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A trip to Kasauli

Getting away form the heat crowd mundane chores was the idea and as it got piled away and kept on being postponed the wish became a priority. Some might think of it as a luxury – to go out of town… but to me it was a necessity or rather it became one. To get away – from the entire chaos that engulfs all of us at all points of time … the routine which is important to succeed… the everyday process of home to home called life – was my only hope to stop existing and start living once again.

Thought of many places but all turned out to be either too busy or non-accessible and I was almost at the verge of giving up and postponing once again when my sister suggested KASAULI. And as it turned out it was neither busy nor non-accessible.

The plan was proposed on Thursday and Friday morning we were on the way to Kasauli.

Some facts

Kasauli is in Himachal Pradesh, about 316 kms from Delhi and can be reached both by train and by road. It is 61 kms from Chandigarh.

We took the road route and started off early morning at 5 am…well we aimed for 5 and did manage to leave the Delhi city boundaries by 5:45 am… not bad at all. The road is excellent at most of the places … though if some of the flyovers could have been completed by now (we had taken the same route last year also) we could have covered more distance. But anyways … it wasn’t bad… infact a drive through the Panipat Flyover that bypasses the entire Panipat city was a marvel. We had a Punjabi breakfast – Paranthas at Murthal and then carried on.

We continued till we reached Dharampur from where we took the left cut from the main highway for Kasauli. Now there are two ways of going to Kasauli from Dharampur; one which has a pointer saying Lawrence and the other one a little ahead… don’t take the Lawrence one.

The road is fine but the scenery is just beautiful … nothing to be missed on both sides. We reached Kasauli at around 1pm and after some hotel hunting checked in to R.Maidens.  Now the place is too small and the main Kasauli boasts of just a handful of hotels. There are 4 hotels in the lower mall which is like the heart of the city and few more scattered just before the main entrance of the city.

After checking in and making sure all was well we left the hotel and started our sojourn on foot.

As I said before the city is too small… it’s divided into Upper Mall and Lower Mall. Upper Mall is more like a cantonment area with military offices and residences and the lower mall has market, hotels and local residences. There is an air force station also which is located towards the lower mall.

Any ways so we left the hotel and went for an evening stroll towards the … yes the upper mall…the cant. Area. It was a good walk … the road playing a game … sometimes going up and then going down…sometimes we were looking at beautiful valley and sometimes at far away high peaks…sometimes the clouds would hide everything from view and sometimes they would be all around us soaking us completely! And in between all this the pride of Cant Area… the green shiny gypsies zoomed in and out all around with their silver like shining wipers!

We are not always looking for non conventional things to do but just land up doing them … while walking through the upper mall road we came to a small picnic point and realised that we have reached the Sunrise Point at the Sunset Time! But it was still beautiful and the place had some tourist families and some local couples. (easy to make out the difference!)

Continuing further we realised that we have reached a point beyond which there is no entry for us – the civilians and thus started back. But as I said no conventional things for us … so instead of taking the same road … we decided to do some trekking and take the un-traveled road back. We had reached a point which was the tapering end of the city and where there was just little distance left between the upper & the lower mall road – a small bushy area with damp mud, cactus like plants on a steep and steep slope part of the mountain and so we took the challenge and climbed down from there. It was not as easy as it looked from above and all three of us had our moment of glory during that half hour trek to the lower mall. But it was worth it …its moments like this that makes us realize how much more we are capable of … its just the matter of pushing a little more and not only taking the first step but also ensuring to keep the steady last step too.

View from Hotel

View from Hotel

After the big achievement there was nothing to do but to celebrate and so we headed back to the hotel and found a nice enough place on the terrace which overlooked the mountains. We could see at least 7 – 8 layers of mountains one after the other … a breath taking view good enough to keep us engaged till late night.

Here if I don’t mention the TV tower it would be unfair … well there is a TV Tower which stands tall on one side of the city but coz of its height it looks like its stemming out of the middle of the city and touching the sky. Actually the tower looked different at different points … at night it looked as if the sky has folded a little and was resting on its shoulders and all the stars had gathered around the tower to be in vicinity; early morning the tower looked further away from the blue sky and gave an impression as if it was growing in height in west just as the sun was rising in east! I have some more connotations for the tower and stars but I ll leave it for now…

Way to Manki Point

Way to Manki Point

The next morning we set out to do what all tourists do there… visit the ‘Manki Point’. Now just like others we also thought that the place is known as ‘Manki Point’ since it has a Hanumanji (Monkey God) Temple. But ‘Manki Point’ is literally Man Ki Point which means ‘As per your wish’. Its an old temple perched on the top of a hill and can be reached only after crossing the air force station … a high security area. The entire drive way which takes to the temple, has to be crossed on foot, is spick and span, has enough places to sit and is alive with loudspeakers playing good old music, courtesy Worldspace Radio! Good music and the cool breeze was enough to keep us going.

