Kullu Manali: Stairway to Heaven
Kullu Manali are the zany wicks that rest amidst the freezing winds, fleecy sierras and Lucullan wildwoods. Formerly known as Sultanpur, Kullu lies on the banks of River Beas. Historically it was accessible with the help of Siraj Valley from Shimla or other passes leading to Jogindernagar and Kangra on the west. Manali, on the other hand, lies to the north of Kullu. It further leads onto the Spiti Valley through the Rohtang Pass. Often confused to be the same, both the cities have a trivial distance of 40.5 kilometres in between them.
The twain have some of the most breathtaking views across the country and travelling amongst them is also very effortless if you know a few of these tips!
1. Best Time To Visit Kullu Manali:
Since it rains heavily in both Manali and Kullu from July to mid-September, there is a possibility of heavy landslides over there. Thus, making it an unfavourable time for visiting. For all the winter enthusiasts, there are no better days from September to Mid-July. The temperature in Manali at that time is expected to go to 0 degrees Celsius. That, in turn, perfects the presence of the chilly snowscapes.
Essentially, there is not a better time other than the retreating monsoon to roam from Kullu to Manali. The average temperature during the monsoon starts from 10 degrees and gradually goes up to 17 degrees. Whereas, when it comes to winters, the temperature of Kullu Manali sweeps right down below the freezing point. The most that it can rise to is 5 to 7 degrees.
Hence whichever might be the season that you decide to travel during, do not forget to take a glance at the weather forecast before you proceed ahead!
A thing which is always needed in almost all hotel checking and by a cab driver is the tour confirmation voucher. For a smooth flow of operations and Hassel free journey, it is recommended to have an itinerary and reservations folder printed and feasible at all times. An itinerary aids in figuring the day out and all activities commence accordingly. Hence, better keep it ready!
There is a juxtaposition of places for tourists to choose from and visit while travelling in Kullu and Manali. When it comes to sightseeing the ‘Snow Point’ or Solang Valley, the high altitude Bhrigu Lake and the Great Himalayan National Park, a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ are a few places to name.
But what remains vital is that some sites may not be open to have a peekaboo and hop off to the next one. It is recommended to inform local authorities even while performing any adventurous activity.
One might require to present his identity proof while getting this permission or can simply call his/her agent if too doubtful.
4.How To Reach:
Kullu, as well as Manali, are well connected to all major cities and towns of the country via Chandigarh. It happens to be 270 kilometres away from Kullu and 388 kilometres from Manali. One is free to travel by road, railways or airways.
Bhuntar is the nearest airport in Manali and lies at a distance of 50 kilometres from it. Flights are available from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Jaipur and many more to Bhuntar. Indian Airlines, Air India and Kingfisher Airlines have their flights operating in this region. The distance from Bhuntar to Kullu is 10 kilometres only.
Popular trains to Manali include:
- 12005 Kalka Shatabdi
- 12011Kalka Shatabdi
- 14095 Himalayan Queen
- 12925 Paschim Express
- 12957 SWARNA J RAJ EX
- 19579 RJT DEE EXPRESS
- 19565 UTTARANCHAL EXP
- 12915 ASHRAM EXPRESS
The travel time taken to travel from Delhi to Manali is of 12 hours but is worthwhile. The road conditions are good but start to run in a zig-zag pattern after Mandi. Hence, driving on them becomes tedious.
Buses of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation are also viable. Kullu is also easily accessible to Chandigarh (267 km), Shimla (270 km) and Delhi (570 km) via AC/ Non AC bus transportation services.
5. How To Get From Kullu ToManali :
It is known to all that Manali lies at the end of the Kullu Valley and the distance between the two is 40 kilometres by road. By flight, the distance reduces to 32 kilometres. It takes only an hour to bridge the gap between Manali to Kullu via roadways using the NH 3.
6. Identity Proofs:
Identity Proofs remain to be of the highest priority when it comes to travelling. Hotels often ask for identity proof before check-in. What one should be careful about when it comes to identity proofs is to keep them safe. Remember to carry back each identity proof that he/she got to the trip. It is also recommended to keep a digital copy ready just in case.
7.Emergency Numbers: No travel checklist is complete without having an Emergency Numbers list handy for the travellers. When it comes to a Kullu Manali trip, keeping an emergency contact note can never be a wrong decision!
Here is a brief list that might be helpful the next time you go for a trip to the north of India:
- Police: 100
- Ambulance: 102
- District Control Room: 1077
- Emergency Contact Number [Integrated Police/ Fire Station/ Medical Services] : 108
- Tourism Information Office (Manali): 01902-253531
- Tourism Information Office (Kullu): 01902-222349
It is also advisable to share the travel and accommodation details along with your family members.
8. Must Carry:
Climate plays a crucial role when it comes to planning and backpacking items. Heavy woollen clothing, torch, sleeping bag, portable chargers, spare batteries, rubber-soled shoes become indispensable while packing for an adventure trip.
One might also choose to carry moisturising lotion, sunscreen, dark polaroid glasses with retainers and personal medication.
Even though there are ATM’s acquirable in Manali and Kullu, there might occur an instance wherein a remote place might not have it. Hence, it is fitting to stock up some cash at a bank or an authorized foreign exchange outlet.
9.Do Not Miss These:
There are myriad spots and places to tour and traverse amidst the miracles of nature. But, the duo also has several festivals and celebrations that one must not miss out on.
Hadimba Devi Fair:
When: During the Spring season
The whole space is filled with colourful flowers while the fair is organised in the holy abode embellished by the tall cedar trees.
When: First week of February
In this joyous Tibetan festival, people recreate the wedding day of Lord Padamsambhava to a local princess.
When the town is topped with snow and folks are in high spirits you know it is time for the frostiest celebration of the lot.
Doongri Forest Festival:
When: Between May and June
Organised by the local women, this event takes place in the Van Vihar National Park.
10. Hotel Reviews:
From petite inns to luxurious hotels, Kullu Manali offer a wide range of accommodation facilities. With the influx of so many novel places, it becomes necessary to take a background check before booking any of them. It would be preferable to book a hotel on lower altitudes for people having problems related to height. For easier access one could book their hotel close to the Mall Road.
And this commences the 10 things that you need to know while visiting Kullu Manali. Both places will always be the closest spots on earth to give a heavenly sense. No wonder people have loved visiting them multiple times and will continue to do so in the future as well!