A homestay in the Himalayas

Our last semester had just ended, and Delhi‘s temperature was at an all time high. We were dying to escape the heat and also enjoy our last days with friends together. So while out for an evening snack near our college in Delhi, we stumbled upon a Himachal Pradesh Tourism bus and decided to escape for the weekend! I had read about Kasauli (a charming little town in the lap of the Himalayas in south Himachal) before and had been eager to go. We dashed to the Himachal Pradesh tourism office and booked 5 seats for the 10.30 pm bus.

The journey through Delhi, Haryana and Punjab was equally charming, with the bus stopping in between at local dhabas. At 5.30 in the morning, we reached Dharampur, because not all buses go till Kasauli. At Dharampur, we got a friendly driver who agreed to take us to our destination.

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Sunrise on our way to Kasauli..

Being a local, he asked us to stay in Garkhal, which is few kilometres below Kasauli. We found a really cosy home with two bedrooms to us, at a reasonable price. The house had a huge rear balcony overlooking the hills.

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After reaching, we set out for breakfast there, and in the local market, found a great place for some lovely aloo paranthas and omelette. Its a good idea to walk around the place & feel the nature, rather than taking a vehicle.

With the help of the locals, we trekked our way to Kasauli, through the woods.

Places to see while in Kasauli:

  • Heritage market

A small market with various antique objects and local beverages from Himachal. We loved the wind chimes, smoking pipes and the colourful umbrellas. There’s a small garden with a variety of flowers behind the heritage market, you would love it there!

 

 

  • Tibetan market

It’s near the heritage market where you can find good momos and thukpa. You can do a bit of shopping !

  • Sunset point

You have to walk a lot here, and it’s best to watch the sunset on the way rather than at the point itself, which is crowded and in fact guarded by trees, thus blocking the views. From the check point, there are two paths leading to the sunset point. Go through one path, and return through the other.

 

 

  • Church

There’s a small church near Garkhal, so if you stay anywhere in Garkhal you can walk till there.

  • Kasauli Brewery

The only brewery producing malt whiskey in Himachal is actually located in Garkhal, where we stayed, but make sure you visit it early as it closes by 4 pm.

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Sunset

And this was all covered in one day, as it’s a small place. You can fit in the church visit the next morning though. We got nice dinner at the homestay. Next morning, we bid goodbye to Kasauli and set out for Solan. On reaching Solan, we found we had the whole day left to us, and since there was a bus calling out for people going to Shimla, we ran and hurriedly got into it. It took us hardly an hour or so to reach the famous hill station.
In Shimla, if you have a day like us, you can visit the mall road and the ridge above. There are a lot of places to eat and a variety of cuisines are offered catering to the huge no. of tourists.
At the ridge, we just had ice cream, took a stroll, and dressed up in Himachali costumes just for fun! Then we spent a laid back evening at the ridge, and after packing our dinner, we set out for the bus terminus, where we got the 10pm bus. Next morning, we reached Delhi and back into cottons from the woollen.
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Sunset from the Ridge

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View overlooking Shimla city

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The Ridge

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Dressing up as a Himachali for fun!

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