Ready for some serious travel inspo and lots of entertainment? Get your binge-watching queue ready by adding these Bollywood road trip movies that will, just like a dreamy drive, take you through different moods, many twists, and diverse landscapes of India. After all, a road trip across India is just the kind of pick-me-up we need right now! By Sushmita Srivastav
Best Bollywood movies that will inspire you to go on a Road trip in India –
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Three friends. Goa. And a roller-coaster ride of altering relationships and human emotions. Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut gave a common dream to almost every group of college friends in India—to set off on a road trip to Goa. While many in Indian cinema followed suit and created onscreen hits on the similar concept of stirring travel and friendships together, Dil Chahta Hai has been giving travel inspiration and friendship goals to generations for over 19 years now. Perhaps that’s the reason why a list such as this one deserves an opening like this blockbuster.
When a father-daughter duo hits the road to travel from Delhi to Kolkata along with a seemingly annoyed taxi company owner-turned-driver, their journey strikes as dysfunctional as their on-road family. Their prolonged road trip takes you through different states, crossing highways, stopping over in the sacred city of Varanasi, and finally, ending in the narrow lanes and by the ghats of the City of Joy. While the first half of the movie leaves you in splits, the story unfolds at its own pace, defining the beautiful bond of parents and their children. Not to forget, the strong cast starring legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and late Irrfan Khan, gives another reason to watch it.
Ever heard of a life-changing journey of three strangers brought together only by death? Well, that’s how unique the story-line of Karwaan is, and that’s what sets it apart from the crowd. With relatable but peculiar characters, played by late Irrfan Khan (a conventional man with a dark sense of humour and a blue minivan that the trio travels in), Dulquer Salmaan (an IT guy with grudges against his dead father and a crushed dream), and Mithila Palkar (a rather bratty, liberal college student) in lead and an epic road trip through South India covering Ooty, Kochi, Kerala and Bengaluru, the movie has pretty deep undertones. Nevertheless, Karwaan leaves you wondering about life, death, and the journeys that we take in between.
Finding Fanny (2014)
There’s a side of Goa that party-goers and club-hoppers often stay clear off. But if you belong to the smaller population who love the idea of exploring many bucolic and underrated gems of a destination, you’d love Finding Fanny. For it takes you, along with an unseemly bunch of five (a fuzzy romantic old man, a bitter middle-aged matron, her graceful daughter-in-law who’s also a young widow, a painter who lusts the matron, and a grumpy young man who deeply loves the daughter-in-law) on a journey through the interiors of Goan lands. While the story is a harmless comedy, wait till you see untouched locations like the Three King’s Church, Lisbon House in Assagao, Divar Island, St Jacinto Bridge, and Siolim bridge!
While many assumed that the movie was based on Stockholm Syndrome, Highway proves, in many ways, that it is more about breaking free from the world’s notion of ‘normal’. It all starts when in a grim and confusing situation, a bride-to-be is kidnapped by a local goon but as the story evolves, she finds freedom in that captivity. But this Bollywood blockbuster is so much more than just that! Directed by Imtiaz Ali, and backed by powerful performances of Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, along with equally captivating music by A R Rahman, Highway is straight out of a road tripper’s dream. Think wide country roads of Haryana and Punjab, patchy desertlands of Rajasthan, the remote Sangla Valley of Himachal, and breathtaking Aru Valley and Chandanwari in Kashmir. When you think about planning that road trip across India, this journey will top your bucket list.
Chalo Dilli (2011)
Here, the two travel companions are absolutely poles apart—they come from different financial backgrounds, have contrasting personalities, and simply can’t see the world through the same eye. If there’s one thing that ties their fates together, it’s their common goal of reaching Delhi. As expected, their paths cross and they embark together on a journey that brings them warmth from strangers, interesting adventures, crazy experiences on road, and a trip through urban metro of Mumbai and rural parts of Rajasthan to finally, Delhi. And it goes without saying, the interesting unromantic chemistry between Lara Dutta and Vinod Pathak leaves you in a pool of laughs.
Jab We Met (2007)
Who doesn’t remember the fuzzy romance between happy-go-lucky Geet and heartbroken Aditya? Jab We Met left many fascinating about eloping with a dreamy stranger and ending up falling hopelessly in love. But other than that, it showed how ‘Ratlam ki galiyaan‘ and ‘ganne ke khet in Bhatinda’ can be potential road trip destinations. The movie is shot at intriguing locations around places like Ratlam, Mandawa, Jhunjhunu, Shimla, Manali, Rohtang Pass, and Bhatinda, offering a bucket list of its own.
Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)
Just like the rest of the world, we too can’t get enough of Irrfan Khan. Well, this too is a romantic comedy of two completely opposite strangers on a road trip together. But here’s the catch. The two meet up through a dating app, and while they can’t seem to agree upon a single thing, they still decide to go a road trip from Bikaner to Gangtok together to get away from their personal issues. Their romantic journey might be unusual, but their road trip journey is nothing short of a traveller’s guide through Bikaner, Alwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, and at the end, the ever-so-alluring Gangtok.
If you have been on a road trip across India, do share your images with us on social media and use the hashtag #TnlRoadTrips.