For our trip to Manali we planned to reach there by my own car. It was a very nice experience. The petrol cost for the whole journey was optimum. My car was Swift Desire. We dint used the A/C for the journey as the way was very beautiful and we got epic scenes from the window of my car. We could stop anywhere we wanted and also we were switching turns to ride the car. Overall, experience was fun. I would suggest other travelers to go by car only. If you don't have it go by renting it.
I started from Lucknow early in the morning to Delhi where I stayed for one day then moved to Manali via Chandigarh early in the morning. We enjoyed our journey . All the facilities were there on the way including petrol pumps, food dhabas with toilet facilities. I stayed one night at Chandigarh then moved to Manali next day morning and reached at destination in the evening, the journey was awesome.