Delhi to Manali, Himachal Pradesh – Travel Guide

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Destination Point: Manali

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. Manali is one of the oldest towns of Kullu Valley. The place surrounds with the the aura of ROMANCE everywhere, right from the hustle-bustle of mall road to the very calm, traditional, firang (foreigners) dominated old Manali to the woods/villages around/beyond Manu temple to the walk path around Hadimba temple. It can easily be called one of the ROMANTIC destinations of India. The place is ideal for families as well as young couple looking for some hide and seek with the flavor of romance on top of it. Manali is largely visited by the honeymoon couples (me did so 😉 Read story Snow at Manali and Naggar | Honeymoon Trip ) and in summers people from all walks of life (children to old) run to seek pleasant weather from low hot burning lands of Northern India. The Hadimba goddess runs the Manali town and is the center of worship of the people living at Manali. The almighty 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.

Some views of Manali…
View of Manali
View of Manali
View of Manali
View of Manali
View of Manali
Climate

Climate in Manali is almost nice throughout the year (if you like chill ;)) where you can enjoy chilling cold in winters (December-February) and nice pleasant cool weather in summers. The best time although to visit Manali is April to June when heat is burning the low lands of Northern India. July-August may experience rainfall but this place has again it’s unique beauty when it rains :). Snowfall may also occur in the months of January and February.

Article Last Updated on 20th May 2015
Best Time to Visit

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 :D. It’s almost you are in Trade Fair of Pragati Maidan, Delhi 😆 But if you enjoy it, then it’s really 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.

For honeymoon, of course if you get married in winters then Mid-November to February end is the best time as you get an additional benefit of heavy discount, being off-season topped with less number of tourists or at least you see similar love birds.

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 weather on the current day of the year 🙂

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

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

Some More Views Manali…
View of snow cap peaks from Manali
View of strrets in Old Manali
How to reach Manali
By Air

Nearest Airport is Bhunter near Kullu about 50 KM away. From Kullu, you can hire a taxi to reach Manali in 90 minutes approximately. The fare of taxi could be Rs 600- Rs 800, depending upon the bargaining skills as well as season time.

By Train

Chandigarh is the closest major Railway Station from where it would take anywhere around 9-10 Hours to reach Manali by bus/car.

By Road

Manali is about 570 KM from Delhi (approximately) and takes around 12-14 Hours to reach.

Generaly 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 P.M. everyday from HPTDC Office, Janpath and reaches Manali next morning around 8 AM. The fare is around Rs 990 on side. The similar buses leaves from Manali every evening 5.30 PM and reaching Delhi by 7.00 AM next morning.

Road Conditions

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 loose your concentration, specially the drive from Kiratpur to Sunder Nagar is horrible with 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 rest of the road conditions are pure bliss to drive.

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

Preferred Vehicles

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 😉

Bus Service from Delhi – Manali

As per HRTC FB Page, HRTC & HPTDC operates 6 daily Volvo buses from Manali to Delhi. While HRTC charges ₹1283- for this service, HPTDC charges ₹1300/-. Travel time is roughly 13.5-14 hours (592 kms).

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

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

Itinerary

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 majority of this place. I would also provide some add-on or pop-up day tours which you can include exclude as you like.

Night – 1: Leave Delhi in the evening to reach Manali next morning either by car/or Volvo bus. You can take a morning flight to Kullu as well which takes you to first day.

Day – 1: Check-in at the hotel, rest for few hours and go on for Local Sightseeing. This 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. Have Dinner at one of the traditional / western cuisine restaurant at Old Manali. Come back to hotel for the rest.

Day – 2: Leave for Rohtang Pass early in the morning to avoid traffic JAM. Mind it, it’s worse JAM of the trip so be prepared and it’s always better to avoid by shooting for Rohtang early morning may be 7 A.M. Come back to hotel by evening or around 4 PM to rest at the hotel and enjoy the Mall road in the evening / night.

Day – 3: Leave for Solang Valley if you want to do some adventure sports and enjoy the day there. Come back in the evening. Leave for home in the night, either by taking the evening Volvo or by you own car.

Add-on or Top-up Days

Day – 4: 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 is 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 honeymoon it’s one of the best place to stay and must visit for couples looking for 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 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.

Day – 5/6: Another set of location you may include 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 ample amount of time. Just it would be great if you can do it on the way back to home towards Delhi or similar route.

Reach Kullu, shop in the market and head towards 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 for Kasol and try to enjoy the environment to the core besides the Parvati River. If you have ever been to Goa (Check My Goa Valentines Trip), you would say it’s almost a mini form of it without bikinis ;)…

Leave for Delhi in the evening and reach by morning.

Accommodations

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 either 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 near by and I would really recommend it for families with children. Kids tends to demand this and that every now and then which makes Hotel Kunzum a good choice as everything you get in Manali is so near by. 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 off – season as it may also scare a bit out of you being alone. At least we felt so when we stayed and moreover 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 it’s cuisines. The rooms are really comfortable and worth the money. Even if you don’t stay do have a meal or two in it’s restaurant. Range is Rs 2200- Rs4000.
  • Picaddily Resort: This is at the start of Mall road and not at all a budget hotel. We stayed here in very off season and still we got a room for 1500 😯 I believe. But I must say the money was worth it as the Hotel have all sorts of deserving offerings one would like.
  • HPTDC, Rohtang Manalsu & The Beas: This hotel is a bit away from hustle bustle of town but very moderate budget hotels. Range is 650-2000 and you can always stay here if you are short on budget.

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

If you are short on 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 very good deals for some cheap hotels in Manali.

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

Budgest 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 real 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

Food Joints
  • Johnson’s,located near Circuit House is very famous for it’s 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 of the trip we just had our meal on 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 (original one) is also a good food joint although I have never been there due to long queues 😀
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 to help 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 complete 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 xmas – 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%
Around Manali:

There are ample of places around Manali and inside Manali town which as a tourist can be visited and clicked for some great memories in life. I will try to enlist some of them below –

Local Sightseeing

You can check below destinations within Manali town –

Manali Mall Road

You can enjoy food and shopping at 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 of Manali
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 fun of it’s 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 Chingu is what you will hear all over as you start entering the road. Don’t fall into the trap of sales man of buying it, most of them are duplicate makes.

View of Manu Temple in Manali
Local Monastery

Local monastery is situated just few 200 odd Meters from the bus stand at Mall road. You can surely buy some souvenir from the shops in front of the local Manali monastery.

View of local monastery in Manali
View of local monastery in Manali
Vashishth Hot Water Springs

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

Other trails

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

Rohtang Pass

At an height 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 point of Delhi-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 are wishing to head Leh Ladakh.

View of Solang Valley
View of Solang Valley while going from Manali
Naggar

This is just amazing place which I have already explained in the Itinerary section and 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 while going from Manali
Kullu

It’s a major district of Himachal Pradesh and is located at the banks of Beas River. The Airport Bhunter is just 10 KMs from this place and you will find ample of place to shop.

View of Kullu while going to Manali
View of Kullu while going to Manali
Kasol

42 KM from Kullu, Kasol situated at the banks of Parvati River is yet another place which is a must visit and provides a completely unique experience with Israeli atmosphere dominating the air.It’s an hub of backpackers and what they are after, you very well know.

