Top 10 Scenic Road Trips Across India for Nature Lovers

India, with its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers some of the most breathtaking road trips for nature enthusiasts. From the rugged mountains of the Himalayas to the lush forests of the Western Ghats, the country’s roads take travelers through a variety of stunning environments. Here, we explore the top 10 scenic road trips across India that every nature lover should experience.

1. Manali to Leh: The Ultimate Himalayan Adventure

The road trip from Manali to Leh is legendary among adventure seekers. Spanning around 479 kilometers, this route takes you through some of the highest motorable passes in the world, including Rohtang Pass, Baralacha La, and Tanglang La. The dramatic landscapes, with their snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and serene lakes, offer an unparalleled experience.

As you drive along the winding roads, you’ll pass through picturesque villages, ancient monasteries, and pristine rivers. Key highlights include the surreal Gata Loops, the stunning Pangong Lake, and the beautiful Nubra Valley. This trip is best undertaken between June and September when the roads are clear of snow.


2. Mumbai to Goa: Coastal Bliss

The Mumbai to Goa road trip along the Konkan Coast is a journey through coastal paradise. Covering around 600 kilometers, this route offers scenic views of the Arabian Sea, lush green hills, and charming fishing villages. The drive on NH66 (formerly NH17) is particularly picturesque, with its winding roads and occasional glimpses of the sea.

En route, you can stop at the beautiful beaches of Alibaug, Ganpatipule, and Tarkarli, as well as explore the historic forts of Murud-Janjira and Sindhudurg. The vibrant culture, delicious seafood, and laid-back vibe make this trip a favorite among travelers.

3. Chennai to Munnar: Journey to the Tea Gardens

Driving from Chennai to Munnar is a delightful experience, especially for nature lovers. This 600-kilometer journey takes you from the bustling city of Chennai through the scenic landscapes of Tamil Nadu and into the lush green hills of Kerala. As you approach Munnar, the air becomes cooler, and the scenery transforms into rolling tea plantations and mist-covered mountains.

Munnar, with its verdant tea gardens, sparkling waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, is a perfect destination for relaxation and exploration. Highlights of this trip include the picturesque Athirappilly Falls, the tranquil Mattupetty Dam, and the serene Anamudi Peak, the highest point in South India.

4. Jaipur to Ranthambore: A Wildlife Adventure

The road trip from Jaipur to Ranthambore National Park is a journey through the heart of Rajasthan. Spanning around 180 kilometers, this route offers a mix of cultural and natural attractions. As you leave the Pink City of Jaipur, you’ll drive through the scenic countryside dotted with traditional Rajasthani villages and forts.

Ranthambore National Park, one of India’s premier wildlife reserves, is the highlight of this trip. The park is famous for its population of Royal Bengal tigers, as well as leopards, deer, and a variety of bird species. The ancient Ranthambore Fort, located within the park, adds a historical dimension to your wildlife adventure.

5. Guwahati to Tawang: The Northeast Frontier

The road trip from Guwahati to Tawang is an exhilarating journey through the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Covering approximately 520 kilometers, this route takes you through some of the most remote and pristine landscapes in India. The drive includes navigating the steep and winding roads of the Eastern Himalayas.

Highlights of this trip include the scenic Sela Pass, which stands at an altitude of 13,700 feet, the tranquil Nuranang Waterfall, and the spiritual Tawang Monastery, the largest monastery in India. The breathtaking views of the snow-clad peaks, dense forests, and alpine meadows make this a must-do road trip for nature lovers.

6. Bangalore to Coorg: The Scotland of India

The road trip from Bangalore to Coorg (Kodagu) is a favorite among nature enthusiasts and coffee lovers alike. This 265-kilometer journey takes you from the urban landscape of Bangalore into the verdant hills of Coorg. The route is dotted with scenic viewpoints, lush coffee plantations, and dense forests.

Coorg, often referred to as the “Scotland of India,” is known for its picturesque landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and aromatic coffee estates. Key attractions include Abbey Falls, the serene Talakaveri (the source of the River Kaveri), and the expansive Dubare Elephant Camp. The pleasant climate and scenic beauty make Coorg an ideal getaway from the city.

7. Shimla to Spiti Valley: The High-Altitude Expedition

The road trip from Shimla to Spiti Valley is an adventurous journey through the high-altitude desert of Himachal Pradesh. Spanning around 450 kilometers, this route takes you through some of the most remote and breathtaking landscapes in the Indian Himalayas.

The journey includes crossing high mountain passes such as Kunzum Pass and traversing along the Spiti River. The stark beauty of the barren mountains, ancient monasteries like Key Monastery, and traditional Spitian villages create a mesmerizing experience. The pristine Chandratal Lake, also known as the “Moon Lake,” is a highlight of this trip.

8. Ahmedabad to Kutch: The White Desert Expedition

The road trip from Ahmedabad to the Rann of Kutch is a unique journey through Gujarat’s diverse landscapes. Covering approximately 400 kilometers, this route takes you from the bustling city of Ahmedabad to the vast, white salt desert of Kutch.

The Rann of Kutch is famous for its surreal, otherworldly landscapes, especially during the Rann Utsav, a cultural festival held from November to February. Highlights of this trip include the vibrant handicrafts of Bhuj, the historic Dholavira ruins, and the stunning sunset over the white desert. The nearby Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including flamingos and wild asses.

9. Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley: The Eastern Ghats Adventure

The road trip from Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley is a scenic drive through the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh. Spanning around 115 kilometers, this route takes you through lush green hills, coffee plantations, and tribal villages.

Araku Valley is known for its picturesque landscapes, pleasant climate, and rich tribal culture. Key attractions include the stunning Borra Caves, the tranquil Araku Tribal Museum, and the scenic Chaparai Waterfalls. The drive through the winding ghat roads, with their panoramic views, is a treat for nature lovers.


10. Delhi to Nainital: The Himalayan Getaway

The road trip from Delhi to Nainital is a popular escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Covering around 300 kilometers, this route takes you from the plains of Delhi into the serene hills of Uttarakhand. As you ascend the winding roads, the air becomes cooler and the scenery greener.

Nainital, with its emerald green lake, colonial architecture, and surrounding forests, is a perfect destination for a relaxing getaway. Highlights of this trip include boating on Naini Lake, exploring the quaint Mall Road, and visiting the scenic Snow View Point. The nearby Jim Corbett National Park offers an additional opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts.


India’s diverse landscapes offer countless opportunities for scenic road trips that cater to nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re driving through the majestic Himalayas, the lush Western Ghats, or the serene coastal roads, each journey promises unforgettable experiences and breathtaking views. So, pack your bags, fuel up your vehicle, and set off on an adventure to explore the natural wonders of India.

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