3 Himalayan Hill Stations: Kufri, Shimla and Kasol

The trio sends your spirits soaring high.

By Jyoti Zanwar

Breathing in nature in the foothills of Himalayas with your friends. Far from the madding crowd of city and deadlines of virtual work. We all want this dream getaway. How fun was it to stay in the cabins of Kufri, explore Shimla, camp beside the Parvati River in Kasol, and Ski in Rohtang pass!

With a heavy luggage as usual and heart pounding with joy, I took off from the warm Pune to the heart of the nation, Delhi. Night had already fallen in Delhi when we landed. After stopping for a bite at Cafe Delhi Heights at Connaught Place, we boarded our overnight bus to Shimla from Kashmere Gate. After nine hours, we reached Shimla and hired a cab to accompany us all along the trip.

Living amidst woods in Kasol

The journey to Kufri located from Shimla town elapsed quick. If any tiredness remained, it condensed when we saw Kufri veiled in fog. The Alpine woods was all set to receive us. With a blooming garden, the two-storey cottages was surrounding by Pine tress. The cabins equipped with a speedy Wi-Fi had electric kettle for a warm tea and a sober, carpented floor. A dainty cabin perfect for four with a balcony that will bask you with dawn light.

The Alpine Woods stay

The unique experience of staying at the cabins felt way better than usual hotels and resorts. I was happy from the moment I found the place on AirBnB. Waking up in a small cosy cabin and looking at the trees right from the window next to the bed is something I will cherish forever. As a vegetarian deprived of many options, I had to suffice my hunger with Parathas and Sandwiches.

Overpriced adventure sports can be attempted in Kasol. If you have the nerve, go for it. But, remember to hire a horse to get there. We also clicked pics with a Yak. But, I would not recommend it as 100 Rs for just a photo is not worth it. Next day, after a bit of sightseeing and clicks, we packed our bags and set out for Shimla in our cab.

Fancy hunting on the Yak?

Shimla Mall Road and Jakhu Temple

Our stay at Shimla was just for the night. So, we chose a reasonable Airbnb named Hasta la vista hosted by Rajesh Jai. Straightaway, we went for a stroll on the Shimla Mall road. We stopped for a quick snack at Cafe Shimla Times. With its signature yellow ambassador car, it impressed us in the first look. We ordered Apple Crumble and Pizzas along with Danquiri cocktails. Further down the street, You may just see movie actors as the place is famous filming location. We crunched wafer-dipped ice-creams from the end of the street for the time-being and decided to have a proper lunch.

Cafe Shimla Times

A meal of Roti, sabzi and dal at Café Under The Tree. It was just below the most beautiful place of the journey. The Jakhu temple nestled in the bounds of Shivalik ranges. The temple became illuminated with golden light at sunset. It was a mesmerizing ambience completed by the pine trees, the chilly winds and the golden sunlight. After the quick Shimla stop, we were off to our camps in Kasol.

Camping by the Parvati River in Kasol

Bruno reflecting by the river

The journey to Kasol from Shimla was tiresome. But, the sight of Kasol left us energised. Fashioned on the banks of the Parvati River, the North Deodar camps was a hike away from where our cab left us. The camps had their own kitchen but only for tea and snack. Take a step out of the camp and you can walk along a trail that would lead to the Parvati river. Bruno, the guard dog, was with us all along guiding us through the trails. A dog is truly is ma’s best companion. Nights were so peaceful. I slept like a baby with the gushing sounds of the river nearby. As the sun rose, I went to the riverside and meditated. The best 10 minutes of my life ! The whole experience could be summed up in a word: Surreal. After the serene stay, it was time move to Manali for a final stop.

Experimental Skiing and Snow everywhere!

First time Skier gushing with pride

Manali’s Rohtang pass had the best snowing experience. I tried to ski for the first time here. Obviously, I was terrible at it but had a fantastic time with the snow slopes. For a Skier, the slopes provide the good platform to redeem yourself. The overall experience is expensive with almost 2500 rs for the pass and 350 rs for the ride to the peak. Yet, it felt like the perfect way to wrap up the trip. Our cab took us back to Delhi from where we said goodbye to each other and left for homes. But, I was sure to return to Kasol once again. A part of my heart was left there with Bruno and the Parvati River.

If that didn’t convince you to give that hillside trip a shot, well… maybe this will!

Jyoti Zanwar, a software engineer and writer, spoke to Sukanya V Mohan from Travel Secrets

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