Manali Trip – Himachal Pradesh [An Ultimate Travel Guide for Everyone]

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One of the most popular tourist places in Northern India is situated in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh on the banks of Beas River and at an altitude of 1950 Meters or 6500 Feet (approximately) Manali, Valley of Gods. The term stands for Manu (Manu Rishi) + Aali (Home) and I bet you his home (Manali ;)) is just MAGICAL in nature.

Delhi to Manali Road Trip - An Ultimate Travel Guide
Delhi to Manali Road Trip – An Ultimate Travel Guide

The place is ideal for families as well as young couples looking for some hide and seek with the flavor of romance on top of it. Manali is largely visited by the honeymoon couples (I did so, read my story Snow at Manali and Naggar | Honeymoon Trip) and in summers people from all walks of life (children to old) come to Manali to seek pleasant weather from hot burning lands of Northern India.

Manali Travel Guide

Manali is one of the oldest towns in Kullu Valley. The place surrounds with the aura of ROMANCE everywhere, right from the hustle-bustle of mall road to the very calm, traditional, foreigners dominated old Manali to the woods/villages around/beyond Manu temple to the walking path around Hadimba temple. It can easily be called one of the ROMANTIC destinations of India.

The Hadimba goddess runs the Manali town and is the center of worship of the people living at Manali. The mighty goddess also governs the tall mountains along with raw nature, and it’s only after her permission that one gets to enjoy this beautiful place to the core. When people think of Manali, the second keyword that comes is, of course, Rohtang Pass which no doubt is a must-visit place if you go to Manali.

View of Manali

Manali Weather

The weather in Manali offers a variety throughout the year. If you like the cold weather and snow, then you can enjoy winters from November to February. However, you can experience nice and pleasant Manali weather in summers from March to October.

I recommend that you avoid traveling to Manali in the month monsoons, late July to August and nowadays some part of September as well. Landslides and flooding are common on Delhi to Manali highway in monsoon time. You do not want to get stuck in the middle of it. Although July-August experience rainfall but this place has again, it’s unique beauty when it rains 🙂

Hence, the best time to visit Manali is March to June when the heat is burning the low lands of Northern India. Then during the autumn season from the middle of September to late October is also a nice time to visit it. However, during the Dusherra festival, the Kullu region gets very crowded.

If you are fond of snow or snowfall, then visit Manali from late December to March for enjoying the snow in Manali, Rohtang Pass, or Solang Valley. You may witness snowfall also in January and February, depending on the weather at the time of the visit.

No doubt it is one of the top places to see snowfall near Delhi in Himachal.

View of Manali

What is the best time to visit Manali

April to June is the best time to visit Manali, but do keep in mind that in summers (April-June), people from most Northern parts of India invade this place like anything and seeing the Mall road in the evening can cause serious shiver in your head. It’s almost you are in Trade Fair of Pragati Maidan, Delhi 😆

But if you enjoy it, then it’s an awesome time to visit Manali. Also, you can take the shelter in Old Manali in such extreme cases, which is far off from the hustle-bustle of the (over) crowd. Right from accommodation to food to shopping to taxi/auto fares, everything is costly in this peak season summer holidays in the Himalayas.

If you are looking for adventure sports then, hit for skiing December to February season is the best time and for rafting May to September would do good. All of you who seeks Paragliding in Manali, it’s always dependent on the weather on the current day of the year 🙂

What about Honeymoon in Manali?

For a honeymoon, of course, if you get married in winters, then late November to February is the best time to be in Manali. It is one of those places where you can find snow easily in winter months.

You get an additional benefit of the heavy discounts, being off-season topped with less number of tourists. Finally, you get to see similar love birds thronging the region of Manali and Solang Valley.

Hence, without any doubt, Manali does get to my list of best honeymoon places in Himachal.

What time to avoid?

Do avoid Durga Puja holidays mainly in October when the rush is at peak again, and people flood the Kullu Manali towns like anything. It is also the Dusherra Festival time in Kullu Valley with which also valley is under heavy tourist rush.

Also, there is an official HPTDC off-season at the time of monsoon and winters (usually mid-November to February) when they provide a 30% discount on their services.

View of snow cap peaks

How to reach Manali from Delhi

Manali is well connected by road from Delhi vis National Highways. You will find ample of public transport as well from Delhi to Manali or Chandigarh to Manali. Let us look into the various options of traveling to Manali by road.

By Air

The nearest airport to Manali is Bhunter about 50 km away. From Bhuntar-Kullu, you can hire a taxi to reach Manali in 90 minutes approximately. The fare of a taxi could be Rs 1000 – Rs 1200, depending upon the bargaining skills as well as season time.

By Train

Chandigarh is the closest major Railway Station from where it will take around 9 hours to reach Manali by bus or car. Apart from that Joginder Nagar railway station near Mandi can be considered as the nearest one. However, the connectivity can be limited to it from far-flung places in India.

By Road

The distance of Manali from Delhi is 570 km (approximately) and it takes around 12-14 hours to reach depending upon traffic and how you drive.

Generally, the route followed for Manali from Delhi by road is –

Delhi – Ambala (188 KM) – Chandigarh – Roopnagar (282 KM) – Kiratpur – Bilaspur (371 KM) – Sunder Nagar – Mandi (440 KM) – Pandoh – Aut (481 KM) – Kullu – Manali (570 KM)

HPTDC Volvo Buses also run from Delhi at 6 PM every day from HPTDC Office, Janpath. These buses reach Manali the next morning around 8 AM. The fare is around Rs 1300-1400 for one side. The similar buses leave from Manali every evening at 5.30 PM and reaching Delhi by 7.00 AM the next morning. There are other daily buses available from HRTC as well from ordinary to Volvos that run between Delhi to Manali and Chandigarh to Manali.

View of strrets in Old Manali

Road Conditions from Delhi to Manali

Delhi to Manali roads run on NH-21 and NH-1 highways and are pretty much in great shape being a highway. In the entire route, there are one or two rough patches so that you never lose your concentration.

Especially, the drive from Kiratpur to Sunder Nagar is horrible with trucks running madly all over the road on both sides, slowing you down terribly. A slight Chandigarh to Roopnagar stretch is also in bad shape but the rest of the road conditions are pure bliss to drive.

For updated road conditions of Delhi to Manali, please refer to the DoW Community thread: Delhi – Manali Road Conditions.

Preferred Vehicles

The best way is to take your car/bike and hit the road as there is no such specialty required in the vehicle, be it 2X2 or 4X4. You can take it as long as its engine runs and fuel exists 😉

An alternate route to Manali from Delhi

The regular route to Manali via NH-21, that is Manali – Chandigarh Highway, is mostly in pathetic condition from Kiratpur Sahib to Bilaspur. The beelines of slow-moving trucks, chaotic overtaking of these overloaded trucks, and deep crater-sized potholes all around on almost 70 km of stretch. The journey becomes so tiring and frustrating…

For the last few times when I went to Tirthan Valley from Delhi, we took the route as

Kiratpur Sahib > Anandpur Sahib > Nangal > Una > then turn right towards Bhota > then again right towards Jahu > at T-Point, turn left towards Ner Chowk. Don’t go towards Sunder Nagar as you will lose a couple of hours then.

This is a bit longer route, maybe 55-60 km, but the time difference is almost about 40-45 minutes only. However, roads are super smooth all the way to cruise upon apart from last average roads of 25 km after Jahu to Ner Chowk. It does save you from all the frustration and risks of accidents.

So, better avoid the NH-21 route and take this route via Una – Bhota to reach Manali or beyond Mandi to Himachal.

View of Manali

Bus Service from Delhi – Manali

As per HRTC FB Page, both HRTC & HPTDC operates a total of six daily Volvo buses from Manali to Delhi. While HRTC charges ₹1283- for this service, HPTDC charges ₹1300/-. Travel time is roughly 14 hours (580 km).

Bus Timings from Manali: 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, and 6:30 pm.

Bus Timings from Delhi: HPTDC (from Himachal Bhawan)- 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm; HRTC (from Delhi ISBT)- 7:35 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:25 pm, and 9:03 pm.

Travel Tip: If you are interested in some treks, you may also check these easy treks in Himachal.

Common Itinerary for Manali Trip in 3 Days

From Delhi to visit Manali, you require at least 3 Nights, 4 Days and it would be great if you have more 🙂 But ideally, in 3 Nights / 4 Days, you can cover the majority of this place. I would also provide some add-on or pop-up day tours which you can include exclude as you like.

Day 0 / Night – Overnight from Manali to Delhi

Leave Delhi in the evening to reach Manali the next morning either by car/or Volvo bus. You can take a morning flight to Kullu as well which takes you to the first day.

Day 1 – Manali Local Sightseeing

Check-in at the hotel in Manali, rest for a few hours and go on for local sightseeing. This sightseeing may include Mall road (which of course you can’t avoid any day), Local Monastery, Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Rishi Temple in the evening through the streets of Old Manali. You can have dinner at one of the traditional/western cuisine restaurants at Old Manali. Come back to the hotel for the rest.

Day 2 – Visit Rohtang Pass or Snow Points

Leave for Rohtang Pass early in the morning to avoid traffic jams. Mind it; it can be the worse jam of the trip, so be prepared. It is always better to avoid by leaving for Rohtang Pass from Manali early morning maybe 7 AM Come back to the hotel by the evening at around 4 PM to rest at the hotel and enjoy the mall road in the evening/night.

Day 3 – Visit Solang Valley

Visit Solang Valley if you want to do some adventure sports and enjoy the day there. Come back in the evening. Leave for the home in the night, either by taking the evening Volvo or by your own car.

View of Manali

Trip to Manali in 5 Days

Continuing the above 3-day itinerary of Manali trip for those who have more days in hand.

Day 4 – Visit Nagar Castle – Jagatsukh

If you are not interested in visiting a unique place, then include Naggar Castle in your trip with a night stay at Naggar Castle. Well, the views it offers are just breathtaking. So you can also opt for Naggar in place of Solang if you don’t like adventure sports, then replace this day with the trip to Naggar Castle, just 30 odd km from Manali.

For a honeymoon, it’s one of the best places to stay and must-visit for couples looking for an ideal romantic point. To get the glimpses of the views from Naggar Castle, check these links of my visit to this beautiful place.

You may take a day trip to Naggar and leave for Manali the same day if you don’t like much but better include a night stay at this lovely hotel. Next morning you can leave to Delhi from Naggar itself.

Jagatsukh comes on the way as well and it is one of the offbeat places in Himachal.

