Nature At Its Best- KASAULI – Part IV (Shimla – Kasauli)

DAY-4 — 30th March’11
SHIMLA – KASAULI – CHANDIGARH – DELHI – 415 Km

In this part I will only discuss about Kasauli.We woke up at 7am as we knew this would be a long tiring day. We were ready by 9am. Cleared all the Hotel Bills and then the porter took the luggage to the Parking area. I switched on the engine at 9:15 am. Encountered a traffic jam in the Shimla City which wasted about 20 minutes. Then as the roads were clean and less traffic we were maintaining good speed and crossed Shoghi around 9:50 am. Crossed Kandaghat and Solan in no time. Then took the Solan Barog road . A Starter Pic –


Views enroute Kasauli

Just then I was feeling that the car was bubbling ie. it was going overspeed due to greater tyre pressure. Then started going a little slow in search of a mechanic. We found a road side mechanic and when he checked the air pressure of the tyres , it was greater than the normal. When I had started from Delhi I had made the tyre pressure accurate. The mechanic told that due to continuous driving in hot temperature , the air pressure inside the tyres was increased.


Exiting Shimla


Views From Barog

He reduced the air pressure to normal and we again resumed our journey. By 11:30 am we were at Dharampur where we stopped for refueling. After refueling , As we had not done the breakfast , we stopped at Giana Da Dhaba for the Breakfast cum lunch. From Dharampur , turned right for Kasauli on MDR 10 (Major District Road No. 10).


Kasauli , Here We Come…

KASAULI – There are some hill stations which along with their old charm , retain the cleanliness. One of them is Kasauli. Cratered in the steep slopes of Himachal Pradesh, Kasauli is a small cantonment town located in the Solan District. It is at an average altitude of 1900m (6000 feet). It is located 78 Km from Shimla , 67 Km from Chandigarh and around 325 Km from New Delhi.

It is much better than the other exploited Hill Stations. Kasauli was built in 1842 as Raj’s Retreat away from the relentless heat and dust. Kasauli is also called as Kas by the locals. The sloping tin roofs , smoke chimneys are so typically colonial in their style and they look all the more in beautiful in the bright red , green and pink colours. What makes Kasauli so special are the things like there is a Letter box which still has a Victoria Cross which has been there since the British times and also some Water taps which are there from the Raj times. The integrity of the old buildings specially the wodden ones are a piece of true Architecture.


Some views

Ways to reach here :

By Bus : If you want to come on some bus , you have to fetch bus of Dharampur or any bus which is going towards Shimla .It will definately stop at Dharampur.From that place, you can catch a bus of Kasauli. If you want to go comfortably , you can also hire a taxi from Dharampur. As far as I know, there is no direct bus to Kasauli.

By Rail : Same is the case for Railways. You have to go to Kalka first , then catch train going towards Shimla .There are many trains like Kalka Shimla Mail , The Himalyan Queen etc. and many more.Then stop by Dharampur station and follow the same procedure.

By Road : This is my favourite mode of transport .In my views , Traveling and solo driving by road is the best way to travel in hills.You will fall in love with the curves.There are two ways to go to Kasauli –

1.Old Kasauli Road
2.New Kasauli Road

I drove on both the roads. Here are reviews on both the Roads.
ROAD CONDITIONS –

NEW KASAULI ROAD (MDR-10 ) = DHARAMPUR – GARKHAL – KASAULI – 14 Km – VERY GOOD
This is default highway which most of the people use .National Highway number is 22.Road is good,broad and comfortable. Route is – Delhi – Chandigarh – Panchkula – Kalka – Parwanoo – Dharampur. You have to take left turn from Dharampur to reach there on MDR-10. As we were coming from Shimla Side , so we turned right from Dharampur. It was a good winding uphill road.
DRIVING TIME – 1 HOUR ( With innumerable photo breaks )
This is a video of driving on the New Kasauli Road –


