Road Travel

    Explore the series of well crafted road travel related blogs and get an in depth review on exploring various untouched territories on the road. These write ups are a fantastic blend of romance and practical viewpoints, giving you a sneak preview of how travelers create the most exquisite experience with the help of limited resources.

    Biking through the streets of Ladakh or driving deep into the forests of Ranthambhore, experience it all instantly with Travelyaari top road journey encounters. 
    This unique travel blog space will provide a great lot of inspiration, crafted guides, stunning photographs, and tips for roving on the roadways. Find your own future road travel plans right here.

    The insider’s travel guide on how to holiday better in Maharashtra

    The insider’s travel guide on how to holiday better in Maharashtra

    Maharashtra is like a big canvas, coloured with strokes of every shade possible and the author of this portrait seems to be none other than nature itself. From its tribal culture, traditional wear and art to its folk dances, from palatable cuisines to its enchanting architecture from an undefined age, Maharashtra is a state that with its indelible charm significantly contributes to the diversity of India’s topography.

    This incredible state of Incredible India has something for every travel fanatic. It houses a major chunk of the Western Ghats thus opening gates to some of the best scenic spots rich in abundant wildlife. It is also a home to a land that produces world best oranges, a district that hides behind the mysteries of its exceptional caves and a city that is the birthland of the largest film industries in the world, BOLLYWOOD. Besides all conventional tourist destinations that are thronged by people every day, Maharashtra has many hidden treasure troves waiting for the right tourists to go about them. Make a bus booking with Travelyaari and arrive at a destination of your choice.

     

    Day 1: Pune To Nagpur

    Getting to the destination is the first target, so if you are in Pune or live anywhere close, you can straightaway book a bus ticket from Pune to Nagpur with Mahendra Travels. 64 Kilometres from Nagpur lies Khekranala that beckons a large number of visitors to enjoy in its greens. Get a local transport arranged from Nagpur and head to this most sought-after trekking destination whose beauty is being magnified by the turquoise lake which is surrounding it. Sit back on top of its peak and enjoy witnessing the soothing hues of the sunrise and sunset in the sky through the mist.

     

     

    Khekranala

     

    84 Kilometres from Nagpur lies the Pench Tiger Reserve that has been immortalized by Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’. This abode of white tigers that supports diverse wildlife is also a delight for bird watchers. Its forested area offers its tourists to rekindle the drooping spirits and embrace everyone by making them Nostalgic with the story of ‘Bagheera’ and ‘Mowgli.'

     

     

    Pench-Tiger-Reserve

     

    Located close to the Pench River bank, there is a waterfall named Amba Khori which is known to exude immense peace and serenity. Visiting this site in the early morning is an apt option to enjoy the changing hues of the landscape.

     

     

    Amba-Khori

     

     

    Day 2: Nagpur to Aurangabad

    After a day full of exploration in the jungles of Pench, go on to board the Nagpur to Aurangabad bus and reach the Baidhnath Chowk. With the help of local taxis get around the north of the city where you will find the Ellora caves that hide plenty secrets behind its walls. As you look at the place from a distance, it appears like another usual cave, but as you go closer, you will notice about 34 caves built out of sediment rocks each standing next to each other. Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism were the three dominant religion that was peacefully practised here during that time. The entrance of this place leads one to the cave of Kailash Temple which is said to have many secrets buried underneath. Every corner and every wall has figures that are intriguing and leaves one curious to discover more. Certain areas in these caves are hence restricted and are strictly prohibited from the reach of tourists. The Buddhist caves are relatively more uncomplicated much like the religion itself, and the huge cavities on the walls shaped like Buddha pretty much convey how rich is the Indian cultural heritage.

     

     

    Ellora-caves, Shiv Temple

     

    After a few minutes of drive from here get set to visit the Bibi ka Makbara which is a tomb of Aurangzeb’s wife built by his son in the memory of his dear mother. The place is a must visit during the daytime as there is very less light after sunset. This is the best historical monument of the city and should not be skipped from your itinerary.

