One of the best ways to travel from Shimla to Manali is to hit the road in a personal or rented four wheeler. This gives one option to explore more on the way, when they have enough time to explore both the places. Besides, this gives one, more flexibility. Most part of the drive will be along the NH 22, which takes diversion to Khanag. From here, 1/3rd of the remaining route will be on this route, which will eventually join the NH 21, towards Kullu and then finally reach Manali after traveling for about 27 miles. This is the shortest route that needs one to travel about 77.7 miles. If one wants to have an elaborate plan with visiting places like Sunder Nagar, Mandi in between, they have to take a longer route visiting Dharlaghat, Ghagas, Sundenagar and Mandi before reaching Manali, which almost doubles the distance between Shimla and Manali to 165 miles. The perfect shortest tour will of course need one to visit fewer places. A straight route is through Theog, Narkanda, Khanag, Bhunter, Kullu and finally Manali. There are many rental agencies that make cars available at affordable prices, for those planning to drive to Manali from Shimla. Driving their own recreational vehicle needs one to do research online and offline. Thanks to Google maps, it is easier to have any route in seconds. If one owns a smart device with GPS, the journey becomes stress free and enjoyable.
Renting a car is a good option if one does not want to take the stress of finding directions. This will not only take off the strain of driving the car or four wheeler, but also give one enough time to click pictures of scenic beauty they get to view while traveling from Shimla to Manali. Most rental agencies charge anywhere between 08 INR to 15 INR, per km, depending on the vehicle one chooses for traveling. Tourism packages in India have become affordable owing to competition during peak seasons. One can also book a taxi, for a consolidated amount. A large family may need to rent a larger vehicle, while a small nuclear family with two adults and two kids may do good with a Tata Indica, for the journey does not take more than 5 hours, when one takes shorter route, but if one were to take a longer route for more than 165 miles to travel, it may take more than 8 hours. Depending on one’s comfort and budget, they can easily make a choice on the vehicle to be rented and stay comfortable during the journey.
Shimla to Manali by Bus: Yet another option would be to take a Bus. This is by far the most affordable service available for taking up this journey. But one may have to be contended by viewing or taking pictures; while on the bus, as opposed to the rented taxi where one could stop when they find beautiful scenery to click pictures. There are various deluxe buses available from Shimla bus stand to Manali. Fare is approx 500 INR and time taken is 8 hours.
Shimla to Manali by Air: There is no direct air service between these two hill stations. Nearest airport to Shimla is Jubbarhatti which is about 23 km away from main city. And Airport closest to Manali is Bhuntar, 50 km away. You can either travel Delhi to Shimla by Flights or Delhi to Manali by Air.
Shimla to Manali by Train: Since there are no direct trains that connect these two places, opting trains can turn out to be an inconvenience when traveling from Shimla to Manali.
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