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How to Reach Manali from Chennai

Manali is a popular hill station located in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Known for its snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, adventurous activities and ancient temples, Manali attracts tourists from all over the country and the world. If you are planning a trip to Manali from Chennai, here is a guide on how to get there conveniently.

How to Reach Manali from Chennai

By Air

The nearest airport to Manali is the Bhuntar Airport located around 50km away. It is a domestic airport with flights from major Indian cities. To reach Manali from Chennai by flight, you need to take a connecting flight. Some of the options are:

  • Chennai to New Delhi - Around 2 hours

  • New Delhi to Kullu - 1 hour 20 minutes

  • From Kullu airport, take a prepaid taxi to Manali - Around 2 hours

Make sure to book the flights and taxis in advance to get good rates. It takes around 5-6 hours to reach Manali from Chennai by air.

By Train

There are no direct train connections between Chennai and Manali. The best way is to take a train to Chandigarh from Chennai and then go to Manali by road. Some good train options are:

  • Chennai to New Delhi by Tamil Nadu/Rajdhani/Duronto Express - Around 33 hours

  • New Delhi to Chandigarh by Shatabdi Express - Around 5 hours

From Chandigarh, you can hire a taxi or take a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus to Manali which takes 8-9 hours. So the total train and road journey takes around 2 days.

Make reservations 2-3 weeks in advance to get confirmed seats, especially in trains from Chennai to New Delhi.

By Road

The road distance between Chennai and Manali is around 3,300 km. While it is the longest route, a road trip allows you to enjoy the varying landscapes and stopovers along the way. The popular route followed is:

  • Chennai - Bengaluru - Hyderabad - Nagpur - New Delhi - Chandigarh - Manali

This entire route can be covered by taxi/car or a mix of state-run buses. A typical breakup would be:

  • Chennai to New Delhi by taxi/car: 3 days

  • New Delhi to Manali by Volvo bus: 14-15 hours

So the total road trip would take around 4 days. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before embarking on this North India road trip. Also, carry emergency breakdown support.

When to Visit

Manali has a cool climate almost throughout the year. The best time to visit is during summer (March - June) when the weather is pleasant and perfect for adventure activities. Many festivals like Dussehra and Hadimba Festival also take place during this time.

Winters (October - February) are extremely cold with heavy snowfall but good for honeymooners and solitude seekers. Avoid the monsoon season (July-September) due to the risk of landslides.


So plan your trip according to your interests, budget and convenience. With multiple transportation options, reaching Manali from Chennai is easy and comfortable if you plan properly.


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