Explore Queen of HillstationsRoad trip to Shimla Narkanda & ChailTotal No of days - 3Dated - March 2011
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
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Day - 1 - Shimla
We were planning a hillside trip after Kids exams and zeroed in - Shimla and around, in hope to find some snow too. So the itinerary was planned - One night at Shimla, one night at Narkanda and one night at Chail. All bookings were done . HPTDC Hotel Holiday Home at shimla , Hatu at Narkanda and Ekant at Chail. Being off-season we got 20% discount on all the three hotels. 15th morning we started by 5 am. Took a good 7 hour to reach Shimla. Roads till Panipat toll is butter smooth but after that diversions make driving a bit tiresome till Ambala. The rest journey from Zirakpur to Kalka road has some diversions and traffic density is quite high. Reached Shimla at 12.15.
Shimla was as usual packed , season or offseason. Luckily Hotel holiday home had enough parking and the quality of accomodation was very good. Places we planned to see were Mall, Ridge, Lakkar Bazaar and Jakoo Hills trekking. Mall was crowded and we had our lunch at Baljee's restaurant. There are lots of eating outlets few that I remember near the post office are Indian coffee house, Dominos, Sagar Ratna and combermere, the latter offer tasty pastries.
We spent around an hour strolling the mall , then to ridge, lakkar bazaar and finally the 2 kms trek to Jakoo hill. The trek was really very difficult as the climb is very steep. It took a good one hr to reach the top to the hanuman temple. we were completly exhausted after the climb but its serene and calm at the top. Alternately one can also reach here via taxi.
After strolling around mall, we started our trek to Jakoo Hills. On the top there is a Hanuman temple. The climb is very steep and took a good one hour to climb and were totally exhausted. There are lots of monkey around and they simple attack if they see any packets. Shot of Jakoo hills and 100 ft Hanuman murti view from mall.
Day - 2 - Narkanda
We headed to Narkanda hoping to find snow. Local taxi guys have tiped that there is lots of snow on Narkanda - Thanedar road and Hatu peak road is closed due to heavy snow. Started by 9.30 am. Roads are bad from Kufri - Narkanda, it took good 2.5 hrs to cover 65kms. Some patches of good road also there between Theog - Matyana. Matyana has a apple storage center from where apple can be bought. Since we already had booking at Hotel Hatu, we directly drove to Narkanda-Thanedar road. Just after a km, we saw mountains and hatu peak full of snow.
Had our lunch and set to visit Hatu peak. We were informed that the road is closed due to snow and only one can trek around to the top. Six Kms no way. Still thought of giving it a try. Went on the Thanedar road and took a risk to climb the hills come what may be. To our surprise after the initial place the snow was almost melted and we climbed around 4 kms to reach some where top which was sort of hill top , where there was a mud house and frozen pond. Further we could see no road as it was fully covered with snow. parked the beast and started trekking as much as we could, only go up till another 1.5 kms as there was lots of snow in excess of 2 - 3 feet. We stayed there for an hour and returned to hotel. Mission accomplished.
Now about the road, it was drivable till the Gurjar Hut(later the hotel guys told me), from there peak is just 2 kms. Post April one can climb almost till the peak. Only concern will be if any vehicle come from opposite side, then its will be a very difficult task to give side. We could not climb the last 1 kms of hatu peak due to heavy snow. Spent around 2 hrs there were back to Hotel Hatu. Hatu Peak is around 9 kms from Narkanda and Narkanda is 65 kms from shimla. Continuing with the log.
Day - 3 - Chail
Checked out be 9 am from hotel hatu. Our last destination was Chail. it was around 80 kms from here and have to take MDR 8. On was Fagu and Kufri has fantastic valley views. Took some panoramic shots. Reached Chail by 12 pm. Chail is a sleepy hill station with wide roads and almost empty when we were there. Cant say about peak season. We stayed at Hotel Ekant , it had a good valley view.
Places to see
Day - 4
Checked out of hotel headed back to home. En route we stopped over at Sadhu pur, its 16 odd kms from Chail towards Kahdaghat. Spent around an hour and headed back to base. Reached delhi by 5 pm. This brings an end to our trip.