We're planning to visit Shimla-Manali this October. This is a draft itinerary we've thought of:
Day1: Arriving at New Delhi Railway Station and boarding Kalka Shatabdi at 17:15. Arriving at Kalka at 21:20. Overnight staying at Kalka.
Day2: Boarding Kalka-Shimla toy train at 5:10 and arriving Shimla by 9:50. Overnight staying at Shimla
Day3 & 4: Overnight staying at Shimla. Sight seeing.
Day5: Arriving at Manali by car by evening.
Day6 & 7: Overnight staying at Manali. Sight seeing.
Day8: Arriving at Shimla by car by afternoon.Boarding Shimla-Kalka toy train at 16:25 and arriving at Kalka at 21:35. Boarding Kalka Mail at 23:55 and arriving New Delhi by 6:30 next morning.
Please suggest any amendments if you feel so.
I've a few queries -
1. 3nights/ 4days - is it enough for Shimla or would it become boring? Should we plan for one day less for Shimla (i.e. 2nights/ 3days) and add one to Manali or any other place like Narkanda?
Is there a way we can include Chail or Narkanda in our plan for example, in between Shimla and Manali?
2. As my wife and me both are not comfortable at steep hilly roads (to Shimla or from Manali), so we've opted for toy train rides. But I guess going by the train twice (up and down journey) would be boring. And it'd also take more time to come back to Shimla from Manali and then board the train.
Is there any other option to come down from Manali? I heard about Kullu airport, but that's pretty expensive I guess and also heard that the flights get delayed and cancelled very often. I also heard about the nearest Joginder Nagar Railway Station, but is that operating at all?
How about the AC volvo buses - are they comfortable enough for the journey and do they operate at the night?
3. Regarding sight seeing we've thought of covering the following (we know there are many more places, but we're trying to stick to the "must sees" only):
From Shimla - Kufri & Fagu valley and Tattapni.
From Manali - i. Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Vashisht Village and ii. Hadimba Temple, Club House, Manu Temple, Naggar Castle & Jagatsukh,.
Is there anything else to visit?
4. Also please recommend some mid-range hotels (Rs. 2500 - 3000) at Shimla and Manali.