Desi Motorcycle Diaries: Road Trips That Will Change the Way You Look at India

Wanderlust is a beautiful thing, and more common than one would think. There is a traveller in all of us, who desires to see the world – the usual tourist attractions, as well as the paths less travelled (or, as Robert Frost would say, ‘the road not taken’). But often, in our chase for all that is wonderful and foreign and unknown, us Indians tend to neglect the beauty that lies in the nooks and corners of our own country. So if you are planning a trip sometime soon, keep Spain and Switzerland, Italy and Amsterdam on hold for a while, and consider these possibilities.

  1. Chennai to Munnar

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Munnar, with its rolling green hills and chilly air, lies in God’s own country. A drive down the winding roads, from Chennai to this quaint little town in Kerala, would be the perfect way to enjoy yourself. In fact, we would recommend this trip even more if you are travelling alone, and looking to unwind. If rock-climbing or paragliding are not your cup of tea, a walk down the quiet hilly roads is definitely the way to go. Psst: be sure to check out the home-made chocolates there!

Approximate distance: 600 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 10 hours
Rest stop: Tiruchirappalli makes for the perfect rest stop. Rest up, rejuvenate yourself, and while you’re at it, be sure to check out the beautifully sculpted temples and fortresses there.

  1. Jaipur to Jaisalmer

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From the Pink City to the yellow and gold dunes of Rajasthan’s deserts: a road trip doesn’t get more idyllic. People who have visited these places can’t help raving about their beauty, and with good reason. Rarely does a place get more bright and colourful. There’s no better way to enjoy the sights than to drive down the rather impressively maintained roads connecting the two places.

Approximate distance: 560 kilometers
Estimated driving time: 10 hours
Rest stop: Jodhpur is the ideal place to make a rest stop. Give yourself and your vehicle a rest, and fill up on delicious Rajasthani cuisine in the meantime.

  1. Mumbai to Goa

goa

This is perhaps the most suggested and most commonly made road trip in the country. Whether you are travelling to these parts from elsewhere in India, or are looking to get away from bustling, overtly populated Bombay for the weekend, this is the best trip to make. India is full of gorgeous beaches, among which Goa is an absolute favourite – and this is a drive that everyone needs to make at least once in their lives. The lush greenery on the outskirts of Mumbai gradually melding with the almost white sands of the beaches of Goa is a sight to behold.

Approximate distance: 600 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 10 hours
Rest stop: The roads leading up to Goa from Mumbai are peppered with food joints, both small and big. Feel free to take a break from the drive when necessary.

  1. Kolkata to Shankarpur

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Most Bengalis swear by frequent weekend getaways to the beaches of Puri or Digha, and, increasingly, Mandarmoni. This means, however, that these places remain extremely crowded for the larger part of the year. So if you are looking to have a quiet weekend during which to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing along the shores as you sip on a glass of beer, Shankarpur is your best bet. While there, try to squeeze in an evening walk along the beach to nearby Tajpur: the distance is only seven kilometres there and back, and the walk is a delightful one. And, of course, don’t forget to gorge on as much sea food as you can!

Approximate distance: 180 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 4 hours
Rest stop: The road to Shankarpur is dotted with numerous dhabas and other eateries, so make a stop to refuel yourself and your vehicle according to your convenience.

  1. Delhi to Shimla

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Get away from the hustle and bustle of the metro by driving to the quiet beauty of the hills. Peace and serenity await you after a tiring but fulfilling drive from Delhi to Shimla. The snowcapped peaks and clear blue skies lead up to a place nestled among the hills, far from the dust and dreariness of the city. Once there, you can either enjoy a quiet few days, walking around and enjoying the cool air and the waterfalls. Or, if you’re in search of adventure, drive a little further to nearby Kullu for an unforgettable experience in white-water rafting.

Approximate distance: 360 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 7 hours
Rest stop: As with most driving routes in the north of the country, there are no dearth of eateries along the way, so stop at any shack for a sumptuous meal, and stock up on fuel in the meantime.

  1. Manali to Leh

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No amount of aversion to sub-zero or nearly sub-zero temperature can defeat our love of glorious, snow-covered mountains. They are a sight to behold, and there is no better way to enjoy their almost intimidating beauty than driving down the winding road from Manali to Leh. The route tends to be a slightly difficult one, and is open for about five months a year, when the layers of snow covering the asphalt have melted. Remember to wear enough warm clothing, and be sure to drive carefully, even as you enjoy the scenic beauty of the route.

Approximate distance: 480 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 2 days
Rest stop: The journey is a long and winding one, and therefore tiring. There are designated rest stops on the way, albeit few and far between, and stopping at one of these on the first night is mandatory.

