Manali to Chandigarh Road Trip – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information

Chandigarh is the epitome of what a planned city can look like. With efficient civic design and a host of natural and man-made wonders to savor and experience, this joint capital of Haryana and Punjab allures every visitor.

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Why travel from Manali to Chandigarh?

Sitting on the foothills of the Shivalik range in north-west India, Chandigarh is a cosmopolitan city known for its great music, culture and historical monuments. It is also the closest Tier II city from the quaint town of Manali. When you take a road trip from Manali to Chandigarh, you can enhance your experience by enjoying everything that lies on the way. With a Savaari, you can turn your drive into a fun-filled journey and also customize the trip to your liking, travel time, and budget.

Manali to Chandigarh by car

Traveling from Manali to Chandigarh by car

The road from Manali to Chandigarh lets you slowly escape from the old-world setting of Manali to a hustling, modern city. The route passes through suburbs and small towns of Himachal before entering the union territory of Chandigarh, with fascinating nature spots, picturesque pine forests and mountains along the way. Book your Manali to Chandigarh cab with Savaari. With our completely customizable Manali to Chandigarh trip packages, you can stop at any of these places and do a quick sightseeing.

Let us help you discover the best routes to travel from Manali by Chandigarh by car.

Manali to Chandigarh roadtrip

Best time to take a road trip by car

Like many other cities of Punjab, Chandigarh also enjoys a mix of dry and semi-arid climate. The city sits at the foothills of the Shivalik Hills, as a result of which brings in the colder mountain drafts in winter and warm temperatures in summer. Hence, summers in the city are extremely harsh, without any moisture.

Traveling can be a bit of a challenge if you are not used to the weather. Therefore, the best time to visit Delhi to Chandigarh by car is between October and March, when the weather is conducive enough to explore the outdoors. During the day, the temperatures remain in the range of 20-30°C. During winters, the minimum temperature at night drops to 2 or 1°C. You can directly book a taxi in Manali to reach your destination.

Popular Routes from Manali to Chandigarh

Route 1: Manali to Chandigarh via NH3 and NH205

This is the shortest and the best route to travel between Manali and Chandigarh. It is also the fastest, because the Manali to Chandigarh traffic on this route is regular and there are no road closures. The distance between Manali and Chandigarh on this route is somewhere around 310 KM and takes about 8 hours. Always check live maps and instant traffic updates for the latest information on Manali to Chandigarh road conditions.

Here’s the basic route map from Manali to Chandigarh:

Manali — Naggar — Kullu — Mandi — Kothipura — Rupnagar — Chandigarh
Manali to Chandigarh best route via NH3 and NH205

Popular places along the way:

  • 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.
  • 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 make a stopover for a night and camp.
  • 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 Panjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges from the lakeside.
  • 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.
Prashar Lake, Mandi
Prashar Lake, Mandi

Places to eat along this route

  • Chawla’s, Mandi – One of the oldest and most popular eateries on this highway offering all Punjabi delicacies.
  • Bahadur/Bhadure Ka Dhaba, Bilaspur – A popular local eatery offering traditional meals and quick bites. 
  • Heritage Haveli, Rupnagar – A village-themed, family restaurant serving authentic Punjabi food and North Indian delicacies.

Manali to Chandigarh Road Condition via Route 1:

This is the fastest route to travel from Manali to Chandigarh and is used by most travelers. This route has standard highway tolls and the road conditions are better since there are no road closures.

Route 2: Manali to Chandigarh via NH3 and Una-Jahu-Nerchowk Road

This is a longer route to travel from Manali to Chandigarh than the previous one and also takes a little more time. Also, the road conditions on this route are variable. The distance from Manali to Chandigarh on this route is around 370 KM and takes a little over 9 hours. To avoid road closures, always check for latest updates and follow a live map when traveling to get the best idea of Manali to Chandigarh road conditions.

Here’s the basic route map from Manali to Chandigarh:

Manali — Naggar — Bhuntar — Mandi — Una — Anandpur Sahib — Rupnagar — Chandigarh
Manali to Chandigarh via NH3 and Una-Jahu-Nerchowk Road

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

  • 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.
  • 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 make a stopover for a night and camp.
  • 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 Panjal, and Kinnaur mountain ranges from the lakeside.
A View from the Great Himalayan National Park, Tirthan Valley

Places to eat along this route:

  • Chawla’s, Mandi – One of the oldest and most popular eateries on this highway offering all Punjabi delicacies.
  • Anandpur Sahib Brewbakes Cafe – Good for a quick coffee and snack break. Known for warm ambience, hospitable owners and unforgettable pizzas.
  • Pehlwan Dhaba, Anandpur Sahib – Local restaurant serving traditional north Indian cuisine in a casual setting, good for families and big groups.Channa and Paneer Masala are a must-try.

