Getting there & away
The bus station has a booth (252323; 5am-7pm) for advance bookings.
Luxury buses are run by the HPTDC (252116; The Mall) and the Manali Luxury Coach Owners Association (253816; The Mall). Tickets can be bought from their offices or the travel agents thronging the Mall.
Buses go to Kullu every 30 minutes (Rs 30, 1½ hours), continuing to Mandi (Rs 87, four hours) via the airport at Bhuntar (Rs 40, two hours). Regular local services run to Naggar (Rs 15, one hour) from 6am to 6pm. For the Parvati Valley change at Bhuntar.
From 15 July to 15 September, buses make the bone-shaking ascent to Leh in two exhausting but spectacular days, with a stopover en route at Keylong or Sarchu. Bring a shawl or warm clothing and be alert to the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
In season, HPTDC runs a daily bus (Rs 1600 with tented accommodation and food in Keylong) to Leh at 11am. Ordinary government buses (Rs 525) also leave at 11am, but you arrange your own accommodation in Keylong. Private buses run till around mid-October, charging around Rs 1000, stopping at Keylong or Sarchu.
In season, there are regular buses to Keylong between 4am and 1pm (Rs 87, six hours). For Spiti, buses leave for Kaza (Rs 152, 10 hours) at 5.30am and 6am; the 5.30am service continues to Tabo (Rs 187, 15 hours). The daily bus to Udaipur (Rs 121, nine hours) leaves between 4am and 5am.
The most comfortable options for Delhi are the daily HPTDC buses to the Himachal Tourism office on Janpath in Delhi. The deluxe bus leaves at 5pm (Rs 615, 12 hours), the AC bus leaves at 4.30pm (Rs 815) and the special AC sleeper service leaves at 5.30pm (Rs 1100). All buses run via Chandigarh (Rs 385, 10 hours). Book at the HPTDC booking office.
Private travel agencies run similar deluxe services to Paharganj, but we’ve heard reports of people booking deluxe buses and getting ordinary buses at the Delhi end.
Government buses run regularly from the bus stand till mid-afternoon; the fare is Rs 360/625/885 (ordinary/deluxe/AC). To Chandigarh, the fare is Rs 225/375 (ordinary/deluxe).