One of the most interesting things that people, especially friends, like to do is plan trips. Travelling together is a fun activity that strengthens the bond between friends, and makes them understand each other’s likes, dislikes and choices in a more intimate manner. This Friendship Day, therefore, it is only apposite that they plan road trips, if they are fully vaccinated and can do it cautiously.
Booking.com, a digital travel company, has curated a list of road trips to lesser-known destinations perfect for you and your gang. Take your masks, create your favorite playlist, and hit the road for a fun and memorable road trip with your friends. Read on.
1. Mumbai to Tiracol
Take a lesser-explored road with your friends as you travel from Mumbai to Tiracol, a small quaint village near River Terekhol, enjoying the scenic coastal drive which passes through the Mahasagari Marg (Maharashtra State’s Coastal Highway). En route, you will see some beautiful destinations like Alibaug, Ratnagiri, Tarkali, offering breathtaking sea views. The ride is long, but along the way you will find dhabas serving authentic Maharashtrian food. Make the most of the drive with a carpool karaoke to celebrate your friendship.
2. Delhi to Badkhal
For Delhiites looking for a getaway, Badkhal, a village located near Faridabad is perfect. It is located 57.7 km from Delhi and is a perfect destination for a road trip with your friends. The quickest route is through Mahatma Gandhi Marg, though travellers may have to consider the local state Covid restrictions to ensure a hassle-free journey. While the landscape on the route is rather urban, once you reach Badkhal, you can get ready for the wilderness. Badkhal has a lake which is a quiet camping spot. Light a bonfire and spend quality time with your gang here, even indulging in adventure sports like boat rides, kayaking, and trekking.
3. Kolkata to Mandarmani
Mandarmani is a seaside village. If you and your friends seek a relaxing getaway, Mandarmani is among the top-endorsed destinations. Starting from Kolkata, the 180 km route will take you through the wonderful scenery of rural Bengal. There are quite a few good accommodation options in Mandarmani. And if you and your friends are in the mood for some adventure, go for a jet ski ride, banana boat ride and parachute ride along the beach.
4. Chennai to Yelagiri
Yelagiri is a small hill station in Tamil Nadu where travellers can reach through two routes – either via Kanchipuram or Vellore. Both routes are known for their nature trails with lush greenery, waterfalls, and hills. The route does test your riding skills, with a number of hairpin bends along the way, so consider carpooling instead, for safety reasons. Once you reach Yelagiri, enjoy the natural scenic beauty in the company of your friends or spend some time in the midst of hills and the most beautiful man-made lake, the Punganoor lake.
5. Bengaluru to Mandaragiri Betta
Mandara Giri Hills or Mandaragiri Betta is 60 km from Bengaluru. It is a small hillock in the Tumkur district of Karnataka with well-maintained roads. Once you reach Mandaragiri Betta, you can indulge in authentic Kannada-style food and also visit one of the most eye-catching structures called the Digambar Jain Heritage center. This hall resembles a peacock feather with a simple idol of the saint in the middle. The aesthetic beauty of the hall also makes for Instagram-worthy pictures.
6. Ahmedabad to Tanot
If you are looking for an adventurous road trip with your friends, opt for the uncluttered route from Ahmedabad to Tanot, nestled in the quaint village of Jaisalmer. A 657 km drive into the Thar desert, this route is 12 hours from Ahmedabad. Along the way, you will pass through some beautiful towns and villages of Tharad, Barmer, Jaisalmer, and Ramgarh where you can experience local culture. And once you reach the destination, enjoy some local cuisine and delicious dairy options that Tanot has to offer. The Tanot Mata Mandir is a must-visit destination located close to Longewala border post in Rajasthan which was the battle site of the India-Pakistan war of 1971.
7. Darjeeling to Pelling
Nothing brings out Darjeeling’s blooming beauty more than a road trip to Pelling. At 74 km from Darjeeling, you pass through small villages catching glimpses of the monasteries and abundant waterfalls. If you and your friends need to take a break, there are small tea shops along the way that serve warm and delicious tea. Pelling, a beautiful hill station that lies in the foothills of Mount Khangchendzonga, has many places for your squad to explore in a day. Khecheopalri Lake is locally considered to be one where wishes come true. You can also go for a picnic at the Sewaro Rock Garden, or simply take a walk on the Pelling Skywalk.