The beautiful valleys and scenic beauty of Himachal Pradesh have long been an attraction to tourists from all over the world. Here are some easy answers for tourists against queries as to how to reach Manali from Delhi? Manali is not exactly a weekend getaway if you plan to go and return by road, but it is a beautiful destination that would be very easy and convenient for someone staying at Delhi or for someone who comes from other parts of the world and is based out of Delhi while planning to Manali.
How to reach Manali from Delhi
Accessibility to Delhi from all parts of the world is easy and Delhi lies very close to Himachal Pradesh. Both Delhi and Himachal Pradesh share their borders with Utter Pradesh. It is always advisable that when planning to travel to Manali, you keep Delhi as your base. Once you reach Delhi the best possible way to reach Manali would be to hire a taxi and drive through Chandigarh to Manali. It should take around 13 hrs. to reach Manali by road. The travel time might seem long but when you set out, the hours just go by admiring the beautiful landscapes all around.
There are several small shacks (dhabas) on this route which would allow you a chance to rest, refuel and take pictures. There are also several photography points on this route where the bend of the road gives you a chance to admire as well as take photographs of the lush surroundings.
How to reach Kasol from Delhi
Rail services are available till Chandigarh. So if you are planning to travel by rail then you have to get down at Chandigarh and then from there you either book a bus or a cab to Manali. Kasol lies at a distance of around 300 Km from Chandigarh and falls en route to Manali. If you have Kasol added to your travel itinerary and are wondering how to reach Kasol from Delhi then it is logical that you book a road trip to Kasol and then reach Manali.
Kasol is a cosy village nestled among the hills of Parvati valley at a height of around 1900 meters from sea level. Tourists can spend a couple of days enjoying the scenic valley, green forests and banks of the Parvati River. Kasol is established as a base camp for trekkers to Kheerganga and Malana. The small town is well connected by roadways to Delhi, Chandigarh and Manali and has frequent bus services plying from the town to some of the major destinations. But if you can afford it, then hiring your own cab would be better, so that you can go at your own pace and stop and start as per your choice.
How to reach Kasol from Delhi
If you are still fretting over how to reach Kasol from Delhi then you can also think of experiencing the adventures of travelling by the narrow gauge Kalka-Shimla railway. The toy trains plying this route has been recently recognized as a world heritage. Enjoy your ride on a toy train to the nearest hill station in Bhuntar and then it is an hour’s drive to Kasol. From Kasol the road to Manali is an 8 hr. drive.
Once you have decided on how to reach Manali from Delhi the next decision to be taken is to narrow down the important places to visit in Manali. Manali is believed to be a “Lover’s Paradise” and is frequented both by newlyweds and young couples. This scenic town is located at 6260 ft. above the sea and overwhelms tourists with its breath-taking beauty. The snow covered peaks of the majestic hills, lush green forests and the flower laden apple trees have always held travellers from all over the world in awe.
Places to visit in Manali
Manali is a destination which deserves a plan of at least 3 days, and the more time you spend there beyond 3 days, the more you will be able to rejuvenate your body and soul. It is important that you find out before you leave what kind of weather you can expect, so that your trip is hassle free. Too many woollens when the weather is moderate will result in you having more luggage than you need. On the other hand, not carrying enough warm clothes at a time when the cold has crept in, will mean that you spend money on buying warm clothes instead of on souvenirs.
Your hotel will usually put you in touch with local drivers whom you can hire for half day or full day or point to point packages. But at any tourist destination, it is always a good idea to also explore on foot as much as possible. That gives you a chance to actually imbibe the feel of the place, and you can also run into some unique local food, customs, shops etc. which a guided tour wouldn’t have given you. Any tourist has to choices, he can either check off the list of places to visit and sort of complete his syllabus, or he can go in with no fixed itinerary and take each day as a new adventure and take in experiences of people and places based on local wisdom, not on tourist brochures.
