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Best Way To Travel From Delhi To Manali

Discussion in 'North India' started by Ishan, May 4, 2016.

  1. Ishan

    Ishan New Member

    I live in Delhi and will be taking my family to Manali this year. I have not been on the Manali route before and all I know that it is in the hills and quite a distance from Delhi.
    I have my own car, but also am open to public transport, so I need some reviews on what the best way to travel from Delhi to Manali is.
    There is no particular reason I am asking this, it is just to know what would be more ideal, so please mention any pros and cons of the different modes of transport.

  2. Akshay

    Akshay Member

    There are four different modes you can use to travel from Delhi to Manali, by plane then by bus, by train, by bus or by car.

    Here are the details for the different ways of traveling from Delhi to Manali:

    By plane
    You would need to get a flight from Delhi to Kullu, then from Kullu get a bus to Manali. This will take the whole journey around 3 and a half hours, and is the quickest way of getting to Kullu. The average cost of this way of traveling is Rs7000.

    By Train
    If wanting to travel by train you will need to get a train from Delhi to Chandigarh, then change and get a train from Chandigarh to Manali. This journey would take around 14hours, and the average cost for this would be Rs700.

    By Bus
    There is a direct bus which goes from Delhi to Manali, and the journey would take roughly 12 hours. The average cost for this mode of transport would be Rs950.

    By Car
    The distance from Delhi to Manali is 555km, so depending on whether you car takes diesel or petrol you can work out the cost of fuel it would take.

    If you are traveling by car, then do have a look at the best route from Delhi to Manali thread.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Ishan! Welcome to the forum!

    Here are your different transportation options from Delhi to Manali:

    1. Air - This is undeniably the quickest way to reach Manali from Delhi. The nearest airport to Manali is the Bhuntar Airport, also known as the Kullu Manali Airport. However, only a few airlines operate from the airport due to its narrow runway and its high altitude location. Here is one flight I was able to find:
    • Air India AI 9805 - Departs at 6:35 from Delhi and arrives at 7:50 in the Bhuntar Airport. Fare is at Rs. 9,925 per passenger.
    The airport is approximately 50 kms away from Manali. Outside the airport, there are numerous taxis that can take you to Manali. Fares range between Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000.

    You can also walk a little further, from the right side of the airport, at least for 10 minutes, you'll find the Bhuntar Bus Stand. From here, there are plenty of buses going to Manali. Or you can just ride a bus going to Kullu proper and then from there, ride a bus to Manali. In Kullu, there are buses plying to Manali every 15 minutes.

    The advantage of an airplane ride is that it is faster. But the downsides are also there like bad weather conditions can cancel your flight out. Aside from that, it is very expensive as well and it's not for the budget travellers.

    2. Bus - There are HPTDC, HRTC and private bus operators plying from Delhi to Manali. Here are their timings:
    • HPTDC Bus - The Volvo AC Bus leaves from Delhi at 6:30 pm. Fare is at Rs. 1,300 per passenger. This bus departs from the ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
    • HRTC Buses - The Volvo AC Buses have different schedules: 7:00 pm, 7:35 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:26 pm and 9:03 pm. Fare is at Rs. 1,412 per passenger. For their Tata AC Bus, it departs at 9:50 pm and fare is at Rs. 1,062 per passenger. The Ordinary Buses have many timings: 6:40 am, 7:45 am, 11:30 am, 4:40 pm, 5:40 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:32 pm, 9:14 pm and 10:02 pm. Fare is at Rs. 684 per passenger. These buses depart from the ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
    • Private Buses - There are some private operators plying from Delhi to Manali. Shubham Holiday is one of them, they have a Volvo Semi-Sleeper Bus, departing from Rama Krishna Metro at 5:00 pm. Fare is at Rs. 1,299 per passenger. Another one is Swagatam Holidays, they have a Volvo Semi-Sleeper, departing from ISBT as well at 6:00 pm. Fare is at Rs. 1,299 per passenger.
    So with a bus, travel time is around 14 hours which can be very long. The downsides: there are no toilets on the bus and the last three hours of the journey can be challenging. However, this is also the cheapest option and it's a direct bus ride so there's no need for changing of buses.

    3. Train - Manali doesn't have its own railway station. The nearest railway stations are: Joginder Nagar Railway Station, Chandigarh Railway Station and Una Railway Station. The best option though is the Chandigarh Railway Station. Although technically, Una Railway Station is the closest to Manali but it doesn't have buses plying to the latter. And then the Joinder Nagar Railway Station has a narrow gauge line and the trains going to it are very slow. So first, here are the trains plying from Delhi to Chandigarh:
    • Unchahar Express Train No. 14217 - This runs daily at 3:36 and arrives at 9:25.
    • Himalayan Queen Train No. 14095 - This runs daily at 5:35 and arrives at 10:25.
    • Kalka Shatabdi Train No. 12011 - This runs daily at 7:40 and arrives at 11:05.
    From Chandigarh to Manali, it's about 309 kms more or 8 hours of journey. You can either ride a bus or a taxi. Taxi rates vary but expect to pay anywhere between Rs. 4,000 or more.

    There are also buses regularly plying from Chandigarh to Manali. Here are their timings:
    • HRTC Buses - Volvo Buses have 2 timings: 8:30 am and 8:40 pm. Fare is at Rs. 854 per passenger. Ordinary Bus timing is 6:40 pm and fare is at Rs. 449 per passenger. These buses depart from the Chandigarh ISBT Sector.
    If you'd still like the timings for the other railway stations, these are the timings for the Una Railway Station:
    • Una Himachal Superfast Express Train No. 22457 - Departs at 13:30 and arrives at 20:50.
    • Janshatabdi Express Train No. 12057 - Departs at 14:35 and arrives at 22:10.
    • Himachal Express Train No. 14553 - Departs at 22:55 and arrives at 7:38.
    Then, for the Joginder Nagar Station:
    • Pathankot Joginder Nagar Kangra Valley Passenger Train No. 52471 - Departs at 2:15 and arrives at 11:25.
    • Pathankot Joginder Nagar Baijnath Passenger Train No. 52463 - Departs at 4:00 and arrives at 10:45.
    • Pathankot Joginder Nagar Baijnath Passenger Train No. 52465 - Departs at 6:45 and arrives at 14:00.
    From these stations, you have to ride a taxi going to Manali.

    With riding a train, you have the option of meals on board and of course, toilet on board. The views on the way are quite scenic. However, it can be quite uncomfortable and you'd have to change into a bus from the railway station. The journey time is quite long as well.

    4. Private Car or Hired Vehicle - For me, this is still the best option especially if you're an experienced driver or you have someone to substitute with the driving with you. You can control your stopovers and you can admire the views at your own pace. This is the route you have to take:
    • New Delhi > Sonipat > Panipat > Karnal > Kurukshetra > Ambala > Rupnagar > Bilaspur > Mandi > Kullu > Manali.
    Of course, the downside is that fuel can be expensive. And you need to have some kind of experience to traverse the challenging terrains of Manali.

    I hope this helps.:)
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