Day 5 – Visit Parvati Valley (Manali to Kasol)

Another set of places you may include on your Manali trip is that you leave for Kullu or Kasol in the evening. If it’s the penultimate day of the trip or early morning on any day if you have an ample amount of time. Just it would be great if you can do it on the way back home towards Delhi or a similar route.

Reach Kullu, shop in the market and head towards Kasol & Manikaran. Visit this holy place and leave for Kasol, where you can enjoy the evening in nice Israeli flavor. If you have time, then dedicate a day to Kasol and try to enjoy the environment to the core besides the Parvati River.

Leave for Delhi in the evening and reach by morning.

Beautiful views of Himalayas

Where to stay in Manali

There are a lot of hotel options available in Manali for accommodation ranging from luxury hotels to budget range hotels. Well, I have been to all three kinds on my previous trips to Manali, and this is what I felt a nice list to narrow down the choices.

Of course, I would say these are just hotels known to me, or I have taken feedback from my family members who have stayed there 🙂

  • HPTDC, Kunzum: Hotel Kunzum is just on the Mall road provides you with ample facilities being on the Mall road. Everything is so nearby, and I would recommend it for families with children. Kids tend to demand this, and that now and then, which makes Hotel Kunzum a good choice as everything you get in Manali is so nearby. The range is Rs 1700 – Rs 3000
  • HPTDC, Hadimba Cottages / Log / Hamta Huts: These huts ideal for honeymoon lovers are located a bit isolated towards Old Manali, again which is what love birds seek. But, don’t catch it into very offseason as it may also scare a bit out of you being alone. At least we felt so when we stayed, and food is not that good quality. You can check the entire review Hadimba Cottages, Manali | Hotel Review.
  • Johnson’s: Located near Circuit House is very famous for its cuisines. The rooms are comfortable and worth the money. Even if you don’t stay, do have a meal or two in its restaurant. The range is Rs 2200- Rs4000.
  • Picadilly Resort: This is at the start of Mall road and not at all a budget hotel. We stayed here in the very offseason, and still, we got a room for 1500 😯 I believe. But I must say the money was worth it as the hotel has all sorts of deserving offerings one would like.
  • HPTDC, Rohtang Manalsu & The Beas: This hotel is a bit away from the hustle-bustle of town but very moderate budget hotels. The range is 650-2000, and you can always stay here if you are short on budget.

So, if you are no short of the budget go for Johnson’s or Picaddily Resorts, although there are more luxury Hotels also available which you may check for sure.

If you are short on a budget either choose HPTDC, Rohtang Manalsu or HPTDC, The Beas or else you can very well walk to the streets of Old Manali where you will get excellent deals for some cheap hotels in Manali.

HPTDC is always a safe bet if you are in a dilemma for a cheap hotel, I believe.

Budget Hotels in Manali

You can find lots of budget hotels around Manali in Vashishth, Old Manali, and hotels on the Manali – Naggar road near Beas Bridge. The one at Manali – Naggar road named The River View and one just before that hotel are good and economic options of stay in Manali.

Read the complete review of The River View hotel at the below link: The River View, Manali | Hotel Review

Local Monastery

Where to eat

  • Johnson’s, located near Circuit House is very famous for its cuisines. A meal here is a must for us whenever we go to Manali.
  • Chopsticks, located at Mall road, has a great variety of Chinese dishes topped with great taste.
  • Grozy, located just at the start of Mall road shops is also quite good in food quality. In fact on the trip, we just had our meal in this restaurant only.
  • IL Forno is by far the best place for Pizzas in Manali. If you love Pizzas then do not forget to check this awesome place.
  • Sher-e-Punjab or Shan – e -Punjab (the original one) is also a good food joint although I have never been there due to long queues 😀

You should always carry your water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂

A view of Kullu town

Tips to travel in winters

  • Do take heavy woolens with you especially a heavy woolen jacket.
  • Do take 2-3 pairs of inner thermals cots.
  • Do take woolen long socks. Airtight shoes would be perfect for helping you avoid freezing feet.
  • Do not exert yourself too much and try to keep your body hydrated on the day when visiting snow points.
  • Take at least one full day rest in Manali before venturing further heights. i.e., snow points in Solang or Gulaba. DO NOT go to snow points on the very first day you reach Manali region.
  • In winters (except Christmas – new year week) HPTDC runs about 30% off-season discounts [also valid for Naggar Castle]if you like to stay in their hotels. All other private hotels can offer as much as 40-50%.
  • Please check out the list of things to carry for a Himalayan trip.

Manali Tourist Attractions

There are several tourist places around Manali and inside Manali town which a tourist can visit. These places can be photographed clicked for some great memories in life. I will enlist some of them below.

Manali Local Sightseeing

Let us start with local sightseeing in Manali. You can check the below destinations within Manali town or quite nearby.

Mall Road

You can enjoy food and shop on this very road. There are few Hotels as well on the road, including Hotel Kunzum, HPTDC. There is one Temple as well at the Mall road just aside Bus and Taxi Stand.

View of temple at mall road

Hadimba Temple

It’s near Circuit House approximately 15-20 minutes’ walk. Autos run all-time in Manali to take you to the local tourist joints but charge a bit high. I feel walking down to these places has the fun of its own kind.

View of Hadimba Temple in Manali

Manu Temple

As you cross through the streets of lovely Old Manali, you will reach this temple. Chingu is what you will hear all over as you start entering the road. Don’t fall into the trap of salesman of buying it, most of them are duplicate makes.

View of Manu Temple

Local Monastery

The local monastery is situated just a few 200 odd meters from the bus stand at Mall road. You can surely buy some souvenirs from the shops in front of the local Manali monastery.

View of local monastery in Manali

Vashishth Hot Water Springs

Personally I didn’t like this place at all and considered it a total waste of time.

Trekking Trails near Manali

Other trails in the woods through local villages and old Manali can be enjoyed as well.

  • There is a trek from Old Manali, Manu Temple that goes to Goshal village about a couple of km. You can extend this trek further to Solang Valley which is about 10 km from there.
  • Then there is a trek to Lamadugh meadows, which starts from Hadimba Temple. It will take about 2-3 hrs for this trek and you will get to see snow-clad peaks and Manali town down below.
  • You may also travel to Bijli Mahadev from Kullu.

Rohtang Pass

At the altitude of 13,051 feet or 3978 Meters, this Pir Panjal Range pass is a must-visit for every tourist who goes to Manali. You can find snow throughout the year at this place and is reachable from May End – October. It connects the Kullu Valley to Lahaul-Spiti Valley and is one of the main blockage points of Manali – Leh Ladakh connectivity.

Partial view of Rohtaang Pass with tourists all around

Solang Valley

Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali conducts various courses on skiing at this place, and if you love adventure sports, you may find this place very exciting. Along with this, it also offers snow-capped views of glaciers and even snow in winters. The place also helps in proper acclimatization if you wish to head Leh Ladakh. It will help you avoid AMS.

View of Solang Valley

Naggar Castle

Naggar is just an amazing place that I have already explained in the itinerary section. If you are really looking for some romantic joint, Naggar Castle is surely the place to be. Do read more at Naggar Castle, Naggar.

View of Naggar

Kullu

It’s a major district of Himachal Pradesh and lies at the banks of Beas river. The airport Bhunter is just 10 km from this place, and you will find ample place to shop.

A view of Kullu town

Kasol

42 km from Kullu, Kasol situated at the banks of Parvati river is yet another place that is a must-visit and provides a unique experience with Israeli atmosphere dominating the air. It’s a hub of backpackers, and what they are after, you very well know. Do not forget to check my comprehensive travel guide of Parvati Valley.

Manikaran

It’s a Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage center located between the Beas and Parvati Rivers. Well, you may like it, or you may not like it. It’s a matter of taste but a couple of hours given to this holy place is worth enough.

Kalath

Hot water springs about 10 km before Manali on the roadside itself. Thanks to Ajay for sharing this place with us at the comment here, will check next time I visit up there.

Views while going to Solang from Manali

Conclusion

In the end, Manali and its nearby locations are a complete package for any vacation. The place suits a wide range of tourists with an even wider taste of spending time in the mountain. You get the romance, the adventure, the rejuvenation, the offbeat and the mad rush of tourists, all nearby Manali.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comment on my YouTube videos.

If you ever have been to Manali, then please share your valuable thoughts and suggestion as well so that it can help other fellow travelers to plan their journey to Manali accordingly. I will be looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Manali, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Manali trip.

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Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

384 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow my YouTube Channel or follow me on Instagram to ask your travel questions. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Hi Dheeraj,
    Your blog is very helpful. Thank you very much.
    Can you tell me places for sight seeing around Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie as per the time I have in my hand. Following is my Itnry.
    I know there are many places and I will have to skip some places as I do not have time to visit all. I want to know which places I should not miss as per below schedule.
    Tour start date 18-May-2014.
    1. Delhi to Shimla by Car. Night halt at Shimla
    2. Shimla sight seeing. Night halt at Shimla
    3. Shimla to Manali. Night halt at Manali.
    4. Manali sightseeing Night halt at Manali.
    5. Manali Sightseeing. Night halt at Manali.
    6. Manali to Dalhousie. Night halt at Dalhousie.
    7. Dalhousie sightseeing. Night halt at Dalhousie.
    8. Dalhousie to Amritsar. Night halt at Amritsar.
    9. Amritsar sightseeing. Night halt at Amritsar.
    10 Amritsar to Chandigarh. Night halt at Chandigarh.
    11. Chandigarh to Delhi.

    Please note: I am planning to do a river rafting also.
    Thanks in Advance,
    ~Nirav

    • Hi Nirav,

      Around Shimla, you have Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple, Lunch at Mall Road, Chini Bunglow, State Museum, Kufri – Narkanda – Hatu Peak, Chail, etc..

      Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc, Snow Points are at either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass and do check out Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place if possible).

      Around Dalhousie, check out Khajjiar, Kalatop, Jot, Chamba, Chamera Lake, Panchpulla, a hike to Chanmari from there.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  3. Hi,
    We are planning a trip from mumbai to kullu manali in the second week of june alongwith family friends.
    My main question is my father had a bypass surgery last year, he is 78 now and mother is 70.They are keen on seeing snow. Is it safe for them to travel to kullu manali? What precautions should we take regarding travel?

    • Yes, Lalita I do not see any issues with respect to altitude wise. DO CONSULT with the doctor for sure as I am not a doctor regarding it. Manali does not have that much of an altitude to worry about our bodies. However, going to Rohtang Pass should be considered as short trip and you should consult the doctor for sure for an altitude of about 4000 Mtrs, if that can cause problems for a person with bypass surgery or not. Rest age wise there are no implications at all.

