Sometimes we need a break from our daily routine. And what would be a better idea than riding on a bike towards the mountains. I decided to visit Shimla this time as I had never been to Shimla before.
I also purchased SJCAM SJ4000 WiFi to capture my entire trip so I can re-live every moment just by watching video clips.
Started from Delhi
It was Friday Oct 2nd 2015 when I started my trip to Shimla(Himachal Pradesh). Shimla is located in Northern part of India and is at a distance of approximately 380 km from Delhi.
As I wanted to stay relaxed throughout my journey, I decided to carry most of my stuff in Viaterra Saddle Bags(purchased a week ago) specifically designed for KTM Duke. However, I still carried my backpack to carry important things like camera, wallet, motorcycle documents etc.
I started my journey from EAST DELHI at around 2:30pm, I reached Delhi – Haryana border in just 45 minutes due to low traffic movement. There I took the first halt of 10 minutes and got my bike fuelled and started again. I stopped again near Haveli(Murthal) to have lunch (Aloo ki Sabzi & Roti), it feels awesome to eat homemade food while travelling. I took halts for 10 minutes at multiple locations as I was not in a hurry.
By 8:30 PM, I reached near my friend’s house which is located in Kharar, 12-15 kilometers away from Chandigarh, but before reaching there I stopped at a DHABA to have my dinner, I ordered Chana masala with butter naan and salad, the taste and the presentation of food was awesome.
After spending the night at friend’s place, my journey started again at 1:30 PM on Oct 3rd. After taking many turns, I finally came to NH22 after a drive of around 20-30km. Then I reached Kaushalaya Dam. I switched on my helmet mounted SJCAM camera. Till Dharampur – Solan road diversion, NH 22 is 4 lane and you don’t have to be worried about driving on hills till this place. However, after crossing this area, the highway is 2 lane on hills and one has to be more cautious while riding or driving on single road highway because there are idiots who often try to overtake at turns.
My actual journey started from here. The bike was moving at a constant speed, condition of the road was not too bad. At around 5:30 PM, I stopped to eat Kulcha chole and fruit chaat and started again after a break of around 30 minutes.
It was 8:30pm when I finally reached Shimla. The place is very much commercialized and crowded. One thing you will never forget about Shimla is the traffic jam. I was a bit worried because I was not getting any hotel room to stay. All the hotels were completely packed with guests due to long weekend and India-South Africa cricket match in Dharamshala.
Finally after searching in few hotels without any positive response I found a man on road asking people if they needed a room to stay, so without wasting any time I approached him and got a room in Rajdoot Hotel near Shimla Railway station to stay at night. The room was so horrible that I can’t even describe it, but I felt a bit relaxed because I got a room to stay but I asked the same guy to arrange another room for me next morning. I will not recommend Rajdoot hotel to any person, I probably opted because I was tired and it was 9 PM. The worst part is hotel doesn’t have any parking space, I had to go down around 100 meters from main road, leave my stuff at hotel, then climb back to main road which was really tiring and then I had to go to public parking and park my vehicle almost 500 meters away from my hotel. Do not opt for Rajdoot hotel even if you don’t have your own vehicle.
After parking my vehicle, I went to local market to have dinner because I was starving like anything and it was 9:30 PM. After having the dinner, I purchased few items of basic needs like toothpaste, soap etc. Around 10 pm, I came back to this so called Rajdoot hotel room and slept.
Next morning (Oct 4th 2015), I woke up at 8:00 am because of loud noises of people who were fighting with hotel staff. After freshening up, the first thought that came to my mind was to change the hotel. I quickly got ready to check the other option and it was around 1:00 PM when I checked-in to another hotel (HARSHA HOTEL) with better views and good ambiance.
At around 2 pm after taking bath, I was feeling awesome because of the beautiful room with beautiful view, I decided to visit the Indian Institute of Advance Studies. This building was built by Britishers before freedom. It’s very huge and beautiful building like a palace built on the top of the hills which has now been turned into a museum. There is ticket of Rs.40 to check out the place from inside. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to visit the place form inside as there was waiting of two hours. I was very hungry, so I dropped the idea of going inside, instead I came back and started walking towards mall road.
I had to walk approx. 2 km from my hotel to reach mall road. Vehicles are not allowed for tourists but there are few people who even have parking facility there, ****** rules which are applicable on general public.
There is an old church which is again atop the hill but it was closed and I did not get a chance to see it from inside. There is a market to visit at the backside of the church, it’s called lakkad bazar(wood market) and you can find many beautiful things made of wood like wall clock, bags, fruit baskets, keyrings, key holders, bangles here.
After viewing all the sceneries of nature and clicking pictures from church and lakkad bazar, I came back to my hotel room and was thinking about my next day plan and decided to visit Kuffri (19km from Shimla) or Chail (33km from Shimla).
Next morning Oct 5th, though I had planned to wake up early morning to start my ride and explore as many places as I can but like I usually do, I woke up very late and when I looked out of the window it was bright sun on the top of my head. I got ready and started my ride towards Kufri at 1 PM. Kufri is around 19 kilometers from Shimla, I reached there in 40 minutes. There is one adventure + amusement park. I did not go there, just stood there for few minutes, clicked few pictures and started again. After riding for few more kilometers I reached a diversion, one road was going towards Chail (33km) and on the other towards Theog (7km) & Fagu (15km). I decided to ride towards Fagu, so, I chose the straight road.
While riding, I switched off my bike engine and was able to maintain speed of 35 to 50 kmph. I was driving on the constant speed not too fast not too slow because I wanted to enjoy and record everything in my mind and camera too. I crossed Fagu and was about to enter next place but due to road construction I had to take U turn and started riding back to Shimla.
In a matter of 1 hour, I was back on busy Shimla main road. As no other options were left, I decided to go to Mall road again, however, this time I started from Lower bazar. One can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, dry fruits etc. from lower bazar. Middle bazar has cloth market, I also purchased woollen clothes for my mom at very reasonable price and stuff is really very good(as confirmed by mom). Then I did a serious exercise and climbed approx. 40-50 stairs to reach Mall road again. After roaming for 1 hour here & there, I came back to hotel.
I must say, if you visit Shimla, stay only at Harsha Hotel. The staff is good, rooms are awesome (I stayed in Super Deluxe Room for 2 days & 2 nights). Super deluxe rooms are reasonably priced. I will recommend anyone to stay there.
Next day, October 6th, I got ready and left the hotel at 9:30 AM. Took many halts to relax my spine and fill my stomach and KTM with fuel. I reached Delhi(home) at around 6 PM in the evening.
Quick things that could be of help :
Total expense on Fuel was INR 1360 only.
Accommodation at Rajdoot Hotel: INR 800 per night (Hotel nightmare)
Accommodation at Hotel Harsha: INR 3400 for 2 days & 2 nights
Food & stuff: INR 1500 – 2000 for entire trip
Total expense: 5-6K.
Recommended places to visit in Shimla: Mall Road; Jaku ji Temple, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Kufri, Fagu.
Verdict: If you want peace of life and love mountains and hilly scenery, Shimla is not the place for you as it is really crowded. I would recommend it if you just want to chill out with friends and want to waste money.
Please watch my small video titled as KTM Ride to Shimla on YouTube:
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