Staying true to our New Years Resolution 2019, Mishka and I wandered off to Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh for our Feb destination. A beautiful drive of nearly 6 hrs. doesn’t seem exhausting when you have good company and good tunes to keep you entertained. Despite not being morning people, we started our journey relatively early to avoid the Delhi Monday office traffic. With the winter sun streaming in and the car zooming at 90 on the open road, it was our own little movie road-trip sequence. So grateful for the lack of buses and trucks and the 90 km/hr. speed limit. Do maintain your speed, cus there are plenty of cops to make your wallet light.
As is with any road-trip for Mishka and I, we had to make a pit stop to pick up some freshly squeezed orange juice as sustenance. There are plenty of vendors and on a hot day, this au naturel juice with no additives is just what Just A Desi Chori needs. And if hunger strikes, hundreds of dhabas are lined to graciously serve you hot paranthas and lassi and being super reasonably priced is just the kicker.
Our stay for a few days was the lovely cottage homestay, Mahal Farms, with views that made waking up in the morning worth it. A personal backyard trail, amazingly friendly staff and in-house kitchen and you wouldn’t even want to leave your cottage. Since we landed during a week day, Mishka and I had the entire place to ourselves and were free to be in our element of playing around and just relaxing outdoors to soak up the much-needed sun and the clean fresh crisp air.
Forever Travel Partner
Honestly, there isn’t much to do in Kasauli, but I guess that’s the best part. It is a retreat for those craving the disconnect from society and the digital world. Our agenda for our Feb trip was to have no agenda, no sightseeing but simply take in the sights and be content with our own company.
Just Making Memories
But as a check-off for having visited Kasauli, Mishka and I explored a few touristy spots.
The sunset point is a short 7 min drive and a quick walk from Mahal Farms and if you take your car, you’d be asked for Rs. 100 entry fees. In the midst of the Air Force cantonment area, overlooking the valley is Kasauli’s top tourist attraction. Make sure you check the sunset time before heading there and having to wait in the chill breeze with nothing much to do but click pictures and contemplate life. While you are in that area, take a stroll along the road and check out the Gilbert Trail, Lovers Point and Suicide Point, for a better view of the mountains and the valley.
The misty mornings, sun filled afternoons and the setting sun would be a delight for any photographer and nature enthusiast. So, set up your tripod and catch the light playing wonders on the tall pine trees.
Interacting with locals is in my opinion the best way to immerse in a culture and a place and the Mall Road is where you’ll find tourists, locals and goof food alike. Although it is a short strip, its fun to walk around and enjoy people watching.
Be very cautious of the Monkeys and Stray Dogs. Do Not Take Your Dog, especially if it is a small, playful little thing like Mishka. The monkeys are probably smarter than you and I and there is no outsmarting them by giving them food.
Savor the freshly made hot momos and buy souvenirs for remembrance.
Another picturesque attraction is this quiet little postcard church. Nestled amongst trees and cobbled stones, it makes for a great couple’s photo location. Take your boo and get dreamy photos for your house or even just Instagram.
Its Chai Time:
Road Side Chai
In the Mountains, the Air is Good
In the Mountains, the People are Nicer
But In the Mountains, the Chai is the Best.
The cold breeze and stretched out views and a cup of steaming hot chai with biscuits sounds so cliched, but I suppose it is cliched for a good reason. Those few moments of sipping hot tea, sitting on the side of the road and listening to the locals discuss their daily life are just precious and makes you wonder about why those mundane things bother us so much and why are we running around aimlessly. For these are the moments that re-charge us for a continued aimless struggle.
We like sitting in the trunk and enjoying the view
On our last day in Kasauli, we were all packed and opened the curtains for the last glimpse of nature in its glory. Only to realize it had been snowing all morning. The previously green leaves were now laced with soft white flakes and the steady snowfall felt like an invitation for a last stroll before heading home.
It was also Mishka’s first snowfall and although it was freezing, her curiosity to taste every flake was fun to watch. We wish we could have extended our stay and enjoyed the magic of the mountains from the comfort of the heated cottage, but Delhi awaits and so does planning for our next destination.
For all those looking to spend quality time with that book you have been meaning to crack open, or that person you wish you could spend more time with, or just sit by yourself and mull over memories, your future or simply be in the present Kasauli is a great spot.
Relax amongst the chill breeze and warm people and be content.