Tag Archives: himachal

Road trip to Chail and Shimla

Last month I went on a road trip from Gurgaon(Haryana) to Chail and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, India; with my cousin and a friend.

It was a nice escape from torturing heat of Delhi, driving on Delhi- Chandigarh highway and through the serpentine roads of Himachal. We started in the morning  at around 7:30 am, took a halt for breakfast at the famous Sukhdev-Amreek Dhaba, Murthal for butter-drenched parathas with chach and lassi, and then continued non-stop till we reached Sadhupul.

Sadhupul is a small village in Himachal Pradesh on the way from Kandaghat to Chail, based around a small bridge constructed over the hill river “Ashwini”. The waters are quite shallow here and you can easily walk through it. There are few sheds with tables and chairs arranged in the middle of the river and a small restaurant serving you maggi, pakoras, omelette, tea, drinks, etc. Though you can enjoy few hours in the evening here but move on before it gets dark as the roads are narrow and not in good shape.DSC_0023 1DSC_0069

We reached Hotel Chail Palace by around 6:30pm, where we were greeted by lots of monkeys, ready to snatch on anything they could. But luckily we were not carrying anything loose, thanks to the information gathered from TripAdvisor. You all must be cautious of the monkey menace at the Chail Palace!!

1 3 52After check-in we drove towards the Deluxe Log Hut which is about 1 km deeper into the forest area. The path was too narrow and scary; just a few inches mistake and our car would have gone deep into the valleys. The hut was quite simple with basic facilities and lots of mirrors all-around(I hope you can guess the purpose well !!). The attendant was quite helpful and provided us good room service. The food was also good. Night was too cold as expected. We got up in the morning, took some nice shots and went for local sight-seeing. There isn’t much to see in Chail. We first saw the Palace which has some nice paintings and ornate maharaja style furniture. Overall, it was an awesome experience at the Palace, with fresh mountain air and  towering pine trees all over. Then we went to Kali ka Tibba, which is a small temple of Kaali Maa, made in white marble ,situated at a great height. It has idols of many other gods too. The views from here are spectacular. Its so peaceful here that the only sound you will hear is of fresh air gushing through. This place is not to be missed at all. Later, we went to the Gurudwara situated near the main market area.

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3 4By this time we were too hungry and headed straight towards the Sharma Bhojnalaya, which is about 2-3 kms uphill on the way to Shimla. It is a small family run dhaba with very basic furniture and nothing attractive for the eyes. But you will get nicely prepared home-style food which your taste-buds and stomach will really love to have. We had few parathas and tea and were ready for our next destination- Shimla. On the way, we stopped at Himalayan Nature Park, Kufri. It is a small zoo with few animals and a museum. Adjacent to it is the Potato Research Institute of India.

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After drive of about 40kms from Chail Palace, we reached at Hotel Kapil, Shimla. It is a small hotel in Lakkarbazaar area near the Mall road. The room was nicely done and had a beautiful view of the valley. After few hours of rest, we went to the mall road for evening stroll. Sunset was really worth watching from the Ridge.

1 2Though it was not the peak season but still the crowd was huge. There were school kids, teenagers, newly married couples on their honeymoon, older couples and all sorts of people, everybody enjoying  in their own ways. There are many things to entertain tourists like horse riding, plays, folk dances and lots of eateries serving momos, pakoras, kachori, gol-gappe, gulab-jamun and variety of shakes and juices. Here, on the Ridge, is the famous Gandhi statue, the State library and the Church. You have to move slightly down on the other side of the Ridge to reach the Mall, which is a long road with innumerable shops and restaurants on both sides.  There is also a Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex on the Mall. If you are interested in theatre and art this place should be on your must-visit list. There is a guided tour and plays are showcased here regularly.

Next morning we had our breakfast at the hotel and checked-out. There are many places to see in Shimla like Jakhu Temple, Tara Devi Temple, Kali Bari Temple, Kalka-Shimla Toy train but we had to miss most of them due to time shortage. Kalka- Shimla railway will get you through the breath-taking spectacular views of Himachal valleys with very tall pine trees all over. We had that mesmerising experience during our last trip to Kasauli.

Toy train2 We went on to the Viceregal Lodge, also known as Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. It was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy of India. They have a guided tour of about 30 minutes which will take you through the marvellous architecture inside the lodge, all made of wood with beautiful carvings. There is also a huge lawn outside where you can relax if you have the ample time. There is also a library and a souvenir shop where you can buy some books, postcards, t-shirts, etc.

4 DSC_0223After that we went to Annandale, the Army museum. It houses some big artillery guns and many other weapons, mannequins of army personnel in different uniforms, posters showing some great achievements of our brave soldiers, details of various UN missions, etc. There is a huge golf course  for the army personnel. This place is really beautiful, very well maintained and a bliss for the eyes and the soul.

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That was all from my Chail-Shimla trip. And we drove back to our hometown !!

You may also like to read my reviews on specific places of Chail and Shimla on TripAdvisor.

