What’s the matter, bro ? Delhi to Paris thru road, huh !! Seems impossible but is not.
First, let us see what is the route, the easiest means of getting there and the cost.
Flights are boring, we’ll skip. But just imagine 9 h 20 min for an airplane. What about a car drive?
Let’s start. Scroll 🙂
Let us see the real route.
So, why not the Kashmir way, through the gulf countries?
- We have too-good relations with Pakistan. (The Afghanistan pass is terrible)
- The conditions in Iraq and Syria are warm-welcoming.
Now, See the essentials. You will need:
- Passport with visas of every country we pass through.
- Some countries even don’t allow Indian registered number plates on your car. So be ready to tuck in new number plates.
- A car.
Now, we are ready, get set go.
Course 1: To Myanmar, leaving India.
Catch up the Yamuna Expressway until you need a halt at Varanasi. Next 800 km to Siliguri. Never you take the Bihar way. Unruly drivers and filthy roads will get off your spirit. Take a turn to Katihar from Siliguri and you enter the North-East. The road into Assam is however really frustrating but somehow the panoramic views will compensate.
Assam roads are challenging.
Then take to Guwahati, the roads are as fine as a comforting hug. Take a halt. Drive to Dimapur then through the rough pockets of Nagaland. Dimapur to Imphal might be the shortest leg of your journey. The road will be the worst you’ve seen yet; an unending barrage of hellish craters, blinding dust and idiotic oncoming traffic with permanent high beams for good measure. But a sigh of relief – last stop in India.
The India-Myanmar border is nothing more than a single-lane dusty bridge.
You now enter Myanmar. Finish the paperwork with the officials. Take to Gangaw. The road is dark and treacherous. It’s narrow, mucky, full with all manners of potholes, still adventurous. Keep yourself ready for witnessing the magnificent stupas and horrible rainfall. Catch the road to Pyin-O-Lwin and then drive to your last stop in Myanmar – Lashio.
You get to see those stupas every while.
It’s a long drive from Lashio to the Chinese Border but the frustration is over when you see the grandeur of the border gates.
The Myanmar-China border.
Course 2: Journey through China
The China you will see is not like Beijing or Shanghai, but the intensity of China’s infrastructure is really impressive.
The road in Ruilli.
Beautiful roads and panoramic landscapes welcomes you everywhere. But China is vast. Your first stop as a big city is Xichang.
The bridge to Chengdu.
Drive to Chengdu. At over 7000 m tall, Gongga is one of the tallest mountains in China underneath which a 10 km long tunnel passes. After you cross a massive bridge, you’ll reach the largest city in China, that you’ll be visiting. Enjoy yourself at the city center, for you’ll now drive to harsh circumstances.
As you roll out of Chengdu, foggy mountains welcome and you see a lots and lots of yaks.
Things will now turn decidedly rural, the temperature drops to -3 deg. You’re in Tibet. Don’t run your car more than 470 km in the day and try to avoid sudden stops in the course. Take a halt in Xiahe. Getting further, you’re going to drive on the toughest road in China. Take care you prevent yourself from frostbite.
The road leads you to a massive 2912 m below, near to the sea level, to visit the city of Jiayuguan. Enjoy a trip to the Great Wall before you again start over. Finally, when you get over onto the road, you enter Kashgar, your last stop in China.
Course 3: The Kazakhstan Style + The Russian Grandeur
You enter Kyrgyzstan from China and believe me, there’s nothing except problems here. (Except the fact, petrol is 19 Rs/liter) Chilly winds freeze your brain and you just drive and drive onto mountainous roads.
Head to Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. You will see something beautiful here. A magnificent old parliament building and the victory monument. Get a service here. It’s holy cheap.
Kyrgyzstan isn’t a big country. The same road will take you to Kazakhstan. You will now witness the extreme cold. The expressways through the Kazakh steppes are moderately good.
The grasslands of Kazakhstan.
Travel to Aralsk, to take its famous soup and continue to get to the Russian border. Formalities will take long and winter would not help.
As soon as you enter Russia, you see huge carriage trucks racing down the awesome roads. Head towards Spaask and then to Moscow, the capital.
The Kremlin, Moscow.
Take a big halt and enjoy places in this beautiful city.
Course 4: The Home Run
This is the final leg of the journey.
Join the highway that connects Moscow to St. Petersburg. It’s a heck of traffic jam here. Each side of the highway seems to be a skating rink and you just enjoy driving on those roads.
River Volga, largest river of Russia.
While heading towards St. Petersburg, you get to see a lots of historical towns. Finally, when you reach St. Petersburg, you have completed 3/4th of the journey.
Warm welcome by St. Peters.
Head towards the border ASAP. You will soon reach to the Estonia border. This country is full of picturesque old towns and memorials.
The highways are absent, you will go through the country-roads and will soon cross-over from Latvia to Lithuania. Drive down the Konkan coast and enter Poland’s beautiful landscape. Snow-covered hills will give you a perfect backdrop for few awesome photos just as you enter Germany.
Now you need to register for a new number plates here. As soon as you finish your formalities, driving down the Dutch highways, you will soon be welcomed by the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
The Historic Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.
Back on the way to Cologne, you will hit to a glorious Auto-bahn. Max out your car’s speed. 420 miles/hour is the limit. Finally the autobahn leads you to France and the Arc de Triomphe welcomes you warmly. A 3-hour drive leads you to a beautiful place. Guesses ?
The Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Yeah, you’ve reached. 49 days. 13 countries. 765 hours of driving. 6594 km. A beautiful destination.
So, yeah it is possible to reach Paris from Delhi via road.
Another option might be India – (Nathu La, if it is now opened as promised. Else via Myanmar) – China – (Zharkent) – Kazakhstan – (Troitsk) – Russia – (Orsa) – Belarus – (Sokolka) – Poland – (Cottbus) – Germany – (Strasbourg) – France.
Phew! Would be quite a journey!
By the way, return airfare to Paris from Delhi is around 36,000 INR. Might work out cheaper. 🙂