After the first day , the next day route was a follows –
DAY-2 28th March’11
SHIMLA – DHALLI – KUFRI – FAGU – THEOG – MATIANA – NARKANDA – 140 Kms
We woke up early at 6 am because we knew that to cover such distance we must leave Shimla early. As soon as we woke up , we found that no running water was coming in the bathroom. We called the room service boy. He told us that a group of drunken boys had left the tap open the whole night. He asked us to wait for an hour till the running water comes. So we were already late by an hour. This was not at all a good start to the morning. A Starter Pic –
Silver Queen On NH-22
One General Information – There are 2 major problems in Shimla –
1. Water Scarcity (Specially In Summers and peak tourist season)
2. Parking Problem
But thankfully we did not face both these problems apart from the first morning.
Finally after getting ready , we left the hotel at 9 am. Started my queen from the parking. We had gone just 3 Kms ahead , when we realized that I had left my camera in the laptop bag which was in the hotel room. Just then , I took a U turn again went to the hotel to bring my camera. 20 Min were again wasted.
Again started from the initial point. Just then I saw the fuel meter reading. Till yesterday the petrol reading was half , but now it was near end. Donot know whether the parking person did something.
Carpet of pine and oak trees
Then we were going slow and enquired about the nearest petrol pump. The nearest pump was at Dhalli. So we went into Dhalli to refuel. Again half an hour was wasted.
In my mind I was somewhere thinking what a lazy start to the day as we were already late by two hours. Then finally after all the problems we started for Kufri.
In Kufri how can one miss these Yaks.
SHIMLA -DHALLI – KUFRI – 20 Kms – Average
Roads from Shimla to Kufri via Dhalli on NH-22 were a mix of some good road and some bad patches. It was average. There were some really bad , Dusty patches . At one time my silver queen totally became a brown queen.
DRIVING TIME – 1.25 hrs ( Including innumerable photo session breaks )
Smooth Curvy roads to Kufri
Views from Kufri
KUFRI – FAGU -NARKANDA – 45 Kms – Bad
Roads from Kufri to Narkanda via Theog , Matiana ie. NH-22 was really bad. My little queen was really feeling some pain on crossing these hell like stretches. Though the vistas around keeps your mood happy. Just after each Km I had to stop my queen for clicking pics because one cannot resist the natural beauty – Clean blue sky , some smooth curvy roads , pine and oak valleys and some serene environment. Me along with my DL(Delhi) number silver queen among all the HP(Himachal) cars. I was just enjoying.
DRIVING TIME – 2.5 hrs ( Including innumerable photo session breaks )
Bad roads to Narkanda
KUFRI – It is located at an average altitude of 2,743 metres (9,000 feet).The name Kufri is derived from the work “Kufr” meaning a lake in the local language.
After reaching Kufri , we parked the Queen in the parking and roamed around enjoying the beauty and doing my most important work – Photography.
Silver queen at 2400m
On way to Kufri
There are only 3 major picnic spots in Kufri –
1. MAHASU PEAK – One can trek or take pony’s through thick forest route to reach Mahasu Peak. As we had seen it earlier , this time we skipped it . It is the highest peak of Kufri.
2. INDIRA TOURIST PARK – This park is located on the road to Chail. Entry ticket per person was Rs 5. It provides some good views. Nothing more .
View from Indira Park
3. HIMALAYAN NATURE PARK ZOO – As it was Monday the zoo was closed. Some pics from outside the zoo –
As we were going late and behind schedule , another option came to my mind. We could also go to Chail. Chail was around 30 Kms from here. But we knew that in Chail , there is nothing except the Maharaja Palace. So again took a U Turn and we were back on NH-22 towards Narkanda.
At 1:30 pm we were in the Narkanda.
Silver Queen on the Road to Chail
Silver Queen posing for an Ad-Film
NARKANDA – Is Situated at an attitude of 2708 meters. In winters it is covered with snow , but that day there were no traces of snow. Howver locals told that we can find some snow at the Hatu Peak. After taking lunch the time was 2pm. We had no time to go upto Hatu and come back. But I really wished for driving on the steep narrow Hatu Road but this time it could not be possible. Also we were not at all intersted in Snow as in our earlier trips we saw plenty of snow.
Some barren landscapes on the way to Narkanda
Silver queen became brown on the road to Narkanda
Then we started our retrurn journey to Shimla. We knew it would take about 3hrs to reach Shimla. Also we wanted that we should reach Shimla by evening in the light. As per plan we reached back Shimla around 5:30 pm.
I had no clue what I was trying to do : Bad Innovation :)
This is a video of driving back from Kufri towards Shimla. Take a look of the smooth Roads –
Driving on the road to Kufri – NH-22
At night we roamed at the Ridge and the Mall Road. Some pics of the night –
Church at Night
So a long tiring day ended. But the exotic sceneries kept me fresh . A special thanks to my SILVER QUEEN for crossing some really tough hilly terrain. Retired to bed as a new fresh day was waiting.
Thanks to my little Queen. Without it , nothing was possible…
DAY-3 plan was – Shimla – Mashobra – Naldhera – Shimla
Which I will discuss in the next part. Till Then :-)