The tiring bus journey
I was waiting for my 7 hour bus journey to start, I knew that night was not going to be one of the most peaceful nights of my life. I prefer travelling in trains rather than in buses in order not to miss my sleep. On the contrary it was beyond my expectations. With comfortable seats, a Bollywood film running in the front, my iPod and the small halts at restaurants, the journey was quite smooth. The slight tiredness that I was feeling vanished when I opened my eyes at 4 a.m. and the rising sun showed me the beautiful landscapes in the foggy environment of the astonishing Shimla. It was hard to imagine that I had come so far from the crowded city of Delhi in just 5 hours. The morning became even more beautiful when we stepped out at the Shimla Bus Stand and were welcomed with some hot and delicious Chai.
Welcome to Shimla
We sat there for a while watching the beautiful countryside and enjoying the crisp Chai, before we started the short trek to our hotel, which was located on one of the highest peaks of Shimla. As we went further ahead through the roads of Shimla, I realised how different it was from other hill stations. On the way we saw boys playing football and girls enjoying the liberated fresh morning away from their regular routine. It had rained a little but didn’t create any mess.
Tired with all the walking and the ongoing photography of my friends, we reached the hotel and geared up for our visit to the famous Mall Road and the Lakkad Bazaar (wood market). Being a heaven for Shopping lovers, the Mall Road will serve you with a wide range of Handicrafts/Shawls and tweeds/ Silver jewellery/ Rare books and etchings/ Contemporary pahari miniature paintings/ Metalware/Rugs and carpets/ Handmade footwear/ wooden items like walking sticks/ flower pot, wall clocks, key chain, showpieces etc. Constructed during British Colonial rule in India, this city has an inimitable elegance. The Christ Church, the Town Hall, the small shops, the sun set point, all of it looked so lively. More than a tourist attraction, it felt like being in a foreign country. The small city of Shimla indeed has a British touch. Well our first day in Shimla came to an end and we returned back to our hotel after the dinner we had in the small café we found on the mall road.
“If you are fond of walking, Shimla will unfold parts that remain hidden to vehicles”
The next morning we decided to go to “The Glen” on foot unfolding the virgin Shimla through its Deodar Trees and herbs. We were accompanied by a representative from the hotel that showed us the way and explained a bit of history of Shimla. In two hours we were there. We were delighted to see families with small kids enjoying by the Chadwick falls and snacks. Shimla’s “Picnic Spot”!! After the lunch in a local restaurant, we visited the famous temples of Tara Devi, Jhakhoo Temple and Mahunag Temple. We came back to the hotel with loads of pictures being uploaded on Facebook at the same time.
The evening could not have been better
As it was the last evening of our trip, we wanted to make it special and so we decided to have a party and asked the hotelier if it was possible to have a bonfire in the middle of trees with some light music. Much to our surprise, they were more than pleased to make such arrangements for us with a little supplement. By the fire, we sat, we chatted, had drinks and played cards. By mid-night we came back to our hotel to take a nap before our bus to Delhi the next morning.
Back to Delhi
Leaving behind the curvy roads, Deodar Trees, cold waves and innocent people of Shimla we took our seats in the bus as we came back to Delhi. Till date, when I take my sips of Chai in the cool crisp morning of Delhi, Shimla conquers my mind once again. I think another trip to this British city is on its way!
Shanti Travel specialises in tailor made trips to Himachal Pradesh. Visit our website to see all the exciting programs.