A Complete Travel Guide For Your Unplanned Trip to Himachal – Part 2

Kullu - Manali

Manali is a high altitude resort town and one of the most charming and popular hill stations in India.
It’s a popular backpacking center and honeymoon destination set on Beas River.

Manali is our next favorite destination in Himachal.

As easy as it was travelling to Shimla by road, it was much more adventurous and bumpy drive to Manali. Ranging from majestic mountain peaks to breathtaking passes, you will cross everything while driving through the valleys on a single road, with mountain on one side and river on the other.

You have to pay Green Tax once you hit the borders of Kullu/Manali which is an environmental tax charged from every tourist coming.

Kullu

Day 4 – So the next morning, we started our journey to Manali at 8.
We hit Kullu around 4 in the evening and stayed overnight at a beautiful resort in Kullu.

Kullu is a sister town of Manali at around 40Kms or 1 Hr drive to Manali. It is much more calmer, less commercialized and inexpensive than Manali. It has Scenic valley views with mountains and river alongside.

Paragliding, River Rafting, Trekking, Mountaineering are common sports happening in Kullu.

A little about the beautiful resort we stayed at in Kullu – Himalyan Kothi Kais
Himalyan Kothi Kais – Beautiful place up in the mountains, with absolute peace and serenity. It is situated about 3 km drive up from the valley in the village of  Kais. It is a picture perfect location overlooking the snow clad mountains with great hospitality , food & secure parking.

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After checking in and having a hot water shower we ordered pasta & maggie before the sunset and had it outside our room,  view from the resort is so amazing that you just can’t be sitting inside your room.
Nothing could end our day better with hot served dinner in the cold open area, speakers playing good music, and those mighty mountains as the view!!
This was one of the best properties we have stayed at in India with majestic landscapes.

Manali

Day 5 – After our beautiful stay and delicious breakfast at Kothi Kais, we started our journey to Manali via Kullu Valley. Though we wish we could extend a day at the resort but the journey has to go on.
We crossed Old Manali which is Quiet and peaceful yet mesmerizingly beautiful, the city is vastly preferred by tourists, quite specifically by solo travelers, as a place to relax and unwind. It is less expensive and less crowded than New Manali which has become quite touristy now.

It’s a personal choice to stay in Old Manali or New Manali depending on your preferences of landscape, expense, crowd, distance from the city.
We preferred staying near Mall Road in Manali so it would be easier for us to access every place as our plan was to park the vehicle and look up for some local transport for sightseeing.

After checking in to the hotel we ate at the famous Mall Road and hired a local vehicle for Hadimba Temple which is the most famous temple in Manali up in the mountains. We walked down the streets from Hadimba to the mall road on our own, on the way we explored the Clubhouse, Van Vihar and Mall Road, which is open till 10 in the evening during peak season!

Mall Road is not very pleasant in summers as Manali is extremely crowded during the peak seasons, the places is kind of ruined by overcrowded tourists & vehicles that have caused pollution in the city. We called the day off after having dinner and strolling around the mall road.

Day 6 – Next morning, we hired our own scooty and headed to Gulaba.
The route from Manali to Rohtang Pass with sightseeing places on the way is –
Manali – Solang Valley – Gulaba – Rohtang Pass
Rohtang Pass opens in May end- June depending on the snowfall. Rohtang Pass Permit is required to visit Rohtang Pass and almost all the local cab vendors have that Permit already so you can hire them for the same(It takes a few days to get the permit). They will pick you up around 3 AM in the morning as with rising traffic and narrow roads it takes around 4Hours to reach Rohtang. 
We have already visited Rohtang Pass and Solang valley so we thought to visit Gulaba this time.

How to reach Manali?
Nearest Railway Station : Kalka (15 Kms)
Nearest Airport : Bhuntar Airport (50 Kms)
Distance from Delhi by Road: 550 Kms – 12 hours

Places to visit in Manali-

  • Mall Road
  • Hadimba Temple
  • Clubhouse
  • Tibetan Monastry
  • Vashistha Cave
  • Van Vihar
  • Solang Valley
  • Gulaba
  • Rohtang Pass

If you’re planning for a long adventure trip, you may also visit these places near Manali for trekking & camping- 

  • Parvati Valley
  • Kasol
  • Kheerganga
  • Manikaran
  • Prashar Lake

Hotel recommendations for Manali-
Manali10 Best Hotels in Manali.

Day 7 – This was our last day in the mountains and we had to say Goodbye to our beautiful journey and thrilling road trip experience in Himachal.
We started our journey to Chandigarh from Manali around 9 and reached at 7 in the evening.
Day 8 – Next and the last morning, we woke up late and we headed back to our city Jaipur which was a very smooth 10 Hours journey.
If you have any questions or queries for Manali , please do let us know

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