Why travel from Chandigarh to Manali?

Why travel from Chandigarh to Manali? Here are the reasons! As one of the oldest and most popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a mystical land that blends tradition, global cultures, art, and not to mention, the quintessential Himalayan life.

With endless views of the breathtaking Greater Himalayas on one hand, the colorful multi-cultural communities on the other, Manali has become the ‘it’ locale for wanderers, artistic souls, and seekers of all things mystical.

Manali is often and best explored from the nearest metro city of Chandigarh, therefore making this a popular road trip route for travellers. By booking a cab with Savaari, you can turn your road trip into an exciting journey and include experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t when traveling by bus or train.

Travelling from Chandigarh to Manali by car

The route between Chandigarh and Manali is certainly one of the most popular ones in North India, for a quick road trip or a weekend getaway. Hence, the best way to enjoy the same is to book a Chandigarh to Manali trip package with us.

On your Manali trip from Chandigarh, you will experience the changing landscape from the cityscape of Chandigarh to the lush farms and fields of Punjab, finally merging into the higher altitudes of Himachal, and passing through pine forests and mountains. Let us help you discover the best routes for your Chandigarh to Manali trip by road.

chandigarh-manali-highway

Thus, experience the joy of being on the road by booking a cab from Savaari.

Best time to take a road trip

Like any other Himalayan region in India, Manali also enjoys alpine weather, making it cold and snowy in the winter and pleasant in the summer. The rainy season, however, is not so conducive to this region.

Depending upon your season preference, you can choose to visit in the colder months and experience a winter wonderland along with New Year festivities. But if you want to experience the Himalayan land in full bloom and greener cover, the summer months are the time to visit. The warmer months are also great for driving down from Chandigarh and enjoy the ride. 

chandigarh-manali-calendar

Route 1: Chandigarh to Manali via NH3

This is the shortest and fastest route to cover Chandigarh to Manali distance and most popular among travellers. You might find regular Chandigarh to Manali road traffic on this route, but it can be higher during peak season or holidays.

Before you travel, always check for live traffic updates or real-time maps to get a better understanding of the Chandigarh to Manali road condition. 

Here’s a basic Delhi to Manali road map for this route:

Chandigarh — Nalagarh–Swarghat– Bilaspur– Sundernagar– Mandi — Kullu — Naggar — Manali

Route Mapper

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Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality

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Popular places along the way:

  • Ropar Wetlands, Ropar- Just outside Chandigarh city, you will find this vast patch of wetlands, rich in biodiversity. During winters, this becomes the nesting ground of migratory birds and after the rains, you can find tortoises. 
  • Gobind Sagar Lake, Bilaspur – In order to reach this tranquil lake area, you have to detour from Bilaspur junction and head towards Zakatkhana, where the lake tapers into the Sutlej. You can travel further westward to reach the banks of the lake.
  • Prashar Lake, Mandi – This crystal clear lake is situated at the height of 9000 feet above the sea level. In order to reach the lake, all you have to do is take a few miles off the highway at Mandi. It is also a noteworthy base for long treks to the upper ranges of Himalayas. You can also capture the views of Dhauladhar, Pir Pinjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges from the lakeside.
prashar-lake
  • Great Himalayan National Park, Tirthan Valley – This sanctuary is quite popular due to its rich biodiversity and houses exotic Himalayan flora and fauna. Take the road towards Shoja from Mandi and you can also a stopover for a night and camp.
  • Chandrakhani Pass, Kullu – The highlight of Kullu district, a mountain pass, is a lush enclave of alpine forests and gurgling streams. On your way, also stop at the ancient Naggar Castle, a significant site of Himachal’s history.

Places to eat on this route:

  • Bahadur/Bhadure Ka Dhaba, Bilaspur – A popular local eatery offering traditional meals and quick bites. 
  • Chawla’s, Mandi – One of the oldest and most popular eateries on this highway offering all Punjabi delicacies.

Route 2: Chandigarh to Manali via NH154 and NH3

This is a longer route in contrast to the previous one. You will most probably experience some traffic on this highway, thus making it a slower route. But you should rely on live traffic updates before your travel and get a better idea of the Chandigarh to Manali road condition.

