Some of the best offbeat road trips in India

While it’s no secret that there are numerous road trips in India to take. But some of them are world famous because of being very scenic and also explored a lot. Like Leh-Laddakh road trip from Shimla or Srinagar. Or the east coast drive in South India. And also some scenic winding roads in the Himlalayas and north east India. However, what we present to you here is a number of offbeat road trips in India to enjoy . These are not as frequented as the more famous ones. Also, none of these are very long drives. So you can enjoy them easily on a weekend. Also, the roads are very well planned and properly maintained. Some of these road trips in India are extremely scenic. While some others have a number of stops in between to enjoy. So, here goes our researched routes that we won’t mind taking again and again.

Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh

Road Trips in India
A breathtaking view while on the road trip from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh

Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh road trip in India can be done as a day trip from Udaipur. The walls of Kumbhalgarh fort are fondly known as the great walls of India. And the fort itself is very robust and uniquely built. It is a must visit when visiting the state of Rajasthan in India. There is an almost single lane highway that connects Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh. The road itself is not in a very good condition at times, but the scenic beauty of the places that you pass through more than makes up for it.

First of all, you will be surprised that it is a part of Rajasthan, the state of India world famous for it’s deserts. Because the whole region through which you take this road trip is covered with dense and green forests. Except for a few small cluster of houses here and there in very small villages, there is hardly any habitation. You will encounter beautiful streams of water and almost fairy tale kind of meadows while taking this road trip. Read more about our complete day trip to Kumbhalgarh from Udaipur. We also covered Ranakpur and it’s famous Jain Temple as a part of this road trip in India.
Additional tips: Carry your food and water along on this road trip, like you have to on many other road trips in India. As, there are hardly any outlets on the way that we remember noticing. Otherwise, there is a food outlet inside the fort in Kumbhalgarh and you can have your food there. Once you reach Kumbhalgarh, you can also buy water bottles and other packaged drinks.

Cochin to Munnar

This road trip in India that we took almost 6 years back is still fresh in our memories. As you step into God’s own Country, Kerala, take a road trip from Cochin to Munnar. As you step out of Cochin and further towards Munnar, soon you will be on the winding mountain roads. On this road trip, you pass through several tea plantations and lush green forests on one side of the road. While on the other side, you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the Nilgiris across the valley. There is a beautiful waterfall on the way where you can stop. And the route is lined by several spice gardens that host various world famous Kerala spices. We did a tour of a spice garden of Kerala as well while on this road trip in India. Check the details of our road trip from Cochin to Munnar.

On the way from Cochin to Munnar , Road Trips in India
On the way from Cochin to Munnar

Additional tips: take your time and plan your stops along the way because it is one of the most scenic road trips in India that you will be taking. Don’t pass it on in a hurry.

Bangalore to Mangalore & Udupi

This is a road trip that we have been planning for a while now. And we hope to take it in the near future. We plan to drive from Bangalore to Mangalore. Then stay in Mangalore for few days. We also plan to cover several untouched locations around Mangalore. From here, we will head to Udupi. Udupi has a serene coastline and some beautiful Temples to visit. Then, we can go ahead and cover Murudeshwar and Gokarna as well. We hope this will be a one of a kind road trip in India for us. Because so far we have only done source to destination trips. This one has several stops and also involves exploring other offbeat areas near the main towns. There is a nice article that we are using as our reference while planning a road trip across this part of Karnataka.  Checkout : Road trip to Mangalore and Udupi.

Road Trips in India
A beautiful sunset at the Mangalore Beach

Additional tips: Plan minumum 2-3 days halt at both Mangalore and Gokarna, and at least one day in Udupi to be able to enjoy the road trip completely.

Bangalore to Kodaikanal

A road trip in India that we have already taken twice and we want to take as many times as possible. Through the picturesque routes of Bangalore->Hosur->Krishnagiri->Salem->Dindigul, this road trip is one of the best we have taken in India. Apart from the route being scenic, the roads are in the best conditions as per the road standards in India. And the last stretch of ghat road that winds through the thick mountain forests is way too beautiful. As you cover this stretch to arrive at the beautiful hill station, don’t forget to slow down and let your window panes down. Then soak into the moist and fresh air that brings with it the smells of the rainforests.

Although the distance from Bangalore to Kodaikanal is almost 400km, yet, pertaining to the good road conditions and very less traffic , you can easily cover the distance in 5 – 6 hours. And do note that a major chunk of this timing is actually consumed while covering the last 60-70 kilometers through the winding mountain roads. Nevetheless, a road trip worth taking multiple times. Check: our road trip from Bangalore to Kodaikanal.

