Shimla & Manali : itinerary & costs

    Shimla , Kullu and Manali is located in the northern state of India
    Himachal Pradesh , at the Indo-Tibetan border in the Himalayan region.

    Kufri in Shimla.

    Shimla City


    Paragliding in Kullu Valley , Manali

    snowboarding in Solang Valley , Manali



   travel plan :

   day 1 : - flight Pune-Delhi
               - Delhi to Shimla by car (  340km / 8 hours )

   day 2 : - Shimla - Green Valley , Kufri , Mall Road

   day 3 : - Shimla to Manali via Kullu ( 260km / 7 hours )
               - paragliding at Kullu Valley

   day 4 : - Manali - Solang Valley ( 40 mins )
               - snow sports in Solang Valley
               - Beas River
               - Tibetan Monastery
               - street market at Tibet Market

   day 5 : - Manali - local
               - Mall Road Manali
               - Hadimba Devi Temple
               - Dhungri Van Vihar Park

  day 6 : - Manali to Delhi via Bilaspur and Chandigargh ( 570km / 14 hours )

   also we included sightseeing in Delhi on day 7 & day 8

  day 7 : Delhi
               - Chandni Chowk
               - Jama' Masjid
               - Karim's Restaurant
               - Humayun's Tomb & Isa Khan's Tomb
               - India Gate
               - Ambience Mall

  day 8 : Delhi
               - Karim's Restaurant
               - Delhi airport via Metro from NDLS
               - flight Delhi-Pune

.................................................................................................................................

  weather :

  2nd to 9th Feb 2015 ( end season of winter )

  Shimla : 12'C max  1'C min
  Manali : 4'C max  -5'C min

 
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costs :

 Shimla - Kullu - Manali ground costs

  - return car journey from Delhi
  - meals and accommodations in Shimla and Manali

       - Hotel Rajat in Shimla ( TripAdvisor review : click here )
             -good hotel , good service , walking distance from Mall Road , wifi

       - Hotel Out Town in Manali ( TripAdvisor review : click here )
              - i really like this hotel
              - good service , spacious room , tasty meals , wifi ,
                rooms overviewing snow-capped mountains and valleys
              - located across Beas River , 5 minutes distance to Mall Road

costs : Rs 9700 per person
           ( initial cost was Rs8000 per person , but we requested two rooms
              and hence the extra costs )
              
           agent : Himachal Tours ( www.himachaltours.org )
                       - Shimla-Kullu-Manali Car Package 6D5N ( click here )
                       - overall good agent , the cheapest that I can find ,
                         gives everything as mentioned , provides experienced driver ,
                         no hidden / additional charges

flight costs : Rs5000 per person
                     return Pune to New Delhi ( approx. 2 hours one-way )
                     Jet Airways - bought it during offer

Delhi Sightseeing ground cost ( on day 7 ) : Rs2000 for one day for one car.

hotel in Delhi : Hotel Uppal International ( TripAdvisor review : click here )
                         - Rs2700 per person for 2 nights
                         - in Paharganj , walking distance to
                            New Delhi Railway Station / NDLS

.................................................................................................................................

other relevant costs :

Shimla : Horse riding and snow boots rental in Kurfi : Rs1200 per person
               light meals at Kurfi - Chai and Paneer Pakoda : Rs80 per person
               light meals in cafe , KFC etc in Mall Road : personal

Kullu : paragliding in Kullu Valley : Rs3000 per person for 15 minutes

Manali :  - 4x4 jeep to Solang Valley : Rs3000 per jeep
                - Snow suit , boots , skiing and guide : Rs1300 per person
                - snowboarding : Rs1300 per person per day
                - Ropeway / cable-car / gondola : Rs500
                - Shopping : - Kullu Cap : Rs50-Rs100
                                     - Kullu Shawls : Rs100 - Rs1500
                                     - The North Face Jackets : Rs1500
                                     - Jack Wolfskin Softshell Ski pants : Rs2000
                - foods : Thentuk : Rs130 per bowl
                               Momo : Rs120 per plate
                               Trout fish : Rs200-Rs400 per piece
                               Yak Cheese : Rs400 per kg

Delhi :  - Jama' Masjid entrace fee : Rs300 to bring camera inside mosque
             - Jama' Masjid tower ticket : Rs100
             - Humayun's Tomb entrace ticket : Rs10 for Indian , Rs250 for foreigners
             - Burger King Mutton Whopper meals at Ambience Mall : Rs250
             - Karim's Restaurant : breakfast ( Roti + Mutton Nahari / Paya ) : Rs 140
                                                 lunch ( mutton biriyani + mutton korma ) : Rs 400
             - Metro train from NDLS to T3 Delhi Airport : Rs100
             - Auto Rickshaw from Paharganj / NDLS to Chandni Chowk : Rs150

.................................................................................................................................

quick tips :
- bargain when shopping in Mall Road. price can reduce to half-price
- Peak season to visit Shimla and Manali is July-August.
  I usually avoid travelling during peak season due to too many crowds ,
  difficulty in getting hotel rooms and traffic congestions.
  my driver told me that during peak season , we can get stuck in traffic
  in the mountains in Solang Valley for 3- 5 hours.
- Apple season is from August to October
- Rohtang Pass will only opencduring summer in the month of May onwards ,
  similar to Sonmarg in Kashmir because these areas will be filled
  with 20-30ft fo snow during winter.
- there are two Mall Roads , one in Shimla , one in Manali.
  Mall Road in Shimla is better , with European vibe , cafes , KFC etc.
- for Delhi to Shimla journey ( 7 hours ) , 4 hours is straight highway
  passing through Haryana and Punjab States , while the remaining
  3 hours is mountain road.
- don't sleep during 7 hours ride from Shimla to Kullu Manali.
   enjoy the view , it's a beautiful mountain road.
- it's a long ride of 14 hours from Manali return to Delhi.
  might as well take a flight for this.
- try Tibetan Dish , as Himachal Pradesh is located at the Indo-Tibetan border.
  Thentuk ( flat noodles + soup ) at Mount View Restaurant in Mall Road Manali
   is delicious!
- try to get good deals at rental shops before reaching Solang Valley.
   a package of activites including ski , tube slide , yak ride etc should not
   exceed Rs3000 per person
- it seems to me that paragliding in Kullu Valley is better than in Solang Valley.
  in Kullu Valley , we can fly longer for 15 minutes or more , and beautiful views.
  ( personal opinion )
- i think skiing in Gulmarg , Kashmir is better than in Solang Valley , Manali.
   better slopes in Gulmarg , flat in Solang Valley ( unless you're experienced skiier
   that can ski down from higher slopes. )
- unlike Kashmir ( click here ) , there is no restrictions on phone lines
  and internet connection.
- very difficult to find mosque in Himacal Pradesh ( if there's any ) ,
   so i perform prayers in hotel , at Beas River or behind petrol stations .
- speak Hindi. i got Indian entrance ticket of Rs10 instead of
  foreigners of Rs250 for a visit to Humayun's Tomb.
  ( Malaysian's facial structure looks like Northeast Indian face by the way )


other Himalayan Trips itinerary :
 - Kashmir ( Srinagar and Ladakh ) : click here
 - Uttarakhand ( Kuari Pass Trek and camping ) : click here

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