Shimla and Manali Both are one of the beautiful hill stations of Himachal Pradesh and the distance between Shimla to Manali is about 240 km. I am writing this article on how I went from Shimla to Manali very easily, and how you can also reach Manali from Shimla by bus, taxi and other services.
Shimla and Manali are best places if you are going on honeymoon or traveling with friends or family. If I talk about Shimla, then Shimla is located at an altitude of about 7460 meters from the sea level, And Manali is located at an altitude of 6,720 meters above sea level.
Both Hill Stations are world famous for their mall road ancient temples, tall hills covered with deodar trees, heavy snow falls in winters, trekking activities and adventure activities. Some people only visit Shimla and some people may only visit Manali but trust me Shimla Manali tour together is different fun. You can easily travel to both cities at a very low cost, If your planning is perfect.
But I am here to tell you how you can come from Simla to Manali and from Manali to Shimla using very easy public transport. I came to Manali by HRTC bus but if you want you can hire a car to reach Manali from Shimla. You read this article in detail and I will tell you everything such as best time to visit in Shimla Manali and how its cost.
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best time to visit Shimla and Manali:
Talk about which season is the best to visit Shimla Manali, then in summer from May to June and in winter from mid-December to February is the best time to visit Shimla Manali. And a advice from my side, if you want to enjoy the natural beauty here, then you visit here in Summers, But if you are a snow lover then winter is going to be the best for you. Because it gets a lot of snowfall in winter and the scenery here is very beautiful, if you talk about me I’d love to come here in winter.
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From Shimla to Manali by Bus:
I went from Simla to Manali by these HRTC buses, This bus service of Himachal Pradesh government is very good, These buses go through very narrow mountain roads and are very scary at that time, I am very scared but actually there is no reason to fear because the drivers who drive these buses are very experienced.
Shimla to Manali bus departure time:
first bus 08:00 am to 02:00 pm
2nd bus 09:15 am to 03:30 pm
3rd bus 10:35 am to 04:40 pm
4th bus 07:00 pm to 01:00 am
5th bus 09:40 pm to 04:00 am
These five HRTC buses depart from Simla to Manali on a full day, And also many private buses ply from Shimla to Manali.
My hotel was near Shimla mall road so I left the hotel around 6:30 in the morning and headed towards the bus stand. Mall road to Old Shimla bus stand is very close (1.3km) and the bus that leaves at 8 am is a deluxe bus, That’s why I traveled by this bus, and it cost me 695 rupees to book this bus.
It is best if you do the journey in the morning because in the morning you can witness the beautiful scenery on the way from Shimla to Manali. And don’t forget to eat the Alu-paratha from a small Dhaba near the Shimla bus stand, The hot paratha and tea here in the morning feels great.
Shimla bus stand has small booths from where the buses depart and the names of the places (where the buses will go) are written above each booth. Kullu Manali was written on the 1st booth so I took the bus from there, And from here you can go to various places in Himachal Pradesh like Chamba, Palampur, Dharamshala, pangi valley, killong etc.
To be honest the seats of the buses were a bit dirty but after telling them they cleaned it. The bus was very comfortable and had phone charging facilities behind the every seats, The bus reached me on time to Manali. lf you hire a car or take your own car, Then there are many beautiful and interesting places you can travel on the way from Simla to Manali.
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Shimla to Manali Road trip by Taxi/Car :
If you drive your own car or rent a private car from Shimla to Manali then you have an advantage that you can stop and spend some time at the beautiful places you pass on the way from Simla to Manali. Which is not possible if you travel by bus, So if you are on honeymoon or visiting Shimla Manali with your family then I would recommend you to hire a private car to travel from Shimla to Manali, but if you like me to travel alone and on a budget, then the public transport is one of the best option for you.
If you are taking your own car from simla to Manali then you have to pass through on total three national highways first NH 205, and then NH 153 and last NH 3 you will reach Manali., these roads are very narrow so drive very carefully here. and if you have a driver with you then it doesn’t matter. Car drivers in hilly areas are used to driving on these roads and they are very experienced.
The distance from Simla to Manali is roughly 250 km, if you hire a car or bring your own car it will take around 8 hours, Shimla to Manali road condition is very good and on the road you will find many hills station where you can stop for a while and feel the beauty of nature. and for breakfast and lunch you will find many cafes and tea-stalls on the road.
