Following on from the previous two papers, I discussed how you can plan a journey separately to Shimla and Manali; in this article, I’m going to discuss a Shimla Manali tour that includes both places on the same journey. First I will draught an itinerary, followed by a couple of other variations. You may ask questions in the comment section at the end of this page if you wish to draught your own plan. How to Plan a Manali And Shimla Trip with family.
Shimla and Manali together are probably Himachal’s most popular towns and offer perfect holidays with their families. Security and connectivity are several reasons for this. But in my opinion, the biggest reason is that Manali and Manali Trip have something to offer.
It doesn’t matter if you plan a quick trip with your friends or to have a proper vacation with your family; you know that you won’t be disappointed in one place. I will discuss in this article how you can plan your itinerary for Manali and Shimla trip.
With 7 to 8 days to go, Manali and Shimla trip can easily be explored without rushing any day, in a relaxed way. I’ll assume you are from Delhi for the sake of this article. However, only the plan of the first and the final day will change if you are travelling from another place. The rest of the route will remain unchanged.
Delhi to Shimla – Day 1
On this day, not much to talk about but a long journey. Take the NH1 and from Delhi on the Himalayan Expressway, follow the road to Shimla from Chandigarh. Some work is currently under way between Chandigarh and Shimla so that the whole trip can take up to 10-11 hours easily.
The total distance would be approximately 350 km. ISBT Delhi ‘s regular HRTC buses can be boarded if travelling by public transportation.
Another fun thing to do is take the bus to Kalka and then take the renowned Toy to Shimla. See How to plan a journey through Shimla Kala Toy Train for more details.
Shimla – Day 2
Now you can spend Day 2 and 3 in a number of ways. Shimla is home to several places, including the Mall Road, Christ Church, Scandal Point, Jakhu Hill, and the Shimla State Museum. Chail, Kufri, Mashobra, and Narkanda are some of the nearby hill stations that are very scenic. See Places of Tourist Interest in Shimla for a complete list. Summer and winter are both are the best time for the Shimla trip with the family.
I would recommend spending Day 2 on the Shimla itself if you were travelling with your own vehicle. The Ridge, the area near Jhaku Hill, and the Observatory are within easy walking distance. Here Shimla is the venue for fairs, festivals and events. There are several buildings in colonial style, a church, library and a Mahatma Gandhi statue tourists come to visit.
You can also hike to Jhaku Hill, which is 2,455 meters above sea level. The view of Shimla and the whole range of Shivalik around it is fascinating. It’s a fun trek uphill through the lush forest grounds for around 30 minutes. The statue of Lord Hanuman is 108 meters high above Jhaku Hill.
Drive to Narkanda – Day 3
On day 3, drive through Kufri to nearby Narkanda. Take a drive through Narkanda to Sutlej and lunch at Narkanda. After lunch, visit Hatu Peak for a short time and then come back to Shimla by night. This whole drive is extremely picturesque and definitely worth it. See What to See in Narkanda for more details.
I would advise you to spend two days visiting places inside Shimla town itself if you were travelling by public transportation. It can be a bit of a hasse and to be honest, it will not be that fun, either, going to Narkanda with public transport and coming back to Shimla.
Shimla to Manali – Day 4
It would be a long journey from Manali to Shimla mostly this day. Tattapani allows you to take the route. The drive can be a little long, but you’re a picturesque one.
Manali – Day 5
Please spend the day in Manali. The first thing you have to do is get your Rohtang Pass licence. You may need to submit your documents in the first half of the day for a full day. You will then come back to the DC office in the afternoon to collect your permit.
Applying for the permit online is also an easier way around. Read the details step by step on how to receive a licence for Rohtang Pass.
Besides receiving permits, you can spend the rest of the day in Manali on local tours and walks. The Hadimba Temple, the Nehru Kund, the Vashist Hot Water Springs, the Himachal Culture Museum, the Manu Maharishi Temple, the Temple of Gauri Shankar, the Jagatipatt Templo, the Roerich Art Gallery, are all just some of the places to visit. See places of tourist interest in Manali for more details. For more information.
Manali to Keylong – Day 6
You will drive the most picturesque way on your journey today. Take the road to Rohtang Pass and go down into the Lahaul Valley on the other side. In Keylong you can spend the night in plenty of hotels. Or you can continue to Jispa for another 25 kilometres and stay in any campsite.
It is highly recommended this part of the journey. People who recommend Manali won’t add this to the route, but it’s a must on your trip. From Manali to Lahaul Valley you will love the whole drive.
Keylong to Manali – Day 7
Start early this day from Keylong to Jispa. Go to the top of Baralacha and drive all the way to Suraj Taal from Jispa and there for breakfast. Then back to Jispa and Keylong and back via Rohtang Pass in Manali.
Manali – Day 8
Before you return home to Delhi, the last day of the trip. You can spend this day in three ways. You can either just relax and shop a little on the mall road in Manali. You can also go to the lake of Bhrigu, 6 km from Gulaba. You can go on foot. Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib can also plan a day’s visit.
Another way to plan this day is to go to Kasol and spend the day there in Parvati Valley.
Manali to Delhi – Day 9
Nothing to say about this day but a long journey via Chandigarh back to Delhi. The overall length covered is approximately 550 km, so an early start is recommended from Manali.
Itinerary for Shimla and Manali
As mentioned below, a number of other ways the journey can be planned.
- Delhi to Shimla – Day 1
- Shimla Local Sightseeing and Kufri – Day 2
- Manikaran Shimla to Manali– Day 3
- Rohtang Pass – Day 4
- Local Sightseeing in Manali – Day 5
- Kullu to Delhi Manali– Day 6
- Delhi to Shimla – Day 1
- Local Sightseeing in Shimla – Day 2
- Narkana to Sarahan Shimla– Day 3
- Sarahan to Kalpa – Day 4
- Kalpa to Chitkul – Day 5
- Chitkul to Shimla – Day 6
- Shimla to Manali – Day 7
- Manali Local Sightseeing – Day 8
- Rohtang Pass – Day 9
- Manali to Delhi – Day 10
Accommodation in Shimla and Manali
Shimla and Manali are very popular and have people visiting here always. As a result of this, hotels are numerous in a broad range of budgets in both these cities. Cheap accommodations, hotels, and luxurious resorts are easily available.
I do not want to book hotels in advance, personally, as I like arriving first, checking out the spot, and then negotiating a deal on location. It’s a personal choice, however. In peak tourist season, if your accommodation is booked and confirmed it is certainly an additional benefit and tranquillity.
Winter Manali and Shimla Trip
You could continue on this itinerary except for the valley of Lahaul if you visited Shimla and Manali in winter. The Rohtang Pass is closed between November and April, so this can not be explored. This allows you to explore more areas such as Manikaran Sahib or neighbouring areas such as the Parvati Valley in these two days.
It can snow heavily in the peak winters on both Shimla and Manali, so I recommend you be careful when driving. Hire a local taxi to take you safely to the city if possible.
When you pack clothing, you must also be careful. Pack your heavy woolens with just a few pairs of thermals. Be aware, however, that around Christmas and the New Year there is a great tourist rush.