Gear Up for Kanyakumari to Kashmir Road Trip

Have you ever thought how exciting it can be to explore India's dramatic terrain on your bike? Yes, the thought of it might just raise your hair stand on end, but since the beauty of travel lies more in your journey rather than just the destination, the idea just cannot go unnoticed. Traversing the Indian villages, cities, landscapes can be a terrific idea to raise that thrill in you. Get acquainted with some of the best roads and try to cover India's vast length on your bike. Defy the tradition of the security and put on the bike gear to make a journey from sparkling oceanic waves of Kanyakumari to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir with this Kanyakumari to Kashmir road trip.

1. Kanyakumari to Trivandrum

Image Source: Arul Jegadish/Flickr

Start your journey from the small town of Kanyakumari which is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The town is located on the farthest end of India from where you can start the upward journey for Trivandrum. The journey shall be replete with views of coconut groves and oceanic waters. Some of the best picturesque locations in India happen to be here!

Route: NH47

Distance: 90 Km

Where to Stay: Mascot Hotel, Hyacinth by Sparsa, Ideal Ayurvedic Resort

2. Trivandrum to Kochi

Image Source: Tim Moffatt/Flickr

Take a halt at Kochi, the vibrant city that is situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet "Queen of the Arabian Sea". The journey from Trivandrum to Kochi can offer you mesmerizing natural charms with all the colonial buildings making their presence felt in between.

Route: NH47

Distance: 200 km

Where to Stay: Hotel Pearl Palace, The International Hotel, Highway Garden Hotel

3. Kochi to Kannur

Image Source: Sandeep Gangadharan/Flickr

Surrounded by the Western Ghats in the east and the Lakshadweep Sea in the west, Kannur displays its remarkable history in the ancient forts, old shrines and august cultural and educational institutions that embellish its scenic landscape. The journey can introduce you to the best of South India and its natural beauty.

Route: NH17

Distance: 270 Km

Where to Stay: Costa Malabari, Kairali Heritage, Blue Mermaid Homestay

4. Kannur to Goa

 Image Source: Vir Nakai/Flickr

With Goa, you enter the Western India leaving the shores of South Indian sea behind. Stay some at time at this Indian International destination that has claimed its fame with its beaches and Goan culture. Here, the roads might not be very friendly but then the views would be awesome!

Route: NH17

Distance: 600 km

Where to Stay: Coco Goa, Leela Kempinski, Resort De Coracao

5. Goa to Pune

Image Source: Ashwin Kumar/Flickr

Pune to Goa route is suffused with lush green Konkan vegetation. Your journey shall be comfortable and scenic. However, at times, there can be rainfalls to interrupt your bike journey. But the meandering roads bordered with dense trees shall compensate for it. In between the Satara highway is the best to travel. Although he journey will be long yet it will land you to the cultural and cosmopolitan city of Maharastra, Pune.

Route: NH4 and 17

Distance: 500 km

Where to stay: Sun and Sand Pune, The Corinthian Resorts and club, Hyatt

6. Pune to Nasik

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The road conditions are quite decent from Pune to Nashik. If you don't mind a few extra kilometers, the Pune-Kalyan-Nasik route is your best bet. Even though the route is longer, you reach nashik within 4.5 hours as compared to the usual 5-6 hours by the regular Pune-Narayangaon-Sagamner-Sinnar-Nashik route.

Route: NH50

Distance: 210 km

Where to stay: Express Inn, Rama Heritage, Ginger Hotel

7. Nasik to Vadodara

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hop over from Maharastra to Gujarat, the land of varied hues. Today, this state boasts of best routes and road conditions thanks to recent revamping. Whats more? The routes are safe and can put any European road views to shame. You will have to go via Saputara, Kharel Chowkdi, Navsari, Surat and ultimately reaching Vadodara. Check out the best places to visit in Gujarat!!

Route: NH 8

Distance: 365 km

Where to Stay: Rajvant Palace Resort, Royal Orchid Central, Surya Hotel

8. Vadodara to Udaipur

Image Source: Francisco Anzola/Flickr

With Udaipur you enter the terrain of Rajasthan that has always enticed people with its majestic palaces, golden sand dunes and red hue of the spices. The journey might be long so prepare thoroughly with your apps and bike gear. After all you are crossing two of the largest states in India.

Route: NH8

Distance: 370 km

Where to Stay: Trident Udaipur, The Aravali Tent Resort, Gold Leaf Hotel

9. Udaipur to Jaipur

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Explore further the land of Rajasthan where every palace, every structure preserves a story or an empire. In between the route, there are many dhabas that shall introduce to the local flavours and forms of food. And then stop at Jaipur to wonder at the pink hue that envelops the city and its architecture.