Bangalore to Kodaikanal highway , 3 days in Kodaikanal, Road Trips in India
A glimpse of Bangalore to Kodaikanal road trip

Additional tips: One of the most beautiful road trips in India again. But there are not too many food outlets post Salem. So, be prepared with your food and water.

Bangalore to B R Hills

A small road trip of a little over 3 hours that is beautiful and offbeat. We took the Kanakpura route to reach B R Hills from Bangalore. The roads are in good condition and there hardly was any traffic. Besides, the road passes through some beautiful meadows and green fields. With the breathtaking view of the hills beyond them. Lastly you have to cross the reserve forest area before arriving at B R Hills. When we went to B R Hills, we stayed in Gorukana. And it was such a memorable stay that we are already longing to return here as soon as possible. Check : further details of our trip to B R Hills.

A view from the road trip to B R Hills, Road Trips in India
A view from the road trip to B R Hills

Additional tips: Again, almost no food outlets on the way if you are taking the route through Kanakpura. So, better to pack your own food. Once you reach Gorukana or whichever resort you choose to stay in, then you can have your meal there.

Ooty to Bangalore

You might be thinking why we said Ooty to Bangalore instead of Bangalore to Ooty. That is because, when we took a trip from Bangalore to Ooty, it was overnight. But when we took the trip back from Ooty to Bangalore, it was during the day. And that is when we enjoyed the journey through the winding roads to the fullest. As you start from Ooty, you first pass the winding mountain roads. Do look below in the valley while you are still on the top.

One of the fondest memories that I got here was of the clouds literally hanging over some trees at the slope of the mountains. As you leave the mountains and drive through the planes, you will cross the dense Bandipur forest area. If you are lucky enough, then you might spot some wildlife on the sides, or crossing the roads. Check: our memorable Ooty trip.

Additional tips: No tips required here. The roads are beautiful and as you advance in the plains, there are plenty of food outlets along the way. So, enjoy your trip to the fullest.

In conclusion, sometimes when the route is beautiful and the roads are nice, the journey itself becomes the destination. And we kind of want the journey to continue for much longer. These road trips that we described above will take you through such a journey for sure. Do try them when you are planning to take a road trip in India.

Road trips in India, Bangalore to Mangalore, Bangalore to Kodaikanal, Ooty to Bangalore, Cochin to Munnar, Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh. Scenic, historical, cultural, beautiful road trips to experience in Inida

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90 Responses

  1. You are right, there are many road trips in India to choose from. From your descriptions I would love to travel from Cochin to Munar and stop along the way at various tea plantations and the world famous Spice Gardens in Kerala. Bangalore to Kodaikanal sounds spectacular as well with it’s mountain views.

    • Both of these are excellent road trips and don’t consume much time also

  2. This is a smart idea and a wonderful way to experience India’s natural beauty. The road trip from Cochin to Gunnar is also really irresistible. Like you suggest, we’d want to take it slow and enjoy all the scenery and find the waterfalls. Thanks for these wonderful tips.

  3. I would really love to go to India. My interest to visit India started when I was still a college student. Our professor has great love for Indian literature. It is for this reason I look forward in visiting India soon. I love your post. 🙂

  4. Andrea Broom

    Wow, everything in India is so inviting and its so interesting. I haven’t been to India but it’s one of my bucket list places I love the food , SO good. I have a friend who is from there and her mom makes the best food.

    • That’s true..Indian food is the best and there are so many varieties and variations, it will take you a lifetime and still can’t try them all 🙂

  5. I love a road trip -its such a great way to see a country and you can do it at your own pace, stop where you want and see whatever you wish. You also get to see so much more of the scenery and India certainly seems like a place that you want to explore to it’s fullest – so many different landscapes…

  6. Sushmita Thakare Jain

    Love road trips 😀 will have to definitely go for them. Thanks for adding some lovey trips to my bucket list 😉

  7. Wow, it always amazes me how diverse a country India is. I recently wrote a post on top roadtrips throughout the world; southern India was on the list, but I had no idea there were so many others within the country. I’d love to do the Bangalore to Mangalore & Udupi trip you mentioned!

    • There are many lovely trips to take in south India. Particularly all the roads of western ghats..they are simply so amazing, scenic and evergreen

  8. tatumskipper

    I never knew India had such amazing landscapes. I guess when I think of India none of this amazingness comes to mind! Cochin to Munnar looks like my favorite one I would do because of the waterfall!