  1. Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley

Visakhapatnam

The lush green hills and valleys of the Eastern Ghats lie between Visakhapatnam and Araku Valley, and the best way to enjoy their beauty is to drive along the roads connecting the two places. The journey is a gorgeous as well as comfortable one; the roads are clean and not very difficult to manoeuvre, and their gentle rolling ascent and descent is enjoyable and, we would go so far as to say, peaceful. The misty atmosphere lends the surroundings an almost ethereal beauty, and if there is a road trip you plan to take this year, make it this one. Be sure to do that between October and March, however, because that is the ideal time for this journey.

Approximate distance: 115 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 3 hours
Rest stop: Places of interest such as the Borra Caves lie on the way to Araku Valley, so make sure to stop by and visit. While you’re at it, refuel yourself as well as your vehicle.

All travelers and wanderers know that almost nothing beats the beauty and enjoyment that can be derived out of a road trip. It gives you the freedom to stop, look, and truly explore the depths of a place, which is a luxury that planes, trains and buses cannot afford. So if you truly want to travel, make road trips, and before venturing out of the borders of the country, take some time and look within.

 

Europe – The Dream Destination of Everyone

Europe –The only word to describe its beauty is ‘Breath-taking’! It has an extremely wide range of offerings when it comes to travelling and enjoying your life to the fullest. And the offerings start right from the base i.e. the places itself. These grand, exotic and spectacular tourist destinations are then sizzled by the toppings of the culture, cuisine and history of these places. It is amazing and even impossible to comprehend how the second smallest continent of earth encompasses such beauty! It’s blessed by the Gods and is truly a paradise! It is nearly impossible to choose five best dream destinations when it comes to Europe, but let’s look at the following five which surely are on everyone’s list.

Greece and the Sea

Greece

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Australia: Blend of Urban Cities and Wildlife

australiaAustralia is one the best destination if a couple is looking forward to a honeymoon trip. Otherwise too, it is one of the most sought after places to visit as many of its cities are rated as the most livable locations in the whole world.  When you are planning a trip to Australia, it is advisable that you short list a few locations because there is no way you will be able to visit all, not even when you are visiting for a month. You can either make a list of your own or go for the places mentioned below.

Melbourne

Melbourne

Known for its well planned layout, the city in Victoria is one of the popular destinations to visit in Australia. Cricket fans recognize the city it for “Melbourne Cricket Ground” while F1 fans know it for “Albert Park”. The city is full of life with lively individuals walking on the streets. You will not see those boring business class individuals here who walk straight to the office in the morning and back to their homes at night. Here, people visit office in the morning and return home at night via a pub where talented DJs are playing mind blowing beats or visit their friends for a relaxed time.

Melbourne is perfect for a newlywed couple who is on a honeymoon trip. The city has numerous niche hotels and restaurants where you can enjoy yourself. It also hosts Australian Open tennis championship which is the first major tournament of the sport every season.

Sydney

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Located on the east coast of the country, it is a part of New South Wales. It is another metropolitan city of Australia which is often confused as the capital of the country. Here, you can visit the Harbor Bridge and Opera House. A photo of Opera House with the steel arched bridge in the background is the most popular photograph which represents Sydney as well as Australia. The bridge is more than 90 years old and can be split into two to let the boats pass.

Opera House is where the most famous dramatists of the world showcase their plays and dramas. It is a multi-purpose venue which is mostly used as a theater and as a stage where famous music artists perform.

Sydney also has some posh hotels where you can stay and some of them also offer honeymoon suites. By witnessing numerous couples on a honeymoon trip, your Australia Tour will truly turn out to be a blissful affair.

Great Barrier Reef

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland. This will be the most memorable part of your trip which will be remembered by you for a lifetime. It is the world’s largest reef and some of the aquatic animals seen here are exclusive to the place and rarely seen anywhere else in the world.

The colorful reefs will leave you spellbound and the whole visit will stick to your mind as if you were a part of an actual fairytale. It is a popular scuba diving destination of the country that witnesses a substantial footfall every year.

Dubai: A popular Holiday Destination of the World

dubai

When you think of locations which have astonishing sea facing resorts, extremely huge shopping malls which house every famous fashion brand in them, skyscrapers which are capable of straining your neck if you try to measure their height with your eyes and supercars which keep deafening your ears every few minutes, then the first name which will come to mind is Dubai.

