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Delhi to Manali - The Roads Travelled!

“It feels good to be lost in the right direction" - Unknown

Yet another adventure was to travel to Manali by road. An impromptu decision to drive to Manali on the New Year's Eve was a breathtaking experience especially driving with unpredictable winter driving conditions covering a distance of approximately 550 kms on NH 44. It was a foggy experience right from the start for us as we left early in the morning. Only after a hearty breakfast at Amrik Sukhdev at Murthal, the fog cleared out a little & the onward journey became somewhat smooth. All put together, we made it to our destination at about 9:30 p.m.

The perfect time to visit Manali would be summer, anywhere between March and June. However, if you want to witness the snow-capped mountains, the best time would be winters between December and February. It snows pretty heavily during this time and one can see snow in the upper reaches of Manali.

The route we took

Delhi → Panipat → Kurukshetra → Ambala → Chandigarh → Bilaspur → Mandi → Kullu → Manali

Places to halt on the go:

Panipat – Interested in History? Take a detour to the historical battlefield of Panipat and check out the museum. Kurukshetra – Interested in Mythology? Visit the calm and serene Brahma Sarovar and popular sites from Mahabharata. Chandigarh – One can even plan a day trip to one of the most planned city in India. Mandi – Interested in trekking? Mandi is the starting point for a trek of the region, Prashar lake trek.

Places to eat on the go:

Haveli, Murthal, Haryana – A family restaurant with themed setting and ambience. Sneak in for a family affair! Amrik Sukhdev, Murthal – Around 60 kms from Delhi, this is a popular and busy multi-cuisine restaurant offering Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. Do not miss the parathas they have to offer on the plate with dollops of white butter. Pooran Singh Da Dhaba, Ambala Cantt.– Craving for home made food? This is a place to grab in one of your favourites. Chawla’s, Mandi – Considered to be one of the oldest eateries , Chawla offers Punjabi delicacies and is a popular hotspot amongst the tourists

Where did we stay? We chose to stay away from the hustle bustle of Manali town and chose Karjan village which is 16 km away from the town. We stayed at a lovely boutique resort called 'Shivadya' which offered us tastefully done rooms, a wonderful view of the moutains and apple orchards.

Other ways to reach Manali

If you wish to skip Chandigarh, you can reach Dera Bassi/Zirakpur from Ambala and head on to Pinjore. From Pinjore, a slight left turn to NH105 takes you to Baddi and Nalagarh.

One may also opt to take a HPTDC bus from Delhi offering the best of its services, departing from Himachal Bhavan, Mandi House. Having been visited Manali many a times by bus from Delhi, availing this service is the cheapest and the most convenient one !

You can catch a flight from Delhi to Bhuntar (appx. 50 kms to Manali) and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Tips while traveling:

  • Travelling during peak season? Book well in advance for best deals and avoid disappointment.

  • Planning a trip to Rohtang Pass? Might be closed until May due to heavy snowfall. Plan your trip accordingly.

  • Planning a trek near by? Check out with a local and professional adventure group.

  • Planning a trip in winters? The temperature would be freezing cold. Carry appropriate luggage. Check out for accomodation with good heating system.

So, why wait? Get lost in the mountains , enjoy the scenic mountains, the lush green forests, the mighty rivers. Pack your bags and get set go!

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