Thursday, August 20, 2015

Road trip to Kasauli (near Shimla)

I always wanted to travel all on my own, especially if you have a bunch of lazy friends. Finally in September 2009, I searched for a nearby hill station and decided to go to Kasauli on my motorbike. After doing some homework on the route map, I made a note of major cities that would come on my way. With a hand written route map in my pocket, I packed some clothes in a bag and tied it on the motorbike.

I started at around 2:00 am. I left from Gurgaon and took the route: Gurgaon - Dhaulakuan - Delhi - Karnal - Ambala - Pinjore - Parwanoo - Kasauli.

While packing my stuff, I remembered to keep the RC, PUC and insurance of my bike. I was having some cash in my wallet and planned to withdraw cash from any of the ATMs that would come on the way.

Unlike my expectation, it appeared as if the entire city is out on the roads at 2 am.

I was soon on NH1 and was at the speed of 90-100kmph. The road conditions were good and the ride was progressing smoothly.

Soon flyover after flyovers, I was around Ambala. It was about time for breakfast. So I took a halt at a dhaba and had a couple of parathas along with a cup of tea. On this route, I would recommend to go for parathas and not for the regular full course meal (roti, dal, paneer, etc.). Parathas never disappoint!

With my belly loaded, it was time to refill the wallet that was getting empty with every halt that I took.

I stopped at the an ATM. Unfortunately, it was out of order. I moved on hoping to find another soon. One after the other, all the ATMs were either out of order or without cash. This gave me some worries but I kept moving. Soon, I was on the road uphill. The flora and fauna was changing as I moved up in the mountains. Luckily I found an SBI ATM that had cash. With the wallet reloaded, I was again on the bike.

Changing flora




Somewhere near Gahi

Halt!

Entering Kasauli
I arrived at my destination around 11 am. This was the only time when I went to a city without making a reservation. So I had to struggle to get a good deal. I found a small hotel in the heart of Kasauli. I got the room for INR800 a night. Later on, I was told that generally tourists stay in hotels that are on the outskirts of Kasauli and visit the place during the day and return. I was also told that there are a few points that I could visit - a few heritage spots, temples, sunset point, sunrise point and Monkey point.

I checked in, kept my stuff and then started roaming around. Kasauli is an Air Force station and is a very clean city.

I visited a military guest house. This was one of the highest point in Kasauli. The view from here was simply amazing. There was a beautiful club (The Kasauli Club) that I came across.

View from the guest house

Club


The Kasauli Club

From here I went to the Monkey point. When I reached there, I was stopped by the guards. They stopped me from carrying anything inside the temple. Not even the camera or mobile. Moreover, they did not have a place where I could keep my stuff while I visited the temple. I was annoyed with the arrangements at a place that is the top tourist attraction of the city. I went back to the hotel, kept my stuff and came back again to visit the place. Monkey point is the highest point in Kasauli. The view was breathtaking and yes, there were a lot of monkeys too, unfortunately I don’t have any photographs.

While roaming around, I was informed that there is Mall road from where I could do some shopping. I found several local shops selling woolen garments. They claim that all of it is handmade. Anyways, I was getting a good deal and bought a few stuff.

Next I wanted to cover was the sunset point and headed towards it. When I reached at the spot, the clouds were covering the view. I waited for some time but the clouds were there to stay. It was getting dark and I headed back to the hotel.

Near sunset point
I inquired where I could get good food. Everyone suggested a street next to the mall road. I followed the directions to reach a narrow street with a lot of shops. Most of the shops were serving almost similar dishes. Unfortunately, I could not get anything local and unique to eat and had to settle with an assorted platter.

I was now ready to crash in the bed and call it a day.

Next morning I got up early to cover the sunrise point. It was getting bright and when I reached there, the sunrise point as well was engulfed in thick clouds. The clouds took a few hours to clear and I missed the sunrise as well. Bad luck!
Sunrise point

View from the sunrise point

Now was time to head back to the hotel for check out and begin my journey back to Gurgaon.

I left around 11:00 am from Kasauli and followed the same route back. I halted again around Ambala for lunch and then back home. I reached Delhi soon but crossing it in peak traffic was very painful. By 10:00 pm I was at my place in Gurgaon.

Based on my experience, all you need to explore the city is a day. If you want to just relax and do not want to spend a fortune on it, you could visit Kasauli. You can spend the day sipping coffee and reading novels. One more key attraction is the toy train that I missed to cover. You should look at the timetable while planning to enjoy one.

For a peaceful ride, ensure that you are carrying all the necessary documents of your vehicle and have sufficient cash with you. ATMs in the hills are not reliable.

Best time to travel: It is a calm place to visit all throughout the year. Note that it gets crowded during the summer season (May-June).

How to reach Kasauli: You take a train until Kalka and then take a bus or hire a cab to Kasauli. Alternatively, you can drive from Delhi to Kasauli.

2 comments:

  1. This is the administrative part of the Shimla that you also visit during your tour of Shimla from https://www.shimlapacks.in/shimla-honeymoon-tour-packages-coimbatore here. This place is giving you an exciting time spend with the beautiful destination of India.

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