     

     

    Bibi-ka-Makbara

     

    A ride to Ajanta caves from here can be a little tiring, but it is worth every minute spent here. The caves are about 4 km from where your ride will drop you. After climbing steps covering almost half a kilometre, you will reach the entrance of the caves. Ajanta Caves are a series of monasteries looming over a nearby river. Every Cave has a Statue of Buddha in the middle and a huge area surrounded by rock pillars. You will see some great rock paintings on the walls describing past life, present life and teachings of him. If you're travelling with a big group, ask for an official guide to help you understand every intricate structure along with the story that it portrays.

     

     

    Ajanta-caves

     

    Day: 3 Aurangabad to Mumbai

    A bus ride to Mumbai from Aurangabad is all about that feeling of butterflies fluttering in the stomach. As you will approach Mumbai, you will know that it is a stunning paradox of faith and chaos, magic and insanity.

     

    Don’t leave Mumbai until you

    Do

    Walk down to the Marine drive at night and soak yourself in the hundreds of glittering street lights that appear to form a queen’s necklace or just sit back by the waterfront and let the wind hit your face with its coolness.

     

     

    Marine-drive

     

    Go about touring the city and check out its rich heritage. Witness its unique architecture as you will lose yourself through the pages of ancient to modern India.

     

     

    Mumbais-rich-heritage 

     

    Nightlife in its debonair lounges, happening nightclubs, live music spaces and theatre Plays will get all your senses seized with awe.

    Read more:  For detailed information about the popular theatre plays that are organized on every weekend in Mumbai.


    Eat

    The quintessential Mumbai street food and a scrumptious Maharashtrian meal will make sure your taste buds are pampered with spicy flavours and tangy taste. Experience layers of colours, and flavours melting in your mouth while also being light in your pockets! Vada Pav, Poha, Sabudana Vada, Misal Pav, varieties of fritters, Pav Bhaji, Dahi Puri and Kala khatta are a connoisseur’s delight.

     

     

    Munching-on-the-streets-of-Mumbai

     

    If you are looking for an extended holiday, and wish to spend some time relaxing and chilling beside the rumbling seas of the Arabian coast, then Goa is right here in just a few Kilometers. Book an overnight bus journey with Travelyaari from Mumbai to Goa and make your holiday more intriguing while sipping a glass of wine under the shacks on the beach side.

     

    Unforgettable Journeys: Road Trip in The Nilgiris

    Unforgettable Journeys: Road Trip in The Nilgiris

    As I was cleaning out my closet, my eyes fell upon a small album tucked unobtrusively between other books. I began flipping through its well-worn pages and old memories tumbled out. I sat ruminating on one of the best vacations we’ve ever had.

    A seven-day trip through the Nilgiris had seemed highly improbable amidst hectic work schedules. But we had managed to pull it off. Recollections of vacations always leave a pleasant aftertaste but at times, something singularly stands out. And this one invariably reminded me of how footloose and carefree we had been. Road trips in particular, give plenty of rope to the free-spirited.

    Early March 2004, the weather had been perfect as we drove from Bangalore to Coimbatore. On a whim, we had boarded the train from Mettupalayam to Conoor. A toy train with a small steam engine chugging away into the mountains had been too perfect to pass up.

     

    Chugging through the Mountains
    Chugging through the Mountains.

    Conoor is a small town shadowed into relative obscurity by its famous neighbor Ooty. It didn’t boast of anything too touristy and that was exactly why we had been taken in with the sleepy little town. Sim’s park, a huge botanical park was the most prominent attraction. I still remember the succulent peaches we had devoured there – the best I have had till date. Right across, a quaint little shop sold varieties of Pear jams, nutmeg pickles and different types of Nilgiri tea. YWCA, where we had stayed was an old British style building ringed by bougainvillea and a variety of trees. Quite averse to meeting too many humans on a vacation, we had been hugely delighted to find that we had the whole place to ourselves. The food had been so lip-smacking, that we had developed an unquenchable appetite. We had spent 2 blissful days of wandering around the mountainside studiously giving a wide berth to the touristy view- points.