Route: NH 8, 79 & 76 

Distance: 380 kms

Where to Stay: Savi Regency Hotel, Chokhi Dhani Jaipur, Hotel Mansagar

10. Jaipur to Delhi

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jaipur- Agra - Delhi route is considered to be the golden triangle that introduces you to Indias most important historic cities. Reflecting the many colors and flavors of India's eclectic composition, contemporary Delhi is one place where you will be inspired, amazed, fascinated and impressed at every corner. There are many historic structures that you can visit while you make a stopover in the medieval city- The India Gate, Red Fort, Jam Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Kutub Minar, Jantar-Mantar, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Akshardham Temple and Bahai Temple. Agra, on the other hand will introduce you to what India is famous for- the Taj Mahal.

Route: NH8

Distance: 270 km

Where to Stay: Le Meridian New Delhi, The Oberoi, ITC Maurya Hotel

11. Delhi to Jalandhar

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Get introduced to the best of North Indian cuisine at Delhi - Jalandhar route. The roads might be bumpy but then there will be lipsmacking food to compensate for it. This route boasts of some of the best highway dhabas you can find in India.

Route: NH1

Distance: 400km

Where to Stay: Grand Lilly Resorts, Ramada Jalandhar, Leo Fort Hotel

12. Jalandhar to Udhampur

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons 

Enter the district of Udhampur that acts as a gateway to most of the mountainous Himalayan region in India. Its one of those places from where you can also go to the famous shrine of Vaishno Devi. Katra is situated at a distance of about 35 km from Udhampur and serves as the base camp to reach the sacred sanctum of the Vaishno Devi.

Route: NH 1A, 15 

Distance: 275 km

Where to Stay: Hotel Devika, Pine Villa Guest House, Samrat Hotel 

13. Udhampur to Srinagar

Image Source: McKay Savage/Flickr

This is one journey that can prove to be unforgettable for you. The beautiful narrow roads shall take you to the region of Kashmir, the ultimate paradise in India. Endowed with nature that does not need any phrases to immortalize it, Srinagar will welcome you with all its pristine charm.

Route: NH1A

Distance: 250 km

Where to Stay: Jamal Resorts, Hotel Kashmir Royale Resorts, Moonvalley Houseboat

14. Srinagar to Kargil

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Usually the Srinagar - Leh circuit is covered in the span of two days with a night stop at Kargil, however you can make it a three day journey with another night stop at either Alchi or Lamayuru. A few kms beyond Drass is the Drass war memorial, built in the memory of fallen soldiers in the 1999 Kargil war and a must visit for every traveler passing through this route. From here it is a straight run to Kargil and you will be there in less than an hours time. Kargil is the intended pit stop for the majority of travelers and thus has quite a few accommodation options.

Route: NH1D

Distance: 220km

Where to Stay: Hotel Siachen, Hotel Jan Palace, The Kargil Continental

15. Kargil to Leh

Image Source: Saad Faruque/Flickr 

From Kargil, you shall have to take a road to Lamayuru and then to Hangro Loops, the 18 loops are fast yet sharp loops with steep gorges. You will have to drive carefully here. Next major attraction comes in the form of Gurudwara Patthar Sahib located in the town of Nimmu (55kms from Leh), beyond which its fast and straight forward drive/ride to Leh.

Route: Srinagar-Leh Highway

Distance: 270 km

Where to Stay: Ule Ethnic Resort, The Grand Dragon, Ladakh Sarai Resort

Well you won't believe that in this journey you would have covered atleast 6000 km! However, do keep in mind that there are certain bike gear essentials that you need to equip yourself with in this journey- Medicines, winter clothing, gloves, socks, rain capes, polythene sheets/bags, shoes, tool kit, petrol cans, engine oil, maps, torch, lighter, candles, scissor, knife, air pump, goggles, camera with extra memory cards, tissue paper, dry eatables and water.

"Miles to go before I sleep"- Do you want to take up this lifetime journey: Let us know!

You May Also Like To Read:

Short Road Trips in India

Countries Where You Can Drive With Your Indian Licence

Countries with visa on arrival for Indians

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NEHA KAPOOR NEHA KAPOOR

A lover of literature, Neha wants to understand world through the prism of books. Nuances of words, spoken or written, entice her to delve into the human psyche. A voracious reader of Partition and feminist literature, she desires to deconstruct and unlearn the congealed forms of knowledge system.

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