Driving on the New Kasauli Road


Silver Queen On the New Kasauli Road


Clouds Play

OLD KASAULI ROAD = KASAULI – JANGESHU – MASOOLKHANA – TAKSAL – PARWANOO – 28 Km – AVERAGE
I would not refer this road if you are going for first time as road is too narrow.This is a kind of shortcut from Parwanoo.
I would not refer you to go to Kasauli with your family as it is kind of difficult to drive on the narrow , steep road .Its around 30 km from Kalka.But if you are alone , or with your group , or you want to see the flora and fauna , drive on tough roads , have some fantastic views,go by this road.Its kind of unexplored area. I drove on this road while coming back from Kasauli . It was a very aloof road and in 1.5 hrs drive Only one tractor passed us. My family was also little afraid that if the car breakdown occurs what we will do. In reality even I did not have any answer. I was hoping that these 1.5 hr should pass as fast as possible and we can reach Parwanoo city.
DRIVING TIME – 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES ( With innumerable photo breaks )


Old Kasauli Road

This is a video of driving on the old Kasauli Road. Take a look for the road conditions –

Driving on the Old Kasauli Road


Silver Queen on the Old Kasauli Road

Coming back from the route to Kasauli. After reaching Kasauli , we first parked our car in the parking. The little Kasauli has one way traffic and in a very symmetric way. As it is Cantonment area at every point there is a Military Person. Throughly neat and clean place. Now there are two options – Whether to go to the Lower Mall first or the Upper Mall first. We went to the Lower Mall First. It was nothing special a very small market which was called as the Lower Mall, but the feeling that you are not in a city market but a market among hills gives a nice cool feeling. As you will walk on the lower mall , you will see Kasauli Club. Kasauli Club is one of the most prestigious social clubs in India. Its membership is highly sought after and thus, there’s an average 15 year waiting time. The Club is managed by a regular Indian Army Officer assigned as ‘Club Secretary’. The remaining staff are civilians. The history of this club dates back to the era of British rule.The interior finish and decor is lavish. Facilities include lodging(4-5 rooms), a squash court that has been recently redone, two tennis courts, bridge/card rooms, billiards and an outdoor garden. It was established in 1880.


The Lower Mall


The Upper Mall or the Pine Mall

Then we proceeded to the Upper Mall Road which is called as the Pine Mall. This is a little big broad market. We roamed around there eating some snacks and passing some time. After roaming there we proceeded to the parking and started for another point in Kasauli which is called as the Manki Point. Legend has it that Kasauli came into being when Lord Hanuman, on his way to getting the Sanjeevni herb, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. At Kasauli there is a Hanuman Mandir atop the 300 m high hillock, called Manki Point (locals call it Monkey Point ), where Lord Hanuman is supposed to have rested his foot. This temple lies within the confines of an air force radar station and base and is subject to security restrictions (no cameras or bags allowed). The gates to the station are closed at 4 pm. So visitors need to be inside the gate before that. Manki point is around 4.5 Km from Kasauli and is situated at an altitude of 6400 Feet. It took us around 15 minutes to reach there. From the top of the point , one can see the beautiful view of the Chandigarh City. As cameras are not allowed there , there are no pics.


Milestone at the Upper Mall – Don’t be Mean , Keep It Clean And Green.

There is also a point in lower mall of Kasauli called as Gilbert point or Sunset point.You can sit there on the benches and enjoy the beautiful side of Sunset and see the magnificent colors of sky. Finally we started our return jouney from Kasauli at 1:45 Pm. As we were just leaving the place , we stopped at our last point in Ksauli which was the Christ Church.Christ Church was previously an Anglican church built in the 19th century. Since 1970 it has been under the auspices of CNI (Church of North India).The Parsonage was built in 1850 for priests of the Anglican church.


The Christ Church, Kasauli

We finally started our return leg of the journey via the Old Kasauli Road. The condition of the road , I have already posted above. In my views Kasauli is really a very Clean , Green and a Serene Hill Station. Small children may feel a little bored there , but for people like me who are now really tired of the other crowded hill stations, Kasauli is like a Little Paradise.


Views from the Old Kasauli Road. Look at the beautiful Curved Roads.


Another View from Kasauli


Old Kasauli Road


Silver queen admiring the beauty.

In the last part , I will take you to the Pinjore Garden and whole of the Chandigarh City .
Thanks for reading . Till then :)

58 Comments

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  • Sharma Shreeniwas says:

    Nicely detailed travelling with good pics, Could not understand why have you hidden the entity of your Silver Queen.

  • maheh semwal says:

    very informative post with beautiful picture

    Have been to Kasuli / parwanoo long long back when I was in class VIII (1993). Thanks to refreshing the old memories.