  4. Shirish Joshi on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    First of all thank you for the information you have shared, it’s very useful for all.
    I need your suggestion for my trip:
    I will be there at Chandigrah on 17th May (afternoon)
    And have to reach on 25th morning max 7:30AM to Domestic airport at Delhi.

    I want to stay at Chandigrah on 17th May (sightseeing) then Shimla (sightseeing) and then Manali (3N /4D) then back to Delhi.
    We are total 4, Me and my wife and our 2 children’s (11 Y and 7 Y)

    Can you please suggest best budget plan for us? Where to stay and where to go and what time we need to leave etc.
    Q:
    1. Do you suggest to stay at Shimla (does it worth to stay there and do sightseeing)?
    2. How is Kunzum hotel to stay at Manali? Suggest any other around 2500/- including 2 beds + 2 mattresses
    3. What will be total cost from Chandigrah – Shimla – Manali – Delhi airport?
    4. What will be total cost only at Manali (including stay + Adv sports, ice skiing )
    5. Any other suggestion will be very good

    • Hi Shirish,

      1. You have 6 days in hand. I suggest to skip Shimla to avoid too much travel.
      2. You will find many options in 2500 range. Check out Manali – Naggar road for it once you reach there.
      3. All depends how you eat and where you stay. I generally take a budget of Rs 700-800 per day per person for food and lodging. Ticket of Volvo to Manali from Delhi cost you about 1240 per person.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  5. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you for taking time to put out an extensive itinerary. Also for diligently answering all the queries. I must apologize for further crowding your comments section. But I’m planning my first trip to the hills with a friend from New Delhi around the second week of April, and have some queries:

    1) Assuming that most people flocking Manali are domestic tourists, do you think the crowd gets thinner on weekdays compared to weekends?

    2) Since it’s the tourist season, would it be wiser on our part to book hotels in advance? (regardless of taking the trip on weekday/weekend)

    3) I’ve heard a lot about Kasol and would love to visit the place (yes, I like to indulge). When do you recommend we head there AND should we stay there overnight? If so, where? And which mode of transportation would you recommend?

    4) We’re on a budget trip. Don’t intend to shop around, except maybe buy a couple of souvenirs. We like to drink and love music and food. Which places would you recommend for 2 28 year olds?

    5) Finally, off the top of your head, how much do you think the entire trip will cost us?

    Thanks so much.

    Regards,

    Archie.

    • Hi Archie,

      1) Yes, that holds true. Weekdays see less crowd then weekend.

      2) Manali has loads of options of stay, better reach there and look out or bargain. Some have been mentioned in the comments above, you can try them. No booking required.

      3) Kasol is one place you should not miss in case you are into fine dine-ins and eateries. Try out Bhoj, Evergreen, German Bakery, Moon Dance Cafe, Little Italy, are some fine places to eat. You can check in to stay at Hotel Sandhya OR Hotel Green Valley both of which are decent + clean stays. You will get the buses to bhunter and from there again bus to Manikaran which will drop you at Kasol. Else you can take shared taxi.

      4) In this you better go to Kasol and enjoy over there for couple of days. Head to Manali, stay at Old Manali to enjoy good food and drinks plus a bit away from Hustle bustle, a day go towards Snow Points and that’s it, get back to Delhi on Volvo.

      5) 5 Day trip might cost you about 5-6K per person types considering you are going by Volvo from Delhi which cost about 2500 for return.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  6. hi dheeraj .
    we are planning to visit manali for 6 days at the start of the march from delhi. so pls can u suggest me. what should be the planning….. i am waiting for ur reply

    • Hi Raunak,

      You can plan something like below for your Manali Trip.

      Day 1 – Reach Manali, take rest for half of the day and enjoy the walks on Mall road. (I assume that you will be reaching in the morning by Volvo)
      Day 2 – Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting), Hike the woods around Old Manali, Jogni Falls, Bijli Mahadev near Kullu etc.
      Day 3 – Manali – Snow Point or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali. On the way back you can visit Solang Valley and do paragliding there.
      Day 4 – Manali – Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place)
      Day 5 – Naggar Castle – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol
      Day 6 – Kasol – Bhunter – Delhi (Checkout from Kasol after lunch and start for Bhunter. Since, the Volvo from Manali will start around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Bhunter or come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  7. we r planing to visit agra to madhura to delhi to shimla to manali to delhi on april 14 starting.we are 4 2 adult and 5yr & 11 yr children .give me best budget hotel 1000 to 1500 and trip advice also.we r planining delhi to kalka to simla by train.

    • Pardosh, I can help you up with planning related to Himalayas but not for Agra/Mathura. How many days you have in hand after you start from Delhi to Shimla?

      • in manaly april 16 to 18 nights stay and leave 19 morning manali to simla (19 & 20 nights stay ) 21 morning leave from simla

  8. Hi Dheeraj, hope you are doing good. Thanks to your expert advise last year, we took a fantastic tour to Himachal. Himalayas is calling again this year and we are planning to visit Sikkim this time. Do you have an idea about this area or know anyone to guide like you. Thanks in advance for your help. Regards, Sekhar.

    • Sekhar, you can check one of the links in DoW Community related to sikkim else, you can post your own queries up there and experts/travelers who have been to sikkim will surely help you out in DoW Community. Here is the link: Itinerary help for Sikkim Darjeeling trip

  9. Dear Dheeraj,

    We 10 people were planning to visit manali for this weekend, we have got only 2 days (sat & sun) as we need to drop into work on monday. So please suggest us the best plan, that we can make it out.
    Please suggest any mode of transport(car/volvo bus) from delhi.
    Also we all where from south, mostly we will not get chance to come over here once we get back over there.

    • Gowthaman, take the overnight volvo on Friday from Delhi to Manali. Reach Manali on Saturday and relax there. Sunday in day time visit the snow points and then take the overnight volvo to Delhi from Manali. This is best possible plan you can follow given the amount of time you have in your hand 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply Dheeraj. snow points in th sense rotang pass and solang valley..?

  10. p choudhury on

    Hello,
    We are reaching Chandigarh on 29th march afternoon and flying back to Bangalore from Amritsar on 6th April morning. We plan to visit manali, kullu, dharmashala and Amritsar. Can you help me in fixing a travel itenary with probable places to visit and period of stay in each place?

    Thanx
    P choudhury

    • Hi,

      As I see you have 7 days for you and can follow something like below:

      Day 1 (30th) | By taking overnight Volvo on 29th from Chandigarh, you will reach Manali on 30th. Rest day at Manali, do local sightseeing around.
      Day 2 | Again relaxing day around Manali town, can go over and visit Naggar Castle.
      Day 3 | Visit Snow Points towards Rohtang Pass, Marhi and while coming back visit Solang Valley
      Day 4 | Manali – Dharamshala, Mcleod Ganj
      Day 5 | Relaxing day at Mcleod Ganj
      Day 6 | Mcleod Ganj – Amritsar
      Day 7 | Amritsar
      Day 8 | Fly back

      Hope this helps

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  11. Hi Dheeraj,
    We have decided to extent our stay by 2 days. So we will be leaving delhi on 23rd Feb night and we plan to return by night bus on 28th Feb. So is it possible to add khajjiar to our plan now? Or do you have any better itinerary for 6 days? And which are the best budget hotels to stay in between?
    Sorry to pester you with questions. I’m excited as well as a little nervous about the whole trip..hope you understand 🙂

    • Hello Dr Rishi,

      Yeah I can imagine your nervousness 🙂 … Even if you add 2 days, what will happen is that you will take 1 day from Manali to reach Khajjiar. Then just one day to relax and finally go to Pathankot and come back from there. So, one tiring day of journey and then one relaxing day at Khajjiar will be the way to go 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  12. Hi Dheeraj,
    This is brilliant work. Extremely useful for newbie travelers like me. I’m planning to experience himachal in late February with two of my friends. This would be our maiden tryst with the Himalayas. We are planning for a 4 day (or 5) trip from delhi. After going through your posts i have decided to skip shimla. Is it possible to somehow cover manali, kullu, solang, najjar and khajjiar(in love with this place after seeing some pics:)). I would love to go paragliding and rafting. I know its a lot to ask for in 4 days. Please give your valuable suggestions and itinerary advice :). And can u figure out approx budget (we are traveling by volvo from delhi and plans to find local transport for each destinations and We’l be fine with budget hotels) And yea, after reading your review about najjar castle we have decided to experience it too.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hello DrRishi,

      Thank you. Well, you have 4 days with you and I will suggest following for you:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali
      Day 2 | Manali Local sightseeing
      Day 3 | Manali – Snow Point (Rohang Pass or Marhi) – Manali
      Day 4 | Manali – Naggar (in the first half), have lunch at Naggar Castle and then come back to Manali to board overnight Volvo to Delhi

      You can do paragliding in Rohtang if you can in this cold weather. I doubt if rafting would be ON though I saw people doing rafting near Bhunter. So, you can do it on Day 2.

      Please drop Khajjiar as it is long way from Manali and will take one day to reach and then of course you will need couple of days to explore and relax there too.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hmm, take it like about 2500 for commute by Volvo and about 600-800 per day for food + accommodation considering you stay at moderate guest houses and eat normal food 🙂

        • Thats fine. Plus taxi charges for local sight seeing trips and paragliding!..So could be anywhere between 10 to 15k right. And read about the DOW responsible travel. Its a great initiative. I would love to be a part of it. I’m planing to get some woolen clothes and sample medicines this time. Let me know about the local contacts i can entrust these things with..:)

        • No no, within 8K it shall be easily manageable or even less I feel, just don’t spend too lavishly :D… You will get discounts at almost all places. There are HPTDC Buses that run as well which you can take tickets too which are very nominal. Taxi will be fine too in case you want personal dedicated one.

          And THANK YOU so much for considering the DoW Causes. Regarding woolens, I will suggest that you keep a watch on people working road side for repair works as they will be the ones who will need them most. Then you can also go towards Old Manali where less tourists reach and ask whereabouts of local dispensary. There you can hand over the medicines to head nurse or doctor in charge. Then, same can be done in Naggar Village too when you visit Naggar Castle. So, you can pick any of the villages and execute these DoW Causes.

