I had a cherished dream to hug magical Manali, one of the best tourist places in India and enjoy the mesmerizing Manali tourist places after seeing the stunning beauty of Manali in Hindi cinema. So I was looking for a suitable scope for my Manali Trip.
Truth to be told, Traveling is an instinct nature in me. On my vacation, I don’t like to work and stay at home. Since I am a hungry traveler, I prefer a long trip on my vacation out of my country. So on my last winter vacation, it was no different.
Complete Story of My Manali Exploration, One of the Best Tourist Places in India
Out of my fascination with Manali, this time, I got out of this abode of snow.
In the beginning, I was alone for my Manali Trip. Then I got eight more. So we were a gang of nine.
Finally, we began our journey on 17 December from Comilla, Bangladesh. Our first stoppage on the way to Manali was Agartala. Reaching Agartala, we checked into the hotel.
Getting fresh we got out to take our dinner at Shankar restaurant, the best one in Agartala so far I know. But Shankar is torn into three. Alas! What about its future!
Taking a palatable dinner, we rushed back to the hotel. We were off for the bed without any delay because next day morning we have to leave for Agartala airport at 8 am. Our flight Indigo will fly for Delhi on 10.20am.
To know more about Flights Make My Trip
Generally, the dense fog behaves roughly in December to delay the flight. But we were fortunate. The fog did not create any hurdle and our flight flew at the right time. We reached Delhi at about 2.30 pm. and got into the hotel Shive DX at Paharganj (a crowded area for hotel and guest house in Delhi).
Starting for Chandighar
Next day morning at 7.30 am. we boarded the train Shatabdi Express to reach Chandighar from New Delhi Station. Shatabdi Express is a super fast train. I was really impressed with the catering services provided by the train. We were served with a delicious breakfast and then impressive snacks. We reached Chandigarh at 1bout 11.30 am.
Reaching Chandighar, we took a package from “Shimla Manali Tours”, a professional transport service for north India tours, with a cost of Rs. 4500 per head. The package included transport and hotel. We were provided a tempo of 12 seats.
“Hey! I am Roy, waiting to drive you to Manali. I will let you enjoy every magic of Manali” smilingly greeted our driver.
“Welcome. You are seemingly nice one. We are the really fortunate one to have you as our driver and guide” I responded to his greetings.
Chandigarh to Manali
We started our journey for Manali with a bank of enthusiasm and wild excitement. It is because we are going to explore the enchanting beauty of Manali, the sleep killer dream, especially to me.
Thousands of thoughts revolving Manali began to crowd into my mind. To enjoy skiing, trekking, river-rafting, paragliding, playing with snow and so on would be really awesome.
As I told Roy to take a break for our lunch, he stopped before a Panjabi Dhaba(restaurant). The in and outside decoration of Dhaba with Panjabi culture amazed me. They did rightly portray their tradition in the hotel yard also.
But the taste of the menu served by the hotel frustrated us. Nothing was to do. Just we loaded our hungry belly with some tasteless and pricey lunch items.
Thanking the worst lunch I have ever taken, we resumed our journey.
It was about 10.30 pm. when we reached Manali and checked into the Hotel R.R.Villa near the Mall of Manali. It took about 10 hours to reach Manali. We were delayed for at least 3 hours due to construction works on the road and villain like trucks on the road. The countless trucks had made the road sometimes motionless causing the traffic jam.
The last 50 kilometers were really boring. We were also badly hungry.
But, when we began to head by the road alongside the Beas River, again the energy and excitement took my place. The music of floating Beas made me nostalgic. Besides millions of twinkling lights all around Manali were magnificent. They were like the stars in the sky at night.
When we got down from our Tempo in front of our hotel, we got a warm reception from the hotel staff. The temperature was just -2c with which we are not acquainted.
One of our gang got sick and began to tremble. But, with the bless of Almighty, he was okay within a short time when our room was provided with a room heater. It was biting cold in the beginning. But gradually we could adapt ourselves to the new environment.
We ordered for our dinner which was served after 30 minutes. But this we were not frustrated. The taste of the veg-menu was superb.
I took a hot shower before taking the dinner which made me fresh to shake off the tiredness of the long journey. Just taking the savory dinner, we were off to the bed.
Day-1: Manali local Sightseeing
The next day morning sun welcomed us peeping through the window curtain. Getting up from the bed, I stepped to the window. The snow-capped mountain peak under the golden rays of the morning sun was like a heavenly view. It loaded my soul with a full tank of energy. It got me the spirit of an angel.
