Going back to the last semester of my college, I recollect this day when I boarded the plane from Bangalore for New Delhi with truckloads of hesitation. I was en route for my first road trip which would start from Delhi. Just the thought of sitting in a car for a considerable length of time together was something that made my stomach weary. This excursion altered a ton of discernments that I clinched to. 

I reached New Delhi and with a couple of adventure loving companions set out in a rented Zoom Car on the NH 1. The first destination we were to touch was Amritsar, the heart and soul of Punjab. Our first stop in transit was at Sukhdev Dhaba, Murthal that served bona fide Punjabi food with lots of Desi Ghee. It was only the start of the road trip and I was certain that I would be numerous kilograms heavier when this trip would end. Going through the fields of Punjab and Haryana, the urban and much modernized areas of Ludhiana, Ambala and Jalandhar and hoarding the whole distance, we reached Amritsar in the evening. 

The heavenly Golden Temple revealed diverse shades in sunlight and during the evening with the visuals that merit melting each and every heart. The high energy of the soldiers from BSF at Wagah Border filled our heart with a feeling of undying patriotism. I must admit, the people of Punjab were unfathomably sweet and supportive though they looked a little stern at the first glance. 

It was time to leave Punjab. We realized we were in Himachal Pradesh when our car moved from the much venerated Punjab’s “Sarson ke Khet” to the snow clad mountains in Himachal. Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and Dalhousie, the much adored hill stations in Himachal Pradesh were pleasant. The steeper the roads got, the more wonderful the destination was. The rich Parathans and Lassi here were supplanted by traditional Himachali Cuisine which had a lot of Tibetan impact. 

Daylight falling on the Dhauladhar Ranges was an incredible sight to behold. The paragliding experience at Khajjiar prompted a great deal of adrenaline surge. Nature without a doubt requires no Instagram filtering. We jettisoned the car while heading out back to Delhi and filled our kitty with a train ride, another amazing experience altogether. 

This trip allowed us to encounter the local streets, Dhaba food and also helped us to know the local people. Travel teaches you a ton. It is more of an open course book which has a tendency to leave you awestruck. What they state is totally valid – the adventure you have on the journey is lovelier than the destination. It is the journey indeed that matters.