Pitched roofs of colorful houses, red & ripe apples in big orchards & tall, decorated churches – that’s how I imagined Shimla. It was a Saturday early morning of Summers when we caught a train from New Delhi railway station to Kalka. We were excited about our journey, about sitting in a toy train for the first time, about exploring the hill of Shimla, the gardens of Mashobra, the palace of Chail & the golf course of Naldehra.
Shimla was a delight. Steeped roads leading to churches, cafes and markets catch your fancy. A walnut seller will be found in one corner and a famous kulcha-chaat vendor will be found in another. You can’t go to Lakkad Bazaar and not buy anything.
Shimla is like that friend of yours, whom you may call after years, but whenever you will call them, you will end up talking for hours. You would always have a connect.
The ride from Kalka to Shimla:
Well, this is a tricky part. You would want to book a toy train ride from Kalka to Shimla, but I would advise you not to. You won’t like it.
After a terrible experience with the toy train, we reached Shimla around 6 pm. A few dogs and a pair of Langoors were at the platform to welcome us. We moved around them and stepped out of the station & were greeted by a hive of taximen coaxing us to book a taxi from station to wherever the hell were we planning to go.
We tried our luck and searched for alternate commute options, but ended up paying INR 200 for a distance of 2.5 Kms. & enjoyed a bumpy ride in a rickety Alto whose glasses won’t roll up & whose air-conditioning took a retirement long time ago.
1. Mall road, Lakkad Bazaar & Jhaku Temple, Shimla
Day 1 & 2: Shimla
We spent the first two days in local sightseeing and explored Mall road on foot & bought some knick-knacks from Lakkad Bazaar.
My fond memories from those two days include getting into a fight with the waiter of Indian Coffee House on the quality of Filter Coffee & haggling with a fruit vendor on something that I don’t remember now.
My mother had to intervene and drag me from the scene both the times. But it was worth it 🙂
Wake and Bake – a cafe on Mall road. They served amazing Cappuccino.
Somewhere between Lakkad Bazaar and Mall road – the weather was just perfect for an evening walk. Don’t forget to buy name-engraved key chains.
Evening scene – Shimla lights up like a wedding room in the evenings.
Lakkad Bazaar – From key chains to make up boxes to furniture, you get everything in Lakkad Bazaar. Buy some souvenirs.
Locals busy with their daily chores – the locals are warm and friendly. And you would love them a ton.
A boy peaking into our car out of curiosity – I love this picture a lot.
Jhaku temple – the giant size statue of Lord Hanuman. The place is riddled with menacing monkeys snatching your food, purse and goggles. Beware!
Day 3: Shimla – Mashobra – Naldehra
Reserve a day for tourist attractions around Shimla. You can begin with Mashobra on day 3 that’s only 13-14 kms. away.
Enjoy the beautiful gardens and thin forests of Mashobra. Click a bunch of photographs against the backdrop of nature. And you would love them.
The open gates to a temple in Mashobra.
This was a good spot of some park in Mashobra.
Day 3: Shimla – Mashobra – Naldehra
nearly done golf course, a forest and a setting for many Bollywood movies – that’s Naldehra for you. You can have maggi, click pictures, ride a pony and fight the monkeys here.
A good place indeed! It’s located at a distance of 13 kms. from Mashobra & 25 kms. from Shimla.
Day 4: Chail
Chail is situated at a distance of 55 kms. from Shimla. It’s got a palace and a cricket ground. Both worth skipping! 😀 Really, nothing special about them.
Parts of the movie ‘Three Idiots’ was shot here. And that’s that.
Day 4: Kufri
You could scooch in both Kufri and Chail in a day, but ensure that you go to Kufri in the morning.
You get to ride a pony when you go to Kufri and that’s an adventure in itself. All throughout, you pray to Lord Hanuman for a safe ride and return on that pony/ horse/ mule or whatever the heck that thing is.
Shimla is worth a visit and more. Tell us about your trip to Shimla in comments.