          Also, check this lovely cause carried out by one of the DoW Community members recently near Dharamshala, Mcleoad Ganj: Dow Cause – Gyaan 500 in Dharamkot, Himachal

          I will request that you please do share back the details of these Causes back in the DoW Community like the one below and we will be more than happy to share back some DoW Goodies too as a token of appreciation back with you. Once again Thank You for considering them 🙂

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  13. Dear Dheeraj
    we are group of 4 planning to drive to Manali from Delhi, on 20th friday night to 25 night. Need your advice on:-
    1. Which route should I take – Delhi – shimla – manali or delhi -kirathpur- mandi-manali- this route seems to have a bad patch of 60km to 70km. from kirathpur to Bilaspur.
    2. when should we start from Delhi to avoid traffic, early morning Fog and avoid night drive in hills.
    3. How should we plan to break our journey as 2 of my friends have never been in mountain, infact never seen mountains in real life, for them it will be tiring for sure.
    4.which places should we visit other than Manali.
    5. Place that you would recommend us to stay.

    Thanks
    Anirudh

    • Hello Anirudh,

      1. Anirudh yes, you should go with Kiratpur to Manali because via Shimla it will be very long. So, doesn’t really compensate for that bad patch between Ropar – Bilaspur. Then it is fine mostly. I am just back couple of weeks back from there.

      2. It usually takes more than 12 Hours now a days to reach Manali from Delhi. So, you will have to take a chance with fog and start by 4 AM to reach in Daylight else you will have to drive at night in hills. No alternative for it. Starting at 4 AM will also help avoid rush hours in Chandigarh too.

      3. Then best place it to break it at Mandi. Day 1, drive till Mandi and then ahead of Mandi it will take another 3.5 Hrs to reach Manali which can be done next day. Stay in Manali for couple of days and leave from there then. Just drive below 30 KMPH on curves and they shall feel good the moment you step up the speed on curves nausea starts coming out in general 🙂

      4. Check out Naggar Castle, Solang Valley, Snow Points towards Rohtang Pass. On 24th you can start back to Kasol from Manali via Naggar Castle and then last day drive back home on 25th from Kasol. This way you will be able to see Kasol and Manikaran too.

      5. There are loads of places in Manali depending upon your budget. Check the accommodation / stay option section in the article above.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  14. Pingback: Snowfall Near Delhi | 7 Places to Visit in Himachal - DeViL on WheeLs

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  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your post is so informative…A-z everything a traveler will need to know…well i wana ask one thing i was planing my trip end of this month..what you suggest if its a good idea to go to Manali this time with a kid and also if road travel is a good option..?? Well m lil confused…pls need ur advise…
    Sheetal

    • Sheetal, well, this in monsoon times and yes, you will surely face some hassles in case it will be raining at that time of the month. In case it will be clear weather with light rains, it will appear as almost heaven 🙂 … So, keep an eye on weather updates and in case it say extreme weather then please drop the plan or postpone it. Otherwise, if it says clear weather you can very much take the chance to enjoy the monsoon beauty 🙂

  17. hi dheeraj,
    we have planned for shimla,manali trip in august-september.is it better to go at this period??and as i gt to know dat rohtang pass is closed on Tuesdays.we are travelling from mumbai.
    please suggest me some good plans.we are newly married couple.

    • Raj, how many days you have in hand? September is good time. In august there may be rains that can spoil the party. Also, there will be no snow in August or September even at Rohtang Pass.

  18. what a wonderfull post . ! . u rock .
    will u please make iternnary for me . .i m visiting shimla in the moth of june . for 7-8 days . i would also like to see kullu manal and rohtang . . will u please make an suitable iternery for me. .

    • Thanks alot ayaz!! You can try with following itinerary:

      Day 1 | Reach Shimla from by overnight volvo from previous night. Check-in and rest at hotel. In the second half explore local Shimla including Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Back to Hotel By Evening.
      Day 2 | Around Shimla, a relaxing day. Jakhoo Temple, State Museum, Mall Road, Ridge etc. as you like or may be you can visit Kufri in the first half of the day and all this in the second half of the day.
      Day 3 | Shimla – Narkanda – Hatu Peak – Narkanda – Shimla (a bit long day) or you can do Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla (Little les hectic :))
      Day 4 | Shimla – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
      Day 6 | Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Naggar Castle(stay at Naggar and enjoy the place. Very romantic with great views and food. Visit Roerich Musueum, Art Gallery and do not miss the hike to ancient Krishna Temple at the top)
      Day 8 | Naggar Castle – Manali – Delhi. Checkout from Naggar Castle by noon. Since, the volvo to Delhi will be around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Naggar only and after lunch leave for Manali or you have the option to come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus. Or, you can also co-ordinate with bus HPTDC guys so that the bus pick you from the nearest pickup point for Naggar on the way to Delhi. Naggar Castle guys will arrange the taxi for the drop there.

      ** if you have time then try, Manali Sanctuary can also be covered as it is just about 2-3 KMs from Manali town and there is trail which starts from Manali Log Huts or Dhungri temple that leads you into the woods. 

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  19. Could someone let me know the time it takes to drive from chandigarh to Bilaspur? I plan to go end of april. I will be leaving at abt 12 noon.

  20. Pingback: The River View, Manali - Himachal Pradesh | Hotel Review - DeViL on WheeLs...

  21. Ajay Tripathi on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m planning to travel with family (2 kids 9&4) to Manali via road from Delhi on 09/03. As you suggested, thinking of taking a break at Bilaspur. Just wanted to have your advice on the route that I should be taking, and on road review.
    In my travel experience, I found staying in Govt rest house is better deal and safe in off-seasons. Pvt. Resorts in off-seasons does not provide good service as they let their staff go in off-seasons. In your opinion, does Johnson’s provide good service in terms of food?

    Thanks, Ajay

    • Chaitanya on

      Hi Ajay – I just completed my trip to Manali from Delhi. The roads are excellent from Delhi to Kiratpur. But from Kiratpur till Bilaspur about 60kms of road is Bad to Worst. If you are driving by small car I’m very sure the bottom will scrape and if it rains it will be more worst. Except this stretch, remaining everything is fine. My advise would be stay overnight before Kiratpur and avoid driving on the mountains during night because of these bad roads and lot of sharp to hairpin bend curves. You can also avoid volvo’s and trucks if you take a break during night before Kiratpur and resume your drive by morning 6am.

    • Hello Ajay,

      You will be taking the route like:Delhi – Ambala (188 KM) – Chandigarh – Roopnagar (282 KM) – Kiratpur – Bilaspur (371 KM) – Sunder Nagar – Mandi (440 KM) – Pandoh – Aut (481 KM) – Kullu – Manali (570 KM). Yups, Johnson’s, is one of the best at Manali 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  22. Hi Dheeraj – I’m planning to fly from Bangalore to Delhi on Feb 27th and I booked a self drive car from carzonrent.com because my wife has bus sickness and I’m Planning to drive Manali with wifey and 3yrs old kid. As we never know, kids will complain about nature calls, I thought better to self drive a car rather than coming by Volvo. We have been to Manali in Jan 2009 and I did face lot of trouble while coming back with my wife bus sickness. Driver was never willing to stop on the ghat road. So, Please let me know if I can start at Delhi airport by around 11am, depending on the road and driving conditions, if possible, planning to reach Manali by 10-11pm? or if i’m too tired, planning to stay overnight at Chandigarh and start again in the morning and reach Manali on Feb 28th by noon.

    Please let me know if this plan is executable? Also, I have the below queries…pls help.

    1) Can I self drive car in and around Manali to Solang, Gulaba etc?
    2) Will we be able to find fresh snow around Feb 28th-March 2nd?
    3) Do you have any feedback on renting self drive cars? especially from carzonrent?
    4) I’m planning to stay in Club Mahindra. Any review/feedback on that?
    5) We will be staying in Manali on Feb28th, March 1st & March 2nd. I have to catch return flight to Bangalore at Delhi on March 3rd noon 1pm. How better we can plan the return drive? I’m a driving freak, and love to cover all the scenaries mostly avoiding the night drive, also we can escape from those high speeding volvo’s.

    Thanks for patiently going through my questions. Appreciate your valuable suggestions.

    Thanks
    Chaitanya.

    • Hello Chaitanya,

      Firstly, I will suggest that you either break the journey at Chandigarh or Swarghat/Bilaspur for sure. It is winters time, you are with family better avoid any night or late evening drive.

      1. Yes, you can. Upto Manali if there is no heavy snowfall in recent days of your trip, then you will not find any snow on roads upto Manali. So, no issues till there but ahead will suggest to hire some local taxi if you are not exprienced with hill driving. Also, it will help you stay away dodging the chaotic traffic at these snow points

      2. Yes, there will be plenty of snow up there at that time of the year, both near Manali and Solang Valley as well as snow points of Gulaba and Marhi.

      3. Nopes, sorry on that front.

      4. They are usually good. If you haven’t booked you might also try Johnson’s either of them as there are two just adjacent to each other.

      5. You have to start in the noon on 2nd march and try to reach Chandigarh that evening and then start early morning from Chandigarh and reach Delhi on 3rd well before flight time. This way you cover the journey enroute as well as avoid any night drive.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thank you so much for your prompt response Dheeraj. Do you have any suggestion for a good budget hotel just to stay overnight at Chandigarh / Swarghat / Bilaspur?

        • Sure Dheeraj, do we need to book it online or through phone? or is it just we can directly go and try the room in HPTDC Swarghat/Bilaspur?

        • Well, at this time of the year usually you will get the room without any advance bookings. A day or two before you can check the availability online and then decide too.

  23. hi dheeaj,
    first of all,a nice n organisd blog…cngrtz.i m from bangladesh.6 of us(4frm india) wit my 2yr old kid r planning to visit shimla,narkanda,manali,naggar n kothi during 1st week of dcmbr’13.we wil b starting from kolkata.wil u help me in planning my journy n wit some info..
    1.wil it b ok wit my 2yr old kid?
    2.wil rhotang be closd?
    3.how many days r needed fr d trip?
    4.good budget hotels in both d places,should i book them earlier or by getting thre?(concrnd abut fooding n othr stuffs for d kid)
    5.should i contct a travel agent for transportation i.e sightseein n shimla to manali driv(we want taxi so that we can stop in mid-jrny)

    • Hi Nivedita,

      Well, planning so early 🙂

      1. Yes, it should be OK to travel with 2 yr old kid, just make sure you carry proper heavy woolens for the same and get him wrapped in clothes.
      2. Rohtang will be closed and even if it is open not advisable to go there and risk the lives/injuries as it happens due to slippery roads.
      3. If you want to include both Shimla as well as Manali side, then go with at least 8-9 days for a relaxing trip.
      4. Since, it will be off season better go and check with them. what is your budget?
      5. I do not think you shoudl contact any travel agent. Let me know the number of days, I will suggest the plan for you and you can manage the plan with either hotel guys or any taxi guy which you can get hold while you are there. It will provide you flexibility as well as save some good money too 🙂

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need any inputs or queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hey ,
        thnx for d quick rply.actualy as atravel freak i cant resist myslf from planning.

