India is infamous for its shabby roads, but at the same time there are many fantastic driving roads spread through the length and width of our beautiful country. OVERDRIVE has been fortunate enough to experience quite a few of these roads, and we want to share the joy with a weekly feature of a fantastic road that you should aspire to experience someday.
This week, we nominate one of the loveliest roads we’ve been on in Odisha. For the 2016 Audi A4’s first drive event, we were invited to drive from Bhubaneswar to the Konark Sun Temple, via Puri. The route measures roughly 100km, and as soon as you step out of the capital city, you end up on a dual carriageway with beautiful green fields stretching out on both sides.
The 67km stretch to Puri has very little traffic, and there are hardly any buildings or shops between villages. However, what you should look out for on the road are cattle, careless villagers and bikes, cars and sometimes trucks driving on the wrong side of the road.
Once you hit the Puri bypass, you enter a smooth single carriageway which takes you through the remaining 40km through the Balukhand-Konark Reserve Forest. Again, these roads are almost flawless and pretty much empty except for the occasional cattle or villagers recklessly crossing the road. The stretch doesn’t have any sharp curves, and the forest, although beautiful, has a rather eerie feel during the monsoon.
Once out of the forest, you’ll end up on a road which runs adjacent to a lovely isolated beach for roughly 3km before you turn back into the forest and head towards the Konark Temple. We recommend you carry your food supplies on the aforementioned stretch as there are far and few eateries here.