Step on the Gas

The driver’s bible for holidays on wheels.

Written by Dilip Bobb | Published:December 14, 2013 3:55 am

More Driving Holidays in India

Bob Rupani

Rupani Media

Pages: 314

Price: Rs 750<\b>

Nowadays,driving on Indian highways needs an anger management course. The number of cars,SUVs and buses have led to traffic jams everywhere,not to mention undisciplined drivers. For all the pitfalls,driving around India is still the best way to see the country,and witness the changes that are taking place as Bharat merges with India. Flyovers,by-passes and the improved state of the highways have made driving a less onerous task. The economic advances since the early ’90s has also meant a huge increase in the number of Indian families hitting the road on holidays or weekends,as well as facilities to meet with the demand. For most of us,however,heading to a new destination can be a challenge; not everybody has a pioneering spirit.

Help is at hand,literally,in the form of an information-packed guidebook by veteran auto journalist Bob Rupani. This is a window to India as he combines his personal experiences of driving across the country,with every detail a motorist on holiday would want — accommodation en route,e-mail addresses and website URLs to make life easier for those of us who would want to retrace his footsteps,or rather,tyre treads. Ernest Hemingway once wrote: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters,in the end.” It’s a philosophy that Rupani undoubtedly shares. He has,over the years,driven 1.5 million km across India,starting from 1986 when he was one of the country’s first motoring journalists. He combines a love for cars with a passion for long distance travel and visiting new destinations.

He brought out the first edition of Driving Holidays in India in 2005. His latest guide,is,as the auto companies like to say,an improved,upgraded version. More Driving Holidays in India,is,as the title suggests,an update,but one that is invaluable. The new version has 89 new destinations and 10 more tourist-related routes. Rupani divides the book into 35 routes which embrace the entire country,from Srinagar down to Kanyakumari. It’s an explorers’ dream and takes you to places you would love to visit but never had the information that this book provides. The 35 geographically categorised itineraries here would tempt any motorist to jump in the car and hit the road. There’s something for everyone,regardless which part of India you live in.

Clearly,much has happened in terms of infrastructure,accommodation and added attractions or diversions,in the eight years since his first guidebook. His latest effort is,therefore,necessary as well as timely. There are other motoring guides out in the market but Rupani’s was the original,and is nothing short of the motorist’s bible. As the ad says,Don’t leave home without it.

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