        1.we r planning for 7 nights.do i need 1 day xtra?

        2.we r on low budget n coz that wuld b off season we shuld get good discount.so its better to r 1000-1500.will u suggest some pls?

        3.i m confusd abut transportation.should we book a car for d whole trip or just day by day progrm?what should b the procedure?
        4.so we r excluding rhotang but will we b able to go solang valley?

        pls plan the trip for me.

        thnx for ur gr8 suuprt

        bye

        nivedita

        • Hi Nivedita,

          1. Better have a day extra to make it easy trip.
          2. In the off season you will be able to find hotels within that budget if not go with HPTDC Kunzum.
          3. Better do for day by day program and also check the HPTDC website as they offer package local tours on reasonable prices in semi deluxe type buses.
          4. yes, you will be able to go to Solang Valley

          Regards
          dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Dheeraj, Iam planning to visit manali around april 20 with my family and other couple.Pls suggest the following.
      1. Is it better to start from chandigarh rather than delhi.if so, better to take bus or private taxi and which time to start(day or night)?
      2. I want to do the trip individually without any package.i have 4 – 5 days and would like to cover local sightseeing apart from rohtang pass, snow point,solang valley, manikaran and naggar.what wud be the ideal itenary.
      3. Is it possible to club dharmashala if I have an extra day and what options to return back to chandigarh/delhi from manali/dharmashala? Thanks in advance.

      • Hi Sekhar,

        1. Chandigarh start will save you about 4-5 Hrs and you can opt for either private taxi or overnight volvo to Manali from Chandigarh

        2. For ideal itinerary for 4-5 days to Manali see below.

        3. You can but better keep it simple and relaxing I will suggest.

        Below is the itinerary:
        Day 1 – Reach Manali, take rest for the evening
        Day 2 – Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
        Day 3 – Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
        Day 4 – Manali – Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place)
        Day 5 – Naggar Castle – Kasol – Manikaran – Manali
        Day 6 – Reach Chandigarh in the morning by overnight volvo. If you do not have this day then club Day 4 and Day 5 to reach Chandigarh on Day 5 itself.

        I hope this helps. Let me know in case you have some queries or doubts.

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hi Dheeraj, many thanks for your suggestions. Few more queries for you.
          1. I heard that chandigarh – manali drive is very scenic.will i miss out something good if i do an overnight drive.
          2. heard that rohtang pass was opened mid april last year. any chances of it opening around april 20 this year.
          3. I have never visited any passes. Any other pass around manali open at that time if rohtang pass is still closed.
          4. any idea on the taxi rate(indigo) from chandigarh to manali.
          Thanks again.

        • Hi Shekhar,

          1. Hmm… yes it is but may be the time night drive will save you will be more worth than views.
          2. Guess, you heard it from some wrong place. Rohtang Pass was opened in June first week, may end in 2012. So, highly unlikely you will find it open in April.
          3. Nopes, only Rohtang Pass is there.
          4. Nopes brother sorry on that front.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Thank you Dheeraj for clarifying my doubts. few more questions to bug u, sorry 🙂
          1. My kid is very much fond of animals.is the himalayan national park in manali worth a visit.if so how long it takes to cover this place?
          2. Browsing through the sites, adventure actvities at solang valley looks very expensive.are there any government approved centres with nominal rates?
          3. is the train route to joginder nagar from pathankot in operation.is it a good option to try with a 4 year old kid.
          Your suggestions are really helping me to form a plan, so many thanks on that. Regards, Sekhar.

        • Hello Sekhar,

          Please find my replies below in respective order:

          1. Well, it is a national park and no such safaris are organized there. You have to take permissions and take an authorized guide with you for trekking. Also, requires a lot of time too. Better plan a dedicated trip to it and its base is Tirthan Valley not Manali. Also, spotting the animals or not, I am not so sure about that.

          2. Well, when you reach there book them on the spot. They will be much much much cheaper as per the official rates here.

          3. Not sure about the train route but should be working I feel.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Thank you bro, you have given me a fair bit of idea for me to start planning. will get back to you if i need further ideas or help.really appreciate ur suggestions and quickfire responses. Regards, Sekhar.

      • Hey Dheeraj, hope you are doing good. Based on your suggestions and feedback, I have come up with the below plan with slight additions. Please share your thoughts on this.
        20TH APRIL:Day 1: Delhi – Manali

        Arival Delhi Rly.Station / Airport pick Up and Half Day sightseeing,Start your journey to Manali from Delhi Over night.

        21ST APRIL:Day 2: Manali
        Arrive Manali in the morning .Check in hotel,after breakfast visit for local sight seeing, Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Club House, Vashist Hot water Spring, Tibetan Monastry and The Mall, Manali. Evening free time for independent activities. Overnight in the hotel.

        22ND APRIL:Day 3: Rohtang Pass excursion
        After breakfast, enjoy excursion to Rohtang Pass (its own) – Situated at an altitude of 3979 meters above sea level offers a wide panoramic view of the mountains where you can also witness Snow. Later in the noon return to the hotel. Rest of the day free for own activities. Overnight in the hotel. Places to cover – Solang Valley, Kothi, Rahala waterfalls, Marhi, Gulaba, Ice Linga temple.

        23RD APRIL:Day 4: Manali – Naggar

        After Breakfast Drive naggar en route visit Kullu, kasol,Manikara.over night stay at Hotel in naggar

        24TH APRIL:Day 5: Naggar to Dharamshala
        After breakfast free time for shopping at The Mall and other individual activities.After noon start your journey to Dharamshala in deluxe coach, arrive Dharamshala in the morning.

        25TH APRIL:Day 6: Dharamshala – Delhi
        After breakfast, enjoy local sight seeing visit Dal lake, His Holiness The Dalai Lama temple, Bhagsu Nag water fall & Shiv Temple.Evening free for visiting The Mcleodganj and shopping of Tibetan handicrafts and other items, Overnight proceed to Pathankot. Pathankot to Delhi overnight journey.

        26TH APRIL:Day 7:DELHI

        Delhi local sightseeing – delhi accomodation?

        27TH APRIL:DAY 8: AGRA
        Reach early morning at Agra to get the sunrise view of tajmahal. Agra fort, Fatehpur sikhri during day. Get the night full moon view of Tajmahal if possible. Return to delhi overnight. – delhi accomodation?

        28TH APRIL:DAY 9: RETURN FLIGHT
        Reach airport to catch the return flight to chennai.

        • Hi Sekhar,

          I will suggest you drop Dharamshala out of the plan and better enjoy the circuit/places around Manali in the remaining two days. Best bet Tirthan Valley or on day at Kasol – Manikaran and other day resting at Manali only. Dharamshala is not adding any values here because one day you are traveling to Dharamshala and other day going back to Delhi.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Thank you bro for your expert advise as always… Now I have set my eyes on the Thrithan valley. From your other blog, I got the below piece :-). Kindly advise if this is ok to club this to my manali plan in place of dharmashala.
          day 1:Walk in to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) to see nearby waterfalls. I think there are two of them at little distance to each other and enjoy the dinner alongside river before having a sound sleep
          day 2: Drive to Jalori Pass from where you can trek to Serloskar Lake. On the way back have a meal at Sringi Vatika and as the food preparations takes time you can always walk down the river side to have some fun.return to delhi from there.Pls advise if this is fine with a 4 year old kid. Thanks again.

        • Yes Sekhar, it is much better to do it like this only. In fact on Day 4 itself come over to Tirthan Valley by evening after visiting Naggar in the day.

        • Thanks again, that much comforting to hear. Now a million dollar question, which is the better way to reach Manali from Delhi. Need to balance between the comfortness of volvo and the flexibility of taxi.
          1. Delhi to Manali volvo
          2. Delhi to Manali taxi
          3. Delhi to Chandigarh train, take a couple of hours break and taxi from chandigarh to manali.
          Is night travel in hills allowed for taxis?

        • Hi Sekhar,

          I feel first option would be better in terms of comfort and second in terms of flexibility. I will not go with option 3 because of unwanted overhead involoded for a journey of just 3.5-4 Hrs

          Regards
          Dheeraj

      • Hey Dheeraj, back from my vacation to the himachal.Had a great time and good weather in manali and surroundings. Thanks for all your suggestions and guidance.
        For the benefit of whoever travelling in the near future…
        1. It took us 18 hours to reach manali from delhi in indigo including delhi traffic, 4-5 stops for refresh and the horrible horrible road condition and lorry traffic in bilaspur area.
        2. Travelled to gulaba for snow where we took an ATV on a 5 km ride to reach clean snow (Rs 1600/- per couple) and my kid enjoyed a lot there. sking costed around 600 rs per person including ski dress, boots, ski devices and a good guide.taxi charge 1500 in xylo.
        3. 3rd day visited naggar castle, manikaran.manikaran route was very good and scenic although our car tyre got punctured on the way. reached river side resort that night at 10:45 (car tyre again got punctured on the way from Aut to Thirthan and left us stranded on the hills with a roaring river at the side (very adventurous when i think of it now).
        4. next day full rest at river side resort at thirthan enjoying the ambience and sound of the river.the resport people were very good and friendly.thanks for suggesting this place.
        5. next day started at 10:30 am from thirthan to kalka via dharampur route.the route was good and we reached kalka at around 9pm.got the midnight train from kalka to delhi.reached delhi at 6:15am.
        Thanks again…

    • Hi Dheeraj, Iam planning to visit manali around april 20 with my family and other couple.Pls suggest the following.
      1. Is it better to start from chandigarh rather than delhi.if so, better to take bus or private taxi and which time to start(day or night)?
      2. I want to do the trip individually without any package.i have 4 – 5 days and would like to cover local sightseeing apart from rohtang pass, snow point,solang valley, manikaran and naggar.what wud be the ideal itenary.
      3. Is it possible to club dharmashala if I have an extra day and what options to return back to chandigarh/delhi from manali/dharmashala? Thanks in advance.

  24. we are from bangalore planing to visit manali in 1st week of december is the cold manageble or else shouls visit in april.

