by Car
INDIVIDUAL TOUR GROUP TOUR

The Hills are Calling

  • 1006 km
  • 13 days / 12 nights
Chandigarh - Shimla - Barot - Dharamshala - Manali - Chandigarh
Activity :
  • Adventure
  • Culture
Terrain :
  • Urban
  • Mountain

Himachal Pradesh is colloquially called Dev Bhumi, which translates to Land of the Gods; the sheer number of temples in this region stands testimony to that. Unsurprisingly, this route will be a treasure-trove for the religiously-inclined. The mountainous terrain also makes the state a hot-spot for hiking, trekking and adventure-sports activities, which should make this journey perfect for thrill-seekers as well.

Trip Type
Self Drive 365
Forget early wake-up calls, scheduled departures and the regular battery of sight- seeing destinations. That’s because when you’re out on a self-drive holiday, you decide where to go, what to see, and what to drive. And with Self-Drive 365, the road, the destination and that palpable connect between man and machine is all yours to explore!
Skill Level
Moderate
Although not out and out challenging, this road trip requires experienced hands on the wheel or the handlebar

Is this road trip for me?

  • This trip is for an explorer who loves nature and is comfortable driving for long hours, especially in the hilly regions. The distances are not long, though the time taken can be prolonged due to the hilly conditions.

Highlights

  • See Hanumanji's massive statue at Jakhu Temple
  • Visit the Dalai Lama's home
  • Discover the quaint village of Barot
  • Frolick in the snow at Solang Valley
Start of Tour Chandigarh
Day 1
Total Driving Distance 1006 km
End of Tour Chandigarh
Day 13
  • Driving Days :

    Total 13 Days

  • Day 1 Chandigarh
    • None (Meals on your own)
    • Arrive at the airport/railway station, proceed to car rental agency to pick up your rental car and drive to the hotel in Chandigarh.
    • Visit to Sukhna Lake.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Transfers

    Arrive at the airport/railway station, proceed to car rental agency to pick up your rental car and drive to the hotel in Chandigarh.

    On arrival at the airport / railway station in Chandigarh, you will be transferred to your hotel, where your rental car will be delivered to you.

  • Activities

    Visit to Sukhna Lake.

    Later in the evening, drive to Sukhna Lake, an inseparable part of Chandigarh City. It is an artificial lake at the foothills of the Sivalik Range. It is a great picnic spot and also the venue for many festive celebrations - the most popular is the Mango Festival held during the monsoons when varieties of mangoes are put on display. For the water-sport enthusiasts, boating, rowing, sculling, sailing, kayaking, water surfing and skiing can be enjoyed throughout the year. The lake is also a sanctuary for exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, storks and cranes during winter months; it has been declared as protected national wetlands by the Government of India.

  • Day 2 Chandigarh
    • Breakfast
    • Visit the Rock Garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden and Open Hand Monument.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Activities

    Visit the Rock Garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden and Open Hand Monument.

    Today after breakfast, start your drive by visiting the Rock Garden, brainchild and work of Nek Chand, and also the city's prime attraction. It's known for its statues and structures, all of which are made from construction waste and discarded household objects.

    Chandigarh is also home to Asia's largest rose garden, the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden. It hosts Chandigarh's annual Rose Festival, held from February-March.

    Le Corbusier's Open Hand Monument is a spot you should visit after sunset: the hoisted hand symbol looks attractive when all its lights and decorations are switched on.

    Driving enthusiasts will appreciate Chandigarh's open roads and well-planned streets, a welcome chaos from virtually every other place in India.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Day 3 Chandigarh
    • Drive
    • Distance:120 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Chandigarh to the hotel in Shimla.
    • Overnight in Shimla.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Chandigarh to the hotel in Shimla.

    After breakfast, head out on NH 5; it's the sole highway that gets you directly to Shimla.

  • Other Recommendation

    On the way to Shimla, you will pass Yadavindra Gardens, also known as Pinjore Gardens. The sprawling garden complex was built as a retreat for Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb and is a perfect place for a quick chai break. However, Giani Dhaba at Dharampur (50 km further) is a better pit-stop, and quite a popular one too.

    A left turn at Dharampur will take you to the little hilly town of Kasauli. If you take this 10 km detour, make sure to swing by the Kasauli Brewery and visit the beautiful New England Church.

    Another highlight on the NH5 is the Timber Trail Resort. The resort allows visitors to take a trolley ride to the gorgeous mountain range that runs alongside all the way to Shimla. Located a little before Shimla is the Tara Devi Mandir, a 5 km detour from NH 5. The temple is at 1851 metres above the sea level, and offers a stunning view of the surrounding valley.

