A Complete Travel Guide For Your Unplanned Road Trip To Himachal – Part 1

Kasauli , Shimla

Himachal.. it’s truly a mesmerising place to visit in any season.
We decided to visit Himachal in May when it’s very hot here in Rajasthan.
Himachal is unbeatable every-time.

Summer is the most popular time to go on a trip to Himachal. While Himachal is stunning during summer, it can also get crowded and expensive. For spectacular snow caped mountains, to unwind yourself from the city hustle with the lowest of crowds you should visit Himachal in winters.

Shimla-city view

We set aside 8-9 days for a road trip in Himachal. 
So the rough itinerary you will read in this blog is –
Jaipur – Delhi – Kasauli – Shimla – Manali – Chandigarh – Jaipur

1800 Kms , 8 days , good music, mountains and amazing company.

As we both love to drive on our own than using public transport, we decided to go by car so we could stop by and explore more places on the way!!
We did not book any hotels prior this time, following maps, searching hotels on the go was the fun part during the trip!!

In this blog you will not find us staying at luxury hotels as that was not the plan this time but we will definitely suggest you hotels to stay at the end of this blog.

Day 1 – New Delhi is actually a good spot to start all your trips to Himachal. We started a day before from Jaipur and stayed overnight at Delhi so we can cut a few kilometres of stretch with an extra day. 

Day 2 – After waking up fresh in the morning, now was the time to kick start our journey. We started around 8 in the morning from Delhi to Shimla.

There are different routes to Shimla and the one we took was .. 
Delhi → Panipat → Karnal → Kurukshetra → Ambala → Kasauli → Shimla

Drive from Delhi to Chandigarh is a buttery drive. Once you hit the Shimla highway you won’t feel like you’re driving on a hill as its a proper two-way lane.
Experiencing the panoramas on the way is worth the travel.
Around 5 in the evening we decided to take a halt at Kasauli and drive to Shimla early the next day.

Note : It can be difficult to find parking in Kasauli as its a very small town, unless you’re staying at a resort/ posh hotel with owner’s parking. There will be potters who will carry your luggage and also can help you with hotels but we will rather suggest you to find a hotel on your own as the potters are commission based and you might not like the properties they offer.

As it was a short halt for us, we decided to stay at a hotel on the mall road itself (You can definitely go for good resorts).

Sitting in the balcony overlooking the mall road and dim street lights , ending the day with music and wine was our kind of calling the day off!!

 

Kasauli 

Kasauli is a small town is Solan district, which is on the way from Chandigarh to Shimla.  A number of tourists drive to Kasauli from around Delhi and Chandigarh to relax in a luxury resort for weekend getaways or just to take a halt on the way to Shimla.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Average hotel cost during peak season starts from around 2800/- bare minimum.

How to reach Kasauli?

Nearest Railway Station : Kalka (25 Kms – 1 hour)
Nearest Airport : Chandigarh Airport (61 Kms – 2 hours)
Distance from Delhi by road: 290 Kms – 6.5 hours
Distance from Shimla by road : 72 Kms – 2.5 hours

Places to visit in Kasauli – 
Gilbert Trail
Monkey Point
Christ Church 
Sunrise Point/ Sunset Point
Gurkha Fort
The Mall Road 
Timber Trail Resort

Shimla

Day 3 – Waking up early in the morning, we decided to explore Kasauli before leaving for our favourite hill station The Queen Of Hills, Shimla. Roads are pretty good and it’s a well developed highway.

Shimla is known as the Queen of hills, which it actually is!! It’s the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. There are plenty of places to visit , eat and sit at!!!

It’s a complete personal choice to stay at the mall road or at somewhere far away from the city hustle with amazing views. 
If you’re staying near mall road, the car has to be parked at the government parking and you have to walk up to your hotel, as no vehicles are allowed to enter the main city area.
If you’re staying in the outskirts you can use the owner’s parking and have to travel quite a few kilometres to reach the city area.
To cut short the distance between the government parking and the mall road there is a lift which you can use to reach mall road or your hotel.

shimla-sunset city view

In Shimla, you can cover Mall Road, The Ridge, Lakkad Bazar all at once. This is the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the entire hill station at a glance. This whole area is pretty colourful and full of life where you can roam around for hours.

Ridge View Shimla
TownHall Shimla
pizza @shimla times
White Pasta @ Shimla Times
channa bun with Valley view - Street food
valley view from Kufri

To add to it, we just could not miss spending time at Cafe Shimla Times which is our most favourite cafes in Shimla. Apart from this, there is a Sandwichwala (@ the corner of lower mall road) who makes amazing sandwiches, he is available after 6 in the evening and is so so busy that you literally have to stand in queue. This man is serving at the same place from many years.

cafe shimla times
Sandwichwala @Mallroad

So we wind up the day at the hotel sitting in the open area, overlooking the city and the mountains , chit chatting for hours before we went to a good night sleep.
Shimla is one of many hill stations in Himachal that you just cannot skip.

How to reach Shimla?
Nearest Railway Station : Kalka (15 Kms)
Nearest Airport : Shimla Airport (25 Kms)
Time of journey by road from Delhi : 342 Kms – 8 hours
Time of journey by train: 11 hours

Places to visit in Shimla-
Mall Road
Lakkad Bazar
The Ridge
Christ Church
Jakhoo Temple
Kufri
Mashobra

Hotel recommendations for Kasauli and Shimla – 
Kasauli – 5 Best Hotels in Kasauli for Leisure & haults

Shimla – Hotels Recommended for you upcoming stay in shimla

So next we headed to Kullu/Manali which was a bumpy and adventurous drive trust me!!!

That I’ll talk about in the next blog!!

If you have any questions or queries for Kasauli or Shimla , please do let us know.

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