    • Well, I am not sure how much cold would be comfortable for you guys. But, yeah the cold is pretty pretty manageable at least at Manali and around because the hotels do have plenty of facilities and all. In April you may get pleasant weather though.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for this valuable information. I am planning to visit Manali in 1st week of December. I want to know if there is any chance for snowfall during this time?
        I actually wanted to come to enjoy the snowfall.

        thanks,
        Nakul

        • Hi Nakul,

          At that time you will be able to see snow stock around the snow points of Gulaba/Marhi or Solang Valley whichever is open. So, if snow is the priority then there are no issues but for snowfall best bet is that, you keep the plan flexible and keep a check on weather updates on the day you plan to visit. The links here: Rohtang Pass, Kothi and Manali regions respectively can be helpful for you in tracking the weather updates of Manali and around. If it says raining in Manali, or rains/snow at Kothi or snows at Rohtang Pass then expect snowfall at nearby snow points of Solang and Marhi/Gulaba etc. As far as snow is concerned, you will find plenty of snow out there.

          I hope that helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have some queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  25. can anyone tell me the latest on Road Condition from Chandigarh to Manali?

    • Hello Jayant,

      The road conditions between Chandigarh and Manali are fine barring few rough patches in between.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  26. ahmedabad via delhi to himachal pradesh

    suggest me for honeymoon places for above direction

    • Rashmi, you can go with Tirthan Valley if you want peaceful and secluded place, go with Manali if you want complete package of snow and shopping, go with Kinnaur Valley + Shimla circuit if you are OK with a bit more cold conditions in snow, or go with Dalhousie/Kalatop/Khajjiar again if you want peace. You can also go with Pabbar Valley if you love something off-beat.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  27. Hello everyone.

    I would like to know your opinion for our trip to Manali-Naggar-Tirthan valley.

    In our 3 days plan in Manali, along with usual Manali local visit, Solang valley, Rohtang pass etc we would like to add Naggar-Tirthan valley to our trip in Nov. We would like to know more information about those 2 places.

    What are the main attractions in Naggar-Tirthan valley?

    We have a plan to see Naggar in half a day and come back to Manali on same day.
    Can we see Tirthan valley on the way from Manali to Chandigarh?? How much time is required to see Tirthan valley.

    Rough itinerary:
    Day 1: Local Manali visit like hidimba temple, manu temple, vashist, Tibetian monetary, Naggar.
    Day 2: Solang Valley, Rohtang pass
    Day 3: Just relax or some missing places from day 1
    Day 4: Manali to Chandigarh, planning to cover tirthan valley.

    Please suggest.

    If it needs more time, then we can plan accordingly. Please let us know.
    Please let us know

    • Hi Pradeep,

      There are lot of things to see in Tirthan Valley and would require from you at least 2 days if not 3. If you have then go for it otherwise make a dedicated trip to Tirthan Valley at a later time. For Naggar Castle, if you can spend a night and explore the Krishna Temple, it would be a nice experience.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  28. Ketan Gajre on

    We are planning for one week holiday in North. We are reaching Agra on 25th December and visiting Taj Mahal. Next day local sight seeing at Delhi and night train to Kalka. From Kalka planning to take vehicle to shelpani and plan to spend 4-5 days there. We would like to know whether Shelpani gets snow or we have to go towards manali for snow related activities. Which are places to visited nearby shelapani. Kindly advice on iternay also.

    • Hi Ketan,

      Well, Shelpani – Karapther – Rohru does get snow but depends if it had snowed till that date, however, there will surely be snow at Chansal Pass at that time of the year. So, if you want peace and solitude then Shelapani – Rohru – Karapther (Pabbar Valley) is the right place at that time because Manali will be flooded with tourists. Yes, I am not sure if you get to have any snow activities there in snow around Chansal Pass like there are at snow points of Manali.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Ketan Gajre on

        Thanks Dheeraj for your prompt response. How far is chansal pass from shelapani? Is it possible to have a day trip and come back to shelapani? Or would you advice kufri for snow. Basically I am definately with you for peace and solitude but my children wants to experience the snow so what would you advice?

        • Hi Ketan,

          Shelpani to Rohru to Chansal Pass to Rohru to Shelapani is about 150 KMs drive and would take more than 8 Hrs, so possible day trip but since it will be snowed out not sure upto where you will able to reach but definitely not upto Chansal Pass in December. You may have a dash at Rohru from where I think it is about 95 odd KMs round trip.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  29. hi Dheeraj

    We are going to manali in june month & we paln to take own car (Swift)we are 2 male & 2 female & 1 kid.so what is your suggestion for drive own car.becoz it is 12 -14 hrs drive???

  30. kaushal mody on

    Hi Dheeraj – I was looking for your assistance in recommending where to stay while traveling between Delhi and Manali ? Wanted to have a night halt given the number of children and senior citizens we are traveling with. Bilaspur, mandi ..or any other place…do you have recommended hotels given its only one night..

  31. Hi dheeraj,

    I m a total adventure junkie. I m from mumbai and visiting manali and rohtang this april 12 till the 17…i m basically visting for snow adventure. i m planning a road trip from delhi. we r a group of 4 and could u plz guide us budget hotels around manali or even rohtang would be preferable. could u plz advice me on shieing adventures. Thank you in anticipation…

    • Hello Natash,

      Great to know about your spirit for adventure. Well, in Manali you can check out Manali – Naggar road for budget accommodation options. There are many of them available there. You can also try to stay a bit away from Manali at Vashisht where as well you find some good moderate budget accommodation options. One of them where we stayed was: The River View Hotel – Manali. You can contact them and check about the prices, if you want.

      Rohtang Pass will be closed and best I guess you can go upto Gulaba to enjoy snow or Solang Valley. at solang Valley, you can go for adventure sports.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know for any doubts or queries you have.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • we are going from delhi to manali with kids and elders. I was thinking of taking a stop at either mandi, bilaspur or sundernagar to make sure its half way (traveling time perspective) so we can all stretch our legs and take a night halt. where would you recommend we do that and if you have any decent hotel in mind

  32. 1st week of June I am travelling with my family from New Delhi and intending to see Shimla and Manali. This is my first visit to North India. I want to know will visiting Rohtang Pass be a problem. Do you know of people who had altitude issues visiting these places. I am from Singapore and doctors are not sure or much of help.

    Regards

    Krishna

    • Hello Krishna,

      Not sure how many days you have in hand but for visiting Shimla and Manali you can do something like:

      Day 1 | Reach Shimla from by overnight volvo from previous night. Check-in and rest at hotel. In the second half explore local Shimla including Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Back to Hotel By Evening.
      Day 2 | Around Shimla, a relaxing day. Jakhoo Temple, State Museum, Mall Road, Ridge etc. as you like or may be you can visit Kufri in the first half of the day and all this in the second half of the day.
      Day 3 | Shimla – Narkanda – Hatu Peak – Narkanda – Shimla (a bit long day) or you can do Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla (Little les hectic :))
      Day 4 | Shimla – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
      Day 6 | Manali – Rohtang Pass – Manali. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Naggar Castle(stay at Naggar and enjoy the place. Very romantic with great views and food. Visit Roerich Musueum, Art Gallery and do not miss the hike to ancient Krishna Temple at the top)
      Day 8 | Naggar Castle – Manali – Delhi. Checkout from Naggar Castle by noon. Since, the volvo to Delhi will be around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Naggar only and after lunch leave for Manali or you have the option to come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus. Or, you can also co-ordinate with bus HPTDC guys so that the bus pick you from the nearest pickup point for Naggar on the way to Delhi. Naggar Castle guys will arrange the taxi for the drop there.

      ** if you have time then try, Manali Sanctuary can also be covered as it is just about 2-3 KMs from Manali town and there is trail which starts from Manali Log Huts or Dhungri temple that leads you into the woods. 

      This will help your body get accustomed to hills before you reach Rohtang Pass.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any doubts or queries.
      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  33. Hi Dinesh,

    I am from Hyderabad. I am planning to visit Shimla/Manali from 13th April to 19th April. I will be visiting along with my parents, wife and two children of age 7 years and 10 years. I have decided to take an Innova from New Delhi. My schedule is as below:

    13th April – Start from New Delhi and proceed to Shimla. If possible travel around Chandigarh. Night halt and Shimla

    14th April – See 2 or 3 major places in Shimla and proceed to Kufri. In the night I will be going to Shelapani (Dwarika Residency) around 80 Kms from Shimla (This was the place strongly suggested by one of my relative and I also saw very good reviews even though it is not a famous landmark.)

    15th April – Stay and Shelapani

    16th April – Proceed towards Manali.

    17th April – Visit places in Manali

    18th April – Go to Solang valley and if possible a bit higher towards Rohtang Pass(I think the pass will be closed so maybe I will see how much distance it is allowed to go). On returning I will proceed to Naggar and have a night halt there.

    19th April – Spend 3-4 hours in Naggar and proceed towards New Delhi so that I can reach there by night.

    Overall I prefer to stay in Hotels away from the mad rush (Please suggest such hotels) and also have some adventure which my children can enjoy and my parents can join without much stress.

    Suggest some hotels which are away from

    • Hi Khadeer,

      The plan looks OK to me but quite a lot of traveling I see here to see places. Shelapani is indeed a great place to be and you are right about it. If possible drop Shimla altogether and straight away go to Shelapani and relax there for couple of days. Visit Karapather, Rohru and the way upto snow has blocked towards Chansal Pass. You will more enjoy there away from mad tourist and commercialized rush of Shimla town. But, if you intend to visit Shimla then there is nothing wrong with the plan above as per my knowledge.

      Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.

      If you want to stay away from hustle bustle then better stay at Solang Valley, very calm and quite instead of Manali. Hotel Iceland is a nice option there. Johnson's is also good in Manali though on the road towards old Manali, so you do hear some autos running around. But, being a bit away from mall (not much so that everything is accessible in case required), it is an optimum location. Otherwise, if you have a family you can book Hadmiba Cottages or Log Huts, away from town and secluded. Though food was not that good but since they provide kitchen may be you can try your hands with some cooking too in case required. But, very calm location.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj sarma

      • Thanks for your prompt and valuable response. Well maybe I will drop my plan for Chandigarh and Shimla but maybe I will go to Kufri. Maybe my children would enjoy it. My parents can rest in Shelapani.

        Regarding my stay in Naggar also if it becomes very tiresome I can drop it.

        Once again thanks a lot for your prompt advise.

  34. Mahesh Yadav on

    Dear Sir,

    We are planning a trip Delhi-Manali-Delhi in June'12 end. we are 4 members all are males. we are going by our car. please suggest places/sports/adventures/budget hotels and restaurants to visit in manali.

