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Old 9th January 2009, 08:11   #1
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Default Going to Shimla, Manali; any tips?

Hi,
Three of us office mates are emabarking on a 7 days trip to Shimla and Manali and we are leaving this weekend. We will be going by train and have booked the trains for almost all the journey except Shimla->Manali-Shimla which we will do by some bus.
We will be leaving today night and the itinerary is as follows-
Bangy->chennai->Delhi->Kalka->Shimla->Manali->Shimla->Delhi->Bangy.

We had thought of going to Dharmasala, Dalhousie too but decided instead to spend more time in Manali and Shimla. We have identified a few locations in Shimla and Manali by looking in the net and we intend to do Skiing also in Solang valley and of course see lots of snow

The Kalka-Shimla journey is said to be magnificent and we have booked the train for that too but while coming back we take the bus directly from Shimla to Delhi.

Let me know if there is anything important which we should/shouldn't be doing. We have got some time in Delhi both while going and coming back so we wanted to buy some stuff, where do we do that?


Since this is my first time to north India please, let me have some tips.
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Old 9th January 2009, 10:36   #2
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One basic tip, it will be VERY cold, so carry ample woollens to keep yourself warm specially since you are not used to the northern cold.

Delhi to Chandigarh can be done in Shatabadi express(seater only) which is quite comfortable runs daily morning and evenings. then you can take a bus to shimla,depends on your schedule. Rest of the journey can be done by bus, night volvo's to save time and comfort.

Kalka-shimla route is very scenic but can test your patience and eat away a lot of time.

Depending on how much time you've got in Delhi, Taj Mahal is a must to cover, can be done within a day.

Knowing hindi helps across all North in the communications.

Last edited by dadu : 9th January 2009 at 10:37.
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Old 9th January 2009, 11:05   #3
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I envy you guys - you will get to see lot of snow. We just completed a Hyderabad-Delhi-Shimla-Manali-Dalhousie-Khajjiar-Dharamshala-Delhi-Hyderabad trip and it started snowing just as we reached back home!

There was very little snow in Solang Valley when we were in Manali. Gulaba is a better place for skiing but be prepared to walk a bit. Shimla has an ice skating rink. Dharamshala/MacLeodganj is a good place if you want some tranquil time and it is a shopper's paradise as well. But 7 days would be too less I guess. Do your shopping in Manali rather than Shimla.

Warm clothes, sun screen and dark goggles are a must. Don't forget to take thermals. Sometimes the heaters are not hot enough.

There is lot of fog near Delhi. So be prepared for some delays.
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Old 9th January 2009, 11:29   #4
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While coming try toy train whch runs between Shimla and Kalka and then take Shatabdi from Kalka to Delhi. Toy train is good though speed is little less but it is really good to experiance that with all fog coming inside. Try this you will never forget the experience

Also in Manali hope you have planned Rohtang pass but i doubt it would be opened these days because of snow
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Old 9th January 2009, 12:06   #5
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We are taking the toy train b/w kalka-shimla while going but while coming we come by bus.

I can speak hindi but not fluently and we also have a gujju with us .

We thought of visiting the Wagah border while coming back, will it be too much? I don't think we can go to Taj, we have only half a day or so in Delhi but if its en route then...
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Old 9th January 2009, 12:14   #6
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Avoid cramming too many things to do on a trip to the mountains. You will need at least 1 day to get acclimatized to the cold and the height. You will find that you get exhausted very quickly. Even a 1 km walk will leave you breathless.
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Old 9th January 2009, 13:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaks View Post
We are taking the toy train b/w kalka-shimla while going but while coming we come by bus.

I can speak hindi but not fluently and we also have a gujju with us .

We thought of visiting the Wagah border while coming back, will it be too much? I don't think we can go to Taj, we have only half a day or so in Delhi but if its en route then...
I am back from a Himachal trip last week. Its very cold out there now carry gloves, monkey cap and lots of wollens as its going to be tough without them.

Btw, why are you coming back to Shimla to come to Delhi? I dont see a logic there. If possible take a Manali-Delhi bus.

Enjoy the fog enroute as its too darn heavy at this time of the year.

If you can make it to Wagah border, it is supposed to be a great treat to watch the parade of Indian and Pakistani soldiers that happens each day at 5:00pm. It has brought tears to a lot of people's eyes.
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Old 9th January 2009, 13:20   #8
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Why take Chandigarh - Shimla - Manali - Shimla - Chandigarh. I suggest Chandigarh - Shimla - Manali - Chandigarh.

Also why not hire a taxi from Delhi / Chandigarh to Shimla - Manali and back.
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Old 9th January 2009, 13:44   #9
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There are daily volvo services from Manali to Delhi. Check out hptdc website.
I would suggest that you take a volvo from Manali to Delhi as its better and more comfortable than taxi
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Old 9th January 2009, 13:57   #10
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You can also book Volvo buses online at the HRTC site -

Online Reservation for HRTC Buses

We had taken a HPTDC deluxe bus from Shimla to Manali (450/-). However Volvo is a much better option if you don't mind shelling a few extra rupees.
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Old 9th January 2009, 15:05   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
There are daily volvo services from Manali to Delhi. Check out hptdc website.
I would suggest that you take a volvo from Manali to Delhi as its better and more comfortable than taxi
We had thought of that but chose to come back to shimla as we thought the journey from manali-delhi would be long.

So if we want to go to Wagah can we go like manli->chandigarh-delhi?
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Old 9th January 2009, 15:19   #12
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there are full sleeper buses but DONT take them. Sleeping parallel to the bus (not perpendicular like in a train) is very inconvenient as there will be a lot of shake and roll.
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Old 9th January 2009, 15:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaks View Post
We had thought of that but chose to come back to shimla as we thought the journey from manali-delhi would be long.
Roads are pretty good to Manali and not at all winding. We did Dharamshala to Delhi in around 12 hrs even with foggy conditions. Manali is about the same distance from Delhi and should not take more than 12-13 hrs. Shimla-Manali takes around 8 hrs because of the winding roads.
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Old 9th January 2009, 15:53   #14
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Manali to shimpla will take more time than Manali Chd.
For Manali - Wagah, you will have to head towards Jallandar, and then to ASR.
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Old 9th January 2009, 15:53   #15
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You can try Raj Travel's volvo bus for Manali - Delhi.
Though I like to travel in the hills by car but once tried it from Sundernagar to Delhi. their buses are better as compared to HRTC volvo.

For Wagah border you can come back via Mandi - Jahu khurd - Bhota - barsar - Una - Hosiarpur -Jalandhar - Amritsar (325 km)

You can enquire at Manali bus depot for a direct HRTC/Punjab roadways bus service to Amritsar - this bus will take you via Baijnath - Palampur - Kangra - Pathankot

OR

If you have ample time; reach Joginder Nagar ( 60 km from Mandi); get a narrow gauge train to Pathankot & enjoy the scenes. From PTK, board a train to ASR ( 2 hrs/ 110 km)

Last edited by breezydrive : 9th January 2009 at 16:04.
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