    We doubled back to Coimbatore before driving through the same stretches. Passing through Ooty, we headed to our next destination – Red Hills. We passed a small village, Emerald and soon acres and acres of carrots and cabbage plantations appeared on either side. The road looked less travelled and we met fewer and fewer vehicles on the road. A turn from the main road and a delightful house with a white porch came into view. A very tastefully done old British bungalow, it was owned by the Vijay Kumars. Located on a hillock, it overlooked shimmering aquamarine lakes nestled between gently sloping mountains. With the fireplace cackling, the evenings were pleasant in the company of our hosts.

     

    Red Hills
    Arriving at the Red Hills.

    With only the whispering trees and the sunlight playing hide and seek for company, we had spent time trekking and driving through several interesting roads. On one such jaunt, our hosts had thoughtfully packed us a nice picnic lunch in the quintessential wicker basket.

     

    Roads Less Taken
    Roads Less Taken.

    After spending two days soaking up the unadulterated beauty, it was time to leave. It would have been hard to leave such an idyllic place, had it not been for the thought that more was still to come. Driving via Bellikal road with its 36 hairpin bends, we reached Masinagudi, our final destination. Neat and Spartan, the stone and bamboo Jungle Retreat cottages blended into the forest. Amidst a cluster of cottages was their beautiful pool nestled between the majestic mountain scenery. Masinagudi welcomed us to experience the forest through its several wild life treks.  We had a record of being notoriously unlucky in spotting animals and this one had been no different. But nevertheless the forest still calls out to its wanderers, for those who care to listen. Gopalaswamybeta, a nearby mountain peak offered some amazing views with its peak literally kissing the clouds. And for a change we had seen some elephant herds blue kingfishers, grey hornbills and Malabar squirrels.

    Our journey was finally at end after having spent 7 glorious days in the lap of the mountains.

    On the return journey, we scoured nearby places for lunch. Our travel book threw up a place – Bamboo Banks. We reached the place to be greeted by electric fences and a wooden gate. A sign indicated that we should pull the rope. It opened and we soon reached another gate. After crossing two of these mysterious gates, we were welcomed warmly by a gentleman with a shock of white hair. A retired General Manager of a tea factory, he was full of anecdotes with a dry sense of humor.  As the man’s family started to arrive, we belatedly realized we had barged into a family lunch. I recollect having some interesting Parsi cuisine with us seated in the right pecking order.

    As I closed my album, I smiled wryly as I remembered his quip, ‘Religion is the first step to lunacy’.

    ***

    About this trip: Buses connect Bangalore to all major towns in Karnataka, including Ooty and Conoor. Find the best route and bus at www.travelyaari.com

    ***

    About the author: A professional from the Information Technology sector, Asha Vishwanathan is passionate about sustainable living and social issues. She voices her thoughts on her blog at http://themoonstone.wordpress.com and through her paintings at http://www.fb.com/FreshFromTheEasel.

    ***

     

    Unforgettable Journeys: Srinagar to Kargil by Road

    Unforgettable Journeys: Srinagar to Kargil by Road

    We flew into Srinagar, to hot weather and the smell of hope. In contrast to the empty and desolate Srinagar on our last trip here in 2000, we saw young students in ‘hijabs’ with school bags on their shoulders, a veiled woman driving her car on the busy city road, and hordes of tourist and construction work everywhere. Undoubtedly, a positive, if somewhat ‘crowded’ change.

     

    The Road less taken
    The journey that lay ahead of us.

    Our car met us outside the airport (no private cars are allowed inside Srinagar airport) – A subtle reminder of its precariously maintained peace status. We set off for Kargil immediately. Not even stopping for a fill of petrol. A decision we would regret later. Google Maps, showed a distance of 204 kms to Kargil, estimated time 4 hours 9 minutes. We nonchalantly ignored the man at the toll booth who said it would take us approximately 11 hours. But his words proved to be prophetic!

    We drove alongside young and gurgling Indus.

     

    Hordes of tourists had gathered to see the Tazivas glacier at the muddy brown snow strewn Sonmarg peaks, and onwards of Sonmarg, the national highway 1D  was jammed. So we took  a diversion. The diversion that a local pointed out to us was a dirt track to ‘Zojii La’ Pass.

    Our GPS gave up at this point and we had no clue about the road we were on.  Anyway, we made the steep climb on the potholed track and emerged in a beautiful landscape dominated by pristine white snow covered mountains.

