India's journey towards independence has been a hard fought one! It took our country over 200 years of struggle to break free of the shackles of the British Raj. In the 73 years since India became independent, we have had various instances of the country making us proud. The 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests, the hard-fought victory in the 1999 Kargil war, the flight of Mangalyaan and even the two Cricket world cup victories are some examples when we have felt proud of being an Indian. On occasion of the 73rd Independence Day, we list out top five driving holidays which will not only be a treat for the senses but also give you the proud patriotic feels.
Attari/Wagah Border, Amritsar
The Attari/Wagah Border is one of India's most famous tourist destinations and the same could be said for Pakistan as well. Fun fact! The same border, on Pakistan's side is called Wagah and on India's side it is called Attari. Plus, the drive to Amritsar through Punjab is pretty fulfilling in itself. The Wagah checkpoint on the India-Pakistan border plays host to an elaborate 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony and the nightly flag-lowering ceremony with smartly dressed soldiers, which is a sight to behold in itself. Apart from the trip to the border, you could always visit the beautiful Golden Temple and tickle your taste buds at one of the many famous food joints that the city has to offer.
Looking to visit the Thar Desert for a holiday? Well, the Thar has been testimony to India's military might on multiple occasions. Take a trip to Longewala, which was perhaps the most famous battle of the 1971 India-Pakistan war. The famous movie 'Border' is based on the Battle of Longewala as well. Not only will you visiting a place which hosted one of the most famous battles in India's post-independence history but also see the beauty of the Thar Desert as well. If you are interested, the small town of Pohkaran is just 230 km away from Longewala, where India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998.
Kargil War Memorial, Dras
Located on National highway 1D, barely 5 kilometres from Dras, is the Kargil War Memorial. Nestled between scenic mountains, the Kargil War Memorial was built in the memory of all Indian soldiers and officers, who sacrificed their lives in the Kargil War. One can reach the Kargil War memorial, driving either from Srinagar or from Leh. Whichever route you choose, you will be seeing the Himalayas in all its might and glory! The snow-capped peaks in the region were where the Indian Army won showed its might and won the bloodiest of battles, keeping the national highway 1D and India's pride intact. Take a tour of the war memorial, peek into its museum filled with memorabilia from the war. Listening to the commandant reciting the rigours of the war will literally give you goosebumps.
Jaswantgarh War Memorial, Tawang
The quaint hamlet of Tawang is at one end of Arunachal Pradesh, right at the border of India and China. It was one of the battlegrounds for the 1962 Indo-China war. On the way to Tawang, just as you cross the beautiful Sela Pass, is the Jaswant Garh War Memorial. The memorial is built in the honour of Jaswant Singh Rawat, a soldier who single-handedly held his post for 72 hours, fighting the Chinese troops all alone. The road that leads to the war memorial is quite beautiful too with mountains on one side and steep cliffs on the other. This road has the best that Arunachal has to offer and is one of the best driving holidays you can take if you are in for some serious adventure.
Red Fort, Delhi
The last destination on our list is the Red Fort! Built in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, the Red Fort has always been a symbol of the Indian Independence ever since Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India stood on the ramparts of the Red Fort and delivered his speech. Since then, it has been a tradition for Indian Prime Ministers to address the nation from the Red Fort on every Independence Day. Plus, during festival times, old Delhi or as it is popularly known as, Delhi-6, is a place full of life, charm and some great restaurants serving some lip-smacking non-vegetarian food. And there are enough 'touristy' places and things to do in Delhi itself. If you are not a resident of Delhi, then we encourage you to drive to Delhi and see what the capital of the country has to offer. It will leave you wanting for more!