    • Hello Mahesh,

      Well, June is the most rushed season of the year. You will find whole Manali flooded with lots of people and almost all hotels very much booked. Try to go pre-booked if you are one of those who do not prefer the hassles on vacation. Otherwise, with search here and there, you will be able to of course find some or the other accommodation.

      Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc. You can enjoy adventure activities at Solang Valley for Paragliding, Snow activities at Rohtang Pass or Marhi, Rafting near Kullu etc. You can visit Naggar Castle if you have time.

      You can refer the article above for the accommodation options and how to find budget hotels plus list of good restaurants in Manali.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Mahesh Yadav on

        Sir, Now we planning our trip in July end or 1st week of august. is there any problem in manali due to rainfall. i just want to know we can enjoy in this season or we have to cancel our trip

        • Hello Mahesh,

          I will suggest avoid that period as monsoons will most probably will be in full swing and will mean too much trouble at times rather any kind of enjoyment. So, kindly avoid this period and make plans in Autumn or Fall in October types.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know for any doubts or queries you have.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Mahesh Yadav on

          Dear Sir, Actually we all are in Indian army. In may we are on leave for exams and for some family functions and next leave will be grant in july end or august. sep/oct no chance.

          So advice we have to go manali or suggest some other place where we can enjoy. trip should be not more than 1500KMs

        • Hello Mahesh,

          Well, I can understand but in monsoons most of the places in hills suffer from monsoons. The only worry is that for the past few years rains are so bad that it even affects the connectivity of Delhi – Manali Highway, forget about interiors. Also, when it will be raining all day you won't be able to enjoy the trip. You can try your your luck but nothing will be guaranteed in hills. As per other places, you can try Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mount Abu in August end or mid types when heat goes off a bit. Here, too if sun is out instead of clouds you will feel the heat 🙁

          I hope this helps. Please let me know for any doubts or queries you have.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  35. Harvinder Narang on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am going to Manali/Manikaran new holi on 6-03-2012 with 8 of family members.At this time is it possible to visit rohtang pass ?

    How is the weather at this time there ? how much woolen clothes we should take us ?

    Regards,

    Harvinder

    • Hello Harvinder,

      Rohtang Pass will be closed at this time of the year. At max, you will be allowed upto Gulaba, about 32 KMs from Rohtang Pass. You need to carry heavy woolens as temperatures will be very low and cold.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  36. Kumar Raja on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Just gone through the advices from you and thought u can help me too.

    I am planning to visit Kulu- Manali & Shimla ( in May-2012)

    so will u please suggest me hw to plan my schedule

    Point which i need your suggestion is

    1) from Delhi which place is better to visit first Shimla or Manali( i want to see both)

    2) Which mode of transport will be better between shimla & Manali

    3) will 5 days enough to visit both Shimla & Manali

    4) WHich hotel will be recomended by you both in shimla & Manali ( My budget is 2000 per 24 hrs is that ok from nice decent room or it costs more please let me knoe the budget for a decent Room)

    5) Places to visit in SHimla & Manali ( we are newly married couple)

    6) Regarding shopping please let me know what & where we should buy( means what items are good in Shimla & Manali)

    7) Do we need to take heavy woolen clothes along with us in May also.

    Please do reply me through mail, waiting for your reply

    Thanks in Advance

    & Highly appreciating your responses

    • Hello Raja,

      In 5 days, it is not advisable to visit both Shimla and Manali. It is better you visit Manali because you will be able to see snow in Manali in May but will not be able to see any snow in or around Shimla. So, go with Manali only as 5 days are too short to cover both the places.

      Travel by overnight Volvo between Manali and Delhi. Go with Johnson's or Jimmy Johnson's Hotel in Manali or Manali Heights, if that is your budget. If you want to stay away from the hustle-bustle then stay at Hotel Iceland at Solang Valley, about 16 KMs from Manali. Yes, carry light woolens in May as well and atleast one heavy woolen clothing. As for the plan –

      Day 1 – Reach Manali, take rest for half of the day and enjoy the x-mas in the evening including Mall road. (I assume that you will be reaching in the morning by Volvo)
      Day 2 – Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
      Day 3 – Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
      Day 4 – Manali – Naggar Castle(stay at Naggar and enjoy the place)
      Day 5 – Naggar Castle – Manali – Delhi (Checkout from Naggar Castle by noon. Since, the volov will be around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Naggar only and after lunch leave for Manali or come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus)

      I hope this helps. Please let me know for any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  37. Hi,

    I am planning to got to manali during 21st March for 5 days from Pune .Let me know the best way to reach Manali and is there any way i can go to dal housie or shimla .I want to know will Rohtang pass be open and how would the weather be like.Any recommendations on the hotels say a 3 star with a good valley view.Would you recommend taking a car or catch a volvo to reach manali.

    Regards

    Priya

    • H Priya,

      Well, you can come over to Delhi and take the overnight volvo from here. It is most convenient of the option unless you plan to self drive. Rohtang Pass will be closed at that time but you will find plenty of snow at snow points of Marhi or Gulaba. Do go with heavy woolens as weather would be cold at that time as though not like today's 🙂 … Johnson’s, Jimmy Johnson’s, Manali Heights are some good options of stay in Manali. Johnson's are my best bet always …

      Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc, Snow Points are at either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass and do check out Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place for a day, if possible). As per plan, you can try to follow something like –

      Day 1 – Reach Manali, take rest for half of the day and enjoy the x-mas in the evening including Mall road. (I assume that you will be reaching in the morning by Volvo)
      Day 2 – Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
      Day 3 – Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
      Day 4 – Manali – Naggar Castle(stay at Naggar and enjoy the place)
      Day 5 – Naggar Castle – Manali – Delhi (Checkout from Naggar Castle by noon. Since, the volov will be around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Naggar only and after lunch leave for Manali or come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus)

      I hope that helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have some queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  38. Osman Memon on

    We are total 6 friends planning to visit manali via Delhi and Shimla in the last week of january'12.
    we have got 4days and 5 nights schedule.
    Need your help in deciding the routine that will be most beneficial for us.
    Thank You !
    Will be gratefull if you suggest us means of transport and budget hotels.

    • Hi Osman,

      If you have just 4 days then I will suggest that you better select one circuit out of either Shimla or Manali as it is not possible to enjoy both of them in such small duration of time. Please let me know on your selection and I will advice you the required plan/itinerary.

      I hope this helps. Let me know for any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  39. Great Working Dheeraj , I will be very thankful to you for your information

    • Hey Ravi,

      You already did but pleasure is mine and I am already grateful that you liked the DeViL on WheeLs… Facebook Page. So, thanks for it. Best wishes for your trip and wishing you a very very happy and prosperous new year…

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  40. Hi Dheeraj,

    I'm planning to go for Manali via Kasauli from Delhi in 1 Jan,2012 till 6/7 Jan,2012 in our own car. Please suggest some cheap & best hotels/motels for both the places as its a budget trip(we both are male members only, so we can save some more costs at this point as well). Please suggest if any changes are required and please suggest would it be safe/economical to go by our own car.

    • Hi Friend,

      Considering about 1200 KMs run, you will be spending about 6.5K-7K for fuel which divided by two will count about 3.5K per head. Taking volvo tickets to Manali will cost you about 2.5K each but then you will be hiring taxis for local sighseeing as well. Also, you do not have the option to go via multiple places and have to take Manali-Delhi volvo only. So, if you can drive that much then go by your own car. Starting 2nd Jan it will be off-season in entire Himachal so you will definitely find great deals at some hotels. I have never been to Kasauli so cannot comment on hotels and also if there is any specific reason for Kasauli then only include it otherwise it will increase the distance of traveling by much. If you are OK with driving and want to do Kasauli then I will suggest that you go furher towards Shimla – Kufri and Chindi route to reach Manali. It is quite scenic and beautiful. At Manali you can try hotels at Manali-Naggar road, old Manali, Vashishth. All of them present there are decent as well as economic.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more details or have some queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  41. Gautam Shah on

    Hi,

    Firstly congrats on an excellent blog.

    I am planning a trip to Shimla-Manali in the last week of Mar '12 from Kolkata. Planning to take Kol-chandigarh flight and stay 2 Nights there before proceeding to Shimla (3 Nights) and then to Manali (4 or 5 Nights). From manali I am thinking of taking flight from Kulu to Delhi and then Kolkata (Is this flight option feasible).

    1) Is end Mar a good time to visit this hill station

    2) Should I do Shimla and then manali or vice versa

    3) Since R Pass will be closed where else will I find snow

    4) Can travel agent you advise for good car travel.

    5) Is the both way flight option a correct thing to do. (Getting it cheap right now).

    Would love to get your comments.

    Thanks

    Gautam

    • Hi Gautam,

      Thanks alot. If you are getting the tickets at cheaper cost then I will say go with it atleast on the way to Chandigarh. In between i.e. Chandigarh – Shimla and Manali – Delhi it will be much wiser decision to take Volvo and save some bucks. Manali – Delhi Volvo runs at evening so basically you will not be loosing on time front as well because of night, almost comfortable, journey 🙂 … So book tickets from Delhi to Kolkata only. Now coming back to your queries –

      1. Yes, it is a good time to visit the place when weather is cold but fine too in the sunlight. Being off-season you will get hefty discounts at all places/hotels including HPTDC properties.
      2. Go to Shimla first and then Manali. You will feel much more accustomed to hills by then.
      3. Well, at Shimla side in March I feel you will find snow at Hatu Peak near Narkanda and on Manali side, don;t worry at all as you will find loads of snow at Marhi/Gulaba snow points.
      4. No need to involve any travel agent at all. Book the Volvo tickets (Shimla-Chandigarh and Manali-Delhi) online from HPTDC Online Bus Booking website. For local travel you will find taxi easily from local taxi stands of Manali and Shimla. If you do not want to do it on your own then ask your hotel to arrange taxi for you. It will be much better and economic then opting for Travel Agent.
      5. Nopes, as I said I am not sure about Delhi-Kolkata and vice versa but do not book it in between as it will save some good money, mostlikely half of the entire trip if you are more than 2 🙂 …

      As per the itinerary goes –

      Day 1 | Reach Shimla from Chandigarh by overnight volvo from previous night. Check-in and rest at hotel. In the second half explore local Shimla including Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Back to Hotel By Evening.
      Day 2 | Around Shimla, a relaxing day. Jakhoo Temple, State Museum, Mall Road, Ridge etc. as you like or may be you can visit Kufri in the first half of the day and all this in the second half of the day.
      Day 3 | Shimla – Narkanda – Hatu Peak – Narkanda – Shimla (a bit long day) or you can do Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla (Little les hectic :))
      Day 4 | Shimla – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
      Day 6 | Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Naggar Castle(stay at Naggar and enjoy the place. Very romantic with great views and food. Visit Roerich Musueum, Art Gallery and do not miss the hike to ancient Krishna Temple at the top)
      Day 8 | Naggar Castle – Manali – Delhi. Checkout from Naggar Castle by noon. Since, the volvo to Delhi will be around 5.30 PM types, so either you can spend a sometime hanging around Naggar only and after lunch leave for Manali or you have the option to come back to Manali and hang around on Mall road and finally take the return bus. Or, you can also co-ordinate with bus HPTDC guys so that the bus pick you from the nearest pickup point for Naggar on the way to Delhi. Naggar Castle guys will arrange the taxi for the drop there.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have doubts or queries.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Gautam Shah on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks a ton for the immediate response. Only goes to show your passion.

