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Best Route From Delhi To Manali

Discussion in 'North India' started by Sonali Roy, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Sonali Roy

    Sonali Roy New Member


    Me and my friend will be driving from Kolkata to Leh later this summer so need some advise on this Delhi to Manali leg of our journey. I know what route I will take from Kolkata to Delhi but need some help with Delhi to Manali part.

    Which would be the best route from Delhi to Manali in Summers? I know after Manali there is only one option to get to Leh so that is pretty much done if someone could help us with suggestions on Delhi to Manali route that would be great.


  2. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    The best route would be

    Delhi > Sonipat > Panipat > Ambala > (Shambu road )> Banaur > Kharar > Rupnagar > Bilaspur > Mandi > Aut > Kullu > Manali

    Roads are pretty good these days, gone are the days when we have to drive through massive pot holes. This is the best route to Manali from Delhi.
    Sonali Roy likes this.

  3. Sonali Roy

    Sonali Roy New Member

    Is there any route with Shimla on the way or would that be too much out of the way? Would it be advisable to stay a couple of days at Shimla? I remember seeing an old British era building in many movies that I would love to see and this trip seems like a good opportunity if Shimla is not too far off Manali route.
  4. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    You could certainly add Shimla if you want. The real factor here is how long can your drivers go without having to stop. I ask, because if you drive through the night, maybe switching drivers, you can make great time and really add to your trip. Obviously, if you relying on one driver, you have to stop frequently enough to keep them rested and alert. You do not want to have a fatigued driver.
  5. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there!

    You can include Shimla in the way. A possible route would be:
    • Delhi > Sonipat > Panipat > Karnal > Kurukshetra > Ambala > Chandigarh > Shimla > Bilaspur > Sundernagar > Kotla > Kullu > Manali.
    From Delhi to Panipat, you won't encounter any issues at all. Roads are in excellent condition and the ride would be very smooth. There's also a toll here so be prepared for that. The distance covered is about 80 kms so about an hour and a half of driving.

    From Panipat to Ambala, road conditions are also good. You might experience some diversions along the way but they're very minimal. There's a toll again here so prepare some money. The distance covered is about 125 kms so journey time is 2 hours and a half or more.

    From Ambala to Shimla, road conditions are excellent. Roads have two lanes and although the hilly terrain starts here, it's overall a smooth experience. The distance covered is about 17o kms and you'd reach Shimla in about 5 hours or so.

    From Shimla to Manali via Bilaspur, road conditions are good. The sceneries along the way are also quite stunning. There are other routes that you can take but in my opinion, this route has the best conditions out of all of them. This is also the regular route that buses and other taxis follow. The distance covered is about 190 kms so you can reach Manali in about 7 hours or more.

    I think Shimla can be explore in a day or two. After which, you can go to Manali and stay there for a few days as well. Here are some of the attractions in Shimla so you can decide how many days you're going to stay there:

