There’s nothing like a road trip! The adrenaline rush of soaking in the breathtaking scenery, visiting popular stops, and discovering hidden gems is a truly magical experience. If you are longing for a memorable road trip, then how about the Delhi-Manali road trip? There’s a lot to offer in traveling between Delhi and this charming hill station near Delhi! The drive starts in Delhi and weaves its way up to Manali, weaving various cities. Honestly, it is a dream road trip that is on the wish list of many travelers.
If you have made up your mind to plan a road trip from Delhi to Manali, we are here to help! Check out this quick travel guide from Delhi to Manali by road that will answer all your questions before you start your journey!
Delhi Manali transport options
First things first, which vehicle should you choose? You can cover the distance of 550 km between Delhi and Manali via bike, car, or tourist bus (depending on the number of people). As long as the engine is running, any vehicle can take you to your destination. But, don’t go for scooters or battery-powered vehicles, they can be a bit of a hassle for your travels!
Delhi to Manali road trip – some popular routes
Once you’ve decided on a vehicle, it’s time to choose routes! Eventually, different paths will lead you through different scenery, tourist attractions, and famous eats. So, take a look at the popular routes and choose wisely!
Route 1 – Ambala – Chandigarh route (via NH-44 and 154)
Delhi – Panipat – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Chandigarh – Bilaspur – Mandi – Kullu – Manali
It is actually one of the frequently used routes connecting Delhi to Manali via NH-44 and 154. It will take you around 12 to 13 hours to reach the hill station for a fun-filled vacation. Here’s what awaits you on this tour!
Purana Quila, Panipat
An iconic historical site, Purana Qila is worth visiting. Apart from admiring the ancient architecture, you can also enjoy the panoramic views of the area from Fort Park. And if you want to delve deeper into the history of Panipat, you must visit the library!
Karnal Lake, Karnal
Take your next break at the tranquil Karnal Lake. A peaceful paradise with pristine surroundings, this place is perfect to relax and enjoy a quick breakfast before proceeding further.
Jyotisar Birthplace of Bhagavad Geeta, Kurukshetra
For religious souls, this is your must-visit on the Delhi to Manali route! According to mythology, it is here that Lord Krishna preached the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna during the epic battle of Kurukshetra. Hence, the religious value!
Rock Gardens of Chandigarh
While traveling the distance from Delhi to Manali by road, you cannot miss out on Chandigarh’s Rock Garden. Covering 20-acres of art and enchanting landscapes, this garden features art objects made from industrial and urban waste. No wonder why it is one of the top Chandigarh attractions.
Bhakra-Nangal Dam, Bilaspur
Famous for its splendid architecture, this massive dam has always been on the radar of tourists. So, while you are on the way, don’t forget to enjoy the bliss of nature here! You can indulge in some fun recreational activities and water sports too!
Barot Valley, Mandi
Just before reaching Manali, stop by to experience the serenity of this enchanting valley. Barot valley covered with thick deodar trees is truly a magical place. It is also an adventurous soul’s paradise with plenty of opportunities for trekking, camping, and trout fishing.
Rewalsar Lake, Mandi
Whether you call it Rewalsar or Tso Pema, this lake is a symbol of spirituality and natural beauty. Nestled amidst majestic mountains, it is also a holy place for Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist pilgrims. Near the lake, there is a temple of Mandarave along with three Buddhist monasteries.
Bijli Mahadev Temple, Kullu Valley
To quench your spiritual thirst, remember to stop near Bijli Mahadev Temple. Nestled in the mesmerizing Kuli Valley, it is one of the ancient temples of the country dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tourists from all over the country come to this temple to seek blessings. The religious aura of this place is simply magical. And the serene views of the valley make it even more picturesque.
Places to eat
The road trip from Delhi to Manali offers an unforgettable culinary experience. After all, you get to taste delicious food from several local eateries. On this route, you can stop at Haveli or Amrik Sukhdev in Murthal or enjoy home-cooked food at Puran Singh Da Dhaba (Ambala). One of the oldest eateries on this highway, Chawla ki Mandi near Mandi, is a great place to indulge in delicious Punjabi cuisine.
