Indian Vacation

A Trip to Shimla: My Best Vacation Ever

Situated at an elevation of about 2230 m above sea level, the picturesque and ice-laden city of Shimla was always among those destinations that I longed to see as a child. This desire kept on burning when I entered my adolescence and grew even stronger as I attained adulthood. And finally the day came when I found myself packing my bags. It is hard to explain the thrill that lies deep beneath your skin, hidden for years and when one day, it starts unfolding and coming to surface, it simply overpowers you. I too was going through the same titillation on that day.

My Shimla trip started from Delhi in an AC Volvo bus. I, along with a bunch of my friends, boarded it at night. The bus route took followed the route: Panipat-Karnal-Kurukshetra-Ambala-Chandirah-Kalka. And it was from Kalka that the hilly terrain began. I was all surprised at the dexterity of our driver who was taking repeated sharp bends with ease. It was the freezing night of December; our way from Kalka took us to Solan, Shoghi, and finally to Taradevi and kept us benumbed with cold, though we are in air-conditioned bus! It was about 7 am in the morning when we alighted at Taradevi and headed to our Quality Inn Himdev hotel at Katchi Ghati. It is one of those Shimla hotels that come under budget category.

After relaxing and refreshing for 3-4 hours, we headed to Mall Road, a name synonymous to Shimla itself! I have no idea how many stairs did we climb to reach at the top; some of us were even panting badly. Here, we saw an array of old colonial buildings, eateries, and shopping complexes. When you are here, the not-to-be missed things are pottery works, wooden items, woolen cloths, and handicraft items. I bought a kitchen set, all made up of wood and two shawls. There is an art gallery of Sahitya Academy where we had lovely time admiring some of the awesome paintings. We loitered around there till evening before heading back to our best hotel
The next day was set for attractions like Naldeda and Kufri. Naldeda is set amidst towering Deodar trees. This long stretch of greenery can be best seen on a pony. For me, sitting on a milky white pony was a unique experience in itself. Our guide was a man of average built and had a gift of gab, as they all have. He told us everything about the place; it was from his narrations that we got to know that Naldeda is quiet popular among Bollywood film-makers who prefer capturing its beauty in their movies. The ride was not at all smooth as the ground beneath was uneven and at many times, our ponies had to make a little extra effort to climb up the ascends or come down the descends. It was exciting though. The route also lets you have a glimpse of mighty Himalayas, covered with blue ice and looking majestic, that form part of the backdrop.

In the later half of the day, our taxi took us to Kufri and it was there where we saw ice for the very first time. On reaching there, we saw a swarm of ponies arranged for the tourists. This pony ride was different as the whole path was covered with ice. The plantation and the houses were all capped with white snow which was now beaming in sunlight. Kufri is popular for the skiing lovers though it also provides the thrilling tyre and yak rides. I tried skiing with my heavy shoes on, but would fall time and again. It was before sometime that I managed to do it with ease. After my adventure was over, we hiked to reach Mahasu peak, the highest point of Kufri. From here, we had awesome views Kedarnath and Badrinath ranges.

This holiday trip to Shimla gave me some of the fantastic memories that I am going to cherish for a long long time.