Many of the time it becomes tough ( make it as a majority of the time ) to travel on an extreme budget. Solo Manali Trip from Delhi on a budget of under Rs.4600 and that too for 4 days would sound exhausting and disciplined as well.
Yes, you heard it right. In this post, I am going to guide you on how I ended up doing a Solo trip to Manali on an Extreme Budget.
Not only Manali but covering Naggar, Vashisht & Jagatsukh as well by staying 4 Days.
Please keep reading till the end to know how I did it & how you can do it too.
Table of Contents
How to Reach from Delhi to Manali
Since I was doing the Solo Manali Trip on an Extreme budget.
i.e. the easiest and cheapest method to reach Manali is by bus. The Delhi to Manali distance is 540km approx.
I had booked my bus online and it had charged me Rs.1198. The bus Pit stopped for dinner at Dhaba for Rs.154.
You can book Delhi to Manali buses from ISBT Kashmiri Gate & the list of buses had been shown below in the chart.
You can also enquire on these numbers to book a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate – 01123860290, 01123865472.
Delhi – Manali ( Volvo ) overnight bus
Always try to book the departing bus time between 5 p.m.-8 p.m. because the Volvo buses take around 12hr-13hr to reach Manali. It will give you the advantage of reaching out early & utilizing the morning time usefully.
You should check the bus dropping point.
On that day due to some bus roadblocks, the Volvo bus had dropped everyone at the Patlikuhal. The Patlikuhal to Manali private bus parking distance is 17km.
If this kind of situation arises then, you can take a local Himachal bus from the Patlikuhal bus stand going towards Manali. The bus fare from the Patlikuhal bus stand to Manali will be Rs.30. The local buses will drop you at the Manali bus stand near Manali Mall road.
If you love to make new like-minded friends on your Solo Manali trip then the hostel is the place you should be aiming at.
Jan – April
Weather in Manali in Jan– April ranges from 5 degrees – 20 degrees. It’s an offseason in Manali and continues till April end starting from January. Heavy snowfall could attract visitors but often leads to roadblocks.
One of the best things about the offseason I feel is less crowd. The Rohtang also remains closed from Jan – April ( Depending on the weather condition ).
May – Aug
May – Aug remains the demanding season. The heat in the city remains on top and the mountain comes to rescue people.
Pleasant weather makes the Manali most visited in this season.
The month-end of Sept ends the monsoon and the winter bangs on the doors at the starting of Nov.
4 Days Solo Trip to Manali
Day 1 – Manali
Manali is situated at an altitude of 6725 ft from sea level.
Upon reaching the Manali at 10 a.m. I checked in to my hostel & without wasting any time quickly refreshed up & went out to explore the Manali.
I had started my Solo trip to Manali by exploring the town itself.
Hadimba Devi Temple
I started my journey towards Hadimba Devi Temple which is around 3-4km away from where I was staying.
Note – I will be sharing walkable distances also and will let you know at the end the reason behind writing distances.
Just before reaching the Hadimba Devi Temple, I had my lunch which is a Tikki with Dahi for Rs.60, and relived the moment at Hadimba where Bunny told Nena from YJHD (Shaadi is like dal chawal for pachaas saal till you die. Aree life mein Thoda …. remembered?).
I had spent some time admiring the beauty of Hadimba Devi Temple & if you will go ahead there’s a Ghatotkach temple a few meters away.
I enquired about Old Manali from a local & he had directed me that the backside of the Hadimba Devi temple will take you straight to the Old Manali.
Immediately I left for Old Manali which is about 2km from the Hadimba Devi temple.
I had tried food in one of the cafes of Old Manali named The Sunshine Café which runs by a foreigner and the food had cost be Rs.280.
One can also enjoy various adventure activities near Old Manali bridge & also Skeeing on the smaller part of the land only when it had snowed in Manali.
I walked back from Old Manali to Manali Mall road in the evening to see the happenings around the place. I got an opportunity to see the Mela practiced by the locals of different villages at the Manali Mall road.
If you are willing to stay in Nagar, you will find pretty stays in Nagar. I think it’s also a good option considering the crowd Manali gets and in search of peace everybody gets lost in the crowd.
The entry fee to Naggar Castle is Rs. 15 per person & the very first sight is breathtaking. The way it was built (wood and stones) and maintenance were amazing.
You can even book your stay in Naggar Castle and inside there’s also a restaurant with a mountain view as well. I had spent around 1-2 hr. in Naggar Castle and admired the beautiful surroundings from the top.
