Sipping a double shot cappuccino with my girlie, I bore her with tale of my recent resignation, while she bored me with tale of her recent breakup! That’s when we decided to shut off girlie mouths and cash a long awaited gift voucher at an eco resort in “Shoghi” ( An offbeat destination not quite known to tourist , approx 20km before Shimla )! It was time to get home and Pack N Ride!
After a smelly omlette and disgusting coffee in the train , we finally reached Kalka station at 12 Noon ( Yes our train was running late and FYS ( For your safety) - Try not to eat food in Indian Railway, not really good for sensitive stomachs!!
Friday Afternoon – 12 Noon – Kalka Railway Station : Destination Shoghi : 60km away) We decided to take a flavor of Local bus to reach our resort, walking down 3 km from the station to bus stop with luggage was just the beginning of our trip ! Luckily we got the bus but not the seat ! Managed our way to the last bumpy seat where someone had managed to already occupy the floor with his huge luggage ! Less people more luggage at the rear end of the bus .
After 3 hours of humpty dumpty ride and on – off Nausea , we managed to reach Shoghi ! JJ
Friday Early evening – 3pm – Aamod Resosrt, Shoghi : (Destination : 0 km) Located in the Shahlaghat Village of Solan district , Aamod Resort is a nature’s quite abode ! Surrounded by a thick cover of Oak and Pine tress, the resort gives its guests the best a nature can give. After a warm welcome at their open bar of Colonial Restaurant with chilled apple juice , we made our way to out cottage while surviving the hail and heavy rainfall!Tip :
Due to a lot of sloppy area and walking, I would not recommend old people or people with walking disabilities to stay here .
It is a perfect place for couples, honeymooners, private parties or avid writers who would enjoy nature more than people!
Tariff : Starting from Rs. 8000 for Deluxe Cottages per night
Website : http://aamod.in/shoghi/about-shoghi
Friday , Evening , 6:00 pm : Looking at the hotel food menu, we realized it’s going to burn a hole in both our pockets, combined! Thankfully we carried Cup-a-mania’s ( Cup Noodles). Unwinding ourselves in our private balcony where all we could see was rain and hear “TOY TRAIN” going chuk chuk chuk !!!
That was the time I really wished I had a lover! And Man , more that that I wished I had my favorite Italian Brew coffee ! Instead all I had was Readymade Nescafe coffee pouch. huh!
Saturday , Early morning : 8 am : Today we decided to go see Shimla! We geared up with oodles of clothes and borrowed an umbrella from the Hotel, right outside the resort, we managed to hitch hike a bus without a bus stop!
Destination Shimla : 20km – Known for the Church Square, The Mall Road and Toy Train , North India’s most alive hill station, welcomed us with snowfall !!! My very 1st snowfall ( With a girllll ,,, why couldn't it be filmy with my man wrapping around me and walking the Mall while it snows ???).
So yeah we walked through The Mall , only- Pedestrian walk way, the area is the most crowded place, bustling with shops, Restaurants ( Ranging from old Pastry Shops to new coffee houses like CCD).
We found a Punjabi Restaurant in the downhill area of the Mall , “Singh’s Kitchen” : Me being Punjabi got drawn to it’s Cholae and Amritsari Naan, while my friend scrounged over some Goat meat whose name I can’t recall ! Total Bill : Rs. 200 !!!!
After a fulfilling meal , we decided to get something packed for the night so that we don’t have to spend extra bucks on overly charged Hotel food . Much famous there is a very smallChinese Restaurant named “Aunty’s “ , if you’re lucky you’re waiting number would be 3-4 or else there’s a long queue outside . Dinner Bill : Rs. 125 !!!! J J
Time to head back to our resort before it gets dark. Although local its said that Himachal Pradesh is any day safer than Delhi, we two lone girls didn't want more adventure in our diary.
After 2 fully crowded local buses we managed to reach our Resort in 1 piece.With lights down low, watching “Zindagi Na Mielgi Doabra Movie” , cozying up in the heat of heater and 3 sweaters, we enjoyed our dinner and decided to call this a night to board an early morning bus back to Shimla to get our hands on ticket to TOY TRAIN !!!!
Sunday . 8 am : Packed our backs, bid adieu to the lavish Eco-Resort ,we board our bus to Shimla and rushed to get our ticket for the next train to Kalka at 10am ! It was time to get back home , Delhi.
Sunday, 10 am : ( Destination Kalka : 90 km) : Toy Trains are UNESCO World Heritage Site, giving it’s riders a treat to soak in the beauty of nature , It’s an average 5-6 hours slow journey to Kalka . The tickets can be booked at irctc.co.in website as well . Now to be honest, I got bored after 2 hours! Specially because of irritating habit of Indian men to swarm around young girls ! Just like a dog and his affection for Bone!
Sunday, Afternoon , 4 pm : ( Destination Kalka : 0 km) So here we were at a railway station, and dude can you believe, it was STILL RAINING !!!! ( now that was some wet trip we had) .So now we needed to think how to reach Delhi, I stood over a long queue at the ticket counter to ask the man about the next train to Delhi, but as it appears he was an a** .On my question that “ Bhaiya delhi kaunsi train jaygi and ticket milegi kya ? “ , he replied “ Enquiry mein ja kae pcuho” . I responded “ Wo kaha hai?” . he screamed out “ Mujhe kya pata , ja deaekh Apne aap !” … and man that was it , I just said “ *^***#^ &##**# “ !
Running from one end to another at the station, apparently everyone their know we had some trouble ! So guy comes and say, “The reservation counters are closed, you have to take a general ticket for a local train, and the next train is leaving in 5min” .
Did he just say Local Train????? Meaning broken berths, Paan inked sides , smelly people , and pop eyed uncles?? ?? But we had no choice; we took general ticket till Chandigarh.
Sunday Afternoon , 4:45 pm , : ( Destination Chandigarh : 30km) Killing our Delhi attitude and forgetting we are girls grown up in not so rough society, we travelled through the local train, reaching Chandigrah station was a treat but what we didn’t know that getting down would be so hard. We got stuck between people rushing in the compartment, after 5-6min of shouting “ Bhaiyaa hatiyee,,utarnee dijiye “ and pushing them we managed to stumble down on the platform ! Phewww.. I was ALIVE . We now had to rush to the bus stop to get out bus to Delhi. After 5min Bargain with Auto driver, we got him agreed at nominal price to drop us ASAP at the bus stop ! It seemed he got a chance to drive his Ferrari !
Sunday Evening , Evening 6 pm : After too much of local experience we needed a luxury journey now, and nothing’s better that VOLVO bus service by Haryana Roadways . Plying every 30min from Chandigarh to Delhi. But if it’s a weekend, you better get a seat booked in advance. After a lot of struggle and puppy face looks, I managed to get the ticket for two for a 6:30 pm bus.
Reaching Delhi at 11:30 pm – And that was the end of out journey full of adventure and cost cutting and not to forget RAIN !!!Things to keep in mind/ Things to do :
- Book your tickets in advance be it bus/ train ! Haryana Roadways and Himachal Roadways ( HPTDC) provides for great road service .
- Never forget a raincoat when travelling to the hills .
- If you love nature , and want some peace , and have some extra buck , AAMOD Resort is the place to stay .
- While in Shimla, enjoy the coffee at various shops while overlooking The Mall.
- Famous for wooden works , do get something packed as a souvenir. ( Lakkad Bazaar, Behind the Ridge)
- Toy Train – A must try atleast once .
- Want some more snow, nature parks , skiing ??? Head to “Kufrii – 16km ahead of Shimla “ – known for winter sports.