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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trip to Shimla-kufri.

Trip to Shimla-kufri.

We started our journey from Ludhiana. Ludhiana is a city and amunicipal corporation in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab. It is the largest city in Punjab, with an estimated population of 25 laces. The population increases substantially during the crop harvesting season due to immigration of laborers from states likeUttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. It has an area of about 310 km². The city stands on the Sutlej River's old bank, 13 km south of its present course. It is a major industrial center of northern India.

Ludhiana is centrally located on the National Highway 1 from Delhi toAmritsar, and is connected to the Indian capital city of New Delhi by road and frequent train service.

Ludhiana is the richest district in the Punjab state, and also includes the most expensive fertile land of all of India. Dozens of NRI residents come to the city to invest in condos, hotels, and stand for elections in major Ludhiana cities such as Kila Raipur, Talwandi Rai, Raikot, Jagraon,Samrala, and Khanna. Even though Ludhiana is home to many NRIs it did not boost the city economy because the city was always in high demand before people had gone aboard.

We started at 1800 hrs, Instead of going to the bus stand we preferred to go to Smrala Chownk on NH1so that we can save some time. We got a private bus from Samrala Chownk and our journey acctaully started at 1830hrs.

Bus took 2 hrs to reach Chandigarh. It reached Chandigarh at 2030hrs and droped us at ISBT Sector 43. Chandigarh is a city in India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjaband Haryana, and is a union territory of India. The name translates from Hindi to English as "the fort of Chandi", Chandi being a Hindu Goddess. Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, It is the first planned city of India.

From ISBT we took Auto Riksha for sector 17, which the most happening place in Chandigarh, as we reached there by 2100 hrs the most of the market was closed, avoid being there if you are later.

From Chandigarh Sector 17, we move to a friends place in panchkula for a night stay.

Panchkula is a planned city in Panchkula District, Haryana, India. It is a satellite city of theUnion Territory of Chandigarh. The prestigious Chandimandir Cantonment Headquarters of the Indian Western Command, is also located in Panchkula city.

Our next phase of our journey we hired Taxi, Toyta Quails and a Driver, The charges of quails was Rs 7 per kilometer.

We starts at 0700 hrs on 7th of June, and decided to have breakfast on our way, Now before the foothills of the Himalayas we stopped at pinjoure for some fruits. Pinjore Gardens, said to have legendary connection with Pandavs and Mahabharat. also calledYadavindra Gardens are 20 km from Chandigarh, 15 km from Panchkula, on the ChandigarhShimla road. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating Mughal Gardens one of the most popular picnic spots. A mini zoo, plants nursery, a Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns await tourists. Especially at weekends, fountains are switched on and after dusk, lights pick up the beauty of the palaces by night. But due to tight schedule we prefer to move ahead.

From Panchkull 16 km ahead is Kalka, from where you can get one of the longest narrow gauge railway train for shimla, It’s a toy train and the train have its own charm and add to you experience of journey, train take about 5 to 6 hrs to reach Shimla. You can also connect to Kalka directly from train if you are planning from Delhi.

From Kalka 25 km ahead is Dharampur, from where you can take a diversion for kasholi,

We halted there for breakfast, but unfortunately the famous “Gaine De Dhaba was closed” so eating at other dhaba did’t added much taste to the journey. After breakfast we start heading towards our next major landmark Solan which is 17 km Form dharampur, on the way to Solan you will bypass a small town kumanath. As you get close to Solan you can see the infrastructural development on the shivalik ranges of the Himalayas which represents the development of India but also make us realize that such development at the cost our national pride is worth enough.

Solan (1467 meters/4812 feet above see level)is a city and a municipal committee in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Named after the goddess Shoolini, it is known as the "mushroom city of India" because of the mushroom centre situated at Chambaghat. The district is better known for the Mohan Meakin's brewery (reputed to be India's oldest brewery) and the famous Solan No. 1 whiskey and Golden Eagle beer.