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 couple of hours giving to this place is worth enough.

Kalath

A hot water spring about 10 KMs before Manali on the road side itself. Thanks to Ajay for sharing this place with us at the comment here, will check next time I visit up there.

Conclusion

If you ever have been to Manali then please share you 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.

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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 me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Mamoon Rashid on

    Hello…. I will be travelling by hired Innova from Delhi to Manali with my friends on 20 April . Please tell me what time will be best to leave delhi for it, where I can take stops and will it be safe while travelling at night??

    • Yes, usually night time is ok to travel on this road provided you understand the risks of night driving and are not feeling sleepless. Secondly Delhi to Manali is around 12-14 Hrs of journey by road, so you need to plan accordingly for leaving for it.

  3. hi dheeraj
    I am here just to give u a brief about our trip what we friends have planned for a road trip from Delhi to leh via manali..can u please help us out wit it and can you please suggest any alternative n the number of days what we have planned is it al OK??
    day1:leaving at 0500hrs from delhi.. nite at manali
    day2:leaving for leh from manali
    day3:travelling..heard it does take tym from manali to leh
    day4:reaching leh in the morning and rest
    day5:leh-pangong lake
    day6-pangong lake-leh
    day7:leh-nubra valley
    day8: kargil-drass
    n leaving for Srinagar to Delhi..like kind of approx 10-11days..
    no experience of mountain biking.. 6ppl n planning to hire 3bikes..
    can u please help us out wit this.

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

      Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days.

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    I have gone through your blog and it is very informative. But, I need your help/suggestion in planning my Manali itinerary.

    I will be travelling by road from Delhi on our own vehicle with my family and kids to Manali around end of March 2016 for 3 nights – 4 days (starting 25th probably). We are 4 adults and 4 kids (8y, 4y, 3y and 3y). Considering the above factors, I would like to know
    1. What is the best time to start from Delhi so that we reach Manali well in time safe and sound.
    2. What is the route I should be taking so that journey is not tiring. I have heard that there are potholes and truck traffic on the way which makes the journey tiring.
    3. How is the weather around March end and what kind of stuff and clothing to carry?
    4. What all places we can plan to visit with the kids in these 3/4 days?

    Looking forward…

    • Hi Saurabh,

      1. Are you planning to self drive or by taxi? r going by Volvo? It will take 13-14 Hrs of drive to Manali, so with kids please evaluate if you guys have done such long journey before
      2. The other road which goes from Una – Bhota – Jahu is good in condition BUT adds 55-60 KMs of distance more and obviously travel time too. So, I feel it is longer and now most roads is fixed on main NH-21 too, so only few sections with bad roads are there and yes truck traffic is what you need to be patient up to Sunder Nagar from Kiratpur.
      3. March is pleasant. Do carry at least one heavy woolen jacket for sure and one pair of heavy woolen, rest light woolens shall be OK. It will help in case weather becomes overcast
      4. Manali local, Snow Point towards Rohtang PAss, Solang Valley, Naggar Castle.

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your response.

        1. We are planning to self drive our own XUV500. With Kids, we have not traveled that long but we all are pretty excited. On one occassion we had traveled to Dharamshala once. That is why we actually requested what can be the best time to start from Delhi so that even if we take break in between then we reach Manali safely.
        Also, after Ambala, which places can be good options to take a break considering the family.

  5. Bangalore Girl on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Beautiful travelogue. I have a couple of questions, and hopefully you will be able to answer. Flying in with my Husband from bangalore on April 9 into delhi and then planning on taking a bus to Manali on April 10. Would like to reach Delhi on the 18th. Planning to follow your itinerary,(would it be possible to do Rohtang and Solang in one day Coz quite interested in adventure sports) but give a skip to naggar. Would like to have a look at Kasol since it sounds quite interesting. Should i make my base at Manali and go by bike to Kasol and come back at night or would it be preferable to check out and take a hotel at kasol? Also hoping to make a 2-3 day stop at McleodGunj and then return to delhi. Would this be possible?
    Any tips would be greatly aprreciated. Thank you in advance!

    • Yes, Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley can be done in on day. Yes, make Manali the base and do trip around. And then towards the last days of trip, go over to Kasol. Then from there move to Mcleod Ganj. It will take good amount of travel but doable in 7 days you have in hand.

  6. Hi i need a favor from you sir,

    We need 14 nights and 15 days planning for Himachal Tour, Something unusual,

    15th march chandigarh to endpoint Pathankot 29th March for Two Couple,

    Please, advise us Sir!!

    • Hello Nayan,

      You can plan a trip like below if you have not been to places like these:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Nakranda – Sarahan
      Day 3 | Sarahan – Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 4 | Sangla/Chitkul – Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 6 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Lallung
      Day 7 | Lallung – Pin Valley
      Day 8 | Pin Valley – Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — For stay check Sakya Abode or snow lion are two good options at Kaza apart from PWD Guest houses. Get in touch with Tsering bhai, the guy who runs it. He is a very good friend of mine.
      Day 9 | Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 10 | Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit
      Day 11 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 12 | Chandratal – Keylong
      Day 13 | Keylong – Udaipur – Keylong OR Keylong – Baralacha La – Keylong
      Day 14 | Keylong – Manali/Mandi
      Day 15 | Manali- Delhi

  7. Vaibhav Salgaonkar on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to Drive tomorrow from Chandigarh Railway station to Kasol. I am picking up a self drive car from Chandigarh Railway station at 12 pm. What are the tips to drive from Chandigarh to Kasol, would it be snowing. How much time should we take to reach Kasol, it shows 7.5 hours on google maps. Would it be very cold there?

    • Vaibhav, it was snowing yesterday in hills including Manali, Shimla and hills around Kasol and I am sure Kasol too. From Chandigarh it will take about 8-9 Hrs easy drive to Kasol. Yes, it will be cold up there 🙂

      • Vaibhav Salgaonkar on

        Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for the useful info.
        Is there any safety issue while on way from Chandigrah to Kasol?
        In case we have to take a night haltover which place will you recommend? Any good Dhabas on the way?

        • No, there isn’t any safety issue on that route. Just drive with care and caution. DO NOT over take trucks from Kiratpur to Sunder Nagar/Bilaspur as they drive much rash. In case you want to take overnight stay, halt at Mandi in that case. Just before Sunder Nagar, there are dhabhas which are very good on the left side

  8. I am planning to go New Delhi to Manali in mid feb.
    New Delhi to Manali — Bus
    Manali to Delhi — Bus
    Can you tell how can i visit for local site seeing as well as famous places of Manali ?
    Should I hire taxi , What is approximate charges ?

    Best Hotel in reasonable price ?

    Please give me idea in details.s

    Thanks in advance !!

    • Mani, there are couple of options. One you can take a bus run by HPTDC for tourists to enjoy the sightseeing within Manali or around it. Secondly you can hire private taxis which should be available for around 3000-4000 per day.

  9. Will i be able to see snow in & around Manali around 26th of January 2016? Be it in Solang valley or Gulaba?

      • Thanks Dheeraj, Will there be any problems with snow and freezing temperature then? Going with wife and a 3.5 years old girl child.

        Do suggest some places to visit in & around Manali?

