I am not amazed that the beautiful hill station of Himachal has been showcased in old (Madhumati in 1958) and new movies (Jab We Met, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani) and now, it has a famous song “Manali Trance” named after it. The beauty of this place made me write a piece too. I feel elated to take you through this journey as it was a mesmerising experience.
Manali is an easily accessible hill station and a weekend getaway for people from North India. Both Government operated and private buses ply from Delhi daily. I suggest:
• Better to take a Volvo bus operated by Himachal Road Transport Corporation or Himachal Tourism (HPTDC Buses). They start on time and reach within stipulated time of 12-13 hours. Bus ticket costs is from Rs 800-1500.
• Book online and take a print out of the ticket (the conductors know how to operate whats app but refuse to acknowledge a ticket shown as a sms or an email).
• If you happen to be a solo female traveller, talk to the conductor and preferably sit next to a female. It is better to sit next to a snoring aunty who considers your thin hands as an armrest than with a male stranger who might perceive you to be Lisa Haydon’s sister straight from Manali trance song’s set.
• Carry baby wipes for the restrooms - Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will take centuries to catch up in India.
Entry to Manali
I took an evening HPTDC bus from Himachal Bhawan in Delhi and reached Kullu at 5 am. The thoughts in my mind started dancing after seeing the picturesque clouds. From Kullu to Manali, massive Beas river accompanies you.