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Plan Your Kasauli Trip:

  • LOCATION

Solan district in Himachal Pradesh

  •  Height from Sea level – 1900mtrs(approx.)
  •  DISTANCES (approx.)

Delhi – 300 kms, Chandigarh – 60kms, Kalka – 28kms, Shimla – 77kms

  • HOW TO REACH:
  1. Nearest railway station – Kalka
  2. Nearest airport – Chandigarh, Shimla
  3. Buses & Taxis from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka, Shimla
  • STD Code – 01792
  • PIN Code – 173204
  • TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:
  1. Manki Point – Hanuman temple – Photo ID required, Phones & camera not allowed
  2. Baba Balak Nath Temple
  3. Sai Baba Mandir
  4. Christ church
  5. Baptist church
  6. Toy train
  •  HOTELS TO STAY:
  1. Ros Commons (Himachal tourism) – http://hptdc.nic.in/cir0101.htm
  2. Kasauli Residency
  3. Kasauli Regency – Only couples are allowed here…no stag entry
  4. 7 Pines
  •  RESTAURANTS:
  1. Café Rudra
  2. Ros Commons
  3. Air Force canteen at Manki Point
  4. Narinder Sweet House
  •  MUST CARRY:
  1. Mosquito repellant
  2. First aid & medical kit
  3. Umbrella

Kasauli For A Weekend Trip

Now it had been a long time since I travelled somewhere. So, I planned a road trip to Kasauli in Himachal with my cousin Ankur and a close friend Rohit.

I was too excited as it was my first road trip ever. I couldn’t even sleep properly the night before. I burned a mp3 disc but later it didn’t work somehow. Finally on 4th May we took-off from Gurgaon and soon were on NH1. The roads were calm & clean…..weather was nice. Near Alipur border, about 15 kms before Murthal we saw an old Air India plane. It was stationed on the left side of highway. Someone bought it in auction & had plans for transforming it into a restaurant. Then we reached the famous Sukhdev Dhaba of Murthal and had parathaas drenched in delicious white butter with refreshing masala chaach and dahi.

Sufficiently charged up, we moved on towards our destination. My sister & mother packed for us some nice pakoras & bread rolls which got us through the trip. On the way we decided to halt at Chandigarh for some light snacks and cold drinks. Chandigarh is truly called ‘the city beautiful’. Then was the time for serpentine roads & cool mountain air. Wow!!!! we could feel the freshness deep inside our body.

Finally we reached Ros Commons, a Himachal Tourism hotel in Kasauli situated at best location of the station. After taking some rest & stretching out we went out for a walk to the market area. Kasauli is a military cantt area, a small hill station with almost nothing to do except enjoy the nature. On the way we went to Christ Church for some blessings. It is a nice peaceful church located just near the market. After some wandering here n there we found a nice cosy place Café Rudra. The owner was some foreigner settled out there since a long time, serving great food to the tourists. We had lemon coriander soup, sweet corn soup and veg salt n pepper. Everything was hot and mouth watering. And the prices were too reasonable. The music was great. We decided to have most of our food there only.

Anybody going to Kasauli…..if you don’t eat there you have really missed a thing.

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As we started back for our hotel, it started raining heavily; we rushed and luckily found some shelter at a nearby hotel. Though there was some inconvenience but the weather became awesome!!!!! Later at our hotel we had some starters followed by a light dinner.

Next day as we got up,we went out to get some nice morning shots. Later we got ready for some sight seeing. Our plan was to experience the famous Kalka-Shimla toy train. We went to Dharampur, our nearest station, parked our car somewhere and boarded the Toy train. It is a nice small train running slowly through the beautiful mountains between tall massive Deodar trees. Though we didn’t get any seats but the views were so ecstatic that we were lost in the heavenly world. There were many tunnels on the way but the Barog Tunnel was longest of them all(1143.6mtrs). We clicked a lots of pics and then got down at Solan. We strolled through the main market, had lunch, ice creams and then took a local bus back to Dharampur and then Kasauli.

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Next morning we got up little early and went to the Manki-Point. It is a temple of Lord Hanuman located in Air Force controlled area. We reached the base area in time. I stayed down there and Ankur & Rohit went up to the temple as I could not walk up those many stairs. In the mean time I enjoyed a hot aloo parantha at military canteen(you should definitely go there for paratha & maggi). Then we again went to Rudra Café for breakfast before leaving Kasauli. I had Mexican omlette and Irish coffee….really mouth watering!!!!

We left Kasauli with some beautiful memories in our heart as well in the cameras. On the way back we again went to Chandigarh to watch the Amazing Spiderman-2. The movie had some real nice action and a pretty actress!! After a long tiring journey we stopped again at Sukhdev Dhaba at Murthal for the dinner and then reached back home at around 1:00 am. The end of my first road trip which left me all excited and craving for more. All thanks to the immense love & support of my family.  I had a great time throughout the trip.