What makes HRTC Volvo a better option over Indo-Canadian bus from Delhi to Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

I have been visiting Dalhousie every year for last 6 years during Raksha-bandhan and this time I decided it late because of various reasons. Towards the end it was hard for us to find seats in HRTC volvo buses to Dalhousie from Delhi. On checking more on Red-bus we could get & book our seats in India-Canadian Mercedes bus. Now Ind-Canadian is acquired by Snow Region Travels. Now that we have experienced both options of traveling to Dalhousie from Delhi, we thought of sharing some key inputs so that fellow travelers take informed call about how to commute from Delhi to Dalhousie and decide suitable option. Towards the end we will also share some details around commuting in Train till Pathankot and take taxi from Pathankot to Dalhousie.


I have been visiting Dalhousie every year for last 6 years during Raksha-bandhan and this time I decided it late because of various reasons. Towards the end it was hard for us to find seats in HRTC volvo buses to Dalhousie from Delhi. On checking more on Red-bus we could get & book our seats in India-Canadian Mercedes bus. Now Ind-Canadian is acquired by Snow Region Travels. Now that we have experienced both options of traveling to Dalhousie from Delhi, we thought of sharing some key inputs so that fellow travelers take informed call about how to commute from Delhi to Dalhousie and decide suitable option. Towards the end we will also share some details around commuting in Train till Pathankot and take taxi from Pathankot to Dalhousie. 



Bus Quality : HRTC Volvo buses win over Mercedes buses run by Indo-Canadian or Snow Region travels. At times it doesn't feel like Mercedes From comfort and interiors of these buses from inside. HRTC Volvo or Scania buses are very well maintained. AC vents of HRTC buses are much better than the ones in Indo-Canadian or Snow Region travels. TV is in both the buses but there is no guarantee that they will be switched on. Even if they are switched on, don't expect content of your choice. There can be any random regional movie. So ensure that you have your own entertainment content on phone/tablet if you can't live without it.  

Driver & Drive quality : HRTC driver are certainly much more skilled in comparison to Indo-Canadian or Snow Region travels, especially for these hilly terrains. It was a very jerky drive in Indo-Canadian (now Snow Region Travels) and in hills driver was super slow which is a good thing if you are not confident. 

Overall experience of boarding the bus & journey : I always book HRTC Volvo through https://online.hrtchp.com/ and it has been a very good experience so far. Once I had a glitch that money was deducted by booking didn't happen. The whole thing was resolved on email pretty well and money was refunded in 3 days. Indo-Canadian or Snow Region Travels buses can be booked through OTA like Redbus. One thing I realised that they tend to sell worse seats through these portals. This time we got seats in the end while we got to know that there were seat in the front & middle after boarding the bus. There were few empty seats as well.

Unlike last seats of HRTC, Indo-canadian seats can't be stretched so that's a big learning to not opt for these seats in Indo-Canadian or Snow Region travel while it's not that big issue in HRTC Volvo or Scania buses. 

Dinner/Tea breaks on the way : HRTC Volvo or Scania buses usually stop at good places for dinner - Haveli or any good option around Murthal. Usually these places are good for food and also have clean restrooms. 

Indo-Canadian or Snow Region Travel buses can stop at a random place. The one we took, stopped at Mayur Dhaba which had badly maintained washrooms and with that we couldn't even gain confidence of eating there. We grabbed some packed snacks and were carrying few drinks. Managed our dinner with that. 

HRTC Bus to Dalhousie stops at around 7:30 for tea/breakfast break while Indo-Canadian or Snow Region travel buses only stop once in whole journey for dinner. If you need a loo break, you can ask for it and they would stop it for you when needed. 

Air Conditioner state/quality : Buses operated by Indo-Canadian or Snow Region Travels are pretty old, and some of the have no AC vents. It's very common to see newspaper being used to stop direct flow of chilled air. One good part in Indo-Canadian is that they provide blankets, although we were not very comfortable using them. It's recommended to carry some warm shawl with you whenever traveling in AC buses in India. Many times staff on the bus is not skilled to control temperature well so you may feel 17 degree Celsius inside the bus. 

One can also chose to take train from Delhi till Pathankot. There is an overnight train and this commute is certainly most comfortable. One can comfortably sleep and beyond Pathankot you can get a taxi for 2000 rs. It's little more expensive but can be more comfortable in comparison to Volvo bus. Someone like me who can sleep well in Semi-sleeper bus and doesn't want to change commute options in a journey, would always prefer bus to Dalhousie. 

Hope this blog-post would help you decide what works best for you. Feel free to comment below if you have more questions. 

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