Yes, it’s not a clickbait and you’ve read the heading correctly.
If you’ve always wanted to escape to the mountains for a quick trip on a shoestring budget, you should straight away bookmark this article.
So it all began from a random discussion with one of my friends over glasses of beer at a swanky pub in Delhi as he tried to make his point that travel in our country has become expensive and no longer an economic affair.
I disagreed with him on multiple fronts and tried to bring home the point that travel wasn’t all that expensive if one let go of the lavish means.
“My greatest skill has been to want little” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
But he still insisted how his friends went to Manali last month and had to spend money like water even for basic necessities like stay and food.
I was having no more of this discussion and finally ended up announcing, in a rather emphatic way, “What if I can curate a fun getaway to Manali under our bill amount?”
He laughed out loud and I can’t say I wasn’t expecting him to. As we got the bill of INR 4,500, I got up with a firm resolute to prove him what I said wasn’t all talk.
And so the following weekend I packed up my backpacks and headed to the Delhi ISBT. I was all set to prove him wrong.
Buses are the easiest and most economical way to reach Manali from major cities in Northern India. Delhi to Manali road distance is 531.6 km. Here is more information about other means to travel to Manali as well:
There are plenty of buses heading out from Delhi (Kashmiri Gate) all throughout the day but I would suggest taking a bus in the evening between 6 to 9 PM. Usually the buses take 13-14 hours to reach Manali from Delhi. Leaving before 9 PM gives you the advantage of not missing out on the morning, the day after.
You can also take a bus from one of the other cities in northern India such as Shimla, Chandigarh, Leh, Kullu and Dharamshala. All these places are well connected to Manali via road. Buses are found on the Redbus app or government travel websites. Volvo/Scania/Mercedes A/C buses are advisable for a comfortable travel through these terrains.
If you’re coming from any other part of India, take a direct flight to Bhuntar which is the closest airport to Manali. Otherwise take a flight to Delhi or Chandigarh and take an overnight bus to Manali.
Once at the airport you can book pre-paid cabs to get to your accommodation. Ride hailing apps like Ola,Uber don’t work here.
There’s no direct train to Manali. You have to take the train till Shimla(SML) which is a good 246 km away. Other means of transport are better to reach Manali.
Here’s a short description of travel details that I used:
|Buses||HRTC, Himalayan Nomad (K.T.C)|
|Travel Time||13 – 14 hours|
|Average Cost||INR 1000 (Volvo luxury buses)|
|Important Tip||Take a bus that leaves before 9 PM|
Click on below links to read my complete itinerary to Manali (from Delhi) under INR 4k.
Drop a comment below with your queries and I will get back to you.
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