Route 2: Shimla Route (Via NH 44 and NH 5)
Delhi – Panipat – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Chandigarh – Zirakpur – Shimla – Bilaspur – Mandi – Kullu – Manali
As you may have already noticed, this route remains the same till Chandigarh and then turns towards NH 5. This means that instead of passing through Chandigarh after Ambala, you take the road to Zirakpur. Since we have already mentioned the popular stopovers like Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu, and Manali as well as Chandigarh, there are other places you can explore along this route!
Viceregal Lodge, Shimla
Built in 1888 as the residence of the then British Viceroy Lord Dufferin, Visceral Lodge is an architectural marvel. Perched on the observatory hills, this magnificent building offers amazing views of the natural surroundings. For a dip in history, visiting Visceral Lodge is a must when you are on the Delhi to Manali route by road.
The Ridge, Shimla
The Ridge, the cultural center of Shimla, is a famous hangout place along Mall Road. You can enjoy a walk, visit libraries, admire churches, and shop your heart out. Situated in the heart of Shimla, the Ridge is undoubtedly one of the most popular stops on this long journey.
Places to eat
When you leave Delhi, you can enjoy fine dining at the Haveli in Murthal as we discussed earlier. Then, stop at Grand Lassi Shop in Zirakpur and savor their refreshing lassi with heavenly Aloo Parathas. As you reach Shimla, do not forget to delight your taste buds at Aunty Ki Rasoi. And finally, before entering Manali, visit Highway Treat at Mandi for authentic Himachali food.
Travel tips for Delhi to Manali road trip
Time for some travel tips for your Delhi-Manali road trip!
• Beware of narrow roads and hairpin turns while traveling the distance between Delhi and Manali.
• Plan an overnight stay in Ambala, Chandigarh, or Shimla. It can be tiring to cover the entire distance in one go, including stopovers.
• Keep snacks and water in your bag. You may need them on your travels.
• Carry a medical kit and other essentials with you in case of any emergency.
• Switch drivers for a safer drive.
You must already be excited about this road trip, right? So, take note of the popular routes, book your accommodation, pack all the essentials, and hit the streets.
- Manali – Experience India’s Most-Wanted Hill Station
- 10 Top Places to Visit in and Around Manali
- 10 Best Places To Visit In Shimla
- 11 Adventure Sports You Must Try In Himachal
- Manali weather (Link)
- Manali temperature (Link)
- Delhi to Manali distance (Link)
- Today’s Manali weather (Link)
- Manali hotels (Link)
- Chandigarh to Manali distance (Link)
- Shimla to Manali distance (Link)
- Delhi to Manali bus (Link)
Frequently Asked Questions About Delhi to Manali Road trip
Q. Is the road from Delhi to Manali good?
A – The distance from Delhi to Manali by this route is 536 km and it takes around 12 hours to reach. The road condition is good and can be taken by travelers who want to stop by beautiful places on their way.
Q. How long does it take from Delhi to Manali by road?
A – 12-14 hours
Q. Which is the best route from Delhi to Manali?
A – Given the current circumstances, the best route would be Delhi-Ambala-Shambhu Toll Barrier (Turn right under the flyover just after the barrier)-Kharad-Rupnagar (Ropar)-Kiratpur-Swarghat-Bilaspur-Mandi-Kamand-Kataula-Bajaura – Bhuntar – Kullu – Manali.
Q. Is it safe to drive from Delhi to Manali? Is it safe to travel from Delhi to Manali by car or bus??
A – Absolutely safe, in fact, road trips are always fun but only and only if you don’t suffer from motion sickness… oh yes please go, I myself went to many places during the last 2 months, traveling by car via bus Well everything was fine, it was a lot of fun.
Q. Can we go to Manali in our car?
A – Yes, you can take your private car to Leh via Manali if it is a 4-wheel drive vehicle and is in good condition.
Q. Is it safe to travel from Delhi to Manali at night?
A – It is completely safe and many tourists visit Manali at night due to flight time.
Q. How long does Volvo take from Delhi to Manali?
A – The distance from Delhi to Manali by Volvo Bus is approximately 530 km and the journey takes around 14 hours.
Q. Can I drive from Delhi to Manali in one day?
A – It is actually one of the frequently used routes connecting Delhi to Manali via NH-44 and 154. It will take you around 12 to 13 hours to reach the hill station for a fun-filled vacation.