There is nothing more refreshing than a trip to cool Manali in summer and this is what our family did. Since there were 9 of us, we booked a Tempo Traveller, which had all recliner seats except for two sleeper spaces. The vehicle was comfortable enough for all of us and we were travelling from Delhi.
The chosen route was via Chandigarh. It takes roughly about 4 to 5 hours to reach Chandigarh from Delhi, covering the approximately 250 km distance. So, we planned the trip accordingly and reached Chandigarh for a night halt. We had pre-booked the hotel rooms, so it was quite a comfortable stay. The next day, in the morning, the hotel served us an elaborate and sumptuous breakfast and we started for Manali, with our stomach full. The journey to Manali was a rather, long, arduous one of 312 km and to add to that, the roads were quite bumpy. Finally, we reached Manali by evening 5.30 pm after having lunch en-route.
The better part of this otherwise arduous journey was the factory outlets of woollen shawls on the way. You could choose to stop, browse and pick up a few nice woollen shawls to keep you warm in Manali and as memoirs of the trip.
Sightseeing in Manali
In Manali, we behaved like regular tourists and did sightseeing during the day, apart from taking in the nice, cool climate and the beautiful scenery. The Himalayan climate and beauty of Manali is truly eye pleasing and made us forget our tiresome journey. We were put up in a homestay called Johnson Lodge, which again, we had pre-booked. The place was nice and comfortable as well as centrally located. Owing to this fact, we hardly used our Tempo Traveller in Manali, as we could easily reach the places to see, except when we went to Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara.
Apart from the regular tourist stuff, what we did was to go to old Manali in the evenings every day, where we could listen to beautiful song renditions, by really good singers. Also, on our last evening in Manali, the hotel itself had organized a band for the evening and we really enjoyed the music and the hospitality. So, we spent a nice, quiet, lovely as well as fun-filled, few days in Manali and soon it was time to return.
The return journey and tips
On our return journey, we again had to get back to Chandigarh and halt for the night in the same place. And then, the next day, we started off in the morning and got back to Delhi, as planned. While we felt the journey as a bit tiresome, we were all really happy and refreshed from the Manali outing as a fun family outing.
The tips that I can suggest if you are planning a Manali trip are:
- It is better to take a flight to Manali if you can afford it. The Manali flights actually land at Bhuntar Airport in Kullu, which is approximately an hour and a half away from Manali. There are many flights available as well as it is easy to reach Manali from the airport.
- In Manali, it is better to find a centrally located hotel or lodge for your stay as that can make your stay comfortable and easy. You will have the convenience of going to all places without much hassles and it won’t tire you out as well.
- Do not miss the music in old Manali, especially if you are a music lover; this will make it a memorable trip indeed.
By Samarth member, Sheenu Varshney
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