        • Amitab, there should not be much of a problem visiting Manali during that time as I am sure you will take enough precautions carrying all the possible clothes / woollens. So, it is OK unless you guys are too sensitive to cold. Hotels do have heaters too.

  10. HI,
    Your site is really intersting and a damn good one. very informative..
    Im planning a trip with 3 friends to Himachal in feb and i wanted to cover basically 4 araes
    dharamshala/dalhousie/manali/shimla in 8days.
    Delhi will be our meeting point. Can you suggest a nice itenary for us.
    FYI, while going from delhi to himachal we prefer train/bus but while coming back we will take a flight.

    Thank you very much

    • Ajay, I willfirst suggest that you remove at least on either Shimla side OR dharamshala/dalhousie side as it will be too much to cover separate ends of Himachal in just 8 days. Which one would you like to drop off?

      • Prabhu Shankar on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Your blog came across as an eye opener for us who are planning for a travel to north india by Mid of December. It is really informative and detailed. We have booked tickets from cochin to Delhi on Dec 18 and return from Delhi on 26th. We wish to watch the ceremony in Wagah and engage in adventure sports in rishikesh. As experiencing snow is one of our ambition, would like to cover manali too. Kindly advise if its faesible to cover all these places in so many days. Request your expertise in drawing an itinerary too.

        • Hi Prabhu,

          Adventure sports will be closed in Rishikesh in winters and it is too off the track from Himachal/Manali/Amritsar route. Are you open for just Manali and Amritsar, I can suggest you the plan?

        • Prabhu Shankar on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          Thanks for the reply. We wanted to do white water rafting as I heard the one in Rishikesh is amongst the best in the world. 3 of us were really looking forward to the possibilities of exploring adventure sports like paraglyding and bungee jumping too. Any alternate that you can suggest? As sight seeing takes only back seat in our priority list. Please let me know your thoughts

        • Prabhu, rafting starts in March end / April types and is closed then. Also, you need to check if the rafting was resumed last year and will be resumed this year after some mishaps last year it was closed in Rishikesh.

      • Will i be able to see snow in & around Manali around 26th of January 2016? Be it in Solang valley or Gulaba?

  11. Abhinandan on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Thank you for your time and sharing valuable information on the suggestions provided i have prepared and itinerary please do have a look and let me know your opinion,

    So the itinerary is as follows :

    Day 1 | Bangalore to Chandigarh flight booked then to kalka by cab or auto from airport
    Day 2| Reach Shimla from by Shivalik express booked. Check-in and rest at hotel. In the second half explore local Shimla including Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Back to Hotel.
    Day 3 | Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla
    Day 4 | Shimla – Manali travel Checkin and rest.
    Day 5 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs. By noon and evening shopping and walkin in mall.
    Day 6 | Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or gulaba, Solang vally priffered
    Day 7 | – Manali – Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place)
    Day 8 | – Naggar – Kasol – Manikaran – back to manali and towards chandighar
    Day 9 | – Chandighar to bangalore booked.

    So i have some more doubts it will be helpful if can guide –
    >As i read your travelogue you had oped for Hptdc package for your manali trip is it advised to take a package or is it manageable all by myself?
    >if yes what might be the relabel transport option for the tour?
    > What might be the over all sightseeing travel budget for the itinerary?

    Thank you,

    Abhinandan

    • Hi Abhinandan,

      Best is that you manage yourself, that will save you lot of hassles. You can keep around 10-12K for it and rest keep it as 1000 per day for food + stay pe rperson

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        I just came across your blog on a vivid search on Kullu- Manali trip. Me and my fiance is planning for a honeymoon trip on April 20th 2016 to Manali and Kulu. As her primary aim is to see the snow, we chose these places. Kindly advice on the following:
        1. As its her ultimate wish, i would like to know whether we can see snow in Manali on April? I read about Rohtang Pass/Solang Valley & Marhi from your post. If we travel to these places is there a chance for us to see snow on April?
        2. Can we rent a taxi to Manali – Rohtang Pass or is buses available to and fro? How much will be the average taxi charge?
        3. How to go to Kullu from Manali? Is there any buses or taxi is the option? Where to stay in Kullu?
        4. We are planning to take a flight to Delhi from Kerala. Can u guide me which is the nearest Volvo pickup point from the Delhi airport?

        Our travel itienary is as follows:
        Cochin-Delhi on Flight. From there to Manali in Volvo
        Day 1: Reach Manali by morning. Check in to Hotel and take rest. Local sightseeing in Manali town
        Day 2: Early morning to Rohtang Pass. Spend the day there and back to Manali by evening.
        Day 3: Manali – Kulu. Night Stay at Kulu.
        Day 4: Kulu- Manali. Evening depart to Delhi by volvo bus.

        Please advice on the itienary mentioned. Also please suggest a few hotels to stay in Manali and Kulu. You have mentioned about Kasol. How far is it from Kulu? If we arrange a night stay there, will it be difficult to reach bak Manali on time. Also please advice on your stay at Naggar Castle. What is it special there? Should I avoid Kulu and add Naggar?

        Your suggestions will be most appreciated.
        Thank You

        • Hello Tijo,

          1. You will find plenty of snow at the snow points of Marhi or Gulaba in April. Rohtang Pass, most likely will be closed due to heavy snow. But, at lower snow points you will get good snow.
          2. Yes, you can rent taxi as well as HPTDC tourism bus is also available for sightseeing.
          3. There is nothing in Kullu best stay in Manali only and explore around. Instead you can stay at Naggar Castle to which as well HPTDC tourism buses go and taxis also go and charge about 700-800 bucks for a drop to Naggar
          4. HPTDC Volvo buses will be available from Himachal Bhawan which is in central Delhi. You can catch a UBER or OLA cab from Airport.

          Naggar Castle is the best place to stay in Naggar

        • Thank You Dheeraj. Appreciate your quick reply and yes I will pay a visit to Naggar. Please check on the itinerary and advice. Also is it possible to start from Manali from morning to Kasol, roam around there and come back to Naggar by evening? Please advice on a few budget hotels at Manali of 2000 bucks range which has a neat atmosphere.
          Hope to hear from u soon.
          Regards

        • Itinerary is fine given the days you have in hand. Instead of Kullu go to Naggar. Better give Kasol a skip for now and make a trip when you have more time. Spend time in Naggar instead of traveling just on roads. Regarding budget hotels, well you will find many on the spot. Most hotels on Old Manali and Manali – Naggar road will suffice your needs.

  12. Abhinandan on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you for the blog it gave a lot of info.

    I’m planning to visit Shimla-Kullu-Manali my honeymoon in the mid January, but not able to make a clear cut itinerary and kindly requesting you can help me out to make a 6 day Itinerary.
    So, as I’m a Banglorian my trip starts from Bangalore, I thought to reach Chandigarh by flight and then to reach Kalka by any local taxi and take a Toytrain to Shimla.
    Is it a feasible idea or should i move to Delhi and reach manali then go to shimla.
    Im dying with a lot of confusion please help me out….!!!!

