Nothing brings me more joy than to get an opportunity to go on a road trip. With the wind in my hair and the speed on the wheels, I love to hit the concrete trail ever and experience the journey, without even bothering about where I am heading. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Chandigarh for an event but I decided to extend my stay as it was a long weekend too. Me and 2 friends of mine thought of going to Shimla because it’s always good to visit mountains, especially if you live in a city like Delhi.
So, off we were, packed up in a Chandigarh to Shimla taxi (because we were too lazy to drive). I had already convinced my gang and confirmed with our cabbie about the must-take-stopovers. After all, the real excitement of a road journey is in these intriguing pit stops.
The Road To Shimla
We headed out on NH 22, which usually takes around 4 hours to reach Shimla, but ours was to be a much longer trip. There is also the alternative route of NH 5 but this road has the best places en route.
For people from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Haryana, we are indeed spoilt for choices when it comes to a weekend getaway. The little hill stations and nature hotspots make for a thrilling road trip.
Our first stop was at Kalka, the place from where toy-train starts. The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary borders the town and is worth a visit in spring or post monsoon. Because, when we were traveling the forest had started drying up, barring a few random Sambar deer playing hide and seek.
As hunger pangs hit, we started looking for a good rest stop and pulled over at Timber Trail Resort in Parwanoo. The quiet hamlet of Parwanoo has the warmth of the plains and the beauty of the hills and this place just adds to its charm. The restaurant of the resort is open to walk-in travelers and has a lovely view of the hills and the valley below. After a good grub, we headed for a cable car ride over this mountain trail. The ride at a height of 5000 feet lasted for about 10 minutes and was not enough to soak in the beauty of the Shivalik mountains.
A deliberate detour
I guess the ride pumped our adrenaline a notch up because we took an impromptu decision of detouring towards Kasauli. Fortunately, our cabbie turned out to be a cooperative fellow who understood the whims and fancies of the young blood.
We had to take the Parwanoo-Kasauli for about an hour. This is arguably one of the most scenic road routes of this region that cut through tunnels, mountains, thick bluffs, and winds around the steep slopes.
Kasauli, in one word, is a hiker’s paradise. If you love to walk and explore this quaint colonial town and its landscape, then nothing is better than you god-gifted vehicle. The Gilbert Trail right outside the town makes for a great area for bird watching, but you can do that only in the daytime. We went around the town in our car and stopped near Sunset Point since we reached by sundown. The view of the setting sun from a high cliff-like area is indeed a breathtaking sight.
For evening refreshments we stopped at the famous ‘Chana Kulcha’ vendor in Kandaghat near Destination resort. It is literally a food cart with the cheapest but the most delicious chana and kulcha that you can find in this region. And the backdrop of the Himalayas just added to the appetite.
By the time, we reached Shimla, we were all exhausted from our adventurous trip. Fortunately, we had managed to book an Innova in Chandigarh for a comfortable and smooth journey. But I was somehow more pepped up than exhausted (although it did get exhausting), which made my road trip truly fulfilling!