Friendship Day to-do list: plan a trip to these seven lesser-known places

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One of the coolest things people, especially friends, love to do is plan trips. Traveling together is a fun activity that strengthens the bond between friends and allows them to understand each other’s likes, dislikes and choices in a more intimate way. On this Friendship Day, it is therefore only relevant that they plan road trips, if they are fully vaccinated and can do so with caution.

Booking.com, a digital travel agency, has curated a list of road trips to lesser-known destinations that are perfect for you and your gang. Grab your masks, create your favorite playlist, and hit the road for a fun and memorable road trip with your friends. Read on.

1. From Bombay to Tiracol

Take a less explored route with your friends as you travel from Mumbai to Tiracol, a quaint little village near the Terekhol River, taking advantage of the scenic coastal road that crosses the Mahasagari Marg (Maharashtra State Coast Highway). En route you will see some beautiful destinations like Alibaug, Ratnagiri, Tarkali, offering stunning sea views. It is a long drive, but along the way you will find dhabas serving authentic Maharashtrian cuisine. Enjoy the road with a carpool karaoke to celebrate your friendship.

2. Delhi to Badkhal

For Delhiites looking for a getaway, Badkhal, a village near Faridabad is perfect. It is located 57.7 km from Delhi and is a perfect destination for a road trip with friends. The quickest route goes through Mahatma Gandhi Marg, although travelers may have to consider local state Covid restrictions to ensure hassle-free travel. While the scenery on the road is rather urban, once you get to Badkhal you can prepare yourself for the wilderness. Badkhal has a lake which is a quiet place to camp. Light a bonfire and spend some quality time with your gang here, even indulging in adventure sports like boating, kayaking, and hiking.

3. Calcutta to Mandarmani

Mandarmani is a seaside village. If you and your friends are looking for a relaxing getaway, Mandarmani is one of the most popular destinations. Departing from Calcutta, the 180 km route will take you through the magnificent landscapes of rural Bengal. There are quite a few good accommodation options in Mandarmani. And if you and your friends are in the mood for adventure, take a jet ski, banana boat, and parachute ride along the beach.

4. Chennai to Yelagiri

Yelagiri is a small hill station in Tamil Nadu where travelers can get to by two routes, either via Kanchipuram or via Vellore. Both routes are known for their natural trails with lush vegetation, waterfalls and rolling hills. The route tests your driving skills, with a number of hairpin turns along the way, so consider carpooling instead, for safety’s sake. Once in Yelagiri, enjoy the natural beauty of the landscapes in the company of your friends or spend time among the hills and the most beautiful man-made lake, Lake Punganoor.

5. Bangalore to Mandaragiri Betta

Mandara Giri Hills or Mandaragiri Betta is 60 km from Bangalore. It is a small mound in the Tumkur district of Karnataka with well-maintained roads. Once you reach Mandaragiri Betta, you can indulge in authentic Kannada style cuisine and also visit one of the most eye-catching structures called the Digambar Jain Heritage Center. This room looks like a peacock feather with a simple idol of the saint in the middle. The aesthetic beauty of the room also makes for Instagram worthy photos.

6. Ahmedabad to Tanot

If you are looking for an adventurous road trip with your friends, go for the uncluttered route from Ahmedabad to Tanot, nestled in the picturesque village of Jaisalmer. A 657 km drive in the Thar Desert, this route is 12 hours from Ahmedabad. Along the way you will pass through beautiful towns and villages of Tharad, Barmer, Jaisalmer and Ramgarh where you can experience the local culture. And once you reach the destination, savor the local cuisine and the delicious dairy options that Tanot has to offer. The Tanot Mata Mandir is a must-see destination located near the Longewala border post in Rajasthan, site of the battle of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.

7. Darjeeling to Pelling

Nothing brings out the blossoming beauty of Darjeeling better than a road trip to Pelling. 74 km from Darjeeling, you cross small villages to see monasteries and abundant waterfalls. If you and your friends need a break, there are little teahouses along the way that serve hot and delicious tea. Pelling, a beautiful hill station at the foot of Mount Khangchendzonga, has plenty of places for your team to explore in one day. Lake Khecheopalri is locally considered to be where wishes come true. You can also go for a picnic at Sewaro Rock Garden or just take a stroll on the Pelling Skywalk.

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