So, it all began when we, a group of 6 wanted a break from the scorching heat of Delhi and spend some quality time together. After having lots of discussions over areas close to Delhi, we all final agreed upon SHIMLA.
On Friday evening, we started our journey from Delhi and our first stoppage was Murthal for having the famous Punjabi parathas (because we all are foodies). At about 1pm we moved from there on a memorable road trip to SHIMLA. With few gossips, personal stories, cards, snacks and a lot of chit-chat we kept our journey alive. Because I was too tired, I don’t remember exactly when I slept but the moment I opened my eyes, I saw a bright clear sky, may be at around 5am. I felt my lungs inflated with the rush of scenery—air, mountains, trees. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy’. Yes, we were in the mountains. The scenic beauty which the mountains provide can just not be described in words here.
Breathing the beautiful air for a little while, we saw the eternal sun rise in the hills and finally reached our hotel, which was about 5km before Shimla. It was a little trek to reach the hotel. Luckily, 2 staff boys came for our luggage and to guided us to the hotel. A little narrow lane to walk between the trees, we finally reached there and view from the hotel was all worth it. It was magnificent. After getting ready and having our first meal of the day, we took our car and started to explore the real Shimla.
We first went to the Sankat Mochan temple and Jakhoo temple which is a Hanuman temple, one of the ancient ones, known to be the stoppage for Hanuman when he went to bring Sanjivini booty. Upon reaching the temple we found a sign board stating “Please take care of all personal belongings and beware of the monkeys” This was appropriate as the temple is built in the honor of the Monkey Lord. While we were entering the temple, a monkey literally snatched away glares from my friend’s face. It was such an hilarious incident. The bell of the temple is really auspicious and most of the local visitors ring the bell for good luck before making the descent back to Shimla.
Though it is very close to the Ridge(on Mall road), but we decided to come there later in the evening and headed towards the Viceregal Lodge, also known as the President House. It is indeed very gorgeous and those who like history and stories behind buildings are going to love this place.
You just have to pay a nominal amount to get a guided tour inside the building otherwise you can take ticket of lesser price and view the building from outside and explore nearby areas which look perfect with blossoming flowers all around.
Finally, we decided to go to the Mall road. We parked our car and decided to go up to the area by taking a lift (costs just Rs 10 p.p.) It was such a long queue that we decided to skip our idea of taking a lift and took the road instead and we got lucky as it was hardly 5 mins by road. It was drizzling a little and the atmosphere was beautiful. There were several cafes serving mouth watering delicacies all around the place.
We also visited the famous Church & Shimla State Museum. The church is the second oldest church after St. John’s Church in Meerut. The church contains five fine stained glass windows. One represents the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humility and the museum is famous for is collection of ancient sculptures, paintings, coins and photographs. The museum has samples of the famous Pahari miniature art form, which ceased to exist when the Western art form took over. Shimla Ridge is a large open spacious platform from where you can have a panoramic view of the mountain peaks of Shimla. All the major landmarks of Shimla like Lakkar Bazaar, Mall, Scandal Point, Jakhoo hill (Luckily, this was covered by us in the morning itself), etc. are well connected.
There is an area where a huge Indian Flag is hoisted. It is a place full of hustle and bustle and one does get really patriotic seeing such a huge national flag right in the centre of the city. The day went passed really quickly as we headed towards our hotel.
In the hotel, after having the dinner & little chat, we gathered in the common area of the hotel, from where we could see the bright sky and the city lights. It just reminded me of the following quote
But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.”
—Jack London, The Call of the Wild
We all went back to our rooms and played cards, games of Mafia, Uno. None of us felt sleepy as it was a fun-filled night. Next morning, we got ready, had a sumptuous breakfast in the hotel finally said a goodbye to our hotel and left for KUFRI.
Kufri is a winter sports capital. It is situated at an altitude of 2622 meters above sea level. It takes approximately one hour to drive to Kufri from Shimla city. It is a perfect place for a winter weekend getaway trip as well. We were nowhere near any winter month but even in April, this place was very cool with gorgeous views all around. We parked our vehicle and from there, we started a small trek of about 1 hour to the top point through a very narrow lane in the beginning which got better and better till the end. You can even take horses for going there. There are multiple groups of locals who will offer you to take a ride on them to the top, the choice is yours.
At the top point, it’s a huge rush of tourists and locals with few shops to eat, shop, play, yaks to be photographed and also at on end, there are these guys with telescopes to show far away wind mills, temples, etc. Nearby, there is an Apple Garden and a place for various sports activities which we all really enjoyed a lot. You just need to do negotiation correctly, we got lucky and did all the 6 sport activities including Zip lining, rope walking, free falling, log balancing, etc. in mere Rs 2000.
Along with that, we played a few more games like shooting and all while coming back , had maggi and came back to the place from where we started. It took almost 4 hours in covering all the activities. So, by almost 5pm, we started heading our ways back to Shimla. We stopped for dinner at Sindhi Dhaba, near Panchkula.
And like any other trip, we too never wanted this weekend to end. But then, we end one holiday so as to plan another one. We reached Delhi at about 2pm