9 Offbeat Road Trips in North India from New Delhi
Updated: Jun 19
As Hans Christian Andersen once said, “To Travel is to Live” and life as we know it, has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we learn how to live with the new norms of social distancing and hygienic ways of conduct, it is important to travel responsibly as well.
One way to efficiently explore new places is by bringing back the old charm of road trips to unique destinations!
We have made a list of 9 best kept-secrets that should be on your Post-Pandemic travel bucket list!
If you are looking forward to unwinding with surreal views and cool mountain air, then look no further and go pack your bags because adventure is out there!
You can also explore these places by going on nature walks, camping and trekking but we also hope you learn to paint with water colors; bring your camera to explore photography, read new books, take up bird watching all the while listening to the sounds of nature because travel is more about the experiences than the destination and we hope you make the best out of it!
1.Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh (293 kms):
Kasauli is a cantonment and a small town in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh located at an altitude of 1,927 m. It is a 293km road trip from Delhi filled with pine-scented trees and lush-green views. Indulge yourself in hot chai and aloo parathas overlooking the scenic views and staying in quaint little cottages.
Things to do:
Take a stroll in the Gilbert trail with views of greenery and scenic beauty which is the best way to take your mind off the routine.
You can also take a morning walk to explore the local shops in the Heritage market and witness the local life unfold. Christ church and Manki point are good places to visit as well. For breathtaking sunset views, drive up to the sunset point and Lover’s lane and go to Mall road if you’re into shopping.
Timber Trail is a must-visit as the ropeways are popular for natural scenic views and it is a thrilling experience.
Do not miss out on visiting one of the oldest breweries in Asia, famous for its Single malt Whiskey and Scotch. Also, try bun-samosas at a chai shop and local Tibetan food (Hygienic places, of course)!
The best time to visit is from March-June.
To read about a weekend getaway to Kasauli, you can check out Anu's blog:
2. Lansdowne, Uttarakhand(251 kms):
Lansdowne, originally known as Kaludanda in Hindi, meaning black hills is named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887. It is a hill station located in Pauri district of Uttarakhand filled with thick oak trees and blue pine forests. Lansdowne is an ideal location for eco-tourism as it is well preserved by the Government of Uttarakhand and the Garhwal Rifles. It is well connected with motorable roads but remote in its own way. Also, it is one of the quietest hill stations of India!
If you need a break from the 9-5 routine and experience solitude, this is the place to be as it is an easy road trip from Delhi.
Things to do:
Take a morning stroll with views overlooking forests and hills, filled with pine trees, fresh breeze, clear blue sky with a cup of chai is all one needs!
Lansdowne is an ideal location for eco-tourism as it is well preserved by the Government of Uttarakhand and the Garhwal Rifles.
Visit Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple, one of the oldest Shiva temples! It is a 36 km drive from Lansdowne filled with scenic views and cedar trees. The temple is located in dense forest and one might witness snowfall here! This place is a must-visit to truly experience the beauty of nature.
Do visit Bhulla Taal Lake, Mary’s church, Tin in tip point, war memorial, Darwan Singh Museum, Snow viewpoint, Garhwali mess, Durga Devi Temple and others in the city.
If you get a chance, try chocolate mithai from Kodwar’s Sidhi Bali sweet shop and a sharbhat called Buraas, (Watch out for hygienic and unadulterated ones)
Best time to visit is from October- March (winters) and April-June.
Read Travel Melodies's blog to know about their weekend trip to Lansdowne:
3. Kanatal, Uttarakhand (326 kms):
Kanatal is a small village in Uttarakhand surrounded by breathtaking views of mountains and rivers, a slice of heaven indeed!
Things to do:
Kaudia forest is a popular spot for hiking in kanatal. A level walk of 6kms will show dense forests with spectacular views of hills and valleys. Jeep safari is also allowed here to explore this place. You can spot a few wild animals like, Kakar (the barking deer), Wild boar ghorals and musk deer!
