Start from Manali, which is well connected by buses and taxis from Delhi (570kms), Chandigarh and Kalka. There are flights to Bhuntar (50kms from Manali), the closest airport, on Air India (40 seater) (from Rs 5,268 ex-Delhi) every day. If you’re travelling by rail, you can get off at Ambala Cantt (from Rs 380 on 2A ex-Delhi), Chandigarh (from Rs 420 on CC) or Kiratpur Sahib (from Rs 574 on 2A) and take a taxi from there.
Air Nearest Airport Kullu-Manali Airport Bhuntar (50kms from Manali)
Air India Flight (40 seater) reaching everyday to Bhuntar, the rates are dynamic (Rs 5,268)
Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri ; Delhi-Chandigarh-Bhuntar- 2hrs (Hopping Flight)
Sun, Wed, Sat-Delhi-Bhuntar -1hrs (Direct Flight)
Rail Shimla (350 kms)
Bus from Delhi-Manali ; 570kms/13-14hrs (Rs 1,200), HRTC Buses Volvo (Rs 1,200-1,400)
Taxi from Delhi -Manali 570kms/11-12kms; (Rs 11,000)
This is a strenuous trek, partially because this isn’t exactly a ‘pony route’. If you do find a horseman willing to risk his beasts, be prepared to help coax the mules up the final stretch of the passes, where they often sink chest-deep in snow.
The best month to walk this route is August, but for people who love snow, October through December will promise unrivalled adventure. The stout of heart could try mid-March, by when the worst winter storms stop, and the snow is hard enough to bear the weight of a man. A sturdy dome tent, sleeping bags that can keep you warm at –20°C and waterproof shoes are an absolute must.
It’s worth remembering, though, that this is a trek that is very demanding even in season and most usually steer clear of it. An entirely uninhabited stretch, save for Bara Bangal, which too is partially deserted, even a semblance of help will be impossible to find throughout the route. For those still intent on an attempt, stretching it over fifteen or sixteen days would be a safe bet.
Kilometres never make sense on a trek, so distances are given in time.