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How To Reach Kullu

How to Reach Kullu

Kullu Valley, a renowned gem of North India, boasts excellent connectivity to major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ambala, and Pathankot.  Whether you prefer the comfort of a bus, the thrill of a train ride, or the swiftness of air travel, reaching this picturesque valley is a breeze. This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the essential information to reach Kullu seamlessly

Reaching Kullu by Air

For those seeking a swift and scenic arrival, flying into the Kullu Valley is an excellent option. The nearest airport is the Kullu-Manali Airport (Bhuntar), situated approximately 10 kilometers from Kullu town itself. This airport offers regular flights from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh.

Distance: Flights from Delhi to Kullu-Manali Airport cover around 420 kilometers.

Travel Time: Enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the Himalayas as the flight takes about 1.5 hours.

Airlines: Several airlines operate on this route, including Alliance Air and SpiceJet.

Tips for Air Travel:

  • Book in Advance: Kullu-Manali Airport is a seasonal airport, and flight frequencies can vary depending on the season. Booking your tickets well in advance, especially during peak seasons (summer and winter), is recommended.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions: Mountain weather can be unpredictable. Consider checking the weather forecast before booking your flights, as snowfall or strong winds can sometimes lead to cancellations or delays.
  • Luggage Restrictions: Keep in mind that due to the mountainous terrain, the Kullu-Manali Airport might have weight restrictions on checked baggage. Check with your airline for specific limitations.

    Reaching Kullu by Road

    For those who enjoy the thrill of a road trip and the freedom to explore hidden gems along the way, traveling to Kullu by road is an exhilarating experience. The valley boasts excellent connectivity through a network of national highways and state roads.

Major Routes: Here are the most popular routes to reach Kullu by road:

Chandigarh – Shimla – Kullu (NH-21): 

This scenic route, approximately 312 kilometers long, takes you through the charming hill station of Shimla. Expect stunning mountain views and be prepared for some winding roads. The journey can take anywhere between 8 to 10 hours.

Pathankot – Mandi – Kullu (NH-154): 

This route, roughly 230 kilometers long, offers a slightly faster option. The road winds through the Kangra Valley and offers glimpses of lush greenery. Allow 6 to 8 hours for the journey.

Travel Modes:

HRTC Buses:

The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operates a well-maintained fleet of buses connecting Kullu to major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Shimla. These buses are a budget-friendly option and offer a comfortable journey.

Private Volvo Buses: 

Several private Volvo bus companies offer luxurious and comfortable travel experiences from various cities to Kullu. These buses often come equipped with reclining seats, entertainment systems, and onboard refreshments.


Taxis provide a convenient and customizable option, especially if you are traveling with a group. You can hire taxis from major cities or upon arrival at nearby airports or railway stations. Negotiate fares beforehand to ensure transparency.

Tips for Road Travel:

  • Road Conditions: Mountain roads can be narrow with switchbacks. Be cautious while driving, especially during winters when black ice can be a hazard.
  • Planning Your Stops: Plan your rest stops beforehand, especially if traveling with children or elderly companions. Public rest areas might be limited in the mountains.
  • Carry Permits: If you are planning to explore certain eco-sensitive zones within Kullu Valley, obtaining the required permits beforehand is essential.

Reaching Kullu by Train

While Kullu does not have its own railway station, the nearest railhead is Joginder Nagar, situated approximately 120 kilometers away. This station is connected to Pathankot by a narrow-gauge railway line, offering a scenic yet slightly longer travel option.

Distance: Trains from Delhi to Joginder Nagar cover around 480 kilometers.

Travel Time: Be prepared for a longer journey, as trains on this route can take up to 12 hours.

Connection to Kullu: Upon reaching Joginder Nagar, you can avail of HRTC buses or taxis to complete your journey to Kullu. This additional leg can take 3 to 4 hours.

Important Travel Tips for a Smooth Journey

  • Research weather conditions in Kullu throughout the year. The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer offers pleasant weather, while winters are perfect for snow enthusiasts.
  • Book in Advance: Especially during peak season (summer months and festivals), booking flights, buses, or hotels well in advance is crucial.
  • Pack Accordingly: Pack comfortable clothes suitable for the weather in Kullu. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for sunny days. If traveling during winters, pack warm clothes, woolen socks, and proper shoes for snow
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