    NH5 is a mostly convenient highway to drive on, though trucks can be a bit of a nuisance on hilly sections. We advise extreme caution, especially in the face of state buses - their sure-footed driving is often borderline dangerous.

  • Day 4 Shimla
    • Breakfast
    • Visit Chadwick Falls and Jakhu Temple.
    • Overnight in Shimla.

  • Activities

    Visit Chadwick Falls and Jakhu Temple.

    After breakfast, drive to Chadwick Falls, located behind the National Institute of Advanced Research. The waterfall is inside a dense forest, and can be reached only via a trek through the jungle.

    Next, head to the famous Jakhu Temple, popular for its massive statue of Lord Hanuman, the largest of its kind in the world. The temple also offers a scenic view of all of Shimla.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Shimla. Take the evening to scout the Mall Road, Shimla's iconic shopping walkway.

  • Day 5 Shimla
    • Drive
    • Distance:206 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from hotel in Shimla to hotel in Barot.
    • Overnight in Barot.

  • Transfers

    Drive from hotel in Shimla to hotel in Barot.

    After breakfast, make an early exit from Shimla to escape the city traffic. You will take NH 205 until Ghaghas, and then switch to NH 154. Pit-stops on this route are few and far between, so carry snacks along. Notable pit-stops en route include Hotel Raja, located about 110 km from Shimla, and Visco Resort, Mandi, about 140 km from Shimla. Stay on the NH 154, which will go left from Mandi, across River Beas, past the Bhimkali Temple.

    The diversion for Barot on NH 154 is 40 km from the river crossing, and is easy to miss. Kamal Bhojanalay is the landmark you need to look out to spot the turn for Barot. Barot itself is another 25 km section of winding roads after the turn. Once you reach the village, check-in to the hotel.

  • Day 6 Barot
    • Breakfast
    • Overnight in Barot.

  • Other Recommendation

    After breakfast, explore Barot on foot. Trek around the banks of the Uhl River and explore the surrounding hills. Trout-fishing is quite popular here; you can even get the locals to teach you how to fish in the river.

  • Day 7 Barot
    • Drive
    • Distance:120 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Barot to the hotel in Dharamshala via NH154.
    • Overnight in Dharamshala.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Barot to the hotel in Dharamshala via NH154.

    Depart from Barot and head back on NH 154 towards Dharamshala.

  • Other Recommendation

    En route to Dharamshala, just 30 km down NH 154, is Bir Billing, popular for paragliding and adventure sports activities. It's a must-go spot for those looking for an adrenaline rush.
    The next stop that comes is Baijnath, just 12 km away. The little town is named after the Baijnath Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is believed to be where Ravana served his penance to win Lanka and was given the boon to win the kingdom by Shiva.
    About 15 km further, look out for a river crossing to the left which will take you to Dharamshala. However, follow the road straight ahead and you will reach Tashijong Monastery, an ornate shrine that is home to Tibetan refugees that offers splendid views of the Kangra Valley. The monastery also has a Tibetan restaurant and a handicraft outlet selling Tibetan craftwork. Work your way back to the river crossing to reach Dharamshala, about two hours from Tashijong.

  • Day 8 Dharamshala
    • Breakfast
    • Explore various attractions in Dharamshala.
    • Overnight in Dharamshala.

  • Activities

    Explore various attractions in Dharamshala.

    After breakfast, start off with the Bhagsunag Waterfall as it is most scenic in the morning. Entry to the waterfall is via the Bhagsunag temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. You need to hike for another 800 m from there. The view of the valley from the waterfall is worth the hike, though.

    Next, visit the St. John's in the Wilderness Church. Dedicated to John the Baptist, it is popular for its architecture and intricate Belgian-style, stained-glass windows. It is also the burial ground of Lord Elgih who was briefly the Governor-General and Viceroy of India in the 19th century. The road between Bhagsunag and St. John's in the Wilderness goes to Tushita Meditation Centre.

    On the way back to Dharamshala, visit the Tsuglagkhang Complex, the Buddhist hub of Dharamshala and home to the Dalai Lama.

  • Other Recommendation

    You will find all the popular restaurants in McLeod Ganj between St. John in the Wilderness and the Tsuglagkhang Complex. Nick's Italian Kitchen for Italian food, Norling for momos, Khaana Nirvana for affordable, vegan food and Moonpeak Thali for Himachali thali are the ones you should definitely try out.

  • Day 9 Dharamshala
    • Drive
    • Distance:240 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Dharamshala to the hotel in Manali.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Dharamshala to the hotel in Manali.