    Regards,
    Abhinandan.K

    • Hello Abhinandan,

      That is the perfect idea I will say to at least land in Chandigarh and then move from there. I will also strongly suggest to skip Shimla as there is nothing and stick to Manali and around for 5-6 days as below. It will ease out lot of journey for you and give you more time to spend together with each other. If you really want to include Shimla, let me know and I will suggest modified plan accordingly

      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 – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol (Enjoy Kasol with Israeli culture and cuisines)
      Day 6 – Manali – Delhi

      • Abhinandan on

        Hello Dheeraj,

        Thank you for the replay and a well planned itinerary, It is very helpful.

        You surely read my mind about the Shimla, the reason i chose Shimla is solely for that Toytrain which runs between the valleys tunnels and by the time of jan there will be a mist and snowy weather which will give us a white seance beauty of Himachal for that reason i thought going form Kalka to Shimla in a toytrain is a feasible idea. Kindly share your thoughts……!!!!

        By the way will the Rohtang pass closed in Jan is it ??? I always wanted to have a gimps n raid through it.

        Just one more question is there any possibilities to rent a cruiser bike in Manali????

        Open for suggestions and guidance.

        Thank you,

        Warm Regards,
        Abhinandan.K

        • Hi Abhinandan,

          Yes, that is fairly possible in case you wish to enjoy the ride on Toy Train. It will become a bit hectic and you can follow plan like below:

          Day 1 | Reach Shimla from by Toy train Volvo. 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 | Shimla – Narkanda – Hatu Peak – Narkanda – Shimla or you can do Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla (Little les hectic :))
          Day 3 | Shimla – Manali
          Day 4 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
          Day 5 | Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass or Rphtang Pass if safe to reach there. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali and on the way do paragliding at Solang Valley, if required.
          Day 6 | Manali – Delhi.

          You can take the bike to snow point too. Rohtang Pass will be closed but snow point at Solang Valley and Gulaba will be open where there will be plenty of snow.

  13. Kunal Dutta on

    Hi,
    Its always nice to read through your blog. I wrote in here few weeks back and my current post is related to that trip which we are planning in Dec 22-28.

    I will ask for your help and guidance but before that I want to lay down my travel plan so that you can have a better idea.

    Dec22: Reach Delhi around 7AM – take a self drive car
    Dec22: Reach Kufri (resort already booked) – night halt
    Dec23: Local sight seeing – Shimla & Kufri
    Dec 24: Leave for Manali (hotel booked)-night stay
    Dec25: Local sight seeing
    Dec26: Local sight seeing
    Dec27: Leave for Chandigarh / or near by place – night halt
    Dec 28: Return from Delhi

    We are 4 ppl – would be booking desire / etios /amaze for self drive,

    Now my questions are:
    1)so will there be any issue with driving a yellow number plate vehicle for local sight seeing, like Ladakh, will unions pose any threat?
    2) what is approx. cost of toll and other charges (barring rental and fuel) for taking a car from Delhi to Manali and back to Delhi.
    3) I want to hire a driver for Manali trip ONLY, since its long route with winding roads. Is it possible to hire a driver for 2-3 days and will drop him at a mutually convenient place while returning. If you have any contacts please do share and an approx. rate.
    4) will it be cheaper and convenient to hire normal taxi? In that case I have to reach HP from Delhi _ then book a cab for Kufri as I am not staying in Shimla..so on and so forth…so I find it cumbersome.
    5) Lastly, my hotels are booked for Kufri & Manali, barring that – do you have anything in mind which we could accommodate, night halt in Chandigarh is to give ourselves time to relax and not too much of continuous driving.

    Looking forward to your suggestions

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Kunal,

      Thanks a lot for good words 🙂

      Now my questions are:
      1) There will not be any issues except that in Manali you will not be able to take the car to snow point. You might be forced to hire local taxi due to lack of permits.
      2) Toll charges will be around 700-800 overall both ways, rest your fuel and car rent charges
      3) You can work this out in Manali itself and get connected to taxi union
      4) Since, you will not be driving much yourself especially on the way back, why not book Volvos which are much convenient way to travel
      5) Looks fine to me, you will enjoy the drive in case you plan to drive too.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  14. Nanjesh Patel on

    I am planning to stay in Manali for the next one year. Yeah, I know that this post is related to tourism, would just like to know if any good budget cottage would be available in Manali away from the town limits and how about internet. Would be great to hear from you

    • Nanjesh, you can walk to Old Manali and get a room for yourself in the various old houses towards Manu temple or near Old Manali town. Some does have internet as well on offerings. You can bargain for a direct price of entire month and they will be able to offer you such a deal. Apart from that Vashishth also have such offerings of guest houses. Both these places have high foot falls of foreigners so it is common to rent out rooms for months there.

  15. I am from delhi.Me and my few friends planning to visit on shimla and manali over on the bike’s in the winter , possibly on after the 20th of December , I want to know is that safe to visit there on the bike in winters.

    • Yes, Arun it is safe to visit Manali – Shimla in general but safety has different perspectives for different people? What exactly do you mean by safe here?

      • Ya I mean , we heard that in the winter is not an easy to drive on mountain road specially on the motor bike because possibly we could directly have to face subfreezing tem and cool breezes during the ride , so I want to know could we keep stick on the motor bike or we go threw the car but I personally really want to go on the bike because none of us ever enjoyed a ride on the mountain road in the winters.

  16. Hi,

    I am planning for trip to Shimla & Manali during 1st – 9th of May (tentative) with my family. Could you please suggest itinerey for the same. I would be traveling from Chennai to Delhi. It would be helpful if you could suggest on how to plan it from Delhi. I would like to spend a day in Delhi. Please suggest possible accomodations in Shimla/Manali and other places to visit and where we can stay.

    Thanks,
    kumar

    • Sorry its not 1st to 9th May, its actually 1st March to 9th March 2016.

      Thanks,
      kumar

    • Hi Kumar,

      You can plan your trip as below:

      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. 

      • Thanks very much Dheeraj. Can you please suggest, where can we stay (which day would be suitable to stay where) during this trips. Also, please suggest on some better accomodation on those places (may be mid-level accomodation would be fine for me).

        Thanks,
        kumar

        • Kumar, plan I have already suggested you n previous comment. So, mostly the stay of nights are at Shimla, Naggar Castle and Manali. Both Shimla and Manali have plenty of options to choose from and suiting your budget you will get one or other hotel for sure. I mostly stay in Old Manali for economic guest house or at MAnali – Naggar road. But, both of these locations are a bit far from main mall road of Manali. I never stay in Shimla because never felt like staying there for anything 😀 … In general stay at Fagu or Narkanda only to enjoy more peace.

          Regarding Naggar Castle, it can be booked from tourism department HPTDC official website.

  17. hi dheeraj
    we 4 people are planning to self drive to manali on 30th of sep, is it possible to cover both rothang pass and solang valley on same day or else suggest better place s we can cover along with solang valley on the same day.

  18. Hi,

    I am planning to visit Kulu-Manali in Dec 5 with my wife for 6 night stay by Bus. Please suggest me the good hotel as well as good places where we visit. Snow Point at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba open at that time? How we reach Parvati River in dec? There is an option for hiring the car also? Please suggest day by day plan in dec.

    • Hello Neelabh,

      You can plan something like below:

      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 – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol (Enjoy Kasol with cuisines)
      Day 6 – Spend in Kasol, do some hikes around and take the evening volvo going from Manali to Delhi at Bhunter as pickup point
      Day 7 Reach Delhi

      There will be plenty of hotels in Manali with my favorite being Johnsons though a little expensive. Solang/Gulaba will be open and you can hire taxis too.