But just as the old proverb goes that it’s not easy to get anything … the trek up to the temple is a steep one and goes on and on… trying the patience, the courage and the drive. We had another distraction – the rain … which kept on pouring through out our journey up towards the peak … but we were determined and didn’t let it stop us or dissuade in any manner. And believe me it all became worthwhile once we reached the top.

The temple is a neat and decent one, good enough to make a person go down on his knees, sit and contemplate and communicate with the almighty directly. May be it’s the surroundings or the fact that there was no crowd or the mere serenity of the place which does make one feel like praying … a distant cry from the crowded, dirty, full of greedy middlemen (pandits) city temples.

It is quite an old one and as per mythology the temple came into existence when Hanumanji touched the mountain with his feet on his way back from Himalayas carrying the Illustrious life saving Sanjeevani Buti for Lakshman the younger brother of God Ram. Sine then the hill top has taken the shape of His foot and has remained so. The story goes so … that his foot touched at two places one in Shimla and the other here in Kasauli.

True or not the place is awesome with some magnificent views and being a Hanumanji’s devotee it was a feast for me through out!

Some facts

The temple is inside the air force station and hence the security is very high and nothing can be taken inside except for wallet. Everyone is thoroughly frisked. The place also has two café’s with some seating arrangement.

The trek up and down made us hungry and we attacked the nearest place to eat … a restaurant at the Himachal Pradesh tourism hotel. The place has terrace seating with panoramic view of the mountain range and good food. The combination was lethal and we spent some good three hours there itself. The rest of the day was spent roaming around the small market on the lower mall, doing some shopping and once again sitting on the terrace looking out to the mountains. This time the view was not as clear as the previous day because of clouds. But if clouds marred our view of mountains they made the moon even more beautiful… just as they always do. The everlasting game of hide and seek between the clouds and moon was at its zenith giving us some of the best scenes … wherein the moon would be sometimes glowing, shining, retreating, coming out of the shadows … each time more beautiful and endearing then before!

But that’s my moon… simply speechless and special always…

Now though moon is my favorite but I know Sun is no less… for without the Sun the moon would loose its glow and so I decided to pay my homage. I got up at around five am the next morning and did two remarkable things… saw the Sun rise and went for a morning walk!!!

Looking at the rising sun was beautiful and a memory that I will hold till I see it the next time … ( which would be a fairly long time since I know this wont happen soon again or till I am out on a vacation again!)

And the morning walk was amazing … I went alone as no one else was up yet…

But it was worth it… such silence and such calmness…the stillness…in the beautiful settings. I was out for an hour and they were the best spent 60 minutes in a long time. All I can say is that I came back refreshed more than it’s possible for a spa and a massage to do jointly.

Clearly this was the highest point of the entire trip… those 60 minutes when I was with myself and the nature… communicating silently…nature imparting its qualities of strength, perseverance, patience, sacrifice, love, care and most of all of being grounded in all circumstances to me. I felt an achiever, a hermit… completely at peace… and in harmony.

It just gave me the strength which I was looking for … which I felt had got depleted due to the stress and the strain of the day to day life. It left me feeling truly refreshed and rejuvenated.

This was Day 3 and we left Kasauli and doing a brief tour of Sabathu – an old Gurkha regiment army town and a non existent river… we drove down back to Delhi.

The entire trip was amazing. I had promised myself two things before starting… one that I will enjoy it upto the brim and not let my eternal enemy Mr. Doubt enter anywhere in scene… and second that I will think less and just be there… living every moment and voila I succeeded in both.

Not once did I let myself down!

Thus a truly encouraging, refreshing, engaging, learning journey both within and outside.

  1. Lubna
    July 21, 2009 at 04:38

    Saloni, LADY, do you have a flair for writing!!!! I am reliving every moment I spent at Kasauli thru ur version here!!!! And honestly ur description is much more beautiful than Kasauli itself!

  2. Arpana
    July 21, 2009 at 04:53

    I read the entire ‘trip report’ and believe me it felt as if i was there too. Saloni, leave your job and get into travel journalism….you have it all in you and i can say that becasue i know about your Chattisgarh and Jharkhand trips as well. Keep it up!

  3. saloniz
    June 20, 2010 at 05:30

    I wanna go again…it was so worth it … a true retreat from the chaos!

  4. June 18, 2016 at 09:19

    Kasauli is charming place for taking leisure and adventure in Solan district. i like this naural place it is vow place…
    know more information about tourism in Kasauli

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