    This drive is long and thus, we recommend that you leave early.
    Trace your way back to Mandi on NH 154, cross the Beas River and take a left on to NH 3. Hereon, the turquoise-blue Beas will be a constant partner all the way till Manali.

  • Other Recommendation

    While heading towards Manali, you will pass Dhakpo Shedrupling, a Buddhist monastery nestled in the hills alongside NH 3. It is both a school and place of refuge for Tibetans. Importantly, it is easily the best place to step back and admire the scenic route you are on. Manali is another 33 km from here.

  • Day 10 Manali
    • Breakfast
    • Explore Old Manali with a visit to the Manu Temple and Hadimba Temple.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Activities

    Explore Old Manali with a visit to the Manu Temple and Hadimba Temple.

    Explore local Manali during your first day at the hill station, mostly Old Manali.
    Manali is believed to be where Sage Manu stepped on to land from his arc to restore life and humanity after a great deluge submerged the world. The Manu Temple located in Old Manali is the sole temple in the world dedicated to the sage.
    The more prominent shrine in Old Manali is the 500-plus-year-old Hadimba Temple. This temple is named after Hadimba, the demon wife of Bhima, the Pandava from Mahabharata. The temple's compound also houses a smaller shrine dedicated to Ghatotkach, the son of Bhima and Hadimba.

  • Other Recommendation

    You have the rest of the evening to explore the hip spots of Old Manali, like the Manali Club House. The club has a restaurant, gaming zones and even organises zip-lining across the Manalsu river. Most of Manali's popular restaurants are also located in Old Manali, including Johnson's Cafe, the Lazy Dog Lounge and Il Forno. The latter is particularly well-known for its authentic Italian food.

  • Day 11 Manali
    • Breakfast
    • Excursion to Solang Valley.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Activities

    Excursion to Solang Valley.

    A chauffer will take you to Solang Valley for some fun in the snow. It is located to the north of Manali and is a famous spot for skiing. In the summer, when the snow melts, zorbing and paragliding become the chief adventure activities here. Later, head back to Manali.
    Note: All the adventure activities at Solang Valley are at your own cost.

  • Day 12 Manali
    • Drive
    • Distance:320 km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Manali to the hotel in Chandigarh.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Manali to the hotel in Chandigarh.

    Depart from Manali via NH 3 and NH 154. You will be familiar with the way back until Ghaghas.

    From Ghaghas, take a right towards Bilaspur. Drive towards Rupnagar via NH 205 and stay on the highway till Kurali. A left at Kurali will lead you towards Chandigarh. This highway is standard, smooth and relatively traffic-free.

    Once you reach Chandigarh, check-in to your hotel and settle in for the evening.

  • Day 13 Chandigarh
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel to the airport/railway station for your onward journey.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel to the airport/railway station for your onward journey.

    After breakfast at the hotel, drive to the car rental agency, handover the vehicle and take home experiences of a lifetime!

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Inclusions

  • Accommodation as per hotels mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeings as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Car as per your package selected.
  • Travel Insurance Upto Age of 70


Exclusions

  • Any transport to / from New Delhi. Your tour price starts ex New Delhi.
  • Meals, tips, laundry, telephone, Any entry charges of optional excursions and other items of a personal nature.
  • Parking, fuel and tolls not included.
  • Cost of petrol / diesel for the vehicle provided.
  • Client has to pay in case of damage to the vehicle by accident.
  • Any items / services not specifically mentioned under inclusions.
  • Goods and Services Tax of 5%.
  • Car insurance
Categories Full-Size Sedan - Honda City or similar MPV - Innova Crysta or similar SUV - Toyota Fortuner or similar Luxury Sedan - Mercedes C-class or similar Luxury Sedan - Mercedes-Benz - C Class or similar
ECONOMY 59,260 65,260 77,260 1,30,260
STANDARD 67,260 75,260 87,260 1,42,260
  • Chandigarh 3 Nights

    Hotel View
    Hotel 6 Zirakpur
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Shimla 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Manla Homes
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Barot 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Hotel Barot Valley
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • DharamShala 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Best Western Indraprastha Spa Resort
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Manali 3 Nights

    Hotel View
    Sarthak Regency
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
    • FULL-SIZE SEDAN

    honda-city
    Honda City or Similar.
    Starting from
    4 Pax including driver
    Included in trip
    • 4 Doors
    • AC
    • Manual
    • Diesel
things-to-carry

Appropriate equipment is a component of a successful journey! Travel light, try to stay under 45 l(20 kg).

  • Driving licence
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Smart phone for maps
  • Phone charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Swiss knife
  • Water
  • Music
  • Tissue box
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Mints
  • Spare plastic bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Small tool kit
  • Warm clothes
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