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Dhanno nahi hai Sandeep bhai, Silver queen hai

    Sahil, Great travel story, amazing pics. All pics are equally beautiful.
    Enjoyed a lot. Thanks for posting

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Sahil,
    Once again a nice post with beautiful pictures. How is Silver Queen now? Hope she would be fine and waiting for next destination she is going to take us.

    Thanks.

  • amitk227 says:

    Hi Sahil. Thanks for taking us to Kasauli. I been there in 2009 from Kalka, There are direct buses at regular intervals from Kalka to Kasauli. Indeed it is a beautiful and quite place. All pictures are good.

  • Nandan says:

    Silver queen rocks. Nice story and super pics.

    I would fix the video thing. Would appear as part of story.

  • Nandan says:

    And I would prefer the old road with the new song :-)

  • Sanjay says:

    Brilliant narration and beautiful pics. Sahil, u and your silver queen are totally a hit.

  • Dr CK Basu says:

    Beautiful small description. Thanks & Regards
    Dr C K Basu

  • Dr CK Basu says:

    had been to Kasauli long back ago. Refreshing memoriies. Good small informative write up. Thanks and Regards,
    Dr C K Basu

  • Alok says:

    Excellent description. My wife and I are planning to go to Kasuli on 24 June 11. I have never driven in hills before. What do you recommend? should I hire a taxi from Delhi or drive all the way from Delhi to Kasauli and back? I have a 2 year old i10.

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      @ Alok , No problem in driving. Take the default NH-22 upto Dharampur. Then turn left from Dharampur for Kasauli. The whole route is good and comfartable for an i10.

      All the Best for your trip :)

      Sahil

  • ssk agra says:

    very good photographs,description

  • Sanjay says:

    Sahil bhai , After your post I am also planning for Kasauli, but I have not driven in hills before. I want to drive my swift dzire this time. Whats your take for taking it to hills first time ? Is the whole route good ?

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      @ Sanjay , Swift Dzire will have no problems. You can definately drive it in hills.

      Sahil

    • Pankaj Jain says:

      I think if you are a first timer in hills then please don t try kasauli in the beginning because the way has very steep curves and gains steep heights with in no time.

      To start with Simla will be a better option where the road is broad and 2 way and height is gained gradually. If you feel comfortable then you can try kasauli. It is just my feeling and others may differ.

      • Sahil Sethi says:

        @ Pankaj Ji ,

        You are absolutely correct. But as Kasauli is not at a very high altitude , so a new comer can drive there easily in my views . But it is correct that the road to Kasauli is not as broad as Shimla.

        Sahil

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      @ Sanjay…This is a fact that the road to Kasauli is not as broad as that of Shimla. If you have never been to Hills first take a day extra and drive upto Shimla so that you can see how to drive in hills. Till Shimla you would have no problems.

      Sahil

  • Mr Mobs says:

    Very nice post, thanks.

  • Pravesh says:

    Sahil Bhai,

    JHAKKKKKKKKKKKASSS.

    I was in shimla for 3 days recently (official trip)

    but, after reading your experience, my feelings are:

    1. I am revisiting and reliving the 3 days.
    2. still, i missed a lot of things to see.

  • MK Sharma says:

    Dear Sahil
    I would like to know if I being a first time hill driving person can go up to monkey point at kasauli in my zen estilo or I need to hire a driver. I have a good experience of driving in plains.
    Pl suggest.
    Thanks

  • MK Sharma says:

    Dear Sahil
    I would like to know if I being a first time hill driving person can go up to monkey point at kasauli in my zen estilo (18 months old) or I need to hire a driver . I have a good experience of driving in plains.
    Pl suggest.
    Thanks

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      @ Dear Mr. Sharma ,

      Please note that the road to Kasauli is not as broad as Shimla. If you will be driving first time in hills in Estilo , I believe you would not have much problems driving uphill. Do make maximum use of the Handbrake if you need to stop at a slanting road. Go ahead Mr. Sharma , once you drive yourself , the second time you would be perfect.

      Sahil

  • MK Sharma says:

    Thank you Mr Sahil
    Definately I will be moving in my 18 months old estilo and I will let you know my experience once I reach Kasauli.
    Thanks for boosting my tempo

  • Hema says:

    Sahil, Could you suggest few good hotels in Kasauli? Been there 2-5 years back and stayed in a hotel something called “Kasauli Resort” but finding something near Market this time. Do u have any options??