Here’s a basic Delhi to Manali road map for this route:

Chandigarh — Pinjore — Kalka — Dharampur — Barmana — Ner Chowk — Mandi — Kullu- > Naggar

Route Mapper

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Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality

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Popular sights/monuments that you will encounter along this route:

  • Pinjore Gardens, Pinjore – Situated right outside the perimeters of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, there is are beautifully landscaped gardens, with terraced land, fountains, and topiary. The Mughal-inspired architecture dotting the area makes it even more interesting. 
  • Kalka-Shimla Railway, Kalka – The highlight of Kalka, the single-gauge mountain railway looks like a toy train and makes the views picture-perfect. The town also has a rail museum, housing historical memorabilia. 
  • Kasauli, off Dharampur – Take a detour to visit one of the classic locales of Himachal Pradesh. With nature trails, mountain views, and quaint rural communities, Kasauli is as scenic as it can get.  
Kasauli
  • Great Himalayan National Park, Tirthan Valley – If you want to spot some exotic Himalayan wildlife, this is certainly the place to be. Rich in biodiversity, the forests lie off the highway from Mandi, towards Shoja. 
  • Chandrakhani Pass, Kullu – Take a drive through the popular mountain pass of Kullu district, trek through the alpine woodlands and mountain streams. 

Places to eat along this route:

  • Heritage Haveli, Rupnagar – A village-themed, family restaurant serving authentic Punjabi food and North Indian delicacies.
  • Shelly Restaurant, Kalka – This cozy local diner serves meal platters, snacks, and more. 
  • Kasauli Café, Kasauli – Casual cafe, also famous among tourists and backpackers, serving mainstream Chinese dishes, snacks, and beverages.

Book a cab from Chandigarh to Manali

Other means of traveling

By Train 

There are no direct trains from Chandigarh to Manali. However, there are two train routes that will take you to the nearest towns.

One is the single gauge, mountain railway from Chandigarh to Kalka, while the other is a regular train route that will take you to Joginder Nagar, near Bir-Billing. From there, you will have to take a bus or car to reach Manali. But none of these trains are fast and take nearly 20 hours of travel.

For updated train timings for Chandigarh to Manali, visit IRCTC and follow their latest timetable. 

By Flight

There are multiple flights available between Chandigarh and Manali, but they are not as regular as you would expect. The nearest airport is Kullu – Manali Aiport (KUU). The average Chandigarh to Manali flight duration is 1 to 4 hours, depending upon the air route.

The Chandigarh to Manali flight can cost you anything from INR 2000 to 10000, depending on the booking window, availability of flights, and travel season. You can also visit any online travel portal for the best deals on Chandigarh to Manali flight booking. 

Explore Manali Like a Local: A Handy Guide

What was once a quiet little mountain hamlet of the Himalayas, is now a bustling center of adventure, parties, and outdoor activities. Manali tour is not just restricted to hikes, treks, or camping anymore. The eclectic community of Manali also offers everything from natural wonders to non-stop night-life, unique food, religious and artistic experiences.

With our tips and suggestions, you can make your Manali trip exciting and interesting. 

Attractions in Manali for Sightseeing

Some of the most noteworthy sights of Himachal Pradesh are the Buddhist monasteries, such as the Manali Gompa, Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa, and the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa. Or head to the Vashisht Temple, right outside the old town, and take a dip in its sacred and therapeutic hot springs.

You can also visit the Hadimba Temple, which is hidden in the forests. However, for adventure and fun-filled activities, explore the Solang valley, for paragliding, zorbing, ziplining, or skiing. Besides, don’t forget to sample global cuisines or shop for local goods at Mall Road.

Savaari recommends – Popular places to eat in Manali

As a result of being a multi-cultural town, Manali offers every kind of cuisine to cater to the high population of international travelers. As such, there is no distinctive food that is endemic to the place. However, you would find Tibetan food to be predominating, as well as Trout fish, as a seasonal specialty. 

Explore Manali’s flavors at these popular eateries-

  • Chopsticks, Mall Road.
  • Lazy Dog, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali
  • Café Nirvana, Old Manali.
  • Drifter’s Café, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali.
  • People Art Café &Lounge, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali.
  • Johnson’s Café, Circuit House Road.
  • Café 1947, Near Nehru Kund, Bahang.

Hotels and resorts – Accommodation in Manali

Hotel Name Address
Fog Hills Prini, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 1751038 PH: 094182 34297
Apple Country Resort Log Huts Area Rd, Log Huts Area, District Kullu, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131 PH: 098166 00188
The Blue Magpie Jhadang Village, Chichoga Rd, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131 PH: 099155 43910
The Manali Inn NH 21, Rangree, Near Indian Petrol Pump, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131 PH: 1800 11 3939
The Orchard Greens Log Huts Area Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131 PH: 093501 71709