Manali to Shimla

   Manali to Shimla Road Distance 247 km
   Manali to Shimla Aerial Distance 126 km
  Manali to Shimla Travel Time 6 hours 41 mins

How to reach Shimla from Manali

The Preferred Way of Going from Manali to Shimla

Manali and Shimla are located at a distance of about 247 kms and this distance is covered by road. Travellers can either take a hired vehicle or by bus which is the cheaper alternative.

Knowing The Details

1. Manali to Shimla by Car
2. Manali to Shimla by Bus
3. Popular Routes to Shimla
4. Popular Routes from Manali
5. Places to Visit in Shimla
6. Hotels in Shimla

1. Manali to Shimla by Car

The preferred way of travelling from Manali to Shimla is by road. Shimla is at a distance of only 250 kilometres from Manali, which can be best covered in the comfort of your car or in a hired cab or taxi. It takes about 6 hours or a bit more than that to cover this journey. A bus, apart from being uncomfortable, also takes about 9 hours to reach Shimla, which is why cars are a more recommended way to travel. For sure, buses can be cheaper than hiring taxis. But, it is recommended that you cover this scenic road trip by car, taking breaks in between as per your convenience. You have the freedom to choose your desired route and make stopovers as and when desired. You can be assured that this fantastic road journey will be glued to your memory for a lifetime.
The Journey
The Manali-Shimla highway is entirely covered by the Himalayan hills, with lush green, deep valleys on one side and snowy mountains on one side. As you leave from Manali, you can eye the picturesque snow-clad mountains and savour many spots of Himachal Pradesh on the way to Shimla. The serpentine roads, cut into the rock faces of mountains is sure to raise the adventure quotient of your trip. The small, quaint villages that pass by, with player flags swaying all the way, the smiling children waving their hands at the tourists will give you an insight into life in those remote villages. There are places on the way where you encounter mountainous animals, coniferous trees, pristine lakes and a lot of many cafes and food stops. Driving from Manali with River Beas flowing on the side is peaceful and adds to the already tranquil setting. You can also stop and go river rafting. There are some small temples that pass by, where you can stop and experience the prayer servings. Some breathtaking curves and eerie tunnels pass by, some of which are known to be haunted. As you steadily drive to Kullu, you can awe at the sight of apple trees laden with red apples and feel the sunlight and mist together. There are some shops on the roadsides, where you can shop some woollens. You must keep the camera-ready at all times because there are a lot of views which you do not want to miss capturing.

If you are choosing to take a taxi, you have multiple websites as well as local cab operators serving the route. You must look for reviews and authenticity of the cab operator before booking them, to avoid any unpleasant situation during the journey. Passionate bikers can hire bikes to ride all the way to Shimla since the distance and roads are apt for riding. This is an option solo-travellers and backpackers often choose. However, you must be a skilled driver or biker to go for this option because the roads are dangerous. It is recommended that you take a chauffeur-driven cab only.
Route Options
Route 1: Manali - Kullu - Kotla - Sundar Nagar- Bilaspur- Shimla

Route 2: Manali - Kullu - Kotla - Kingal - Narkanda - Shimla

Road Condition from Manali to Shimla
The Shimla-Manali highway is in excellent condition and facilitates smooth driving. The roads remain open throughout the year and are usually not affected by winters. The road from Manali to Kullu is narrow. The traffic in Kullu Town is typically high, and to avoid this, you can take the bypass road, where the traffic is minimal. The Beri junction, after Bilaspur, marks the joining of Chandigarh, Kalka and Delhi to the Shimla Manali Road. The road is mostly two-laned but narrow and single laned at some points. You can either drive to Sundarnagar and then pick up NH21, or you can drive towards Rampur and pick up NH21 at Aut. NH21 and NH22 are broad roads, and driving is smooth there, for most parts.

It takes 6-7 hours to reach Shimla from Manali by car. The duration of the journey may increase or decrease depending on the route chosen, the traffic, weather conditions, car speed, as well as a number of stopovers and halts made.

Approximate Cost
If you are booking a cab, the fare depends on the cab operator you book the cab from. However, most of the operators charge fare based on the kilometers travelled. For a one way journey, the cost of a 4 seater hatchback or sedan can be INR 3800-3900, whereas cost for a 6 seater SUV can be INR 5600.

Eating Options on the Way
There are a myriad of dhabas, restaurants and cafés on the way from Manali to Shimla and some of those are notable and listed among the top roadside dhabas of North India. Nothing can be more soothing than watching the breathtaking snow-clad mountains or the dazzling River while having some hot tea or coffee, or munching down some delicious food. There are many good restaurants in the Aut route. All of these restaurants are highly ambient, with extensive gardens and lawns by the Riverside. You can visit them to have a moment of peace while sipping tea and having some local snacks. Before Bilaspur, you reach Haribag, which is the launch point for many dhabas, with great North Indian food, and some offering great views of the Sundernagar lake.

2. Manali to Shimla by Bus

Manali and Shimla are connected by road, through buses. There are both private and government buses plying from Manali to Shimla, and you can avail them if you wish to use public transport. However, the better alternative is to take a taxi, because of two reasons. Firstly, the taxi or cab takes lesser time to reach Shimla, and you have the flexibility to start your journey at your own preferred time. The buses take about 9 hours or more, which is more than what a taxi takes and the bus journey is not that comfortable. Secondly, there are limited bus services from Manali to Shimla, and you might have to alter your itinerary based on it.

The distance between Manali and Shimla is 250 kilometres, which a bus covers in 9 hours or more, in some cases. The terrain is hilly and picturesque. There are no Volvo buses operating between Manali and Shimla. There are only 3-4 bus operators, including the buses by HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) and private bus operators such as City Land Travels, Himgiri Adventures, Tanishq Holidays etc. All of these operators run ordinary non-ac buses in this route. The most reasonable and the suggested option is to take an HRTC bus because that is comfortable, safe and punctual. Also, the tickets are cheaper than private bus operators. If you are choosing HRTC bus, you have more options and flexibility with timings because they have buses departing from Manali both at morning and at evening. There are overnight buses, which you can choose if you want to save the day time for sightseeing. Otherwise, you can select a bus departing in the daylight. You can book the tickets on the official website of HRTC, and the tickets of private buses can be booked on the various bus ticket booking websites.

Type of Buses Available

Himgaurav 2+2 AC

Starting Points in Manali

Manali bus stand

Drop points in Shimla

Shimla ISBT Tutikandi

Timings of Buses

The buses of HRTC runs at both morning and evening. There are buses scheduled at 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM and then there are night buses at 6:30 PM, 7:20 PM, 9:00 PM and 9:30 PM. There are buses of Tanishq bus tours and travels at 8:30 AM in the morning.

Popular Routes to Shimla

Important Routes Time Taken Distance
Chandigarh to Shimla 3 hours 24 mins 114 km
Delhi to Shimla 6 hours 44 mins 344 km
Amritsar to Shimla 7 hours 6 mins 335 km
Manali to Shimla 6 hours 41 mins 247 km
Kolkata to Shimla 1 day 5 hours 1,813 km
Mumbai to Shimla 1 day 4 hours 1,764 km

Popular Routes from Manali

Important Routes Time Taken Distance
Manali to Shimla 6 hours 41 mins 247 km
Manali to Chandigarh 7 hours 33 mins 309 km
Manali to Delhi 10 hours 55 mins 536 km
Manali to Jammu 9 hours 56 mins 416 km
Manali to Amritsar 9 hours 5 mins 399 km
Manali to Kullu 1 hour 6 mins 40.1 km