Seek blessings at the famous Surkanda Devi temple filled with beautiful views of Dhanaulti. This is at a height of 9000ft and you need to trek for 3kms from the base being at a height of 7000ft but the view of the snow-capped himalayas is definitely worth it!
Visit Dhanaulti Eco Park, a newly developed Eco Park which houses the Deodar trees.
Visit Tehri Lake, an artificial dam reservoir for boating and peaceful views amidst nature.
Chamba, a town on the banks of the river Ravi, is a treasure for scenic views, sparkling streams and dense alpine forests. It is a 45min drive from Kanatal!
Summers are a pleasant time to visit but winters are blessed with snowfall and the temperature might go as low as 3 degrees!
Check out Sahil Singh's about the forgotten and hidden hamlet of Uttarakhand!
4.Chakrata, Uttarakhand (328 kms):
Chakrata is a cantonment town situated between the Tons and Yamuna river at an elevation of 2118m in the state of Dehradun.
It is the best place to unwind from the busy routines in the city with views of the Himalayas to the west and Mussoorie to the East and the quaint offbeat town is a sight to behold!
Things to do:
Visit Tiger Falls, one of the highest direct waterfalls in Uttarakhand, a 20 km stretch of narrow driveways leading to the beautiful jaw-dropping waterfalls with the refreshing sounds of gushing water.
You can hire a bicycle and visit the villages Makhti Pokhari and Jaunsari where you can interact with the locals and know about their lifestyles, customs and traditions.
Drive up to the highest peak in the town, Chilmiri Neck for scenic sunset views!
To add to the scenic views,, visit Hanol, a beautiful getaway in the middle of nowhere is a 100km drive away and seek blessings from Mahasu Devta Temple.
Best time to visit this place is from March to June.
Check out Arkapal's blog on a weekend trip to Chakrata!
5. Shoghi, Himachal Pradesh (335 kms):
Shoghi is a small hill station, 13kms from Shimla. It is abundant in scintillating views of snow and is home to a large variety of flora and fauna.
Is there a better way to unwind from the buzz of the city than exploring the Himalayan suburbs filled with snow covered mountain views? We don't think so!
The town of Shoghi is a 2km stretch of serene natural beauty. Morning walks and chai is a must!
Things to do:
Visit Karol ranges, an ancient temple for Lord Krishna at the highest point of Shoghi and is believed to be built by the Pandavas during their exile from Hastinapur.
Visit Kandaghat, a peaceful spot to bask in the lap of nature with serene views of green valleys and high mountains away from the city crowd.
Seek blessings at the Jatoli Shiv temple and Baba Balak Nath temple in Kandaghat
Visit Chail View Palace, built by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh on the land given by the British for his assistance in the Anglo-Nepalese war.Chail is a hill station in Shimla district, peaked at an altitude of 2250 metres surrounded by the Himalayan Range and fir forests.
Do visit the Sadhupul lake and munch on maggi and chai with your feet dipped in cold lake water and lush green views.
Do not miss out on sipping chai and having maggi overlooking the sunset views from here!
Visit the Tara Devi Temple, 250 years old temple situated at the top of the Tara Parvat is a place to experience spirituality and if you are here on Ashtami, you get to witness a special pooja!
If snow and cool weather is what you’re looking for, Winter is the best time to visit it.
Read about Shreya's exciting journey from Kinnaur-Spiti valley!
6. Fagu, Himachal Pradesh (336 kms):
This charming little hill station will make you forget the ways of the world. Taking a stroll through the deciduous forest of the area is pure bliss, to say the least.
The name Fagu is believed to be derived from the word Fog! It is usually covered in fog and snow which adds to the scintillating views and tranquility of the place with a variety of flora and fauna.
Fagu is a serene hamlet with apple orchards, snow clad peaks and flower fields.