  • Sahil Sethi says:

    @ Hema, Kasauli Resort is still there. As I did not stay in Kasauli, I have no idea about the hotels there. But I believe there are not many hotels in the main market area. One resort is there at the Old Kasauli road named ‘ Birds eye view’ resort. But it is little far from the market.

    Sahil

  • Hema says:

    Thanks Sahil

  • Kasauli is so close to my heart as I was there for my honeymoon. So beautiful place, I liked it more than Shimla actually. Memory refreshed…Thanks.

  • sunny says:

    Great work you have done i love to ride on old kasouli road.

  • rituraj says:

    Hello sahil,
    I think travelling ke saath saath tumhe driving ka bhi bahut shouk hai.. i like ur dedication,care and love towards ur vehicle. I alsao have an maruti 800 1995 model(first four wheeler of our family) and i also love my 800 soo much ..
    i will wait to read the experience of ur next journey with ur silver queen..

  • gautam says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for the detailed description. I needed one feedback from you wrt road condition from Chandigarh to Kasauli.
    I am planning to drive from Chandigarh to Kasauli. I have never driven in hills before this, though I have been through hill drives numerous times. Do you think I should face any challenge in driving on this road wrt any sharp turns or heavy speeding traffic from opposite direction.
    Pl suggest.

    Thanks,
    Gautam

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Hi Gautam,

      The Kasauli Road is perfectly fine and you would not face any problem in driving. Follow the route – Chandigarh – Dharampur – Kasauli. Traffic is not much.

      Just follow the basic rules for driving in Hills –

      1. Don’t overatake specially on turns.
      2. Make use of horns on turns.
      3. Use the handbrake to stop.
      4. While descending, always keep the right gear engaged. Never drive in Neutral or with engine off.
      5. Look at the road, and not at the views. To enjoy the views, stop your car.
      6. Keep left always, all the time, even if the road is empty.

      Sahil

  • Ravz says:

    Dear Sahil,

    Thanks for penning down your experiences. This has provided me a lot of valuable information. I would like to ask you that is it possible to do Delhi-Kasauli-Delhi in a single day. I am largely a biker at heart and thinking of doing a short(est) trip to kasauli along with another biker.

    Regards/Ravz

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Hi Ravi,

      Yes Delhi- Kasauli round trip can very much be done in a single day.
      Start early say about 5am and you would be able to reach Kasauli by 11:30 am max. Enjoy till evening and you can reach back Delhi by 10-11 pm.

      Cheers,
      Sahil.

      • Ravz says:

        thank you pal for ur quick reply. i was really looking for an answer. trip has been planned. we will be heading tommrow around 4 in the morning and hopefully be back by 9 pm. have also found ur log in BCMT website. need to go through that also. thank you once again!

  • Deepak says:

    Dear Sahil bro,
    Great work you have done..

    I would like to Know that I am planning to go to Kasauli on LML Nv spl + scooter.. I am not driving in hills yet. Please give me a suggestion that it is good for scooter to go for there and which road is better.
    Thanks

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Deepak,

      Take the road from Dharampur to Kasauli.
      You can go there on a scooter. No problem. It is easy as Kasauli is not at a very high altitude.

      Cheers,
      Sahil

  • Deepak says:

    Thanxx ..
    Dear Sahil Bro,
    Can i go from old kasauli road on Scooter..
    Someone, says that old kasauli road is easier.. Pls help bro.. And give me information about Old road conditions..
    Thanxx
    Deepak

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Earlier the road conditions were fine, but presently it is very heavily raining in Himachal.
      So Old Road would not be in a very good state. Also it is quite aloof with almost no traffic and population around. If you are driving to hills for the first time, better to take the road which is frequently used by the tourists and in this case it is the Dharampur road.

    • Saurabh SInha says:

      Hi – This is Saurabh – I stay in Pinjore (foot hill of Kasauli) Old Kasauli Road is good enough for Scotter – You will enjoy

  • Deepak says:

    Hello Sahil bro..
    Thanxx for ur compliment.. Now i go to kasauli easily and again thanxx bro.. And i write my story on your website…

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