An impromptu drive from Chandigarh to the birthplace of 'Old Monk' #LastMinute

Photo of An impromptu drive from Chandigarh to the birthplace of 'Old Monk' #LastMinute by thewanderjoy

Has it ever happened to you, that a post lunch discussion about feeling stuck in a rut, suddenly turns into a two day holiday, just like that? Not that it has happened a lot to me, since I like to plan trips in advance. But this one autumn Saturday afternoon, in Chandigarh, when my wife and I were standing on our balcony looking to the Shivalik hills in the distance, we suddenly decided to drive up to Kasauli just for the evening to breathe in the crisp pine laden mountain air.

That is the view from the balcony where the last minute decision was taken. Those are the Shivalik hills in the distance.

Photo of Sector 50, Chandigarh, India by thewanderjoy
Photo of Hotel Ros Common, near द अब्बे, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by thewanderjoy

Chilling in the hotel grounds, with a view like that!!

Photo of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by thewanderjoy

Christ Church, Kasauli

Photo of Christ Church Kasauli, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by thewanderjoy

The lane from the Heritage Bazaar leading to the lower part of the quaint town.

Photo of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by thewanderjoy

The view from Kasauli, overlooking the small hill towns in the distance and the peaks of the Shivalik mountains.

Photo of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by thewanderjoy

The drive from Chandigarh to Kasauli via Parwanoo is 90 min drive, and hence relatively quick and convenient. Just in case, without any plans, we took a change of clothes and our basic toiletries, filled the car tank, and set of on a long drive. Post the ritualistic stop over at the Jabli McD for a coffee, we headed straight to Kasauli, reaching there around 3 pm.

Kasauli is a tiny cantonment town, with a population less than 5K, and more known for the residential boarding schools in its vicinity, and for the Mohan Meakin brewery, the birthplace of India’s favority rum “Old Monk”. The main attraction are the Christ Church, the Heritage Bazaar area, and the Monkey Point temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

After roaming the bazaars for a bit, we indulged in a bowl of hot thukpa and the delicious momos, that have become a staple of all hill towns in India today. Will the autumn evening setting in early, we took an impromptu decision of staying back for the night, to relax and recuperate in the crisp mountain air, and then explore the town a little more the next day.

With no prior bookings, thankfully it wasn’t tourist season yet, we headed to the HP Tourism bungalow – Ros Common (towards Monkey Point), and were relieved to get a room there. Dinner was simple roti – subzi – dal – chawal. The next day we woke up lazily without any itinerary or agenda. Chilling on the lawns of the bungalow, and sipping chai under the pines, with birdsong for company, and hardly any other guests.

Post a lazy breakfast and then after checking out from the hotel, we first headed to the Sanjeevani Hanuman temple at Monkey Point. Then was the Christ Church on Mall Road. Built in 1853, this church with its grounds filled with towering pines, is a quaint little place of worship. The Tibetan Market on the Mall Road is okay if you want to indulge in some quick and cheap fashion shopping.

Late afternoon was approaching and it was time for us to drive back to City Beautiful, after a lovely, quick and importantly, impromptu trip to this little quaint hill town.

For more travel tales and a gallery full of travel and nature photographs, ping me in Instagram at @thewanderjoy