“Snowflakes are the kisses from heaven” is an often heard quote.Like every person it was our dream to enjoy this special kiss.A trail to North India was a much awaited entry in our bucket list.The best part was we had bunch of travel maniacs who shared the same craziness. We ,a group of nut cases decided to pack our bags to explore the cradle of snow. There was a big chaos while selecting our destination. Auli was our initial suggestion.However considering accessibility and limited leave from work we had, the best choice for the trip was Himachal Pradesh,the valley of Gods and our aim was to travel to Shimla, Kullu and Manali.
Since we were a group of 6 families that includes kids too,we decided to groom our travel plan with a tour company to avoid any kind of mess.Himalayan Paramount Tours was a right choice of ours.They provided a reasonable itinerary considering our preferences.
As days were cutting days we were as eccentric as dennis the menace .As per our tour package our pick and drop place was Delhi.So right from bottom most part of India- Kerala ,to the capital of India-Delhi itself was a treat for us.We booked flights 2 months before for fare charges.Last one week before the trip was a hectic one as we were tightly packed up in purchasing winter clothes, essential medicines etc.It will be always nice to keep a set medicines with us on every travel to avoid any panicking if in case of any kind of emergencies.
The wait is over:
Thus the most awaited day had arrived ,April 6th.We set to fly from Cochin airport.So we took a train to reach Ernakulam. On our way to Ernakulam to catch our flights we 14 travel birds hunted in Google to check must go places in Shimla-Kullu -Manali. As per itinerary We were heading to Delhi-Shimla -Manali-Kullu-Delhi.The last day at Delhi was planned for purchase. I would personally prefer to do the shopping to at last day of the journey, because this is part where ones pockets just gets emptied in a fraction of second.
Thus our trip to valley of snow officially flagged off when we boarded Delhi flight.We reached Delhi early morning.After getting freshened up,we started for Shimla. Though we know it is a tiresome road travel of 342km we all were super excited as it was dream trip.We took regular halts to fill our tummies.For us North Indian foods was of a different world.I still feel the craving for yummy parathas we had from Chandigarh.The capital of Punjab and Haryana holds the title of being the one of the oldest planned city in India.By noon we landed in state of Himachal Pradesh. The whole land is soaked in natural beauty which makes it a dream destination for every traveler.
I would suggest travelers who like to roam and who is ready to spend a day in train to opt train journey to Shimla as we missed the same.The mistake we did came to our consciousness when we made a short travel in toy train which was truly a treat for the soul.There is train service from Delhi to Kalka station from there we can get into toy train to Shimla which would take a 7-8hrs to reach destination.This Kalka-Shimla railway line is also part of UNESCO’s mountain railways of world heritage site. I would personally suggest to experience the picturesque of Shimla in full swing from toy train.
Travelling across Shimla & Kufri:
Frequent halts to enjoy the nature beauty in turn re scheduled our plans.Though we thought to reach our hotel in -Shimla by 6 in the evening,But we got into our hotel Honeymoon Inn by 8 only.The stay was beyond our expectation.It is located in mall road more precisely near CM house.Hotel is at an uphill so we need to walk a 200m from main road to reach there.But taking into account the mesmerizing view I never felt it as a hurdle.The temperature was almost 2°C .We were literally shivering however the excitement we had nullified all those.Travelling right from early morning really tired us.We all slipped into our cots as soon as we had our dinner.
Majority houses in Shimla are built on the slopes of a hill.It depicts the picturesque of Shimla. However this very same construction pattern is now considered as risky as due to increasing landslides.
We got up late as our last day’s journey really drained us out.We headed straight to Kufri which is hardly 14km from Shimla city.But unfortunately I won’t say it as right choice if you are not going on a snowy period .It is basically a skiing destination.For us snow season just got over.so I didn’t find any wow factor there expect the journey to kufri hill station.The horse ride is adventurous.On the top of kufri station you can find many vendors who sell Shimla shawls .Apart from that there are natives who carry the native dresses for rent.It is fun to get dressed up in the cultural costumes.But, the most interesting part was watching YAKs and Himalayan rabbits.Both are really cute animals.Apple gardens are located on the way.One can find go-karting arena on the summit.This is the world highest Go-Karting arena(around 9000 feets high). Here, most of the food stalls have maggi in their menu. We also adjusted our lunch with the same.It is an experience for sure if u really enjoy the scenic beauty after an adventurous ride.
On the way back we got down at green valley .I can say it as nice stop to enjoy greenery.It is a dense forest.I still wonder how time flew.As soon as we reached Shimla city it was half past 3.It was getting cold too.Out of the adventurous horse ride some of us got very tired so our travel gang just split in to two.one gang went to Jakhu temple(an ancient temple) to explore more trekking and we lazy dudes started exploring the mall road.
I feel mall road itself is a worth roaming destination.The street recalls British colonial architecture. You can find many shops over there especially sweet shops and ice cream parlors. It is crazy to have ice cream in that coldness.We started googling for best ice-cream shop near by and we got the best option too,Embassy ice creams. Ice creams and brownies were really yummy here.
As I told, in Shimla you will find all constructions along the uphills On a level above the mall road, The Ridge road is situated.In all itineraries we find it as a sight seeing place.Yep it is one but it is not just a watch and go place.It is a small open space where all the cultural activities are held.There are many shops over there specially wooden crafts items .It is a very neat place.We will feel very refreshed there.I suggest whoever goes to Shimla should take roaming in mall road as a half day itenary plan.It is worth for exploration.
Near by Ridge and mall road is the scandal point,Christ Church etc.Like you I also felt some oddness in the place name scandal point.Though it is still a mystery ,a known detail of the place is related to an affair of heart.The story goes that the ruler of Patiala had eloped with the daughter of the British Viceroy. This had led to the ruler being deported from Shimla by the British authorities. He later spent his years in his new summer capital -which is now the famous hill resort of Chail, 45 km from Shimla. Though we really felt to see Chail palace after hearing the story,due to time restriction we couldn’t.
As soon as we reached back our hotel we all were quite exhausted as well as had a bunch of experiences to share.Thus we all hit the sack early out of tiredness as well as to move on with our next destination- Manali.
Shimla really did capture a good memories in our trippy life. Me and my hubby hoped to make a better memories in Shimla the next time we visit here.Hopefully,when it is covered with snow.But, we would never forget our horse riding experience in Kufri.