Manali to Chandigarh Road Condition via Route 2:

This is a slightly longer and slower route to travel from Manali to Chandigarh. This route also has standard highway tolls and the road conditions are better since there are no road closures.

Book a cab from Manali to Chandigarh

Manali to Chandigarh Best Route

Both the above routes are good for traveling from Manali to Chandigarh. However, the route via Anandpur Sahib has better food options along the way. If you want to save time and still have a scenic drive, then the route via NH3 and NH205 is your best option.

Other means of traveling from Manali to Chandigarh

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.

The nearest railhead from Manali is Joginder Nagar which takes about 4 and a half hours. From there, you will have to take a bus or car to reach Manali. Hence, the best and the most cost-effective way to travel from Manali to Chandigarh is by road.

You can visit the Indian Railways website or any other online travel portal for train bookings. But always refer to the daily timetables of the Indian Railways to get the updated Delhi to Chandigarh train fare and timings.

By Flight

There are multiple flights available between Manali and Chandigarh, but they are not as regular as you would expect. The nearest airport is Kullu – Manali Airport (KUU) which is about 50 km from Manali. The average Chandigarh to Manali flight duration is 1 to 4 hours, depending upon the air route.

The Chandigarh to Manali flights are fairly expensive and can cost you anything from INR 15,000 to 25,000, 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.

You can also take a Manali to Chandigarh bus but for safe and smooth travel, we advise you to take a cab.

Explore Chandigarh Like a Local: A Handy Guide

BBC once described Chandigarh as the ‘Most beautiful in India’. With well-designed buildings, efficient roads, and a host of landscaped gardens, there are plenty of reasons that prove Chandigarh is certainly one of the best places to visit in North India.

Attractions in Chandigarh for Sightseeing

  • Among fascinating public buildings and interesting constructions, the most noteworthy thing about Chandigarh is the presence of almost 22 public gardens, each designed with a theme.
  • Explore the Rose Garden, Topiary Garden, Japanese Garden, Butterfly Garden, Garden of Silence, and many more on your Chandigarh tour. 
  • But above all, the most interesting places in the city are Rock Garden, Open Hand Monument, and the vintage Capitol Complex, which is one-of-its-kind in India.
  • Also visit the Sukhna Lake, the largest water body in the city with a bustling promenade, and a great place to spend a day in the cooler months. 
  • Don’t forget to stop by the mini Eiffel Tower, India’s very own version of the French wonder. With a park and ample greenery around, the site makes for a great background for a flawless selfie.

Savaari recommends – Popular places to eat in Chandigarh

Like most other cities, Chandigarh has also evolved into a multicultural community of people flocking from all over the country. As a result, Chandigarh has ended up in a collage of cultures, each offering their best cuisines to the city. However, you would still find Punjabi and north Indian cuisine as the predominant fare.

These are some of the best rated places to eat in Chandigarh –

  • Bali’s Rooftop Lounge, Sector 17A
  • Barbeque Nation, Sector 26
  • Swagath Restaurant And Bar
  • Caldos pizza and Cafe, Sector 35
  • Retro Kitchen, Sector 9

Hotels and resorts – Accommodation in Chandigarh

Hotel Name Address
Hotel Mountview Sector 10, Chandigarh, 160011 PH: 0172 467 1111
The TOY Hotel SCO 165, 167, ZCC Rd, Sub. City Center, Sector 34A, Sector 34, Chandigarh, 160022 PH: 0172 403 3333
The Aroma Hotel Hotel AROMA Complex, SCO 1, Himalaya Marg, 22C, Sector 22, Chandigarh, 160022 PH: 098555 68855
LaLit Chandigarh Rajiv Gandhi IT Park DLF Commercial Complex, Chandigarh, 160101 PH: 0172 676 7777
The Fern Residency 28/8 Phase II, Industrial & Business Park, Chandigarh, 160002 PH: 0172 504 3333

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