    • Viceregal Lodge - This is also known as Rashtrapati Niwas. This was built in 1880 and completed 8 years after during 1888. It was built under the rule of Lord Dufferin and he was the first one to reside in it. Formerly, the British Viceroy of India resided here but now, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study uses the lodge for some of its courses. It is located on the Observatory Hills and you can only visit some parts of it as it is used as the students most of the time.
    • Kuthar Fort - Although a bit far away from Shimla, at about an hour's drive, this fort is worth a visit because of its historical significance. The fort was originally built by the Gurkha Kings about 800 years ago. The presence of the freshwater springs inside the fort add charm to it. The pillars, arches and gateways of the fort are built with a Rajputana style of architecture. Inside the fort, there is a temple and a heritage palace that you can also visit.
    • Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex - This is a 122 year old theatre complex at the heart of Shimla. It was established in the year 1887 and designed by Henry Irwin, who also designed the Viceregal Lodge. Originally, it was a five-storey building but some parts of it was deemed unsafe so it was demolished. However, the Gaiety Theatre had remained intact. The entire complex was built using a Gothic style of architecture.
    • Scandal Point - This can be found at the area where The Mall and The Ridge converges. The name is derived from a story which may or may not be true. Legend has it that the Maharaja of Patiala named Bhupinder Singh and the daughter of the British Viceroy fell in love. They met at the supposed Scandal Point and eloped together in the year 1892. Because of the incident, Lord Kitchener expelled the Maharaja from Shimla. Thereafter, Bhupinder Singh established his summer capital in Chail. There isn't any evidence to prove this story though so even up to now, the scandal in Scandal Point is a mere legend.
    • Summer Hill - This is about 5 kms from Shimla. It is located on a hill about 2,123 metres above sea level. It's also a part of the seven-hill cluster and its other name is Potter's Hill. You can find many quaint residences here and at one point, Mahatma Gandhi also resided here. Now though, the Himachal Pradesh University is located in Summer Hill, it offers mainly post-graduate programs for students.
    • Annandale - This is about 3 kms from The Ridge. This used to be the place where the British played racing, polo, cricket and other sports. Its name was coined by Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy. He named it after his childhood sweetheart Anna and added dale which means valley. Today though, it's a popular picnic ground and events area. The annual Dussehra Festival is also held in the grounds. There's also a helipad here for visitors arriving via helicopter.
    • Jakhoo Temple - This is located in Jakhoo Hill and is also referred to as the Hanuman Temple. You can reach the temple from a two kms trek through deodar forests. According to Hindu mythology, this is where Hanuman dug up the whole hill as he cannot find the herb that can cure Lakshmana. He then rested on the hill after Lakshmana was cured and because of his weight, the hill got flattened. Thus, a temple was built here dedicated to the Lord Hanuman.
    • Tara Devi Temple - This is about 11 kms from Shimla. The temple was built over 250 years ago. It is believed that the Sen Dynasty's primary deity is Tara Devi. They have this locket, with a gold idol of Tara Devi, passed around from generation to generation. One day, King Bhupendra Sen had a vision of Tara Devi along with Dwarpal Bhairav and Hanuman Ji, telling him of a need to be worshipped and revered to by the people. That is how the Tara Devi Temple came to be.
    • Dorje Drak Monastery - This is located in Kasumpti in Shimla, about 8 kms from the Old Bus Stand. It was built by Kyabje Taklung Tsetrual Rinpoche in 1959 after his exile from Tibet. The original monastery was destroyed though and the present structure was built during the year of 1984. This is also where the Hemis Festival is held annually.
    • State Museum - This is just one km away from the Shimla Railway Station. It was established during the year of 1974 to preserve the culture, tradition and art of Shimla. It has different sections that visitors can enjoy. There's a Pre-Historic Gallery showcasing stone age devices and sculptures of extinct animals. There's a Wood Carving Gallery showcasing the wood panels of ancient temples. There's an Archeology Gallery showcasing the sculptures and items of different dynasties like the Guptas, Mauryas and Shungas. There's also a Numismatic Gallery showcasing the coins of Himachal Pradesh.
    • State Library - This can be found in The Ridge. It was built during the year of 1860's. It is housed on a Neo-Gothic Building, next to the Christ Church. It has a collection of over 7,000 books. Its former name was the Tudor Library which was changed to Shimla State Library.
    • Chadwick Falls - This is about 4 kms from Summer Hill. The falls are surrounded by thick deodar and pine trees. The water from the falls is at a height of 86 metres. Originally, the falls were named Chidku Jhaar, Chidku meaning bird and Jhaar meaning waterfalls. It was named so because only a bird can reach the top. The British mispronounced the name and called it Chadwick Falls, hence the name was changed over time. It's best visited after the monsoon season as the rain feeds the falls. Beside the falls, you can visit Shimla Glenn which is a popular picnic spot in the region.
    • Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary - This sanctuary was built during the year of 1982. Its main purpose was to provide water for the city of Shimla. The sanctuary has the highest number of koklas pheasants amongst all sanctuaries in the country. Other animals to spot here are rhesus monkeys, sambars and leopards.
    • Himalayan Bird Park - This is just opposite to the Viceregal Lodge. It is best visited during the summers when migratory bird flock to the park. Some of the birds that you can spot here are the following: pheasants, peafowls and the national bird of the Himalayas, the Himalayan Monal.
    • Jakhoo Hill - This is the highest point in Shimla. It is about 2,455 metres above sea level and you need to trek for 30 minutes to reach its peak. The Jakhoo Temple or Hanuman Temple is on the top of the hill. From the top, you can view the Shivalik Ranges as well as the city of Shimla. The climate is crisp and cool from the top, which is why lots of tourists enjoy the trek.
    • The Mall - You can find offices, police headquarters, shopping areas and restaurants in this area. There are also three bookshops you can visit here. The Himachal Emporium is also located in this street which sells jewelries, woollen clothes and handicrafts. Vehicles are not allowed here though that's why you'd see tourists walking through the entire stretch.
    • The Ridge - This is the venue for major events and activities in Shimla. It is also connected to The Mall from East to West and to the Lakkar Bazaar from the East side. The Summer Festival is also held here annually, during the month of April or May. The main water supply of Shimla is also here, located under it which can hold up to 10 lakh gallons of water.
    I hope this helps.