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Manali is a valley nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla, 309 km (192 miles) northeast of Chandigarh and 544 km (338 miles) northeast of Delhi, the federal capital. The small town, with a population of 8,096, is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Lahaul & Spiti district as well as Leh.
Manali Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November to 217 mm (8.5 in) in July. In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months, increasing to some 115 mm (4.5 in) in summer as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,363 mm (53.7 in). Manali experiences snowfall predominantly between December and beginning of March. The month of January is when it is usually the highest.
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The nearest airport Bhuntar Airport (IATA code KUU) is at Bhuntar town, situated on NH21 about 50 km (31 mi) south of Manali and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Kullu town. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway. Air India has regular flights to the airport from New Delhi. Recently another operator 'Himalayan Bulls' has started flights on Kullu-Chandigarh-Kullu sector thrice a day International connecting flights naturally are from Delhi's IGI Airport.
There is no close railhead available close to Manali. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Una 250 km (155 mi) away, Kiratpur Sahib 268 km (167 mi), Kalka (275 km (171 mi)), Chandigarh (310 km (193 mi)), and Pathankot (325 km (202 mi)) . The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (175 kilometres (109 mi)). The Kalka–Shimla Railway is nostalgic narrow gauge route culminating at the state capital of Shimla wherefrom one has to travel by road to Manali.
See Bilaspur–Mandi–Leh line for the proposed railway line through this area. As of 2016 no activity is happening on this front.
Some roads and expressways serve as important pillars of Delhi's road infrastructure:
Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Ambala and from there NH 22 to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns. The road distance from Chandigarh to Manali is 310 km (190 mi), and the total distance from Delhi to Manali is 570 km (350 mi). Luxury buses (including Volvos) usually ply overnight on this route and are available from all major bus terminals. Besides 12 Non-AC services, HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs five daily Volvo and AC buses on Delhi-Manali route and two separate Volvos by HPTDC (Himachal Tourism Development Corporation). lots of private operatots run daily buses in evening from delhi and chandigarh and cost is very reasonable. Few hotels like Snow Valley Resorts offer complete packages with volvo and sightseeing