Shimla Experience: Shimla is a relaxing and unwinding weekend trip from Delhi. It takes about 8 hours to reach Shimla by bus but the journey from Kalka on the toy train is a lifetime experience even though it is very slow.
Keeping aside the congested character that this summer capital of the Britishers has assumed over the years, the place's connectivity to many destinations which one would like to visit while staying here, is worth a note. You can go ahead to Kullu-Manali and witness the Rohtang pass. You can also plan for Leh-Ladakh if a good 12 days vacation is in your kitty. Further, you can also take a flight to Srinagar.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Shopping is not very pleasurable in Shimla, however, to carry home memories small local hand-made woolen stuff is enough. Sites are just awesome in in Kufri and on the way from Kufri. Unique about these places, you get telescopes to see far located places like snow covered Kailash, estates where apple wood houses have been built by NRIs and of course the palace where the film 3-idiots was shot. You can experience long horse rides up Kufri and Naldhera through slim meandering rocky kutcha strips on the mountains.
Himachali food and even the general food was amazing. Of course I need not mention the tea serves, which immediately caught our tea-lover's fascination.
A bite on some Chinese at Dim Sum on Mall road was equally awesome.
Activities & things to do: On river Sutlej at Tattapani, about 50 kms from Shimla headquarters, there is provision for rafting. Here there is a natural hot spring due to the presence of sulphur. There is an arrangement for people to take bath and get rid of their skin troubles.A hotel at the same location offers you the exotic spa and swimming experiences.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: You can book a Volvo through Red Buses or HPTDC or go in your own vehicle. Since Red Buses give you private service you have to keep on chasing the driver or the attendant for the time, venue etc for both arrival and departure. We left from Janpath (Delhi) but while returning were dropped at Delhi ISBT, where you can be stranded early in the morning. They do not inform you prior journey. At times driver drives rough, you have to bear and puts on the AC to the lowest temperature even if cold has set in. There is no luggage checking before boarding leaving you suspicious about the stuff that is under you in the belly of the bus. The first stoppage is never scheduled, it can stop any time in the night with a jerk and wake you up. You have to relieve yourself there and you do not have any choice. While going to Shimla we were supposed to stop at Karnal but were stopped much ahead in Kurukshetra at a road side hotel around 2am. Bathrooms were dirty beyond imagination, you could puke and fall sick. But when you have to do you have to.I hope the government arrangement is better.
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