Naggar is not only about Naggar Castle, let me take you on unknown trails.
I had chosen a path from the two roads and continued my journey.
While passing by, I saw some kids playing cricket and couldn’t control myself and asked them, can I play? And shot some balls out of the ground though.
I left to explore further to see where the road will be going to take me. As I started to climb up, I reached a place named Dharkanti. The locals had told me the name of the village is Dharkanti.
I had asked the same local, where will the further road be going to take me. The local told me that there’s a Radha Krishna temple just about 1-2km ahead and the temple is right in the lapse of mountains, it was a blissful feeling to reach till there.
A local family takes care of the temple.
Without waiting, I had continued my journey to explore further and was excited that what surprises it will be going to bring.
Till now, the Solo trip to Manali was going superb.
Again, I had come across two paths and had chosen amongst the one. While passing by I had asked a local what’s ahead on this road & he told me there’s a village named Chichogi ahead. I can’t see anyone at a distance of 1km and once thought was am I the only one to reach this village?
Maybe or Maybe not.
But the locals told me that people during the summers.
I had reached Chichogi Village and confirmed from the very first house I saw. The lady asked me, did I wanted to buy some home-made socks?
And I told her YES.
That day only I was not wearing the socks because they had gone wet.
The lady started to show me the collection of socks and told me it will cost Rs.100 and I couldn’t able to buy them because I was only left with Rs.40 change and she didn’t have the change of Rs.500 and I have to go back as well.
So, I decided to move back and felt very bad that I couldn’t be able to buy socks.
The clouds started to appear and I had decided to move back from the same path from where I had reached Chichogi. I had my lunch as Maggi for Rs.40.
Naggar to Manali Bus
The Naggar to Manali bus fare was Rs.40 per person and I stepped down at Prini and walked till I reached my hostel.
In the evening, I had my dinner at the Manali mall road for Rs.80, it was quite away from mall road. I am in no position to even think of eating at mall road because of budget constraints in the Solo Manali trip.
Distance Covered by foot Today –
Day 3 – Vashisht
How to Reach Vashisht from Manali
Manali to Vashisht can be reached on foot as I had done or else you can take a shared taxi.
There’s a shortcut on the Leh – Manali highway after the petrol pump which takes straight up to Vashisht but it’s a steep one.
I had started my journey towards Vashisht Manali at 8 a.m. from Aleo to Vashisht by foot & as soon as I reached Vashisht, I had my breakfast as omelet and lemon tea for Rs.80. Vashisht is situated at an altitude of 6725ft above sea level.
Note– Let me tell you all the places in the mountains are on a long steep climb, so be prepared or else take a vehicle which will drop you.
The Vashisht Baths are believed to be 4000 years old and there’s a hot water spring called Vashisht Kund inside the temple.
You can take a bath in the hot water springs. Upon spending some time there, I started my way towards Jogini falls.
I passed through the village, forest and my belief that it’s your life don’t ever quit. The Solo trip to Manali was going memorable.
I hadn’t seen such a waterfall at that height before and was mesmerized to reach Jogini falls.
You can refill your water bottle from the river stream because it’s drinkable and pure water.
One can also hike straight up to see the large waterfall & it will be going to take at least 1hr to reach and come down thereafter. Be careful, especially in the winter because the path becomes slippery upon the arrival of the snow.
I had asked a local what’s further and he named “Bahang Village”.
The local accompanied along as he is going in the same direction. This is a picturesque village as I can see the mighty snowcapped mountains in front of me and happy faces around the village.
There are very few houses and hard-working people to see around made my day as all the tiredness of continuous walking has just blown away in a matter of time.
As I continued my journey & reached the main road and (Read this carefully).
As soon as you will reach the main road left-hand side goes to Manali and the right goes to Solang valley via Nehru Kund.
The mistake I did here was I wanted to visit Nehru Kund and instead of taking right, I walked back the same route.
In between, bought a crack jack for Rs.20 & crossed Vashisht.
I had reached on-road and the road was going towards the Nehru Kund. It took me around 10km to reach.
But everything happens for a reason, as I got to see these happy faces.
What happened is, these kids are playing and I sat down & had a packet of biscuits in hand.
One of them asked “Kya Kha Rha H, Merko Nhi Dega”, so I gave one biscuit, and all of them came and took 1-2 each and finished the packet in a blink of an eye.