     

    Depicting Sky Peace and Earth
    Depicting Sky, Peace and Earth.

    We were surrounded with snow. It was up, around and below us. The track was hardly wide enough for one car to pass and there was not a single sign of humanity. The man who had confidently pointed out the way may have played a practical joke on us. But since the option of a ‘U’ turn did not exist, we banked on our luck and bravely trudged forward. There were moments when we felt the car would skid anytime into the deep valley below. And just when we thought it could not get more adventurous than this, we realized we were dangerously low on petrol – trudging on a three feet wide dirt track that almost ran off the mountain in places, at vertigo inducing heights and not a village or human in sight. It was not the best news we had heard. The car filled with nervous banter.

    The Snow Capped Mountains
    The snow capped Himalayas.

    Another near skid and a few kilometers ahead, we were greeted by a large fleet of sheep. After having the beautiful but lonely landscape to ourselves for the last couple of hours, we welcomed the company and did not mind at all being ‘jammed’ by the sheep.

    The shepherd seemed amused at our predicament and pointed to the road ahead in answer to our queries for diesel. The sheep seemed to have brought back ‘civility’ with them and from here on we came across other travelers – A few truckers and some adventure seeking bikers. We marveled at their grit and determination to traverse these indomitable peaks on two wheels.

    By now the fuel situation was getting dangerous. Every person we asked assured us that we would find petrol in a small road side shanty five kilometers ahead. Just as we had begun to resign ourselves to spending the night in our ‘fuel-less’ car.  We sighted the Kargil war fame ‘Tiger Hill’ to our left. Not long after, we came upon a nondescript shanty with an inconspicuous sign advertising “diesel”. It was the last jerrycan of fuel and we would have paid any sum he asked for. But the young bearded man took the Rs. 800 we had been told was the usual charge by the truckers we had met en-route. We waved a grateful goodbye as we moved with fuller tank and lighter hearts towards Kargil.

     

    Stuck in a sheep Jam
    Stuck in a sheep ‘Jam’!

    About The Srinagar-Kargil Journey

    The 13 day Journey described above was made in June, 2012. We were a group of five. A couple of us drove from Ajmer. The rest joined the journey at Srinagar. The above account is of the first day of our trip from Srinagar. We still have no clue about the ‘diversion’ we took. The path is not marked on any of the maps I have seen on the internet. As we did not have a local driver to guide us, we are not really sure what the path was. We just know that at some point we diverted from the prescribed national highway and after 6 hours or so on the unmarked path, we joined the highway again around Drass.

     

    ***

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sapna is  a “dreamer” , an idealist at heart and dangerously sentimental.She is also a mom of two, a part time business woman, a stand-in interior decorator for her restaurants, a social worker by training, and a “change-maker”. She and her husband enjoy traveling. She blogs at justanotherwakeupcall.wordpress.com 

    6 Awesome Road Trips in India

    6 Awesome Road Trips in India

    India has some brilliant roads that should be traversed at least once in a lifetime. Popular for its majestic Himalayan crown, beaches of Goa, backwaters of Kerala and royalty of Rajasthan, the highways of the country illustrate some of the most beautiful landscapes. It will definitely leave your mind wandering, and a flutter in your heart.

    Being the second largest road network in the world, these trips offer views that are unparalleled to any in the world. Here are a few road trips which should be on every traveller’s list.

     

    1) The aspirational Manali-Leh Highway (NH 21)

     

    Into the lap of the majestic mountains on Leh highway.
    Into the lap of the majestic mountains on Leh highway.

    One of the highest and toughest roads in the world, navigating the Manali-Leh highway has its own charm. Passing through daunting terrains which offer the best prospects of nature, you will witness lush greens balanced with barren lands on your way. From the mighty Rohtang Pass, one can see the Beas and Chandra rivers flowing by. Be ready to pass through some breath-taking views and waterfalls en route.

    Best mode of transport: Best for bikers who wish to experience the thrill, or you can hire an Innova with a local driver,

    Best season: Roads are open between May and September when the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) clear the snow.

    Book your bus to Manali on Travelyaari!

     

    2) The Konkan delight Mumbai-Goa Highway (NH 17)

     

    Racing through the scenic NH 17. Photo by Vir Nakai.
    Racing through the scenic NH 17. Photo by Vir Nakai.