We got fresh and enjoyed another delicious breakfast with Alo Parantha. Then we set out with an agenda of visiting local Manali tourist places.
Hadimba Devi Temple
When we were heading for Hadimba Devi Temple through the serpentine roads of Manali Town, I could still hear the hidden music of Beas River. It was amazing.
However, it did not take much time to reach Hadimba Devi Temple which is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimba Devi who was the wife of Bhima.
The wooden structured temple is built amid a cedar forest called Dhunguri Van Vihar in 1553. To know more click here- Hadimba Devi Temple.
At the entrance of the temple, we were irritatingly persuaded by the Yak riders and local ladies to take the picture holding their white rabbits. But we did not get enough interest in their call because of the bad smell, especially from the Yak.
We made a brisk stroll around the temple enjoying the lush green. Then we stepped towards the Museum of Manali, just opposite the temple.
Read the Exciting Story of A Day in the Land of Clouds at My Shillong Trip
Visiting Manali Museum
Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art is a bank of cultural and folk art antique articles collected from the different parts of Himachal Pradesh. The collected and exhibited items show the complete picture of the traditional life of the people of Himachal Pradesh.
I was so amazed at the exhibited antique articles that I was tempted to take the photo of every item.
Especially I was enchanted with the traditional handloom, slippers made of sheep’s skin and goat’s hair, straw grass slippers, different kinds of dress, different types of Hubble bubble, building model, traditional kitchen, jewellery, wooden masks, musical instruments, carved pillars, Gharat or ghoth(water flour mill) and so on.
Time forced us to come out though mind did not allow leaving the Museum. So, thanking the authority for such a huge and sophisticated collection of traditional articles of Himachal Pradesh, we left for the next destination.
Enjoying Beas River Crossing and Rope Bouncing
Then we were driven beside Beas River. Enjoying Beas River crossing and Rope bouncing over the crystalline flowing Beas doubled my fun factor. I have no word to describe the fun enjoyed by the river crossing and rope bouncing. I was simply spellbound by this sporting event.
Visiting Club House
Club House is an amusement park for both kids and adults run by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC). The club is situated on the banks of Manalsu Nallah (Branch of Beas River) in a small area.
It has many amusement and adventurous activities like bubble ride, water roller, boating, bull ride, go-karting, virtual cinema, haunted house, paintball, zip line, archery, carnival games, and Segways. I played a carnival game.
There are also some stalls in which traditional clothes and handicrafts are sold but the price is a little bit high.
The taste of fruit chaat sold in the fruit shop is very nice. One going there should not miss taking the taste of the fruit chaat.
Visiting Van Vihar
Van Vihar is a public park placed beside Beas River near Mall Road. The shadow of the sky touching deodar and pine trees has given the park serenity.
The mingling of the birds’ chirping and music of flowing Beas created a rhythm in and around the park.
There is also a small pond in which our kids’ members indulged in boating. We enjoyed a brisk stroll amid the lush greenery which brought us refreshment.
Enjoying a Delicious Lunch
Then we were on our foot to reach the Mall to take our lunch. The lunch enjoyed by us in Safal Dhaba situated just beside the mall was simply superb. It would be a great injustice to the couple who run the hotel if I fail to mention my complement to the taste of the menu.
After enjoying a dainty lunch, we passed the rest of the day strolling at and around the Mall with some shopping.
While getting back to the hotel after dinner, we stopped at a roadside tea stall. One visiting mall should not miss taking a cup of tea from the roadside tea stall. It is really enjoyable to sip into a hot cup of tea in such a severe cold.
Visiting Solang Valley
The next day was completely reserved for Solang Valley. The excitement was going on. It was the first time I was going to enjoy such a Snow Valley. We started for Solang Valley at 10 am. On the way to Solang Valley, we hired the winter dress and gum boat which are must to explore the snow.
We also took a package for Skiing. As we were heading towards Solang Valley, everything began to be snowy.
The almost necked trees on both sides of the road caught my attention. Out of my curiosity, I asked Roy, our driver about their recognition.
“Oh! Apple trees” Roy replied smilingly.
I imagined for a moment how the apple orchard would be looked like when they would be loaded with ripe apples!
When does the apple orchard get bounty with the ripening apples? I asked Roy out of my ignorance.
“April to May. Then per kg apple is sold at a poor price of RS. 15-20”, answered Roy.
Lost into the World of Snow
Being engaged with the topic, we reached Solang Valley. Our Tempo was parked beside the Skiing point
It seemed to me that I had got super energy from the electrifying snow-covered surroundings we had. Snow-snow and snow all around us I could see as if we ourselves became snow.
