Winter in Shimla - Decoded

23rd Jan 2019

The path leading to the iconic Viceregal Lodge

Photo of Winter in Shimla - Decoded by Tanush Pas
Day 1

Let's begin from the start.

Like every epic Shimla trip, we decided to skip the cabs and buses and hitched a ride on the magnificent Himalayan Queen toy train from Kalka Railway Station, a stone's throw away from Chandigarh.

The train chugged up the hills and the fun had started to begin!

The weather decided to get rough and we had rainfall at the lower elevation combined with the dreaded Himalayan freezing cold. But snow was still elusive.

As the train climbed uphill, small traces of snow began to show up and then we winded up at Barog, the most scenic railway station in India.

It was here when the elusive snow began to show up. Unfortunately it was in trace amount and quickly melted away as you placed on your hands.

Make sure to get the potato cutlet and a warm cup of tea to beat the freeze here.

And yeah, the temperatures hover near the freezing point even during the afternoons during the winter, so it's a good idea to get your winter wear along.

Next the train chugged along the scenic Solan District, among the most underrated places in Himachal Pradesh.

Just have a look at the scenic views here!

Photo of Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Tanush Pas
Photo of Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Tanush Pas

As the train snaked through tunnels and mountain passes, we were greeted with a sight to behold.

Fresh snow at Kathleeghat Railway Station, in Shimla district.

And the first snow experience just began ! Temperature : -1 degrees Celsius. After a good photoshoot, the train sped across to Shimla and we were greeted with iconic sights all along the way.

After a beautiful journey uphill, an unpleasant surprise awaited us at Shimla. A complete city shutdown; roads blocked and electricity out and not to mention slippery ice everywhere. This is the drawback of a snowy winter.

The hotels here too were a tad bit expensive as many tourists were stranded and willing to pay anything for a warm night stay. Temperatures were falling steadily and we were lucky to find a room for a good price near Mall Road and decided to settle there. The night was a painful one with the cold being unforgiving.

Day 2

The next day we woke up to monkeys banging the windows, probably looking for food. The sight outside was pleasant. The locals told me that this was the highest amount of snow Shimla ever received in the past 20 years! We decided to stroll on the iconic Mall Road and have a piping hot breakfast and then head to New Shimla, where we had our previous booking.

After freshening up, decided to head on towards light sightseeing in the city.

Time to head out ..

A quaint temple to relax and find good vibes at. Offers scenic views of the city and beyond.

This was followed by an uphill climb to the magnificent Viceregal Lodge atop Summer Hill, once served as the headquarters for the British Government.

To unwind after a good winter's day out at Shimla, take a break at the iconic Mall Road. Always hustling and bustling even in freezing temperatures.

Day 3

Now to the best Shimla Experience

News got out that the roads leading to Kufri have been cleared, thanks to the local government and the army. Now without wasting much time, decided to visit Kufri before the weather gets ugly.

Make sure to have a pitstop at Green Valley enroute Kufri, a good place for photoshoots and scenic views.

Now it's time to land at Kufri.

During winters, Kufri becomes a whole different place. You'll have skiing, horse riding, yak rides and what more. Undoubtedly, Kufri is the go to place for snow sporting and adventure here!

Make sure to have ginger chai regularly to beat the freezing cold up here.

Well, that's it for the Winter Shimla Experience. You can drop a dm or comment on my instagram page for more details.

Here's the clothing/ equipment I had carried for the trip:

1. Thermals

2. Leather Jacket and Fleece Jacket

3. Gaiters and Wet Pants

4. Snow Gloves and Woolen Gloves

5. UV Protected Sunglasses

6. Sunscreen