#TravelLocal: Road Trips to Explore Places Around Your City While Staying Safe

Coping with the prolonged lockdown situation has been not easy, especially for avid travelers. Many resorted to reliving their travel experiences through their phone gallery, while others tried keeping the explorer in them satiated by signing up for virtual tours. And while these may have helped stem that wanderlust, for the time being, they cannot be compared to the real deal. Fortunately, the roads are opening, albeit with certain restrictions, so you can start planning to (safely) explore the world again!

The best way to start travelling without putting yourself at risk is by heading to a destination that is close to your city and driving there in your own car. Here are a few day-trip destinations around your city you can start with.

BANGALORE:

Bheemeshwari

A three-hour drive (approximately 100 km) from the city will take you to Bheemeshwari, a small town located on the banks of the River Kaveri, between Shivanasamudra Falls and Mekeduta Falls. Take a short trek to give your limb a workout, engage in some birdwatching or enjoy some time walking along the river. If you’re skilled and have the necessary equipment, you can attempt fishing for the popular game fish – Mahseer – here.

Savandurga Hills

Like most people, it has probably been quite a while since you did something adventurous. Well, a 60 km drive from Bangalore city (about two hours) via Mysore Road will take you to Savandurga Hills, one of the largest monolith hills in Asia. If you want a little physical exertion or an adrenaline-pumping activity, trek to the two peaks, Karigudda and Billigudda where you can enjoy views of a lush green landscape. Conquering the terrain won’t be a problem in your Ford Endeavour thanks to its Terrain Management System. It also features Hill Launch Assist and Hill Descent Control which makes driving up or downhill easy and safe.

Shivanasamudra Falls

A three-hour drive or about 135 km from Bangalore is another gorgeous place to head to – Shivanasamudra Falls, which are located in Chamarajanagar District. Here you can appreciate nature’s enthralling beauty and the grandeur of River Kaveri as it cascades from a magnificent height. Blessed with a plethora of flora and fauna, this place is a haven for nature lovers. Carry your trekking shoes, a few bottles of drinking water, a camera and of course, sanitiser and explore the surroundings.

CHENNAI:

Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls

Located in Andhra Pradesh, Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls is a two-and-a-half-hour drive (about 95 km) from Chennai city. Popularly known as Tada Falls, it makes for a perfect and refreshing day trip on a lazy weekend. If you fancy it, take a dip in the cascading waterfall or exercise those muscles with a short trek through Kaambaka Forest. Even if you don’t want to take a dip, the drive to this picturesque fall in your Ford Figo will be a rejuvenating experience in itself.

Pulicat Lake

A short, one-hour drive northwards of Chennai will take you to this birdwatcher’s haven. Take an architectural tour through the historic lanes of this scenic town as you pass by structures from the era of the Dutch Coromandel. Photography enthusiasts will have tons of images to snap. Open your Ford EcoSport’s sunroof and enjoy the fresh air. This is also a great way to capture some stunning shots of storks and kingfishers. You might even get a glimpse of a rare pink landscape as dozens of Flamingos flock to the lake. But remember not to peep out of the sunroof when your car is moving.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

They say the sound of chirping birds has a calming effect on the mind. After spending months indoors, that is probably what you need. So, head over to the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, located 85 km from Chennai. From openbill storks and grey herons to pelicans and darters, there’s a wide variety of birds to behold. The best part about this trip is that you can make it a solo one – when you’re out in the wildlife with your binoculars and curiosity, you really won’t miss conversational chatter!

MUMBAI:

Kashid

Tired of staring at screens and want a little fun in the sun? Drive down to the quaint and pristine paradise that is Kashid Beach, which is located about 125 km from Mumbai. Take along a football or volleyball to make the most of your beach visit. Or you could also check out some other attractions here, like the Korlai Fort, Phansad Bird Sanctuary, Revdanda Beach and Fort.

Kamshet

If months of sitting at home with only your laptop or smartphone for entertainment has made you laidback and lethargic, it’s time to get out and get active again. Take a trip to Kamshet, a village in the Pune district that is about 100 km from Mumbai. While it is popular for its paragliding offerings, owing to its magnificent hills, this activity will probably be unavailable at the moment. However, you can still pack a bag with some snacks, water and juices and explore other geographical gems in the area, such as the Pawna Lake and Bedsa Caves that date back to 60 BC.

Kolad

Kolad, a sleepy hamlet in Raigad, is located about 122 km from Mumbai. It’s waterfalls, rocky mountains, landscape covered with green carpet and rugged topographic, make it a haven for trekkers. Although it offers activities like zip line crossing, kayaking, canoeing and rappelling under normal circumstances, they may not be available right now. However, you can check out River Kundalika – a main attraction or head to Ghosala Fort, Kuda Caves and Sutarwadi Lake.

Tackling the winding roads along the foothills of the Sahyadris will be a breeze in your Ford Freestyle. Its Active Rollover Prevention will ensure safety on the narrow curves and corners, while convenience features like Automatic Climate Control, Rain Sensing Wipers and Automatic headlamps will make the drive more enjoyable.

DELHI:

Kuchesar

Do you feel like you need a refreshing experience after all the months of dealing with endless home chores? Head over to Kuchesar, about 100 km from Delhi, and visit in the Kuchesar Fort, an 8th-century masterpiece and part heritage hotel. Cherish the outdoors with a picnic on the banks of Brijghat. Carry a few board games, blankets, food and other picnic essentials in your spacious Ford EcoSport and enjoy a fun day out.

Dhauj

If nature is what you have missed most while quarantening at home, the good news is that you do not have to travel very far to get a little green-time. Drive to Dhauj, which is about 56 km from Delhi and spend the day by a scenic lake nestled in the lush Aravalli hills. The Automatic Climate Control in your Ford Aspire will make the two-hour-long drive comfy and relaxing. But remember to take along the essentials to make your day trip fun and safe. This includes snacks and water from home, sanitiser, masks and anything else that you may want or need.

Nuh

Worried your Instagram isn’t as vibrant as it used to be since the start of the lockdown? You can fix that with a trip to Nuh, which is located approximately 85 km from Delhi. With its ancient ruins in the village of Kolta; Temple of Hathor with Greek and Egyptian papyri, and its Chuhimal pond with red stone floral carvings, a trip here will not only up the quality of your Insta pics, but it will give you something other than a new TV series to go ga-ga over!

While you’re probably excited to start packing for your next adventure, it is important to acknowledge that we are still battling the pandemic. So, take every necessary precaution to stay safe. One way to reduce any risk is by heading out early in the morning and coming back by late evening. Also, drive your own car and only with those you trust; carry food, water, a mask and sanitiser wherever you go. Follow these precautions, and you can continue to fuel the adventurous spirit in you, as you #DiscoverMore around your city!

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.