    • I can understand. India as a developing country has it’s civic challenges and often they are highlighted more than the beautiful aspects. And such stories also catch our eyes. But there is a beautiful side of India, and believe me there is so much to explore and see on this side that a lifetime might not be enough for the same

  9. I love the suggestions you gave us for road trips to India. I have actually done a road trip from Jodhpur to Udaipur and it was amazing, I remember those beautiful hills and forests that we passed through, together with the small villages. It was an amazing roadtrip!

    • Great to know that Joanna. I guess Rajasthan has many beautiful road trips to take

  10. I will be going to Kerala in July and looking forward to some of the rides. I love road trips and have heard a lot about Munnar. It is just like dream green destination! The road to Kodaikanl looks pretty too.

    • Both the road trips are wonderful to take. You can take both of them if you have enough time.

  11. wanderlustayne

    India is truly one of my favourite countries and I most certainly plan on trying out one of these road trips when I return! Thank you for sharing

  12. I did the ones from Bangalore during my college days. Pretty scenic rides.

  13. I’m more of a beach person so the road trip from Bangalore to Mangalore & Udupi is really high on my list. The fact it has rustic temples and beautiful sunsets was enough to inspire me to hit the road now. When you actually go there, I can’t wait to read all about it!

  14. I woudld’ve never guessed that India has so many dreamy road trips! The sunset at Mangalore Beach looks to die for – I love a good sunset! I also love how you gave additional tips for each road trip – so useful for planning!

    • Thanks Jackie. These are all beautiful road trips to take. Do try when you get a chance

  15. These are such detailed itineraries for all these road trips, which I never knew existed. Its so nice to get out on the road and experience things from a different perspective, and I love the idea of your roads being lined with spice gardens!

  16. The road trips you have mentioned are good. I have done 5 out of these 6.
    Not bad… right? 😉

  17. What an article Neha! Never thought it this way! As I compile my to do destination list, going forward I will also compile to do road trips as well! Thank you for such information!!

  18. Your photos are giving me inspirations to try and do a road trip when I visit India! Road trips are much enjoyable especially when you see and pass by these beautiful landscapes. 🙂

    • True Jane. Sometimes when you encounter beautiful landscapes on the way you feel like these road trips never end

  19. This is amazing inspiration for sure! I wish I could roadtrip in India but I think I would have to stick to a tour sadly!

  20. Hey Neha,

    I always enjoy offbeat tips and so I enjoyed this article. Especially the trip from Bangalore to Kodaikanal seemed highly worth seeing. I would not however have included Bangalore to Mangalore & Udupi as your own tip since you haven’t actually been there (yet). Instead I would have added it later, when you saw it for yourself and can still recommend it.

    All the best

    • Hi Keza. That’s why we said “trips that we have taken and planning to take”. We included the Mangalore to Udupi one because we have a reliable experience from a friend to share here, not our own. We have already completed our research on this and now going to embark on it soon

  21. A road trip in this part of your country seems wonderful indeed. I would love to go on a relaxing trip one day. But which season is best?

    • For most of the trips listed here, any season will do. The route is as scenic and green all the year round

  22. Road trips are really one of the best things to do when traveling. And doing it in India is much better! The sceneries are just to die for! Oh, India, please let me go there soon! 😀

    • Yes, definitely road trips have added advantage that you can halt anywhere that you wish to 🙂 And indulge into the beauty of the surroundings

  23. mytravelmoment

    Cool post and great pictures! Thank’s for all the tips. I’m sharing your article to a few friends of me that are going to India in a couple of weeks 🙂

  24. This is exactly what I want to see in blogs! Off-the-beaten paths destinations. With so many travel blogs out there talking about the same famous destinations all the time, it’s refreshing to be given something different. Not sure when will I be able to go to India but when I do I am going to use this for reference. I think people would appreciate more if you guys promote more of the hidden treasures of India, I am realizing that there is so much to see in your country.

    • Thats exactly what we intend to do Marge. We feel the same. There are so many hidden treasures but people often glorify a few destinations too much while the others get lost..

  25. I have done Ooty to Bangalore and Cochin to Munnar. I agree with what you are saying here.I love South India. Not only does the South Indian food excites me, but also its landscapes. I love the natural side of South India. No wonder it has so many scenic roads.

  26. what a great list of roadtrip suggestions! Would love to do a Cochin to Munnar trip to hit up some tea plantations and a tour of a spice garden of Kerala!

