Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whirlwind tour of Shimla-Kasauli

Did a whirlwind tour of Shimla and Kasauli this weekend. Took a morning Shatabdi on Sunday, 7:40 am from NDLS(got up late by 45 mins but still managed to reach on time, thanks to Metro). The train was fully booked but got quiet empty at Chandigarh. Reached Kalka by 12 noon and took an Indigo for travelling to Shimla by road. I think this is the best way to cover this region as it is comfortable and time saving. After a small stop we reached Shimla by 3:15 PM. I had gone to Shimla for some meetings with the hoteliers and I was staying at Hotel Willow Banks, an excellent deluxe hotel on the Mall Road.


I got down at the lift and took it to reach the Mall(charges Rs 7), it is an easy way to reach the Mall from the Cart Road, takes just 1 minute. The weather was just fine and must have been about 25 degrees, a blessing after the searing heat of plains at 40 deg+. Had a nice lunch at the Hotel and checked into the newly done premium rooms. These premium rooms at Willow Banks are just too good. They are huge in size, wooden flooring with balcony. The rooms have a fridge, TV, tea-coffe maker, wifi connectivity, electronic safes and lots more. The bathrooms have tubs along with 24 hours running water supply(hot and cold). The hotel has central heating during winters. The adjoining terrace is huge and give a wonderful view of the Valley and Shimla town and can be used for evening sitout and parties etc.
 Terrace Hotel Willow Banks
Terrace with a a view, Willow Banks on the Mall, Shimla
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Premium Rooms, Willow Banks
(Click here for more pics of Willow Banks)


Being a Sunday, the Mall was crowded in the evening, though not overtly so. Shimla though being a little commercial, still is enjoyable as there is no traffic is allowed on the Mall. There is also a mix of old World charm with the new modern culture. The walk down the Mall road from Clarks in the eastern end to finish at the western end, about 3 km is leisurely and comfortable and you may sit down at various benches provided for rest. On the way you pass various shops, vendors, Gaiety Theater, Scandal Point- a popular hang out point, Indian Coffee House etc. You can also stop for some coffee, light snacks or a cool Softie(ice cream cone) to enjoy the walk. You may also buy some great looking and smelling fruits down the Mall. I will never get bored walking down the Mall road of Shimla. The evening also became quiet cool and woolens had to be taken out.

Next day left early from Shimla, the driver had parked the vehicle at the High Court Parking which is just 5 minutes walk from the Hotel. Started for Kasauli and reached in 2 hours time. Kasauli never seems to change(probably the Cantonment Board does not let it change, good for the town). Although few new resorts have come up near Kasauli, but no new construction is allowed in main town. Checked out a new resort called- Hills Pride. It is about 5 km from Kasauli town and slightly on the lower altitude(you need A/c during peak Summer in some of the rooms). Still it is a nice place with a beautiful lawn almost surrounding the whole building, one can sit out in the evening to enjoy a nice drink and meal.
Also checked on some two bed room apartments next to Kasauli Resorts, about 2 k from the main town. It is basically like a home away form home with a complete house to live in with a wonderful view from the balcony and some nice green terrace and lawns to sit out. The Apartment offers two bedrooms, a living rooms, attached baths with each room, a fully equipped kitchen and a balcony and attached lawns. Every one dreams of owning a house in the hills, and living here you will feel your dream is being fulfilled, although for a small period.
Reached in time at Kalka to catch the Evening Shatabdi, 5:40 PM, to reach Delhi at 9:50 PM. You are served evening tea with snacks and dinner on the train itself. So thanks to Metro, Shatabadi and my driver for two days, Tinku I could make this business trip( with leisure as a bonus) in restricted time.

For arranging your trip to Shimla, Kasauli and other stations in the area like Chail, Parwanoo, Kufri etc you can call us at Around Delhi Holidays- me at 9811193634 or Semma at 09891458220. Or you can log onto our website Shimla Resorts or AroundDelhi.
Bye for now
R.Anand