If you want to include adventures of trekking then visiting the Solang valley is a must. Located at the top of Kullu valley, Solang valley is located in between a village that goes by the name Solang and the Beas Kund. It is not only the snow-capped mountains and the glaciers that attract travellers to this place but also lovers of adventure sports are attracted to the plethora of sporting activities offered by this place. There are, for example, paragliding packages with a guide who would attach himself to your back as both of you soar away from a hilltop.
The Rohtang Pass is a vast extension of snow desert that drives itself between the Kullu valley and the more deserted Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The pass is open to tourists only from the month of May to November but movement remains restricted to prevent any kind of pollution. The place offers a panoramic sight of the far away Himalayan peaks and is a gateway to Ladakh. Rohtang pass is considered as a trekking paradise and attracts mountain trekkers from all around the world. But during the tourist season, when the pass is opened, the crowd can sometimes get too suffocating. The sight of the snow by the side of the road being sullied by the dirty shoes of tourists can make you sad if you are a nature lover who would prefer to see pristine white snow from afar, rather than seeing dirty snow up close and personal.
We find a reference to Hadimba in the mythological description of Mahabharata. She was believed to be married to Bheema when in exile. The Hadimba temple is a small temple dedicated to her. It remains nestled among the tall deodar trees and has remained a tourist attraction for centuries because of the three day festival held in its premises. The festival showcases local art and culture and also folk dances of the native people. This temple, especially during the festival days, is so vibrant with colour and pageantry that apart from tourists, it also attracts world class photographers from all over the world who come here to capture the beauty through their lens.
Beas Kund Trek
A heaven for trekkers, Beas kund trek offers a wide range of trekking experiences to adventure sports lovers. Camping expeditions are regularly organised by travel companies under experienced guides. It is close to the Solang Valley but if you are planning to do adventure sports as well as the trek, then it is advisable to allocate two separate days for both, so you don’t get too tired and rushes.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the main city, there are a number of small temples nestled in the valleys of Kullu and Manali. While the tranquillity and peace overwhelms travellers, some of them also offer therapeutic treatments. The Vashisht baths are located around 6 km from the main town of Manali and have a number of natural hot springs. The hot springs are of medicinal value as they have been found to cure several skin diseases and also rejuvenate the metabolic system of the body. Travellers can bring back small memoirs available at the shops circling the spring baths.
One of the other important places to visit in Manali is Manikaran. It is located some 28 km away from the main city and is known for its gorgeous landscapes and hot water springs. These hot springs are similar to Vashist but they have less of religious connotations. The Manikaran Gurudwara holds religious importance for the Sikh community of the world.
Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery
Located in the centre of Manali town, the monastery gives you a preview of Buddhist traditions. The walls of the monastery are adorned with beautiful paintings. It gives you a glimpse of Buddhism and the attainment of ‘Nirvana’ by Lord Buddha. If you are looking for peace and tranquillity, meditation rooms are available for prayers. The calm surroundings and peaceful environs fills in a sense of self- realisation in you. It is surprising how peaceful the place feels, even though it is not situated away from the centre of the town.
The banks of the Beas River offer good picnic spots. The river has its origin among the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh and travels around 470 Km to the Sutlej river. It is one of the five rives after whom the state of Punj-aab is named. The banks have been maintained for drawing tourist attention. Family picnics can be arranged on the neat and clean banks of the river. While enjoying the local life and delicacies offered by the native people, those who are into water sports can experience white water rafting.
Manali Nature Park
Also known as Van Vihar Nature Park, it is one of the major attractions of Manali. Situated 2 Km from Bhuntar, wildlife lovers, consider the park as one of the most important places to visit in Manali.
Like we advised at the beginning, this is just an indicative list of the most popular places to visit in Manali, but it is a hill station which is perfect for exploring on foot. You might run into interesting places without having to jostle with the rush of other tourists. Just make sure that you are carrying with you the details of your hotel, so that in case you lose yourself among the hills of Manali, there would be someone who could come and take you back to safety!