    • You will cherish it for the rest of your life for sure…we will await to hear about your experience

  27. All good tips. Will definitely refer back to this post when I am ready to plan my trip to India.

  28. I and my husband are one of the big road trippers. We have done many in North India but never tried much in South India except one from Bangalore to Goa. That was really awesome. After seeing your this post, I felt there are too many options from Bangalore, and we should really check them up for the coming season. This article will be of great help. Thanks for sharing at the correct time.

    • Thank you suruchi!! There are these and many more great road trips to take all around Bangalore. Hope you will love them as much as we did

  29. OMG, what a scenery! Love your pictures and all the details you included in your post. I’ve never been to India before but your post gives a great information for these who plan to do one.

  30. Thank you for a great informative post! I’ve never been to India before but it gives us an opportunity to look at doing a road trip to India in the near future!

  31. I did do a road trip in India about 12 years ago from Chennai to Pondicherry but that’s all. I loved it but also found the driving rather scary!

  32. Wow! Just the kind of road trips that strike my fancy 🙂

  33. South India is a nature’s paradise! The sheer display of natural beauty is stunning and exploring it all through a road trip is the best possible way to enhance the travel experience! I really look forward to hitting the road for one of these road trips!

    • You are so right! The road trips in south india are somehow more fascinating to me than the ones in up north due to the beautiful and green landscapes and dense forests around

  34. Useful info with stunning images. Would definitely take this into consideration when I plan my trip to India.

  35. All of these road trips are so tempting. They offer such a wonderful journey into some gorgeous landscapes. We can’t wait to hear about your road trip from Bangalore to Mangalore & Udupi. Also do you know the rules about foreigners driving in India?

    • All you have to do is abide by the traffic rules and have your driving license with you 🙂

  36. noshoestodayblog

    This looks amazing! I’ve not been to India but I love road trips. I would love to jump on a motorbike and get exploring!

  37. Never been to India before. Those are some beautiful pictures!

  38. Isabelle Weber

    I’ve never been to India before but this list is certainly tempting me! Can’t pick which would be my favourite though… I also like how you’ve included the additional tips, often travel sites don’t include that kind of insider info.

    • Thanks Isabelle. As we mentioned, all of them are beautiful trips to take. You can decide on based on which region of India you decide to visit

  39. Thanks for compiling a list of piculturesque road trips. However a couple more could be added including delhi to mussoorie.
    (Ambuj Saxena )

    • Definitely. I am sure there are numerous such trips to take in India Ambuj. This list is having only those we have personally encountered or explored. But there are so many others beyond it

  40. Fair Dinkum Traveller

    I always love your work, especially when it comes to India. A country I really long to go to and not just for the cricket but also the landscapes. Thanks for writing this article and letting me discover India a little more.

    • Thanks for the beautiful compliment Fair. Be our guest … come to India 🙂

  41. Joaquim Miro

    Thanks for the great advice. It would be awesome if you could include a screenshot of a map showing the trip so that those who don’t know about India’s main cities can still follow 🙂

  42. For one reason or another India was never on my list, but I read so many amazing stories about it, that I have to change my mind.

    • That would be great..we will await your visit to India and to hear about your experience

  43. We’ve taken a few road trips in India, first northwestern and then southern. We’ve loved the. The countryside is as beautiful as your photos portray. I can’t wait to go back and do even more!

    • Great to know that Corinne. Hope you will have many more wonderful trips to take in India

  44. Sounds like good suggestions for great road trips! Now that my husband has a driving license here in the UK we’ve been doing some road trips as well – one of the best ways to explore.

  45. These look awesome! I’ve never been to India but there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of things to do. Your pictures are beautiful!

  46. That’s really good to know! I’m in India right now. In Kochi at the moment on a press trip. And hopefully after that i’m going to have chance to explore some of this places!

    • Great to know that. You should definitely try some of the road trips around South India that we mentioned

  47. WOW! I am traveling to India in september. I will land in Delhi the capital and after that I would be going to Jaipur. and then Udaipur. So I think the Udaipur option you have mentioned here would be suitable for me. How would be the exp in month of September. Please let me know! Cheers.

    • We visited in September itself Sophie, so, you can read about the experience, and get lots of more ideas visiting my Rajasthan posts. It’s still summer in Rajasthan but bearably hot and the weather gets pleasant in morning and evening. We enjoyed our days in both Jaipur and Udaipur thoroughly and also went to Chittorgarh from Udaipur, apart from visiting Kumbhalgarh.

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