Shimla - The Queen of Hills

Shimla - Image source: Google

One of the most famous hill station destination of North India, and I had never been there. With this thought, this trip came into picture. Shimla or Simla, now the capital of Himachal Pradesh was also known as summer capital of Britishers, is located at 370kms from New Delhi and well connected by road, by train and by air. We chose our favourite mode of transportation - By road.

Five of us left for Shimla at 7am in the morning. It was raining in Delhi that January morning and we hoped to see some snowfall in Shimla. Via Sonipat - Panipat - Karnal - Chandigarh, we reached Shimla by 6 in the evening. En route we stopped at Timber trail at Parwanoo to try our hands on cable car which is a unique experience to get a beautiful view of Shivalik ranges covered with pine wood trees.


En route
We booked a hotel Apple cart Inn from Himachal tourism and it was located 22 kms before Shimla city centre. The hotel had an awesome view of the mountain ranges. We relaxed ourselves for a while and after dinner, we went for a peaceful walk in the moon light which later disturbed my night, thanks to a friend who could not stop himself from telling ghost stories.

Next morning was a cold and rainy one and we woke up pretty early. I still remember how bad I was shivering and my jaw was chattering. Despite spending time to get ready, I spent most of my time in making up my mind to take a bath. At last, we all got ready, had healthy breakfast and left our hotel to explore Shimla. With no signs of snow, we all were bit disappointed and what all I had seen in old bollywood movies, Shimla appeared nothing like that, modernisation of course. We parked our car left for the most popular spot of Shimla, The Mall road. I was astonished to see that Shimla even has a lift to reach Mall road from the parking lot and you can avoid climbing uphill, well best for aged people. We reached mall road and  noticed all kind of shops - branded, old shops selling antiques which are pretty famous. Shimla has almost every brand and chain restaurants for visitor's comfort. The Walking Culture is a part of Shimla and so we followed and explored the mall road while it was still drizzling. To save ourselves from catching cold, we tried the most amazing coffee at Honey Delicious. They do not use sugar in any of their items, instead as the name suggests, they use honey which makes coffee rather healthier. We tried their pastries as well which were as delicious as one could think.

Mall Road - Image source Wikipedia
Still craving for more pastries, we left Honey delicious to cover the complete stretch of mall road. Walking, we reached at the end of mall road where we had most amazing view of the  Shimla valley. Now I realised why Shimla is known as The Queen of Hills. The valley looked so beautiful that I could not take my eyes off it and we spent most of the noon just looking at it. Later, we noticed a flee market and locals offering horse and pony rides for their living nearby. Shimla has lot of churches, one is even located on the mall road but unfortunately, it was closed at that time. Going through thin and thick lanes of Shimla town, we returned to our car.

Next stop was Kufri, also a hill station, located 13kms away from Shimla and easily approachable by road. Tourists enjoy horse, pony and yak rides offered up there but we chose to gaze at the beautiful valley from the peak, total Nirvana you see. We returned back to our hotel before sunset and made plans for the next day while having dinner.

Finally, it was a beautiful morning as we woke up next day. Rain disappeared and it was bright and sunny. We got ready pretty quick and had breakfast with our destination planned. Chail, located at 50kms away from Shimla is also a hill station. Chail is also considered as the hiker's paradise. The area is away from the bustling life of the state capital Shimla. Chail was perfect - it was surrounded by a thick cover of majestic, soaring deodars,  and most significantly, the hill of Chail was decidedly higher than the then British - controlled Shimla.

Chail also has world's highest cricket ground located at height of 7500 ft which is located just by the military school.

World's highest Cricket ground - Image source: Google
                            
                            

After getting ourselves clicked their, we marked our presence at The Chail Palace which was once a home of Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. It is turned into a hotel now and looks pretty gracious.We explored every part of the beautiful palace and captured all the beauty of the palace in our hearts.

Chail Palace
It was time to say goodbye to the lovely and peaceful Chail and to return to our city, New Delhi with the thought of "Been there, done that".

4 comments:

  1. I had been to Shimla as a kid. I did not know about Chail though. Nice Trip.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chail is a nice quiet hiss station for a relaxing trip and holiday.

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  2. Thank you so much for the most beautiful lines and the pic which you have brought in the midst of us. This is very much useful for the most of the tourist to decide the tour in the most appropriate ways. Shimla is the best place which i have ever seen in north India. I have been to this place and feel the most romantic time in this place.

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