Into the MOUNTAINS
The journey started at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on 29th of December, 2017. We were amazed at the very look of the terminal itself, it was magnificent. After a cup of tea and lot of chips stuffing in our mouths, we headed to look for the cab we booked which was to take us for a visit to The Taj mahal. It was one of the initial mistakes of our trip, but we managed to get over it by evening. After a four-hour ride on a beautiful highway, we stopped at a parking lot. From there, Taj Mahal was one kilometer away. For a cold December afternoon, it was hot and humid there. Still, as we were excited, nothing could bother us just yet.
The Taj mahal is a historical monument built to present the love between shahjana and Mumtaj. Once a marble white surface, and now polished in dust, smog and what not that humans and their vehicles have released, has ruined the beauty of it. So it wasn’t a great sight. There is a mosque though that is next to the Taj. It was still under construction. But it provided us the cold breeze coming out of its gate. We relaxed there for a while. After a meal that was lemon rice disguised as white rice, we headed back to new Delhi.
By 7:00 pm we reached Purani Dillii railway station. Our train was scheduled at 8:00pm, heading to Kalka from where we would get in the Toy train and reach beautiful Shimla, not just yet though.
We had to wait for 6 hours for train to come, meantime we stuffed ourselves with fries, so much so that the counter person had started judging our intention of sitting there for so long. Finally, when the train came, we touched its door and abused massively. Once in, we just kept thinking about Toy train. We were six hours delayed and toy train would leave in an hour after our train reaches the station if it was on time. So we didn’t see any possibility of catching toy train. But finally, to our dismay, toy train waited for us. We got in and then left for Shimla.
Shimla was a five hours’ journey from Kalka. After we ditched the plains, we soon started circling the mountains. It was a hell of a sight. The entire train would give a joint shout out to the mountains. Finally, we reached the Shimla station. We could feel the need to just jump off the train and dive in snow. Oh, there was no snow. It had snowed a few days back. But not that day.
To our list of disappointments, this was added as well. But we had to enjoy somehow. So we booked a cab and reached our homestay. The place was heavenly and till now the only place we liked so far. The rooms were so warm in that 3 degrees of Celsius. After settling in, we made a list of places to visit in Shimla. So next morning we started our day by maneuvering in Kufri. Then we moved to Chail palace. The royal feel of it was enchanting. And I had to use the washroom. That was huge as well.
In a sad corner was a piano, sitting all by itself. I was tempted to play but posing was more feasible. So I posed as though I was playing. And then I pressed the key. It sounded so bad that I got scared and jumped out of my seat and watched a whole room of people staring at me. I ran at once. I ran in the garden where there were swings and beautiful chairs. We did another set of photo sessions in garden.
It was about 6pm when we decided to head back to our homestay but before that we had one more place in our apprehensive minds. There is a road call Mall Road. It is made on top of a small mountain. And it’s beautiful, also a must visit. Going there at evening was the best decisions so far. We bought few souvenirs and enjoyed every step of it. Soon we were at our homestay and thinking, what now?
There was a plan but was it executable? It was to go to Manali in night and have a trip there and come back in a day’s time. This was feasible but had its own conditions. We were supposed to be sleepless for the whole night. Well, we accepted fate and made a move towards Manali. The cab arrived around 12 am, and we reached Manali by 8am. It had mountains covered in snow so we thought maybe there it’s snowing but no nothing like that. It had snowed there also few days back. But still we wanted to just see what the hype is about.
The routes to Rohtang pass was closed. So we had to take another route to solan. The place was picturesque and breathtaking, same words. I loved it. We did horse riding and trekked. Our efforts of making snowman was a waste so we ended up making snow babies. Ha ha.
The visit in Manali ended up with sizzling Maggi on mountains and lunch in a veg restaurant.
We headed back to our homestay by 3pm and reached by 1am. The journey back to Shimla took more time due to traffic in Mandi. As we were dead tired, we just crashed and slept. Early morning, we headed for the New Delhi railway station.