The best time to go out of Shimla is early morning as you can enjoy the beauty of nature. and you will find many scenic spots on the road like Sundar Nagar lake, Govind Singh ji Gurudwara, Pandoh dam, Hanogi mata temple and Lake, Luhri hydroelectric project, Hanging bridge, Kullu tunnel, And the most adventurous of all is river rafting on Beas River at Kullu, If you want to go river rafting here it will take a little longer but you should do it.
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From Shimla to Manali by train:
If you are thinking of traveling from Simla to Manali by train then I am very sad to say that simla to Manali train route is not started yet. Toy train runs from Kalka to Shimla and fares are very low.
Simla to Manali by flight/helicopter:
The nearest airport to Manali is Kullu Airport located just 10 km from Kullu valley, It is located near Bhunter bus stand, You can easily get flights from Delhi and Chandigarh, But flights from Jabbar Hati Airport in Shimla have not yet started.
But no worries you can reach Manali from Shimla by helicopter very quickly and easily. And the helicopter tickets are very cheap for just Rs 3000 you can come from Shimla to Manali by helicopter. To book this helicopter you have to go to a website of Indian government named Pawanhans.co.in , where you have to login and book a helicopter from Simla to Manali.
Places to visit on the way from Simla to Manali:
Sundarnagar Lake :
Sundarnagar Lake is the first place to visit in Shimla Manali Road Trip. The distance from Shimla to Sundernagar Lake is approx 120 kilometers, Surrounded by mountains from all sides, this is a very beautiful lake, you can stop here for a while and enjoy.
Gobind Singh ji Gurudwara (Mandi) :
Mandi is about 140 km from Shimla and Gobind Singh Ji Gardwara is very famous here you can visit, It is one of the most popular religious places for Sikh religion, Most tourists stop here on their way from Shimla to Manali.
Pandoh Dam and Lake (Mandi) :
After driving 160 km from Shimla you can see Pandoh dam and Lake, this dam is very beautiful where you can park your car and spend some time. With lots of ice cream and snacks shops here, this lake will give you some of Nainital’s Neyani Lake fillings.
Luhri hydroelectric project(Mandi) :
Next you can visit Luhri Hydroelectric Project which is also located within Mandi, its distance is about 176 km from Shimla. There is a very beautiful hanging bridge where you can take photos, many tourists take photos here.
Hanogi mata temple and Lake(Mandi) :
After 7 kilometers from Pandoh Dam, you can see the famous Hanogi Mata Temple and Lake of Mandi, This temple made of white stone is very beautiful located on the hillside.
After about 182 km from Shimla you can see the Kullu Tunnel, It is a very long tunnel, This tunnel is about 3 km long and it took us about 10 to 15 minutes to cross it, The visibility inside the tunnel was very low, the Indian government spent about 30 lakh rupees every year to maintain this tunnel, There are only 500 lights in such a long tunnel.
Kullu is 210 km from Shimla, and you must have heard about Kullu is a very famous tourist spot of Himachal, There are many places to visit in Kullu and the adventure activities here are very famous, If you come, you must try the river rafting here.
Frequently asked questions
How far is Shimla from Kullu Manali?
The distance between Shimla and Manali approx 250 km, If you are coming from Shimla to Manali by bus then your time may take around 6 hours.
Which month is good for Shimla Manali?
There are two seasons for Shimla Manali travel first is summer and second is winter if you love snowfall then you will enjoy coming in winter. The best time to visit here is from January to March in winter and July to September if you come in summer.
Can I rent a bike in Shimla Manali?
Both cities Shimla and Manali, there are many bike rental services. From where you can travel very well by renting a bike or scooty for just a thousand rupees. And if you want you can come directly from Shimla to Manali by renting a bike.
How many days will it take to travel to Shimla and Malani?
If you want to travel well between the two cities, you should allow at least seven to eight days, There are many places to visit and tourist activities like riverrafting, snow skiing etc.
How much can it cost to travel to Shimla and Manali?
Cost totally depends on you if you use public transport or cheap accommodation then your cost is very less, very cheap hotels are available here, between 1500 to 2000 rupees you will get a good hotel. But I have an idea if you stay here for a week then you can spend 10000 to 12000 rupees per person.