  19. rahul rajput on

    Hi,
    I am planing a tour to manali with my wife in December last week in worry about my budget for accommodation and traveling charges for sight scene please suggest the budget ( hotels,sight scene etc.)

    • Rahul, there are plenty of budget hotels in old Manali as well as on Manali – Naggar road. You can stay at any of them which you find good on the spot. The tourists will be quite less in town during that time of the year and hence, off season rates and on the spot availability will not be an issue.

  20. Hi, I am travelling to Manali with my gf on 23rd Sept and am super confused as to which bus I should book, which isn’t too expensive also. Could you please help me out with the same?

  21. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your blog is quite impressive!

    I will be travelling to Manali from October 1-4th 2015. I was a bit confused about how to go about the choice of timings to leave from faridabad towards manali? I just dont want to miss the scenic beauty as and when it starts off towards manali. I have heard the from Katrain you get to see the best views till you reach manali and further.

    If I leave at night will I be missing out on it? Or should I leave early morning?
    Also, what is the current status of Rohtang pass? We will be taking a hired taxi towards manali.
    Does rohtang offer some fallen snow beauty during this time?
    Which places do you advise to capture nature at its best there?

    Many thanks in advance 🙂

  22. Dear All,
    I am planning to travel from Delhi to Manali on next 11 Sep 2015. With me, I would have my wife and my 19 months old baby son. I have no idea about the tour and travel. Can anyone help me by advising:
    – Is there any problem may arise while carrying small baby with us?
    – What should be Clothing preparation and others (might be too cold time!)?
    – Is it good idea if I take any package tour from Delhi? I need info about such package tour organizer.
    – What are other precautions and additional required preparations?
    P
    lease help me with giving some descriptive information.

    • Hello Pasha,

      1. With that old baby it is fine to travel but consult your paediatrician as most children suffer from motion sickness in mountain and throw out. He will be able to recommend you.
      2. Yes, propoer woolen clothes must be there and child should be covered properly. If you are looking for package tour, you can connect with [email protected] as most of the readers in the past couple of years have had very good feedback about them and their transparent policies.
      3. Read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies

    • I am also going manali on 5th sep. if you can shift your trip then i have 3 seats left in my car. you can go with us with sharing for trip to manali and rohtangpass

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    Could you please suggest us any place to stay on Manali- Rohtang Road? We are 10 guys arriving in Manali on 24th July(self drive XUV) & will be leaving for Sarchu on 25th early morning. We wanted a place outside town so that we can continue to Rohtang & further the next morning without any hassles.

    And one more thing, If we are reaching Manali at around 3:00 PM, Can we start for keylong?

    Thank You!

    • Pranav, on Manali – Rohtang road you can stay at some places which comes near Kothi. There are some other hotels too. Avoid sleeping at Sarchu or Pang at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there. It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you minimize the chances for falling sick or hit by AMS while going to Leh from Manali. And, then next day carry on the rest of the journey to Leh without sleeping in between anywhere by leaving early in the morning say, by 4-5 AM types. I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa. If you are coming back via Manali – Leh, then it should be OK to stay at Sarchu as your body will be acclimatized by that time.

      • Thanks.. Actually I wanted to know whether we can start for Keylong from Manali at around 3:00 PM provided we are having the permit? 🙂

  24. Dear Dheeraj ,

    Thanks for the article , It is very useful .We are 2 couples. Can you please verify and suggest some amendments for th following following plan to Manali :

    1.) 1st July -> Leaving Delhi at Night
    2.) 2nd July -> Reaching Manali around 12 or 1pm. Rest in hotel(Please suggest some good hotel to stay for 2nights ) for some hours , then some local sightseeing as suggested by you .
    3.) 3rd July -> Visit to Rohtang Pass (Can you please mention what can we cover else other than Rohtang Pass ) ?
    4.) 4th July -> Visit to Solang Valley (Please add some places to visit here ). and Night Stay at Nagar Castle as suggested by you(it looks awesome ).
    5.) 5th July -> Local places in Naggar(Please suggest some) and Leaving From Naggar to Delhi at Night .

    Thanks In Advance
    Milan

    • Milan,

      1. Goto Old Manali in case you are looking for budget places of stay
      2. You can cover Solang Valley while going or coming back from Rohtang Pass

      Rest your plan looks cool to me

      Regards
      Dheeraj

    • nitishkumar on

      Hi Milan,
      Please share your experience and photos etc when you come back. I would be travelling on the same route via Ambala-Bilaspur starting from Faridabad but in the last week of July so little worried related to rain conditions and route.

  25. Hi
    someone please tell me i want to go to manali alone with my bike from delhi as single rider on august

    is it safe to drive alone and any other tips

    regards

    ajay

    • Ajay, in case you are comfortable in riding bike for long hours and are fine to ride in hills, you can go over as the roads up to Manali are in fine condition.

  26. Dheeraj
    Hi !
    I’m driving with my family to Manali from Delhi between May 24th and 31st, 2015.
    Have read the itinerary for Manali, advised by you in the earlier posts, but need advice on the following:-
    1) I will be taking a night halt in the middle, is Hotel Panchwati at Bilaspur advisable ?
    2) Will the road between Manali & Rohtang be open by May 26th, as it is showing as closed in the Current Road Status 2015.
    Regards
    Arjun

    • Hi Arjun

      1. Not sure about the hotel as I never stayed there, place is fine.
      2. Yes, Manali to Rohtang Pass has opened now and for tourists will open on 20th May.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

    • SUNIL KUMAR on

      I came back from my Manali Trip between 19th-24th May 2015. I drove from Delhi to Manali on 19th Night at 10.30 PM and reached Manali at 1.00 PM on 20th. Road Condition from Delhi to Shambhu Barrier in Top Condition. Shambhu to Kharar – road condition is just ok. Kharar to Kiratpur – road condition is top notch. Kiratpur to Swarghat – Very Bad Condition which will break the entire car if the driver is not on top of his drive, cool and calm. If the driver is not in hurry and drive coolly, he can get over this bad stretch within an hour or so, Swarghat to Bilaspur road is mostly ok, however, there are big holes in between which can break the entire car, hence, need safe and cool drive. Panchwati Hotel and its Restaurant after five kilometer from Bilaspur is a must stop for refreshment after Kiratpur to Bilaspur stretch. Between Bilaspur to Sundernagar, there is a 10 KM stretch completely broken and muddy. After Sundernagar, road condition is mostly good till Manali.
      Till 23rd May, Rohtang Pass was not opened. Drive up to Marhi (called madi by locals) which is 35 KM from Manali is only allowed. All vehicles were being allowed whether taxi or private, or whether from HP or other States on payment of Rs 1000 for Petrol, Rs 2500 for Diesel and Rs 5000 for 5+ Seater Vehicles. No SDM Passes were needed for Vehicles from outside HP. There was a check-post after about 5 KM drive from Manali which checks Car Registration and Pollution Certificate. After that, the aforesaid NGT ordered money was being collected at Kothi Check-post.
      People going by Taxis may note that – mostly taxi drivers from outside HP refuses to go to Marhi (madi) or Rohtang Pass on one false pretext or the other and the tourist were found harassed because even the local taxis were not available.
      Further note that Road from Kullu to Manikaran is very-very bad. Except if you are Religiously Inclined go to Manikaran, or else avoid it completely, unless you do not love your BACK OR CAR.