I began to leap and crawl over the snow as I was colored with the spirit of excitement and joy. Which word would be appropriate to explain my feelings! No word. It was magical what I could see all around.
We played with snow, enjoyed Skiing and clicked picture after picture in every nook and corner on the snow around us.
To know more about Skiing, Paragliding and other sports in Solang Valley click here
“Uncle, let’s go for trekking”, the athlete and sweetest Tompa Ma (daughter of my colleague) offered from her enthusiasm.
It was a nice idea. How I can miss this!
So, we were lost in trekking all around that place.
Trekking Solang Valley
Our trekking in Solang Valley was not an organized one. It was just an instant and short expedition but full of thrilling. Trekking through the pine forest and then through the daring zones of rocks was really thrilling.
But it brought us the real taste of adventure when had to make a pass carrying and placing rocks on the flowing gorge to cross it.
Our exploration was for 40 minutes but it was an awesome experience which has left hope of trail in me for a full trekking experience in the future.
To know more about Trekking Manali Solang Valley click here
Then we turned back to the hotel though my mind was disobeyed for the back. On our way back, we stopped several times because of the stunning beauty of Solang Village.
It is the perfect place for homestay. I wish I could stay a day at the hotel near Solang Valley. Next time I must try to enjoy a homestay near Solang Valley.
To know more about Manali click here
With an obsession, we left Manali for Shimla the next day early morning.
Tips for Manali budget Trip
From any place in India, first, you should reach Delhi. You can reach Delhi by Air or Train. But I recommend Air. Several Air Companies especially Spice Jet and Indigo offer cheap fare before 1-2 months of the journey date. It will save your time as well as money. If there is no hurry and feel comfortable, then you can choose Train. The train journey in India is very comfortable and cheap.
For more Train information click here
Delhi to Manali
You can go to Manali from Delhi in many ways. Let’s know all about them:
Delhi to Manali by bus will reduce your transportation cost. It will cost just RS 400. But you have to endure a long journey of 12 hours. There are a number of boarding points for this route, including ITO, Paharganj, Connaught Place, ISBT Kashmiri Gate, and Ramakrishna Ashram Marg Metro Station.
The bus will leave for Manali: HRTC-514 – 11:30 AM. Fare: Rs. 631, Shan-E-Himachal Volvo – 04:00 PM, Fare: Rs. 650, HRTC-508 – 07:45 AM, Fare: Rs. 659. There are many more buses leaving from Manali during day and night.
By train, you can go to Chandighar from New Delhi Railway Station. Kalka Shatabdi Express is the best for going to Chandighar. It will cost you a little bit more than the other trains but train serves the breakfast and snacks at least two times. It will cost you RS 650.
Then From Chandighar, you can go to Manali by Bus. You can get the bus from Sec. 43, Chandigarh. The bus will leave for Manali: HRTC-1532 at 08:15 PM, HRTC-1507 at 06:40 PM, Himachal Road Transport at 08:15 PM. There are many more buses leaving from Chandigarh after 6:40 and it will cost you RS 400-436.
Or if you are a group of 10-12, you can hire a 12 seaters Tempo. It will cost you 4500-5000 though bargaining is a must.
When you will get down at Chandighar from the train, you would be persuaded by the brokers of the travel agency to take a package for transportation and hosteling. You can take the package but it will cost you pretty high.
So, for a budget trip, you should only hire the Tempo or car. Booking the hotel bodily will cut off your hotel rent at least one third.
To get the actual test of Manali, you should stay at Old Manali or near the Solang Valley. The beauty of old Manali is awesome. If your hotel is beside the Beas River, it would be paradise-like. Besides booking the hotel bodily, you can book the hotel online by, Make my Trip, Goibibo. They also provide hotels at a cheap rate.
Among these, OYO is the best one according to me. You will get the room with a cost between Rs 500-1000 in Old Manali with the Wi-Fi and room heater services.
For booking by this software, firstly you should install the software to register on their site. Then for registration, you need a phone number and an e-mail ID.
And the most interesting matter is that to book the room, it will cost you nothing. Moreover, after booking, they will call you and even mail you for the confirmation.
If you book the hotel bodily, then you need to bargain with the hotel manager to get the rooms at a cheap rate.
A list of cheap or budget hotels near Solang Valley
When you are under a tight budget and looking for a cheap hotel near Solang Valley in Manali, you can rely on the followings. These hotels are comparatively cheap than all others.
