Table of contents for Road Trip - Delhi to Shimla - Day-1
I came back just couple of days before and I am still dreaming how those four beautiful days passed in Himachal Pradesh.It had been few months that I had done a road trip. So It was time to hit the road again. But I was really being superstitious whether this time My Silver Queen ( My car) will manage it properly or not because last time it had suffered a breakdown. So preparation had started a month in advance. Took it to a mechanic and got its 2 tyres replaced and also got it a new battery.Then the mechanic did its wheel alignment and balancing. Also he opened the bonut and its oral checking and declared it fit.Now the Queen was ready to hit the highway. I was so excited that the night before the journey I could not sleep . Just wanting that early morning to come really early.
Brief Information of the trip –
1. No. of travellers = 3 ( Myself the solo driver along with my family)
2. Vehicle = Maruti 800
3. Avg distance per litre = 19 Km/L
4. Total Distance Covered = 1020 Km
5. Total Amount of Fuel Consumed = Rs 3500
6. Places Covered = Delhi – Shimla – Kufri – Narkanda – Mashobra – Naldhera – Tattapani -Kasauli -Kalka – Chandigarh – Delhi
My Silver Queen posing in the hills
DAY – 1 — DELHI to SHIMLA = 360Km
Shimla, The Heart Of Himachal is located at an average altitude of 2,354 metres (7,500 ft). It is covered with the pine and oak forests.
ROAD CONDITIONS -
DELHI to PANIPAT – 80 KM – Excellent
Started my queen at 5 am on 27th March’11. The drive till Panipat on NH-1 was silky smooth Like a breeze as usual. We crossed Panipat around 6:30 am. Thanks to the Panipat Expressway. Toll Tax – Rs 20
Driving Time – 1:30 Hrs
Sunrise somewhere near Panipat
PANIPAT – KARNAL – AMBALA – 125 Km – Good
From Panipat to Karnal and then till Ambala , NH-1 is full of diversions. Earlier NH-1 was totally smooth till Amritsar but now it is full of diversions because work is going on to make NH-1 free from red lights and stoppages.One cannot attain much speed because after each Km there comes a diversion. We stopped at Hotel Oasis at Pipli for the breakfast. Toll Tax at Karnal – Rs 81
Driving time – 2:30 Hrs
The diversions at NH-1
AMBALA – CHANDIGARH – 54 km – Excellent
Drive From Ambala to Chandigarh on NH-21 was again very smooth and speedy. Thanks to the Expressway. Toll Tax – Rs 26
Driving Time – 1hr
Ambala Chandigarh Expressway
CHANDIGARH – KALKA – PARWANOO – SOLAN – SHIMLA – 115 km – Very Good
I was so busy in driving and photography that by mistake instead of taking a left turn from Zirakpur which takes you direct to the Chandigarh Bypass, I straight went into Chandigarh. Crossing the whole city took us around 1hr. From Kalka , the hilly terrain starts but still the NH-22 was good. Drive to Shimla is also smooth thanks to the well paved double lane roads.
Driving Time – 4hrs. Toll Tax – Rs 30
Entry into Himachal
Tunnel of the Kalka Shimla Rail Line
Shimla is connected to the city of Kalka by one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes in India, the Kalka-Shimla Railway on which the Toy Train Operates.
Toy Train Engine at Dharampur
Silver queen on NH-22
Smooth Roads to Shimla
This is a video while driving towards Shimla –
Drive To Shimla – Road Condition
Finally we reached Shimla at 1:30 Pm. We parked our car at the Municipal Car Paking at Rain Besra Lakkad Bazaar. This parking is very small and it can cater only 15-18 cars. Luckily we got space but he charged Rs 150 per day. Other MC Car parking is located near the lift which is very big.We parked our car at the Lakkad bazaar parking because we had booked our room In Hotel White which was centrally located in the Lakkad Bazaar. Then we hired a porter who took all of our luggage from the parking to the hotel room.
View from the hotel Room
The benifit of Hotel White is that it is located in the middle of lakkad Bazzar. It is just 5 Min walk from the ridge and 4 Min walk from the parking. The room rent was Rs 1500 per day. That day we just went to the ridge and Mall Road to enjoy the evening. Though it was off season , but as usual the ridge and mall road were full of tourists.The weather there in the evening was chilly. That day we came back to the hotel early and retired to bed as we were tired.
The Christ Church at the Ridge
The Christ Church
This is a short video which I captured while walking at the ridge.
View from the Shimla Ridge
Sunset at the Ridge
Another Sunset Shot
The 108 feet Hanuman Ji Murti as seen from the Mall Road. It is the tallest Haunuman Ji Idol In the world
The next day plan was to cover Shimla – Kufri – Narkanda – Shimla which I will discuss in the next part. Till Then :-)