Hello everyone, just thought I’d share a review of our budget trip to Manali hoping it will help who are planning their budget trip to land of snow covered mountains, Manali.
2 Days before Trip: 21/10/2015
Booked ‘Cool Himachal transport’ AC Volvo semi sleeper bus to Manali from Delhi through Red bus with 10 % off (2400 for 2 seats)
Booked hotel ‘Mountain face cottage’ which is in Prini, Manali (4 km from Manali mall road) for 2 nights through Goibibo with 65% discount
(1250 for 2 nights, Standard room)
Boarded bus from Ram Krishna Ashram metro stop in Delhi at 8 pm.
Around at 10 pm bus stopped in a daba for dinner, we ordered roti and
channa masala, took around 20 mins to deliver but our wait did not go in vain as we had very tasty food.
At 10:45 bus started to move and finally reached Manali at 11 am
Day 1: 23/10/2015
Took Auto rickshaw from bus stop to hotel. In Manali auto rickshaws
are too expensive, paid 200 for 5 kms.
Hotel Manager Raj kumar was very good, arranged breakfast (stuffed
paratha and sandwich) immediately upon our request.
As per our plan we wanted to visit nearby places on day 1. Hotel
Manager arranged a bike for us for a day ( from 2 pm to 9 pm) at 500 +
200 for petrol.
From hotel we reached Hidimba Devi temple first which is at around 4 km from mall road , stayed there for around 1 hr. We can take photos
holding python, rabbits and wearing traditional dresses at this place.
Later went to mall road to get bike permit to Rohtang pass for the
next day. Unfortunately government has now banned permit for 2
wheelers and diesel cars going to Rohtang pass. However we can get 2 wheeler permit for ‘Keylong’ which is at 64 kms from Rohtang pass.
Using this we can go to Rohtang pass but at any cost we have to visit
Keylong and should take a stamp on the permit in Keylong to avoid
penalty. Penalty of around 5000 will imposed for vehicle with Keylong
permit returning from Rohtang and not visiting Keylong. Visit himachal.nic.in and hpkullu.nic.in for more details on Rohtang pass permit.
We decided to book tickets in bus going to Rohtang pass but price was
around 500 per person and the bus will depart at 10 am and will return
back in evening 5 pm covering only Rohtang pass. Feeling this was not
worthy we thought of sharing a car and at the same time a couple
entered the shop asking for car sharing option. We spoke to them and decided to book a car and go together. We made a call to our hotel manager and asked for a taxi to Rohtang. He booked us a Alto at 2200 for 4
After booking car we went to Vashishta temple famous for hot spring water and later came back to mall road and did some shopping ( took warm clothes )
Had dinner in mall road and reached hotel at 10 pm.
Day 2: 24/10/2015
Car was ready outside hotel for pickup. Driver was Alok Raj (Mobile:
09882151890, if contacted him directly, the price to go to Rohtang
will be 2000 for alto) before leaving he told us about places which
we will be seeing on the way to Rohtang pass and also suggested us to take more warm clothes as the weather was bad and more chances of snow fall
Left the hotel at 9:00 am and on the way near mall road our new
friends were ready to join us
On the way there were some small tea shops and also shops which will
provide warm suits for rent ( suggest u to buy if u want to spend more
time in Rohtang pass)
Reached Rohtang at around 11:30 am
First time experiencing the snow..
Shivering started within few mins and there started snow to fall and I
was avoiding snow as I was completely exhausted due to severe cold
Took some amazing photos and after spending 1 hr we decided to travel back and reached hotel at 3:30 pm
Rested for 1 hr and headed to Apple orchard which is situated backside
the hotel, must visit place if u r staying in this hotel. Plucked some
apples and took lot of photos
Had dinner at Rana bhojnalaya (land mark opposite to white meadows hotel) which is at around 1.5 km from our hotel. Went there by local
bus and returned to hotel by walk
As soon as reaching hotel we started to book our return bus ticket,
almost all seats were booked and finally ended up booking in ‘City
land travels’ which never heard before (1250 per seat)
Day 3: 24/10/2015
Got Up at 10 am, had breakfast in the balcony watching scenic beauty
of Himalayan mountains.
Checked out hotel and went to mall road for shopping.
At around 3 pm got a call from travel agent informing the bus details
regarding our return journey
Boarded bus at 5 pm and bus started to move at 5:30 pm
Driver was rude with passengers and was driving rashly .At 9:30 pm bus stopped at Sartaj bhojanalay in Sundar nagar, Mandi, food was tasty
but little expensive. After 1 hr break bus started to move and finally
reached Delhi at 9:30 am
Places we could not cover are Solang Valley and Kullu due to
insufficient time. Overall we enjoyed our 3 days trip to Manali
Here is the Pros and Cons of hotel where we stayed and buses chose for travelling
Mountain face cottage hotel:
- Cheap rate (1250 for 2 nights) when booked from Goibibo (65% off)
- Apple orchard backside the hotel. We can pluck apples from balcony
- View of snow covered mountains from the hotel balcony is spectacular
- Tasty breakfast (complimentary). Only aloo paratha and sandwich every day
- Friendly manager, he will support in car booking and taking bike for rent
- Spacious rooms, clean and well maintained
- Will get Reliance, Aircel mobile network range inside the hotel
- No Wi-Fi in hotel
- No much items in menu
- 4 kms from Mall road, auto will charge 200
- Hot water will not come all the time
- They misplaced our voter id card which we had given while taking the
bike for rent
My ratings: 4/5
Cool Himachal transport bus:
- Informed about bus details by giving call before 2 hrs of departure
- Comfortable seats with AC
- Had small LCD monitor for each seat with some Bollywood movies and
- Smooth driving
- Gave breaks for dinner (1 hr) and tea (30 min) in morning before
- Departed and arrived in time
- LCD monitor did not had good movies but that was not a problem for us
My ratings: 4/5
City land travels bus:
- Stopped for dinner at good hotel which served tasty food but little expensive
- Very rash driving
- As per booking details bus has to arrive to Kashmiri gate, Delhi but
driver stopped 4 km before Kashmiri gate and told us that bus will not
move beyond this point
- Arrived 2 hrs late
- Did not turn ON AC
My ratings: 2/5
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