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Himalayan Bliss

Kasauli Travel Blog

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A road to heaven
When we realized that we have three consecutive days off in August, there was no way we could have missed this break. That we couldn’t take a vacation in summers further substantiated this move. So the toss up was between Uttaranchal & Himachal with votes equally divided. Aren’t we glad that we decided for Himachal ?

As it was an extended weekend we were absolutely sure that those “Hot Tourist spots” would be over pouring with crowds. So we wanted a place where there would still be natural hills & pleasant air with out pollution. Hence we packed our bags and dumped ourselves into our Toyata Innova.

Enchanting Kasauli

I always wanted to visit Kasauli during my previous two trips to Himachal.
Heaven on the earth
But as we packed too much in the itinerary previously we just couldn’t. Kasauli is a beautiful small hill station still largely untouched by the commercial tourism. Its just about 60 kms away from Chandigarh by road. We need to take the main Kalka-Shimla highway and from Dharampur we need to take left for Kasauli. Its just 13 kms from Dharampur. The moment we leave the main highway for Kasauli you could see an immediate change in the flora & fauna. There is a lush greenery all around and you could start breathing the fresh air from the nature. We were facing persistent rains since delhi and Kasauli was no exception. There were clouds on the roads and at times visibility was almost zero.
Shivalik Express...the toy train


Kasauli is an old 17 century town which was not very famous till the tourist hawks discovered it. But the town still offers it original charm with those British buildings & roads. There are very few things to visit at Kasauli. The main attraction here being Anglican Christ Church that is located bang on the mall. A beautiful British building built in a shape of cross amidst chestnut and fir tress. There is also upper and lower mall. This is very small market with not too many shops where the locals still shop unlike all other mall roads where the locals have stopped visiting. You could still taste those original Mommo’s at one of the Tibetan shop. You could find some souvenir made out of this place. Just a walk around this mall is so enjoyable with no vehicles around. There is also a Monkey Point form where you could view river Sutlej and plains of Chandigarh.
Rainbow
But it was very cloudy hence we did not visit this place. This happens to be the highest point of Kasauli.

Hence it was a very satisfying stay for a night at this beautiful small town and we also took an early morning nature walk. Mornings in hills are simply awesome with only the sound of birds chirping to be heard. You would also find some very affectionate dogs on roads which would hardly qualify as stray dogs. The morning also offers a sight of locals moving around and doing their day to days activity. It was here that I a took a snap of an Old lady smoking a beedi. She happily agreed to my request for a photgraph.

We have booked ourselves into Winne’s Holiday Inn at Sanawar Hills. That it was 6 kms away from actual Kasauli town was also some thing that excited us. A decent hotel it offered excellent valley views.
Greenery
This a very decent hotel offering all the basic amenities. The hotel is owned by Mr Chadha who ensures that every things is done in a proper manner. The food was very tasty and was influenced with local hilly recipes. As we stayed at the top floor in family cottage there was some delay in service due to distance factor.

Shoghi Surprise

When we left Kasauli we were quite convinced that Shoghi would not be able to meet the charms of Kasauli and hence we have had the best of this trip already. Just 13 kms ahead from Shimla , Shoghi is right on Kalka-Shimla higway.

The turn to the right from highway again did the trick and there was a sense of excitement once we realized where we are heading.
An old lady smoking
An absolute secluded place where there is not much to be seen except the hills, valley & raw power of nature. Hill stations are now famous for offering all the source of entertainments at height that a normal city offers . You would have all those famous fast food MNC joints, discs, pubs & now even Multiplexes. That is what a hill station of today should offer and hence Shimla qualifies of an excellent hill station. And this was also one of the reason that we refused to stay at such a famous hill station.

Shoghi on the other hand has got nothing of this sought to offer. What it offers is a very small market with hardly 50 shops catering to daily needs of locals. It has only greenery around and lots of hills for nature trek. There are no predefined treks and you can make your own trek.
Clouds and tree
There is just the sound of jungle creatures which gets over powered at times with the sound of toy train which ply 3-4 times a day. The mornings are as usual must for nature walk where the fresh oxygen acts as steroids to the lungs. This is a place where one can be absolutely at peace with himself far far away from hustle and bustle of a city. You could even hear your self breathe.

The small market caters to all the basic needs. The ladies with us also tasted the Gol-Gappa of the lone vendor at local market and lost count of the total numbers they consumed.

The market also has the factory shop of Munchy's. Actually the factory of Munchy is just at the back of this. One can manage to pick up some juices and wines at very cheaper prices.

Shoghi has got it all that forces a normal person to become a poet or an artist or even a great photographer.
Colors of nature
We used to stroll around on those zig zag hilly roads leading no where. The idea was to walk till you drop. We would plan a walk in such a way where we are sure to come back to hotel on our foot. One more welcome feature was not enough signal for mobile. Though they were working in hotel rooms but they would be highly erratic when we took the nature walk. This also meant that there would be no distraction when you are appreciating the power of nature.

We also went down on the railway track to witness Shivalik Express the cute little Toy train pass by. It is an amazing feeling to watch this little train moving slowly at around 20-25 kms/hr on this difficult hilly terrain. Though we wanted to board this train but due to erratic weather decided against it. This train ply from Kalka to Shimla daily.
Shades of Clouds
In the route there are 103 tunnels the largest one being 1.5 kms. This train journey is also part of world heritage site. We watched this train just at the back of our hotel on the railway track. Shoghi railway station was 1.5km away from out hotel.
We were extremely lucky to have witnessed one of the best Rainbow and sunset at this location. Shoghi also offers such a frequent change in the weather that it was almost unpredictable to predict it. It would rain for almost 2-3 hours at regular intervals in day time. There would also be a scenario where it would be so cloudy that the visibility would almost be zero. But the evenings would still offer a heavenly view of sunset along with rainbow. We experienced the sight of rainbow on both the days however the second day was out of the world.
Couple
As this place is far off from the road there was clear view of rainbow and sunset with any mist or pollution. We kept seeping through these sites one after other and were totally on top of world. This was never expected and witnessed by us.

We booked ourselves at Sunrise Villa and to reach there you need to take a right from the highway towards Taradevi temple. The hotel is owned and operated by Mr & Mrs Agarwal who ensures that every guest is taken care of personally. There are just 11 rooms and again we took the room on the top floor offering us the valley view. They offers very neat room with clean toilets. The food was the highlight. They offer strictly vegetarian food which is cooked in the kitchen in direct supervision of Mrs Agarwal. We would always miss that breakfast of Aloo-Puri which was so delicious that it acted as brunch later on.

To say that we were totally mesmerized by the beauty of Shoghi would be an understatement. At the end we were just forced to leave this paradise as we had schedules to follow. I would say that apart from the beauty these locations offers we were extremely lucky to have a very nice weather which led to such a fantastic trip in totality.


I'll be back for sure….

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A road to heaven
A road to heaven
Heaven on the earth
Heaven on the earth
Shivalik Express...the toy train
Shivalik Express...the toy train
Rainbow
Rainbow
Greenery
Greenery
An old lady smoking
An old lady smoking
Clouds and tree
Clouds and tree
Colors of nature
Colors of nature
Shades of Clouds
Shades of Clouds
Couple
Couple
Kasauli Hotels & Accommodations review
A Hotel on the Hill
We have booked ourselves into Winne’s Holiday Inn at Sanawar Hills. That it was 6 kms away from actual Kasauli town was also some thing that excited… read entire review
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Kasauli
photo by: pathfynder