Road Map of India
Tips On Planning Your Route
Go straight to the road map of India...
Indian drivers are reckless to say the least. The unwritten rule of the road in India is 'the bigger your vehicle, the more right of way you have'. Here we will give you some tips on surviving the roads of India.
Natioanl Highways (NH) - are used by all the main bus and truck routes. Due to the weight and high volume of traffic these road often have pot holes. They are mostly single lane roads with loose gravel on sides.
State Highways (SH) - these roads run parallel to the National Highways. Sometime they can be a longer route, other times shorter depending on where you are and where you going. Mostly these roads are much queiter.
Roads will generally be labeled NH and SH on a road map of India.
Surviving The Roads Of India
On your journey you will come into close contact with cows, dogs, pedestrians, tuk tuks, cars, other bikes and buses - even the odd snake may cross your path. Always be vigilant and keep your eyes on the road.
Plan your journey ahead, day by day. Knowing where you are going town by town will help when asking directions from locals.
Have a good map. You can buy a roap map of India abroad and in India, though no two maps will ever be the same. Even the Google road map of India below has little detail when zooming in. I would recommend getting local maps from the tourist office upon arrival and comparing two or three to get a fixed route.
Ask locals, they are just as frustrated with the trucks and buses, and will often know of easier routes with better roads and less traffic. It is also a good idea to check with locals if any roads are closed. In Munnar we planned our trip only to find out that the road was closed for the goat mating season!
Often State Highways run parallel to Natioanal Highways. These roads are usally in better condition and much more scenic.
If you find the cities that the National Highways go through stressful, try to avoid them. Most cities have by-pass roads - while planning your trip look into using State Highways and again, ask locals.
Be realistic about the distances you can cover. You will have done well if you do 250km a day. You can avoid a lot of the traffic by leaving early in the morning. We often left at around 6 or 7 a.m. if we were having a long day riding.
Avoid travelling after dark, as some drivers have no lights and are more reckless when the roads are quieter. Trucks may also park at the roadside with no lights. Visibility is very poor as there are few street lights, making it difficult to avoid potholes, dogs, cows and other potential hazards.
The good news is that India is investing massively in its road network. We just completed a 6 week trip (2010) and nearly everyday on the road, works were underway.
We travelled by motorbike in India, but many visitors hire cars, scooters or trucks.
Click here to read more about our trip, and the potentials of motorbike travel in India!
Zoom in on the road map of India for road numbers and other details.
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View the itinerary of our recent journey on a Royal Enfield. We have included details on road conditions, and links to destination guides.
More India tourist information for travellers to India.
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