    A rarity of a smooth highway makes this one popular amongst other road trips. Thousands of stressed professionals escape to Goa to soak up some sun and guzzle up bottles of chilled beer. Offering views of the Vahisti river and the beauty of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, you can also stop at the beaches of Ganpatiphule and Dapoli if you need a break.

    Best mode of transport: A self-drive car is probably the most suitable as it enables detours and stopovers. The other option is the regularly plying state buses.

    Best season: Post monsoon and winter are the best times as the weather is good and the landscape is filled with greenery.

    Have you travelled to Goa by bus yet? Book on Travelyaari.

     

    3) The wild NH 212

     

    Through the tall trees of Bandipur
    Through the tall trees of Bandipur. Photo by Kamaljith K V.

    Connecting Kozhikode in Kerala to Kollegal in Karnataka, this highway takes you through the forest of Bandipur. Since Mysore is on the way, make sure you keep enough time on your hands to make a quick stopover in this beautiful city. Smooth roads, passing through the thick forest of Bandipur and chance encounters with the wild will surely leave you spell-bound.

    Best mode of transport: Either a four-wheeler jeep or a self-driven car. Else the usual buses take this route.

    Best season: Chances are higher of spotting wildlife during summers, though the route is open all through the year.

    Travelyaari helps you book your bus from Kozhikode.

     

    4) The North Eastern sojourn Guwahati–Tawang

     

    Crossing Cherrapunji. Photo by Arup Malakar.
    Crossing Cherrapunji. Photo by Arup Malakar.

    Though the North East doesn’t usually make it to our popular lists, the scenic turns and lives here should be witnessed by all. Taking this less popular road trip will offer you a chance to visit the wettest place in India, Cherrapunji and you can be filled with awe at the beauty of Kaziranga National Park or visit the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh.

    Best mode of transport: An all-terrain SUV is your best bet to traverse the different terrains.

    Best season: October to March is the best season as the weather is pleasant and you can also witness local festivities which are held during these months.

    Also read A Local’s Travel Guide to Assam.

     

    5) The high hills of Dehradun–Nainital

     

    En route at NH 74. Photo by Jaskirat Singh Bawa.
    En route at NH 74. Photo by Jaskirat Singh Bawa.

    Passing through the Kumaon Hill ranges in Uttarakhand, this route offers mind-blowing views of hills, nature and shrines. You can stop over at Rishikesh for some soul-searching or indulge in some white-water rafting. Alternatively, you can go to Haridwar to satisfy the religious side of you or invest time in spotting the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger in its habitat at the Jim Corbett National Park. Top off the trip with a relaxed time in Nainital with a boat-ride in Naini Lake.

    Best mode of transport: Pick a comfortable 4 wheeler.

    Best season: All year round.

    Have a look at your bus travel options from Dehradun here, on Travelyaari.

     

    6) The weekend escape Mumbai-Pune Highway

     

    The lush highway to Pune, soon after Monsoons. Photo by Rohit Patwardhan.
    The lush highway to Pune, soon after Monsoons. Photo by Rohit Patwardhan.

    This six-lane highway is a rare combination of the lush green Ghats and the sleek roads to cruise on. Not too far from the megacity of Mumbai, Pune is an ideal weekend trip with an easy 3-4 hr drive through this highway.

    Best mode of transport: Two-wheelers are not allowed on the highway whereas private cars, cabs or state buses are regular visitors.

    Best season: If you want to witness the calmness and green carpets spread across hills, monsoons are the best time to visit.

    Choose from the many buses to Pune on Travelyaari.

    ***

    How many of these road trips have you done?

    ***

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anushree Shenoy is a freelance writer, travel blogger and a passionate photographer. She likes to explore different destinations and is always looking to add thrill into her holidays by experiencing adventure activities, soaking in local cultures & meeting new people. With a Masters in Marketing, she has worked in media research & PR. Moving on from corporate life to follow her passion; she has recently founded Travelaaj – a travel company which is aimed at providing tailor-made vacations with a dash of adventure to its clients. She blogs at http://diariesofawanderlust.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @ShenoyAnushree.

     

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