      • Thank you so much Sunil for sharing the updated details with all of us here. I have posted this in DoW Community as well where more and more travelers in coming days will be benefited by this update on road conditions to Delhi – Manali road.

        • SUNIL KUMAR on

          Few More details about Delhi to Manali Trip:

          Manali to Marhi (Madi) Drive is a must for all tourist for its Beauty, BRO has done an excellent job of preparing the Best Road for Driving Pleasure between Manali to Marhi. I can say that it was the best road I drove in my entire tour of Manali.
          Manali to Nagar Castle Road is also good. Nagar Castle visit is worth the effort for its own beauty and beautiful scene it present from its restaurant of the entire valley.
          Solang Valley is lying deserted except for few tourist interested in Rope-Way. It was the best and most advanced rope-way i ever rode. Once you reach the top through rope-way, you will find that money you spent on the rope-way was worth for the scenic beauty it present of the mountains and valley.

  27. Mukesh Bhatia on

    Hie dheeraj
    I’m mukesh and we 5 frnds are planning our road trip in himachal which includes mandi shimla sanga manali Dalhousie dharamshala chamba .. We’ll start from 19th may 2015 .. Will it be safe driving all over .. What about the roads there ?
    As this is our first trip there !!
    Please do reply ..
    Thank you 🙂

    • Mukesh in May it shall be fine to travel Himachal and road conditions will also be fine. Just that due to school vacations you will be facing too much crowd at most of these places.

  28. Hi , dheeraj
    need one last help from you…
    I have planned my trip with family on 19th February and was bit worried about the weather. .. as I was checking on some weather updates,the forecast for that period is showing rain and showers.. so need your suggestion on this .. will rain play a spoil sport in our trip

    • Chetan, in case you are heading up in Manali and it rains, then well there will be chance of you seeing snowfall up there in the valley. However, when rain comes in lower hills it causes some hassles but in winters they are mostly less hassles and chances of seeing snowfall get high 🙂

  29. Hiii Dhiraj,

    I need ur suggestion as I am planning manali visit during mid of march and just want to know that will there any chance to see snow fall in mid of march. what will the temperature over there in march.

    • Amit, it all depends upon the luck and weather that day. It usually do not snow during that time but in case of bad weather it can for sure snow even in April and May though not exactly in Manali but towards snow points of Rohtang Pass like MArhi, Gulaba or Rohtang Pass itself. In March, it will be quite pleasant up there in Manalu especially in day time and in night and early morning, it will be little cold though not that much. However, you will still need to carry jacket or woolens.

  30. pooja arora on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning for Manali in April end 2015 for 5N/6D .Could you please help with some placed to visit or some kind of itenary.

    Thanks,
    Pooja

  31. Pingback: Rohtang Pass Closed for 2014 - 2015 - Devil On Wheels™

  32. Hi,
    Im planning a trip to manikaran kasol manali from 22nd till 28th…wanted to check n be sure if the roads are good to travel by bus…are the routs open or they are blocked?
    Thanks!!

  33. hi dheeraj,
    You’re blog has been very informative, I am planning a backpacking trip to himachal from dec 16th to 24th. I stay in hyderabad. I plan on visiting manali , kasol, tosh and hopefully Malana. My budget is around 6000-7000 rs excluding travel to delhi and back. I would like to know if my timespan is enough. Also is it safe to travel during this time? What kind of precautions I must take? I would also like to know about places for cheap accommodation and food in the respective locations ,travel costs within himachal, and how do I plan out my travel routine to all these places.

    • Hi Siddharth,

      I am not really sure if Malana will be feasible and so do Tosh due to presence of snow. You have time though and can take it easy and try to trek up there. It is in general safe to travel but in case you seems to loose the trail, immediately turn back. If possible, try to make some local who can accompany you to these treks, especially Malana. This guy Om Negi is the one with whom we stayed in camps and couple of rooms he has on our Kasol Clean Drive trip, you can reach him at 09805716616

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  34. Hi,

    Me and my girl friend are planning y to visit Manali, is there any issue to stay in hotel ?

    • Rahul, I do not think there should be any issue as many couple travel over there. I am not sure in what sense you talking about the issue but many couple travel up that route every year.

  35. Hi..found your post very helpful. .need little suggestions from you. ..I and my friends are planning to visit shimla kullu manali in February end.. and the thing is we are not able to decide the suitable time for visit as we are 3 couples and 6 kids ( including 2 infants).. so I need a suggestion on thid which is the best time to visit suitable for everyone , feb end or April first week. .. and also a good itinerary for ex – chandigarh to shimla kullu manali .. and best places to see in a period of 5 days

    • Thanks for your kind reply. .. but me and my friends want to be there for a chance of snowfall and enjoy the manali full of snow.. so what do you suggest it shouldn’t be a problem if we plan it for feb end and especially we have kids with us. And also it would be helpful if you can help us with a itinerary of selected places as we want to have a relaxed trip

      • Chetan, in that case you will have to travel in Feb only. Just carry enough woolens and it shall be all fine. How many days you planning? One itinerary is suggested in the article, will that suffice?

        • Thanks for your help dheeraj.. if you could suggest a itinerary for 5 night 6 days for shimla kullu manali amritsar from chandigarh. . And a good budget hotels in the range of 1500 to 2000 inr.. and also we want to have a relaxed trip , so if you could suggest very selected places as we have kids with us

        • Chetan, this is what you can follow for 5 night and 6 days in Manali and around:

          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 – Amritsar
          Day 6 – Amritsar and return

          You can skip stay at Naggar Castle if you want to spend couple of days in Amritsar

  36. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for such great informative blog post.

    I am planning to visit Manali between 20th to 31st Dec’14 with family (including kids). Priority is to witness snowfall, not fallen snow 🙂
    As i have pretty much days to spend in and around Manali, please help me to figure out ideal place to stay with high probability of snow-fall. Also please suggest places to visit around manali during our 8 days stay.

    thanks in anticipation …

    Rgds,
    Karun Madaan

    • Karun, in that case better you stay at Solang Valley. 8 days is too much for a Manali trip.

      Day 1 – Leave from Delhi by overnight Volvo for Manali. Get down at Aut/Bhunter near Kullu next morning (Day 2) where you can get to reach Tirthan Valley (about 40-45 KMs from there)
      Day 2 – Tirthan Valley – Relaxing day besides Tirthan River
      — Stay at Raju Bharti Guest House (you will need booking well in advance, so finalize it ASAP) other you need to stay at some other property. Raju is a pioneer in that region, so will say do not miss the stay there as it is quite an experience in itself.
      Day 3 – Tirthan Valley
      — Enjoy the walks in the GHNP. There are two Waterfalls nearby Raju GH in the woods.
      Day 4 – Tirthan Valley – Naggar Castle (about 50 KMs)
      — Stay at Naggar Castle 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
      — It is one of the most romantic places in Himachal
      Day 5 – Naggar Castle – Manali / Solang Valley (about 30 KMs)
      — Rest for the Day
      Day 6 – Local Sightseeing in Manali
      — Manali Local sightseeing including Manu Temple, Hadimba Temple, Local Monastery, Shopping at Mall road etc etc
      Day 7 – Manali / Solang Valley – Marhi/Gulaba Snow Points towards Rohtang Pass – Solang Valley / Manali
      – You can enjoy the first half of the day at snow point MArhi/Gulaba (whichever is accessible) and if interested may also visit Solang Valley snow point for other adventure activities
      Day 8 | Manali – Delhi by overnight Volvo
      — Relax in Manali by evening and leave from Manali by overnight Volvo.