- OYO 4581 Hotel Prince Palace
- De Phoenix Eye
- The Sunshine Heritage
- The Dog on the Hill
- OYO 46347 Hotel K Square
A list of affordable hotels in Manali
The followings hotels are affordable and under your reach, if you are in need of budget-friendly hotels in Manali:
- Hotel The Valerian ( Hadimba Road)
- Hotel Mahavir ( Village Prini)
- Lotus Inn River View ( Kanyal Road)
- Hotel Royal ( Mall Road)
- Hotel New Adarsh ( Mall Road)
- Chichoga Holiday Inn (Aleo, Left Bank)
- Hotel Himland ( Circuit House Road)
- Hotel Meadows ( Hadimba Road)
- HPTDC The Castle
- Hotel Landmark ( Naggar Road)
- Hotel Hilltop ( Mall Road)
For more Budget Hotels click here
Transportation for sightseeing:
For Manali local sightseeing like Manali Mall, Hadimba Devi Temple, Dhunguri Van Vihar, Manali Museum, Clubhouse, Beas River crossing zone, Van Vihar and Manu Temple, you don’t need to hire a cab because all the sightseeing destinations are in walking distance except Hadimba Devi Temple.
You can hire an auto taxi for going to Hadimba Devi Temple, and it will cost you Rs 70-90. After visiting Hadimba Devi Temple, Dhunguri Van Vihar, and Manali Museum, you can go to River crossing zone and clubhouse on foot. You need to walk just 7-10 minutes for this. And all the rest destinations in local Manali are around the Mall Road.
If you take a taxi for 4 for all these sightseeing, it will cost you Rs 500-700 and light bargaining is needed.
You can also hire a taxi from Himachal Authorized Taxi Stand. Their office’s address and phone numbers are the followings-
The Manali Taxi Union address and Telephone Number
- Manali Bus Stand, Mall Road, Mob & Phone:01902- 252450, 252120
- Near the Hotel HPTDC Kunzum, Mob & Phone: 01902- 252205, 252926
- Manali Aleo Left Bank, Mob: 01902- 254032
Manali Taxi fare offered by Himachal Authorized Taxi Stand.
Taxi fare offered by Himachal Authorised Taxi Stand is fixed. For a Sumo, you have to pay the following fare rates for the following destination.
- For Manali – Kothi – Gulaba – Rohtang Pass – Manali the fare is. Rs.1,700
- For Manali – Solang Valley – Naggar- Manali the fare is Rs. 1,800
- For Manali Local sightseeing the fare is Rs.800
- For Rohtang – Solang – Naggar- Manali Over two and half days the fare is. Rs. 4,500
Moreover, you can get a taxi from the Mall. Many drivers are calling and waiting for you.
Most Popular Activities or sports in Manali:
One visiting Manali can enjoy many adventurous and exciting sports at Solang Valley as:
Paragliding in Solang Valley is very exciting and enjoyable. One can get an Ariel view of Solang Valley enjoying Paragliding.
Solang Valley Paragliding Cost:
- For a short flight, it will cost you Rs 600
- For a long flight, it will cost you Rs 1500-3000
Note: The rate can vary depending on your bargaining and season.
Solang Valley Paragliding Time:
- January-May: 9 am- 5 pm
- Oct.- Dec.: 9 am- 5 pm
Skiing at Solang Valley:
For skiing at Solang Valley, you can get a package with winter dress. Skiing, winter dress, and gumboot will cost you Rs 600
Time for Skiing at Solang Valley:
The best time for Skiing at Solang Valley is from December to January
Zorbing is also an exciting game enjoying at Solang Valley.
The best time for Zorbing at Solang Valley:
- Oct.- Dec.
Solang Valley Zorbing Cost: Rs 500
River Rafting in Manali:
One going to Manali can enjoy the thrill of River Rafting at Beas River.
Time for River Rafting in Manali:
April to Mid-June.
But the best time river Rafting in Manali is March when the water in Beas River remains in moderate condition.
Other Games enjoying in Manali:
Those who visit Manali can also enjoy Hiking, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Jeep safari
Best Time to Visit Solang Valley
December to January:
If you are fond of winter and winter sport like skiing then December and January are the ideal time to visit Solang Valley.
April to June:
For outdoor activities like paragliding, hiking, trekking, campaign, then you can choose April to Jun to visit Solang Valley. In April, Solang Valley becomes bounty with fruits, especially with apple.
Note: You can also know more from here to make your trip outstanding
Please make comment, if you like or dislike my story. It will inspire me.
Thanks for reading. Have a great day.