Their mother took them back and told them to say thank you.
I continued my journey further and had my lunch in between at a Dhaba for Rs.60.
You can visit a mandir at Nehru Kund which is the main attraction in Nehru Kund and hot springs in Vashisht.
Manali- Rohtang Road
I am in no position to walk back to my hostel as I had already walked around 25km the same day.
So, I took a shared taxi, the fare was Rs.20, and because of construction work in between, the shared cab had dropped me at just before Aleo.
I was started getting an intuition that the Solo Manali trip was turning into something I haven’t imagined.
At night, I had a Maggi for Rs.40 and a soup for Rs.99 and that sums up my day.
The sleep after hard work is so peaceful that I can’t describe much.
The total distance covered by foot Today –
Day 4 – Jagatsukh
How to Reach Jagatsukh from Manali
Jagatsukh from Manali is 14km and it will be going to take around 40-45min to reach.
To reach from Manali to Jagatsukh, you need to catch a bus which will be going towards Naggar. Get down at Jagatsukh because it comes way before Naggar.
The Distance between Jagatsukh to Naggar is 18km & can be covered on a single day itself.
Aleo to Jagatsukh Manali bus fare is Rs.15 per person.
Upon reaching, I had my parantha breakfast at a Dhaba for Rs.30. Since I was on a Solo Trip to Manali.
i.e. I needed to find the cheapest way which can be done by others too.
While having breakfast I had gathered all the knowledge from the locals who were sitting inside the Dhaba.
One of them organizes treks. The famous Hampta pass, Beas Kund, and many more treks in the Himalayas. In conversation with him, he told me the places I can go to Jagatsukh.
I proceeded further & crossed the streets of Jagatsukh. I reached the 5000 years old Jagatsukh Gayatri temple and the same day the preparations of the Mela are taking place.
I decided to spend some time there & further continued my journey.
The local who met at the Dhaba had guided me that I must go to Banara Village.
I left for Banara from the way the local had told me. It’s only a 20-25min walking distance.
As soon as I had started walking towards the Banara Village the steepness has increased drastically like for every 30 steps I started to take rests in between.
I met a local who is also going towards Banara Village and he works for a trekking company.
The man thought I am a local too because of the Himachali cap I was wearing. We had started to walk and now when someone is there to talk the endpoint seems quite achievable.
I had reached Banara Village and the locals told me about the big Pathar present there. The people of the village worship it as a god named Nag Devta/Patal Devta.
The path is so scary and very small that I managed to reach & take pictures of the big rock.
I wanted to know the history of the Devta so I enquired in the village. A local took me to the head of the village and even he also didn’t know completely about the history behind it.
But, they welcomed me and invited me to come inside to eat something as well.
Jagatsukh to Manali Bus
If you’ll be going further you will be crossing Shuru and can even go to Prini and Aleo from the Banara Village.
But to be on the safer side and considering the height, I decided to walk back down towards Jagatsukh & took the bus.
The Jakatsukh to Aleo bus fare was Rs.10 per person.
One thing I have realized, the sleep becomes sweet when the sweat in the winter comes and wipes the whole T-Shirt.
Before leaving one last time I wanted to eat something heavy & ate my lunch at a Dhaba for Rs.170. The Manali to Delhi bus fare was Rs.1022.
To reach the pick- up point, I took a Bus from Manali Mall road and arrived at Green Tax Barrier. It was about 6km from the mall road.
Distance Covered by foot Today –
Manali to Delhi
Both Ordinary & Volvo buses daily run between Manali to Delhi and takes an average time of 12-13 hrs.
You must pre-book from Online portals like – MakeMyTrip etc during heavy tourist season, i.e May – July, and if possible book a late-night bus because many buses leave during the evening which causes a traffic jam.
4 Days Solo Manali Trip Budget
My Solo Manali Trip Budget sum’s up at Rs- 4,582
Other expenses of Rs.67, for Ex-a packet of chips, etc.
Total distance covered by foot – 79.68km.
I had thought that I will be doing a Solo Trip to Manali on a low budget but haven’t thought that I will end up walking this so much.
I had traveled the majority of the journey on foot. That was the main reason my Solo Manali trip budget was on the lower side.
This was the most suitable way and if you are passionate enough you can do this Solo trip to Manali on a budget easily.
If you were willing to explore only Manali then, 1-2 days are pretty enough to spend in Manali.
If you have done something like this on a budget, comment down below and share it with me.