        Firstly, I would not like to take the 14 hr bus journey (family members uncomfortable) and since the tickets are cheap looking to block Kol-Chandigarh and Manali-Kol flight tickets tomorrow.

        1) Is there a Chandigarh-Shimla and then Shimla Manali volvo service. Is it safe and comfortable enough.

        2) How is the taxi service of HPTDC (planning to take it on the Shimla-manali route so that I can stop whereever I want and I believe the path is beautiful)

        3) Is 3 days (shimla) and 5 days (manali) sufficent (will add a day or two on your suggestion)

        4) Planning to stay at Apple country resort at manali. Is it fine. Any name you would reco.

        5) Shimla not done enough reserach. Would you advise any hotel (Budget – 4000-7000)

        6) Lastly flight from kulu is at 8:45 AM for delhi. How early will I have to start from hotel and is it safe.

        Please let me know as per your convenience. Want to freeze the entire trip in a day or two. Thanks in advance.

        Regards,

        Gautam

        • Hi Gautam,

          Please find my answers in respective order of your queries –

          1. Yes, there is a volvo service between Shimla and Chandigarh, guess by HPTDC as well. I doubt if there is any Volvo service between Shimla and Manali but yes there is a Deluxe bus that runs between Manali and Shimla by HPTDC.

          2. Path is OK I will say atleast the one you will take because in March the beautiful one via Jalori Pass will be closed. You can of course try Karsog Valley route via Chindi and may be halt for a day at Chindi to break the journey in between and on the go explore Naldhera – Tattapani – Karsog Valley on the route. Chindi is a very nice, secluded and calm place to be at. Since, you can add a day then I will advice you to take this route only. The third route i.e. normal route between Shimla – Manali isn't that scenic 🙂 …

          3. Yes, that will be fine I believe. Just add a day incase you plan to take Chindi route to enjoy it thoroughly.

          4. Not sure about Apple country resort but yes, Johnson's, Jimmy Johnson's, Piccadily and Manali Heights are some good options IMO, if you are OK with their budgets. Even if you plan to stay somewhere else do checkout a meal or two at Johnson's (both of them are equally good)

          5. Try Peterhoff Heritage Hotel by HPTDC in Shimla. I never stayed in Shimla so cannot provide any first hand experience for its hotels.

          6. Kullu is about 40 KMs from Manali, so try to start about 5.30-6.00 AM types to avoid any kind of last minute hassles. Yes, it is completely safe there. No worries.

          I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have any queries or doubts. Do not miss a meal or two at few of the food joints mentioned above in the article 🙂 …

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Gautam Shah on

        Sorry for the late response and a big thank you for the detailed reply. My flights tickets are now booked. Working on other aspects of my trip. Will take further advise from you closer to my trip date.

        Thanks again. Keep up the excellent work.

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  43. hi dheeraj,

    the plan you suggested is gud,directly going to srinagar fm delhi n coming down to manali-shimla.i have a query,do u know any parcel service in delhi who courier bikes to srinagar?and how many days ll it take to get bike in srinagar?one more thing is will i get bike for rent at ladakh for going to manali and need a facility of leaving rented one at manali?thnx in advance mate.

    • Hello Jaison,

      Well, I haven't used it personally but I guess you can ship your bike to Srinagar using GATI services. Check their website to get the rates. If you are planning to transport using Railways upto Delhi then do carry the bikes with you and try to avoid parcel shipment as it may jeopardize the whole plan for you. Using, parcel shipment it may be possible that you end up waiting or finding traces of your bike in Railway officers and do not forget how babus work in our country 😀 … Try GATI, I will say as I have seen lot of people using their services. They do offer discounts I guess to students, so check that too and try to convince them that you are a student. You can ask the process for getting the bike at Srinagar from GATI guys.

      Yes, I guess there are bike rentals available in Leh who allow you to drop the bike in Manali. Of course, they charge a bit more. Also, check the some of the tips given in the article here on hiring bikes from Manali but many of these tips are applicable to Leh bike rentals as well.

      I hope this helps. Let me know for further doubts/queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Dheeraj vai
      we ,are a group of 4 people ..planning to go to Delhi from Manali.We will be reaching Manali from Leh at afternoon…and on next day evening ..we are having flights from Delhi..Normally all buses(MANALI TO Delhi volvo) as per our analysis (Govt/Private) are used to leave Manali around Evening time…but as we will be reaching Manali ..in evening …we will not be able to catch them….In this respect can you suggest some private cab reference from Manali to Delhi..our plan is to start late night from Manali.

      Thanks in advance.

      • Avigeet, there in HRTC Ordinary bus that leaves at 9.30 PM from Manali in the night. Check that and book your tickets online for it.

  44. jagan mohan on

    hello mr.dheeraj, thanks for that very informative blog of yours.is there snowfall in the last weeks of november or early december in shimla .

    • Hello Mr. Jagan,

      I do not think that region around Shimla receive any snow before late December or early January. If you want snow and looking to visit Shimla/Kufri/Narkanda then plan your journey in January or February. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  45. first of all thanks for such an informative and planned blog..i am planning to visit manali for 3 nights and 4 days for honeymoon at november ,2011 end.could u sugget me the best hotel at manali.and whether it would be better to hire a car with driver to travel from rohtak/delhi to manali and use tha for all 4 days.or to go there by volvo bus ..please.waiting for ur reply.thanks.

    • Hello Dinesh,

      Thanks buddy, just trying my best to keep updated information for fellow travelers as well as tourists.

      Since, you are going on a Honeymoon I will suggest that you go with Johnsons Lodge or Jimmy Johnsons Hotel near circuit house, Manali. Both are great options of stay with almost equivalent comfort and almost identical in prices. You can opt for any of them. Personally, it is one of my favorites in Manali. Ask for off-season discount too or may be be bargain for the entire discounted package for honeymoon. HPTDC offers 30% discount in offseason so you can expect a bit more like about 40-45% from private properties. Best thing is it is near to Mall road, so everything is accessible easily and then it serves one of the finest cuisines in whole Manali town. Even if you do not plan to stay there then do check a meal or two in their restaurant.

      You should plan to travel using overnight Volvo which will be far more comfortable as well as economic option rather than hiring taxi from Rohtak. Plus, you will be less tired too. Being off season you will get decent prices for local taxi from Manali taxi union.

      As a side note, I will strongly advice a night stay at Naggar Castle, Naggar as I feel it is one of the romantic places around that region I have ever been. Having a meal or coffee in the restaurant at balcony table is just a great feeling as I recall from my honeymoon trip too :)… If planning, then do book room with front view. Read complete review here.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to let me know incase you have further doubts or queries.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • thanks for your reply sir.

        about jhonson 's .i think cottage will be too big for two persons.and i have checked their website which doesn't show any room with mountain view.

        through net i zeroed on honeymoonin hote (http://www.hotelhoneymooninn.net/manali/rooms.html) but on tripadvisor.com i found some bad reviews about that.

        could u please suggest me a good hotel which gave an excellent view of valley or mountains and room have balcony.

        i am really thankful for your views on naggar and included it as a must visit place with one night stay…….

        sir what about staying all 3 nights at naggar castle?

        thanks….

        • Hello Dinesh,

          Well, most hotels in Manali town will offer similar views what Johnson's offer. In that case you need to get room outta Manali town. I am sorry I cannot recall any hotel with such view apart from Hadimba Cottages which offers similar views. You can check the complete review at the link but again that is away from mall road and food was not all that good. You can check some hotels in Solang Valley too for some great views.

          Now staying at Naggar Castle for 3 days: Well, it is a great idea if you are looking forward to spend time at secluded place and ready to travel about 1-1.5 Hr to reach Manali and enjoy shopping or snow points because Naggar itself only offers a Krishna temple and some boring art galleries along with Naggar Castle itself. It is a great place with majestic views, if you are OK with the above facts and also keep in mind that in day time tourists from Manali will visit Naggar Castle to explore it and hence you may find a little rush there. But, you can always spend that time hiking to the Krishna temple or enjoying with the tourists or may be sitting in your balcony itself.

          I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any queries or doubts.

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

  46. hi dheeraj,

    we hav planned for shimla,manali trip in 1st week of october.is it better to go at this period??nd as i gt to know dat rohtang pass is closed on tuesdays.is it true??

    • Hello Saranya,

      Well, firstly in the first week of October it will be Durga Puja and Dusherra festivals going on in Kullu – Manali region. The whole valley will be flocked with tourists and locales from all near by villages and you may have tough time finding the accommodations too. So, do book in advance especially for Manali region. As per weather, that will be fine enough to enjoy the beauty at its best. Yes, Rohtang Pass is closed on Tuesdays for tourists due to maintenance work on that road.

      If interested, for more information on Manali and Rohtang Pass including accommodation options, food joints, must see places etc you can go through the Manali travel guide available at the link here

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have some doubts or queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  47. Hi,

    We are planning to Visit Manali on October 16 – 20, Are there any chances to see snow at Rohtang [not live], will be able to do skiing.. please advise

    • Minal, usually the snowfall starts by October at all the high mountain passes. I guess seeing a delayed monsoon you may or you may not be able to see snow at Rohtang Pass in mid-October. As far as skiing is concerned that will be very much unlikely to happen 🙁 … I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have some queries.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj

  48. Rajesh Singhi on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    We have planed a visit to Shimla, Kullu -manali during diwali vacation (23 to 1st Nov) Are there any change we see snow at least at Rohtang.

    • Hello Rajesh,

      Yes, you will surely be able to see snow at/around Rohtang Pass near Manali by the time you are planning to visit the region. You can check the pictures of snow at Solang Valley in the second week of November 2009 at the link here.

      I hope this helps.
      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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