Solan is also known as the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh. One the tehsil of Solan known by the name of Nalagarh is also known as the Pharma Hub as after the introduction of Special Subsidies by the Prime Minister of India in the year 1999 almost all major Companies came and established their units out over hear. It is also home to an Army and Air Force base. As we reached out to Solan we can feel the dip in the mercury and can feel the cool wind passing through our hair, You can halt hear for a nice cup of tea on any road side dhaba and can enjoy scenic beauty of the place.

Next stop from Solan is kiarighat which Is 23 Km from solan it’s a midpoint between Solan and shimla leaving shimla just 29 Km.

We reached Shimla at 1020 hrs, Shimla (At an average altitude of 2397.59 meters (7866.10 ft) above mean sea level, ) originally called Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills" (a term coined by the British). Located in the north-west Himalayas at an altitude of 2,128 metres (6,982 ft), the city ofShimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothicarchitecture reminiscent of the colonial era.

Shimla was annexed by the British in 1819 after the Gurkha War. At that time it was known for the temple of Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi. The Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first British summer home in the town in 1822.

Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of Bengal from 1823 to 1828, set up a summer camp here in 1827, when there was only one cottage in the town, and only 'half a dozen' when he left that year. There were more than a hundred within ten years.[4]

Shimla, or Simla as it was called until recently, caught the eye of Lord William Bentinck, the Governor-General of Bengal from 1828 (later of India, when the title was created in 1833) to 1835. In a letter to Colonel Churchill in 1832 he wrote[5]

Simla is only four days march from Loodianah, is easy of access, and proves a very agreeable refuge from the burning plains of Hindoostaun.

During the 'Hot Weather', Simla was also the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army and many Departments of the Government, as well as being the summer capital of the regional Government of the Punjab.

The Kalka-Shimla railway line, constructed in 1906, added to Shimla's accessibility and popularity. The railway route from Kalka to Shimla has more than 806 Bridges and 103 tunnels was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the "British Jewel of the Orient".[8] In addition, Shimla was also the capital of the undivided state of Punjab in 1871 and remained so until the construction of the new city of Chandigarh (the present-day capital ofPunjab). Upon the formation of the state of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, Shimla was named its capital. Pre-independence structures still dot Shimla; buildings such as the Viceregal Lodge,Auckland House, Gorton Castle, Peterhoff house, and Gaiety Theatre are reminders of British rule in India.[9][1] British Simla extended about a mile and a half along the ridge between Jakhoo Hill and Prospect Hill.

Without taking a hault at Shimla we headed for kufri which is 16 Km from Shimla.

Kufri (2,290 m (7,513 ft).) is a tiny hill station in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh state inIndia. It is located 13 km from the state capital Shimla on the National Highway No.22. The region around Shimla including Kufri was once a part of the Kingdom of Nepal until the area was ceded to the British Raj as part of the Sugauli Treaty. This region remained obscure from the rest of the world until the British 'discovered' it in 1819.

On reaching Kufri you can park your car in a parking lot. From parking lot you have to treck for about 1.5 KM in the woods, you can also take a horse, but if you are healthy and pretend to be adventure lover, I suggest you to avoid horse back take a walk through with in the dense coniferous forests, where you can intakes a lot of fresh air. Temperature will drop and you will enjoy the weather. As you go on track you will end up with a open space, from where you can enjoy the paranoiac views of the Himalayas (Shivilak Range). There is small amusement part, shri Hanuman temple, Apple orchid and a market for tourist, but I didn’t bought any thing b’cos I felt I can have these thing from any other place also.

The best thing about the place is the whether and fresh air and no pollution. We had lunch over there and after capturing the scenic beauty of the place and valley we started moving back to Our destination Shimla, we reached Shimla via Chhota Shimla at 1545 hrs. As compared we found Shimla very crowded, the trees were cut for the homes which were converted to hotels. As vehicles are not allowed on the Mall road we parked our vehicle in the parking lot and took the stairs, if you are not fit physically you can also take the lift to the mall road…

This is where my one side trip ends.

Adhish Prabhakar

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