  37. Umar Mukthar on

    hi dheeraj. Hope u r doing well, thanks for the amazing post i am planning for a trip to manali from delhi with my collage-mates on 26th Dec-2 Jan. Booked a tour package from make my trip, they provided one day Rothang pass also in Itinerary (upto snow point). My intention of travel is Snow skiing. So please proide valuable comments from your end regarding Rothang Pass and clothes need in winter

    • Umar, Rohtang Pass will not be open but the nearest snowpoint to which traffic will be allowed can be visited. You can ski in Solang Valley.

  38. Sumanto bagchi on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    Thanks for the lovely info. I have been following your blogs and tips since long and have executed quite a few trips in the past. This time I’m planning a trip to Manali at the end this month ie. November with my wife and parents. I have planned to self drive all the way from Delhi in a dzire. So here comes the first question, Is the car selection fine for the drive?
    Secondly I have planned to start from Delhi in the evening around 7ish and take night halt in Chandigarh. The reason being driving in hills at night is considered dangerous by the rest of the family and moreover will be missing the view of landscapes if driven at night. So Is the reason justified ?? Which place would you suggest for a night halt??
    Thirdly could you suggest a good route to take from Chandigarh in the morning which can be safe as well as less congested??
    Also looking for some advise on a good hotel with a good parking space as will park the car there and do the sightseeing by hiring a taxi.
    At last, will rohtang pass be open at this time of the year and would you suggest spending the entire day for it and skipping every other sightseeing place or otherwise. And if otherwise then which places you recommend (preferably less crowded more scenic).
    Thanks again and sorry for bombardment of questions. Just that I would really appreciate an expert advise on this as am new to that area
    Thanks
    Sumanto

    • Hey Dheeraj,

      Car is good enough to make this trip, you will not have issues. The reason is very much justified and good enough, if possible you can carry on the drive up to Swarghat top too and leave Swarghat in the morning. HPTDC has a hotel up there at Swarghat too. After Kiratpur the hills starts and up to Swarghat it is just 20 odd KMs, which can be done else stay up there in Chandigarh only. If you enter Chandigarh then you will have to take the main route to Ropar – Kiratpur only as from Ambala the diversion to Kharar goes skipping Chandigarh by pass. Check Johnson’s lodge if it suits your budget, amazing place to stay in Manali. Rohtang Pass is already closed and is not advisable too as the vehicles skidd, so even if local drivers promise to take you up, then DO evaluate the risk as it is risky going up there. Do check out Naggar Castle for a day’s stay or two.

      Solang Valley is also a nice place to stay in case you do not want to stay at Manali in crowd.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Sumanto bagchi on

        Appreciate the info brother. One more question, Do you think snowfall can be expected now around Manali (Judging by the sudden dip in temp).
        Rgds
        Sumanto 🙂

        • Sumanto, snowfall all depends upon luck 🙂 … It is always hard to predict snowfall as it depends on the luck and the weather on the day you plan to visit :)… 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.

          But, yes of course there will be plenty of snow stock around Manali. 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

  39. hi
    we are planning to visit manali in starting of december and we are thinking to hire a taxi from delhi i just want to know about the driving conditions there on the manali highway and is it safe to travel at night please tell me in detail about the conditions and precautions that we should take there
    thank you ….. your suggestions are really guiding

    • Ritwik, yeah, it is fine to drive at night as long as you are patient and careful driving. The stretch from Swarghat to Bilaspur see a lot of truck traffic, be careful while overtaking as they madly overtake each other. Unless you guys have a clear sight DO NOT overtake, it is just a matter of 2.5 Hrs on slow pace, so don’t hurry through it.

    • Hi its ritwik again and thank you sir for your guidence
      I want to ask one more thing – would there be fog on manali highway , what will be whether there. …… thanks 🙂

      • Ritwik, fog would most likely be on the main highway. In hills usually it is not that foggy, may be around Sundernagar and Mandi you may get some but by the time you will be there I guess you might cross that part.

  40. planning to travel on bike from delhi to manali on fed 11 to 16 is it safe

    • Sam, yes, it is mostly safe in winters to ride as long as you are careful and cautiously riding. Don’t rush and over take only when you have a clear sight.

  41. Hi Dheeraj,

    I need a favour from you.
    We are 3 friends planning to visit Chandigarh-manali-Dharmashala. will be reach at delhi in Nov 2014 Mid at 8 P.m. We have 4-6 days time limits. We are just going to chill our mood.
    We want a complete fun trip along with good food and drinks.
    Please let me know if this plan is executable? Also, I have the below queries…pls help.
    1.Suggest me that I should travel by bus or train(via kalka) from delhi ?
    2.Want to one day stay at Naggar Castle Please guide us about low cost hotel with good food.
    3. Give us idea about skiing..bike riding.
    4. Plese give us idea abut budget hotel in Shimla and Manali.
    5.Along with all this things tell me that how much amount would cost per person on twin sharing basis.
    6.The places I want to visit chandigarh..manali..rohtang pass-solang valley-kasol-manikaran-nagar castle and dharmashala. Is it possibal to 6000-7000rs per person?
    As I have told you my full plan do give me exact information about my budget.
    Please make the best plan for us day to day wise along with name of hotels to stay.
    I would be very much thankful to you.

    Regards,
    Girish

    • Hi Girish,

      1. Best if to travel by overnight volvo to Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh.
      2. Bhai try some homestay or guest house on the spot at Naggar. I only stayed at Naggar Castle.
      3. There will be bikes available for rent in Manali, get any. Skiing may be possible in Solang Valley or Snow Point at Marhi/Gulaba.
      4. Manali – Naggar road has many cheap hotels, Hotel Triveni is also there near Main Market which is also economic.
      5. Depends upon things you do, places you stay and food you eat. I take 800-1200 per day per person for food and stay.
      6. Too many places, you can just cover Manali, Solang, may be Kasol and Naggar with it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  42. HI… I am planning to visit manali or shimla in the starting of Nov. Can u please help me to know about hire a bike & rent also.

    • Puneet, bikes can be hired from Manali and need to be returned at Manali. Including Shimla will be a long return back to Manali.

  43. I am travelling to manali on 1st october from delhi.. And all the hrtc & hptdc buses are full.. What other reliable choices do i have ?

  44. Dear Dheeraj
    I am from Kerala.Planning a trip to manali on 16th september,2014 for 5 days.is it a best time to visit manali?Can we Enjoy our manali days during this period?

    • Safwan, yes it is good time to travel Manali as rains would have settled and water would have been cleared of the river form dusty color. So, it will be nice experience. Though please keep in mind that there will be no snow present during this time of the year.