The most expensive real estate property of Middle East started evolving as a holiday destination in the last quarter of the 20th century. Today, it is one of the most popular holiday destinations with numerous famous personalities having a personal property there. The reason why most Asians prefer Dubai holidays is because it is more affordable for them as a trip to Europe which offers a similar urban experience is much more expensive. It is also because of the eased up Visa norms in case of leisure or business related travelling. You will not be able to visit all popular destinations in Dubai in a single day. At least 10 days are required to have a look at every destination to visit in Dubai. Here are a few:

Atlantis

This is the most popular destination to visit in Dubai which witnesses a staggering footfall every day.  Comprising of more than 1,500 rooms, it is one of the biggest hotels in the world. Some of its suites are based underwater so that the guests can have an underwater living experience which also involves having a look at sharks and dolphins while comfortable lying on a bed.

The huge building is a part of “The Palms” which is a small city of its own and has been constructed a little bit into the ocean, away from the original land. Many popular TV shows and movies have been shot here. Parts of famous Hollywood adrenaline rich movie “Fast and Furious 7” have been shot here while most scenes in the Bollywood movie “Happy New Year” which starred Shahrukh Khan among others were filmed here.

Dubai Mall

A few hours of your Dubai Holidays must be spent here. It is the largest mall in the world and has more than 1,200 shops in it. It took the constructors at least US $20 billion to construct this mega structure which is visited by 70 million people annually, on an average. You would not be able to see the entire mall in a day and the gate through which you enter the mall will never be the gate through which you exit because the sheer size of the building will confuse you. Dubai Mall is going to provide you the best shopping experience and the ladies are going to love this place.

Though, only two destinations have been mentioned above, there are a few more which you must include in your list of “destinations to visit in Dubai”. Burj Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab must be in your list followed by “Ferrari World” if you are automotive aficionado. There are many adventure sports also available in Dubai which you can definitely give a try.

Kerala Calling – Lend Your Ears to Mother Nature

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Top Things to Do in Kerala for Nature Lovers

“The sound of the back waters; the kiss of the sea breeze,
the tickle of the sand dunes, the freshness of green trees,
This is the definition of Kerala’s bona-fide splendour,
If you really wish to feel it, then just surrender.”

Kerala is not just an ordinary place, but a paradise where you see the human race peacefully co-existing with the marvels of Mother Nature. Thus, it is the perfect destination for nature lovers.

Here is our small attempt of compiling the top things to do in Kerala for nature enthusiasts.

Bask in the beauty of Marayoor’s Sandalwood Trees & Natural Carvings

Soaking in the real fragrance of the sandalwood is an experience of a lifetime and the best place to have this sort of an experience is Marayoor. Better known as the abode to the naturally grown beautiful Sandalwood trees, Marayoor is situated 40 km from Munnar, in Idukki district. Besides the woods, the place is very popular for its rock paintings that are locally called as the ‘muniyaras’. These are basically stone coffins with underground tunnels, which date to pre-historic era.

Explore the wilderness of Periyar Tiger Reserve

You must be the king at your home, but here at Periyar Tiger Reserve, the big majestic cat rules the area. The roar of the tiger is a declaration that you are in his territory, and that from now on he owns you. So, are you ready to bow down in front of the ultimate king of the jungle?  Further, in this animal kingdom you will find various other species of fauna and flora that never cease to amaze travellers. In this way, Periyar Tiger Reserve is a complete treat for both nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Give wings to your vacation with the Bird Sanctuary of Kumarakom

When was the last time you literally stole a few seconds to adore the beauty of the birds? Hard to recall, isn’t it? So what if in the past you didn’t do it, you can do it now or in the near future. All you need to do is, visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Right at the eastern bank of the Vembanad Lake, this little home of the birdies is among the top tourist magnets of Kerala. The Kumarakon Bird Sanctuary is spread across 14 acres, and is successfully preserving various species of avifauna including Egrets, Kingfishers, White Ibis, Herons, Little Cormorant, Indian Darter & more.

Soak in the essence of Munnar’s Tea Plantation

Nestled magnificently in the foothills of the Western Ghats, Munnar is a small hill station in Kerala. Though this place has a plethora of attractions to entice travellers, the tea plantation steals the show. With around 30 tea estates, Munnar is considered among the major destinations contributing to India’s tea culture. The exquisiteness of the lush green tea estates will give you a moment to cherish all lifelong. A nature walk amid those aromatic fields will make you forget all your worries.

Treat your eyes with the grace of the Soochipara Falls

The sound of the gushing water is nothing short of music for nature lovers thus, the Soochipara Falls is their paradise. Embraced beautifully amid the Deciduous, Evergreen and Montane forests, the Soochipara Falls provide an awe-inspiring view to the spectators. It is a three-tiered waterfall that later joins the Chaliyar River.  En route the tea estates treat your eyes, while the main attraction waits to welcome you with all its glory!

Like these, there are various other natural attractions that allure people galore. In the next lot, we will compile a few more, so as to serve your curiosity. Till then, enjoy a virtual tour or our contact details are right here only; allow us to plan your real time trip.