Things to do:
Skiing in Fagu during winters is a magical and a delightful experience that one must not miss out on!
It is unquestionably a standout amongst perfect scenic getaways from Delhi.
One can explore trekking through the picturesque trails with lush green and breathtaking views of the Great Himalayan mountains.
The best time to travel is from October to February as the place will be covered with snow and looks magical. Summers are also a good time to visit the place.
Check out Ekta & Puru's travel blog on beautiful Fagu!
7. Binsar, Himachal Pradesh(375 kms):
Peaked at an impressive altitude of 2420m, it is one of the most scenic spots in the Kumaon Himalayas filled with oak,pine and deodar trees.
It is home to beautiful green meadows and is a trekker’s paradise.
Things to do:
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, is a must-visit place. It is a reserved habitat for a myriad of flora and fauna. It is home to the rarest species of animals, birds and butterflies.
Visit Zero point inside the sanctuary offering scintillating views of the snow capped Himalayan ranges of Kedarnath Peak, Shivling Trishul and Nanda Devi!
Seek blessings from the highly revered Shiva cave temple, 31kms from Binsar amidst oak and deodar trees offering peace and tranquility.
You can also visit Khali estate, Gananath temple which is known for natural caves!
Visit Zero point inside the sanctuary offering scintillating views of the snow capped Himalayan ranges of Kedarnath Peak, Shivling , Trishul and Nanda Devi!
The best time to visit is during summers or in October and November. If you visit in March and April, look out for ruby-red rhododendron in full bloom
Read all about the tranquility of Binsar in Anuradha Goyal's Blog!
8. Auli, Uttarakhand (398 kms):
Auli, also known as Auli Bhugyal is a hill station in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand and is a winter wonderland! The perfect spot for skiing and camping!
Things to do:
Visit JoshiMath which is home to Shankaracharya math, Tapovan Natural Hot springs and is the beginning of a trekking trail to Badrinath.
Visit Auli Artificial lake as it offers serene views with a skiing track. This lake can also be accessed through the cable cars from Joshi Math which is filled with breathtaking views of the town of Auli.
You can also embark on Gurso Bugyal trek which is a 3kms trek from Auli, a land of green pastures and panoramic views of coniferous trees and oak trees. You can also trek to Chattarkund, 1 km from Gurso Bugyal known for its sweet water in the middle of a dense forest!
For magnificent views and breathtaking scenery, visit Chenab Lake, a man-made artificial lake.
Visit Vishnuprayag and be charmed by the Kagbhusandi Lake which is a stunning water body filled with emerald green water.
Best time to visit Auli is throughout the year. If skiing is on your mind, we would suggest you visit during November to March as it will be snow bound and chilly.
Check out Solo Backpacker's experience of Hemkund trek and a day at Auli!
As T.S Elliot once said, “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” and we genuinely hope you do as the next one is for the ones who dare!
9. Tirthan Valley (490kms):
Himachal’s best secret is an adventure-centric getaway in a slice of heaven! Located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh is filled with flowing rivers, lush green valleys and lakes.
Tirthan valley derives its name from the Tirthan river, the pristine river originating from the icy cold glacial springs of Hans Kund, a peak in GHNP.
Surrounded by the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), this beautiful untouched valley is perfect for one-day treks, exploring hill-side villages or doing nothing at all!
Things to do:
One day treks such as Dingcha and Tinder hike starts from Gushaini offers breathtaking views of Tirthan Valley!
A beautiful way to explore the villages is to embark on the Nohananda-West Hike which passes through several villages with scintillating views of GHNP.
For the adventurous ones out there, rock climbing, rafting, rappelling, river crossing and even trout fishing are some of the available options here.
Spring is the best time to go as flowers are blooming all around!
Check out Jitaditya Narzary's in-depth blog about Tirthan Valley!
As Chris Humphrey once said, “The open road is there, it will always be there. You just have to decide when to take it.”