      • Thank you Dheeraj,we are extremely grateful to your response.There one more thing we wanted to know
        1.what are the best attractive things in Manali during these days(Sep mid)?
        2.will greenery be at it’s peek?
        3.what should be the Ideal planning during this period?

        • 1) Refer the Travel Guide Article above.
          2) Not exactly at peak because Autumn begins in September but will be majority of it greener
          3) Refer the travel guide above and there is an ideal itinerary suggested too. You can check it and curtail it to your needs.

      • Dear,your blog is so informative and very helpful.as you suggested,Finally we have decided to travel to Spiti valley from Manali side on 16 September.There are some queries regarding our Spiti Trip and this would be my last doubt and there won’t be many more to irritate you.
        Our final query concerned about transportation.we are aiming to start our journey by Taxi.
        1.how much does a taxi cost to get from Manali to Spiti?
        2.are Taxis easily accessible in Manali or better should we concentrate on public transportation?
        could you please suggest A good and economical transportation plan for our passionate trip?

        • You can get connected directly to some drivers in Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali & Shimla too.

          The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price.

          Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands

  45. hey dheeraj thanks for the amazing post: i am planning for a drive to manali from delhi. I plan to leave august 6 at around 4-5am cos her flight is landing that time and head straight for manali. will start there on 10th.
    Now please tell me what all i can do that time. have driven to manali before so am comfortable with hill driving but is it safe to drive in august? and will manali e any fun in august or i will remain confined to my hotel room? also i am not very keen on solang as have been there and its just filth. Planning to stay a night at kasol and then move on from there. Please advise sir. I am mostly concerned about the road safety in august.

    • Sahil, there will certainly be rains and in case of heavy rains, even the NH-21 is disrupted at time as the Beas overflows. IMHO, not a wise decision to travel that far into lower hills where river is there around and is known for disruptions for last few years.

      I will better advice Kangra region, may be Khajjiar – Kalatop – Dalhousie. The approach is easy plains till Pathankot and then few hours of drive to hills. And you can easily relax overlooking the green meadow in front even if you are confined to the room.

      • thanks for the reply.
        What about Dharamsala-Mcleodganj. is that place safe to drive to? My girl likes monastries etc so she will have a good time there while i sit back and admire the ‘grass’.

        • Yeah Sahil, you can go over to that place as well. It is near to Khajjiar as well and hence can be approached. But, you can travel directly to Mcleod Ganj too. In monsoons, traveling to mountains will have certain degree of risk always.

  46. dr siddharth on

    hi, i have 4 days. will be leaving from delhi on saturday morning (will be late around 12 due to work schedule) would stay somewhere in the night mayb swarghat or bilaspur or mandi.. then sunday will reach and booked johnsons lodge. monday is planned for rohtang and solang valley. tueday we leave and will reach delhi back at night..
    is this schedule too much to ask for?? i have driving experience in plains for long hours however not hills. can you suggest me the routes (the regular one, or the dharampur one or the long scenic una.bhakra-nangal route??)
    kindly suggest me

    • Hello Dr. Siddharth,

      If you OK with long drives this should be fine. You can reach Mandi by Saturday only and then next day it is easy 3.5-4 Hr drive to Manali. You can come back by Una – Bhota route but better save time by going from normal route of Kiratpur – Bilaspur – Mandi. Only 20 KMs between Swarghat – Kiratpur is in really bad shape BUT rest of the route has been majorly repaired. So, you can take that route and save time. The Una – Bhota route will take about 2 Hrs extra easily as it is about 50-55 KM long.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  47. Hi i am planning to visit manali on 9th of june nd i am traveeling by my own car fron New delhi. Just confused wether to travel in night or i shud start early morning around 5 am

    • Karan, if you are OK in traveling at night then only start at night else better start 4 AM in morning to reach Manali by evening.

  48. Hi!!

    Your blog is very much helpful to travellers!!

    Actually I along with my 2 more friends are travelling to manali from delhi this june for 3 nights. We are not interested in staying in the city as there is lot of jams and all. Instead we are planning to stay in camp exotica which is located in Naggar, near manali and the next day an early morning start and hit jispa, stay there for one night and return to manali again on the third day. Stay in manali the third night and leave for delhi on fourth day.

    I just want to know would that be a feasible option?

    Thanks

    Regards
    Rahul

    • Rahul, this is very much a feasible plan. But, please start from Naggar well before 3 AM to avoid traffic jam at rohtang Pass for crossing it to go to Jispa.

  49. I need a favour from you.

    Me and my friends are planning to visit himachal from delhi this month from 24 june 2014 . We have no time limits. We are just going to chill our mood. The places I want to visit through my route are chandigarh..shimla..manali..rohtang pass..solang valley..kasol..

    We want to do all the activities there like rafting..skiing..bike rides..much more

    Suggest me that I should travel by bus or by a taxi from delhi only.

    We want a complete fun trip along with good food and drinks.
    With a budget hotel. But clean.

    Along with all this things tell me that how much amount would cost per person on twin sharing basis. As I have told you my full plan do give me exact information about my budget.

    Please make the best plan for us day to day wise along with name of hotels to stay.

    I would be very thankful to you.

    • Hi Gaurav,

      Better travel from Bus from Delhi and hire bikes in Manali.

      I cannot give you rhe budgeting as you need to do anything and everything which can cost anything 🙂 … also, on a general note my travel does not go beyond Rs 700-1000 per day per person for food and stay. Rest is commute, whatever it costs. But, you have many things additional.

      Day 1 – Reach Manali, take rest for the evening
      Day 2 – Hire bikes and 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 – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol (Enjoy Kasol with Israeli culture and cuisines)
      Day 6 – Kasol – Tosh/Pulga/Malana
      Day 7 – Tosh/Pulga/Malana
      Day 8 – Tosh/Pulga/Malana – Kasol – Manali, return bikes and take overnight volvo back to Delhi

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Thank you so much for your reply…but I think you didn’t focused on my words . I said I want to go shimla and chandigarh too. But you changed my plan for day 6,7,8 please change these places for shimla and chandigarh. As I dont heard anything special about tosh ..pulga…malana.
        I dont wanna go there..

        2. Will one day be sufficient for solang and rohtang?

        3.renting cost of bikes per day? How much security?

        4. Will bikes be able to go to the rohtang pass. Or we have to take a taxi there. What will that taxi charge.

        5 . names of hotel which are clean and hygenic in all 5 places.

        6. Cost of volvo bus from delhi to manali and companys name providing bus?

        Please reply for these 6 questions too…I would be very helpful for me and my friends. Thank you once again.

        • Oops did I change your plan? From Kasol you can go to Shimla and then to Chandigarh on 6,7,8 day.

          2. Should be sufficient in general as there is nothing much there unless you plan to stay in Solang and rest.

          3. Ranges from 700-1500 depending upon model and make of bike. Security is different for different vendors.

          4. I do not think there should be a problem for hired bikes. But, confirm from the vendor.

          5. Johnson’s Lodge in Manali, Naggar Castle, Sandhya Kasol, Shimla has many options and I never stay there no don’t know. Chandigarh again I never stayed.

          6. Around 1250 types. Check websites of HRTC and HPTDC.


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