lies at a distance of 230 kilometres from Delhi, is renowned for being the yoga capital of the world. There are a number of ashrams everywhere and visitors from all over the world come here to seek the benefits of the ancient practice of yoga and to find inner peace. For the residents of Delhi, Rishikesh is considered to be a favourite weekend destination. Not only is this holy town located at a convenient distance from the capital, but since it rests on the banks of the mighty river Ganges, this place is also a hub for adventure sports. Make sure you pay a quick visit to the holy city of Haridwar on your way to Rishikesh.
A drive from Delhi to Mukteshwar, a small town in the state of Uttarakhand, will provide you with splendid views all throughout. From thick forests to serene lakes and finally, snow-capped mountains as you approach your destination, the scenic views just keep getting better and better. Just make sure not to take this trip during the monsoon season as road conditions tend to become difficult due to the heavy rains. Another suggestion is to ensure you have enough fuel in your car as gas stations are hard to come by on this route. If what you’re looking for are panoramic vistas for the whole duration of your journey, then Delhi to Mukhteshwar is the perfect trip.
For those looking to leave busy city life behind and escape into the lap of nature, an impromptu road trip to Kasauli is a great idea. Depending on the traffic, it only takes about six to seven hours to reach the hill station from Delhi. The roads do get a bit bumpy once you enter the Himalayan region, but the breathtaking views all around more than make up for the discomfort. Plus, the rough roads add a sense of adventure to the entire driving experience. The fresh mountain air and vast swathes of greenery in Kasauli are such welcome changes from the urban jungle of Delhi. During your stay here, do not miss out on viewing the beautiful sunset from the aptly named Sunset Point.
Located just three hours away from Delhi, at a distance of 122 kilometres, is the ancient town of Neemrana in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The historic Neemrana Fort is the most famous attraction here. the 15th-century fort has now been converted into a luxury resort and is easily one of the most aesthetic hotels in the country. Many road trippers also use Neemrana as a pit stop on their way to the Sariska Tiger Reserve, a popular wildlife sanctuary that hosts a variety of fauna – besides royal Bengal tigers.