top of page
  • Writer's pictureKushagra Singh

How to Plan the Perfect Delhi to Manali Road Trip

Hitting the open road from Delhi to Manali is an adventure seeker's paradise. This popular route takes you through some of India's most picturesque mountain scapes and charming hill towns in Himachal Pradesh. Covering a distance of approximately 470 km, the 10-12 hour drive is a must-do trip for any road trip fan.


From winding roads framed by tall peaks to quaint cafes perched on hillsides, the vistas and pitstops make the Delhi-Manali highway an unforgettable experience. The route lets you immerse in Himachal's natural beauty while discovering historic temples, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and peaceful retreats along the way.


This blog post covers expert tips to help you plan the perfect Delhi to Manali road trip itinerary. Follow our recommendations on optimizing your time on the road for stunning views, good vibes and endless memories with your travel companions.

A mountaineous route

(Source: canva)



Planning Your Route

The Delhi to Manali route spans approximately 470 kilometres of incredible mountain scenery. The total driving time comes to 10-12 hours if you were to drive non-stop. However, with ideal planning, you can complete this trip leisurely over 3-5 days.

Overview of the Delhi-Manali route

(Source: Google Maps)


The best months for the road trip are March-June before monsoon hits, or September-November after the rainy season. The rains can damage roads and cause unsafe conditions, so it's best avoided. Summers have pleasant weather for exploring the hills.


When planning your pitstops, be sure to spend time in towns like Manali, Kasauli and Shimla along the way. Recommended stopovers include Ambala, Chandigarh, Kalka and Solan as well. These towns give you a taste of Himachal's natural beauty, history and food. Spend a day immersed in each destination en route for a well-rounded experience.



Packing and Preparing

Be sure to pack essentials like comfortable clothes, medicines, snacks, chargers, and spare tyres for your road trip. Don't forget to bring warm clothing as nights in the hills can get cold.

Image demonstrating packing for a road trip?

(Source: canva)


Also create fun road trip playlists with songs that will keep your energy high during the long drive. Make playlists for each travel companion to take turns DJing in the car!


Get your vehicle thoroughly serviced 1-2 weeks before the trip - check battery, tires, brakes etc. Also stock up on extra fuel cans to have sufficient fuel supplies along the more remote stretches.


Make detailed checklists for yourself and each travel companion to avoid forgetting important items. Lists should include medication, clothing suitable for various weather, electronics and chargers, and car tools.


Pack snacks like dry fruits, chips and sandwiches to munch on during pitstops. Carry a small medical kit for emergencies. With some smart preparation, you'll be set for a smooth and comfortable Delhi to Manali road trip!


Top Attractions En Route

The Delhi-Manali highway is dotted with amazing pitstops and attractions to cover.

In Delhi, visits the ancient Sadar Bazaar for a sensory overload of colors, smells and chaat. Try the iconic chole bhature dish here.

North Indian Delicacy Chole Bhature

(Source: canva)


Further along the route, the Gurudwara Nada Sahib in Panchkula and the temples of Kurukshetra make for important spiritual stops.


When passing through Murthal, stopping for giant stuffed parathas is a must! This region is famous for its lip-smacking highway dhaba food.


As you enter Himachal, spend time admiring Chandigarh's sprawling gardens, museums and architecture. The hill stations of Shimla and Kasauli also showcase British era buildings set amidst natural beauty.


Don't miss out on the bustling Mall Road when you reach Manali. Spend evenings exploring the local cafes, bookshops and eateries.


For adventure lovers, the Solang Valley offers picturesque paragliding spots and skiing during winters. You can also drive up to the Rohtang Pass for stunning valley views.

Drone view of the Rohtag Pass

(Source: Photo by Md Javed Akhtar on Unsplash)


The route has ample hotels, resorts and quaint homestays to choose from for your stays. Remember to drive slow and safe at all times, avoiding night driving. Buckle up and keep emergency numbers handy.


Twisting mountain roads unfurling magic at every turn, each pitstop telling a unique story - lose yourself in the rich fabric of Himachal on the Delhi to Manali highway. Follow our tips to customize a smooth itinerary soaked in history, food and natural allure. Depart with lasting memories and friendships as you drive into the heart of Himalayan magic.


To know about the best hotels to stay in Manali, click here.


For planning a destination wise trip for Manali, you can access our free AI travel planner below.





28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page