Kasauli, located about 303 kms. from Delhi has long been the well-kept secret of many, where people go and rejuvinate themselves time and again. It is not really a developed city as far as tourism is concerned, which in-turn is a good thing. The people of Kasauli have set up what is known as ‘Society for Protection of Kasauli’ that has indeed been successful in keepting at bay the over-development of the place, that ultimately spoils the charm connected to the destination. It is one of the small towns developed by the British during the ‘hey days’ of the empire, and reached by a branch road from the Kalka-Shimla road, the quite beautiful hill-station.
It is a actually a small cantonment town in Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The town is the home of the Kasauli Brewery, which is the highest brewery and distillery in the world. The cantonment was established in 1842 by the British colonial rulers as a hill station. Located 77 km from Shimla, 65 km from Chandigarh and 50 km from Panchkula, it still retains the old world charms and is a throwback to the past.
You start your journey early morning from the National Capital, Delhi towards Kasauli, to avoid any kind of traffic hassles that comes as the day breaks. The first destination should ideally be the Zhilmil dhaba at Karnal, about 125kms. from Delhi. This place serves some mind-blowing paranthas and curd. Make sure you savour the wonderful taste that this dhaba has to offer before moving on. Move straight on NH-1 until you hit Zirakpur, from where the next destination should be Kalka. It is at Kalka where a small roads diverts towards Kasauli. Do keep an eye out for this road, or else you might very well end up reaching Shimla!
Once on this narrow, winding road, the scenery all around changes drastically. You feel one with nature looking at the beautiful hills standing tall as if trying to touch the clouds hovering above it. As the road winds uphill, the temperature begins to drop, and there is a nice chill (nip, really) in the air which should be experienced first-hand to be really appreciated. About 1 hour of those winding roads will take you up to the main Kasauli town where you can find many hotels for accomodation. Generally, Kasauli is not really known amongst tourists, who prefer going all the way to Shimla. Hence, finding an accomodation is not really going to be a tough ask here. ???? In the evening, one can either take a leisurely stroll on the roads of Kasauli, or perhaps try and visit the places in and around Kasauli, if you feel like. Either way, it is surely going to be a wonderful experience with the beautiful weather that Kasauli has to offer to the tourists.
Some of the places which should ideally be visited on a trip to Kasauli are the following:
Monkey Point: It is the highest point in Kasauli which gives a wonderful view of the distant Chandigarh plains. On the top of the hill, there is a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanumana. It is said that Lord Hanuman landed on this place before jumping on the Sanjivani Hill to collect the herb to cure Lord Laxman.
Dharampur: It is situated on National Highway No. 22 and is just 15 km from Kasauli. This place near Kasauli has one of the best tuberculosis treatment centres in India.
Baba Balak Nath Temple: This temple is located on the Graner Hill top. It is said that couples having no issues visit this temple to be blessed with a child.
Shirdi Sai baba temple: This temple built by Sai Baba Trust in 1989 is dedicated to Sai Baba. The burning flame of the temple signifies the divine power of Sai Baba.
Christ Church: This is one of the finest and oldest churches in Kasauli. This Church is of Anglican structure which was founded in 1844. This Church is presently managed by diocese of Amritsar and is one of the most spiritual places in the town.
Lawrence School and Pinegrove School: Lawrence school in Kasauli lies on the Shimla Hills and was established in 1847 with strength of 14 boys and girls. Another school here is the Pinegrove School which was established in the year 1991 and is purely a residential co-educational institution.
Dagshai: It is one of the oldest British Cantonments at the foothills of the Shivalik Hills and lies at a height of about 6000 ft above sea level. This place has a scenic beauty which attracts thousands of tourists form all over the world every year.
Apart from these, there are several short treks inside the town which you can explore on your own. These treks are short and are sure to rejuvinate your mind and body both before you eventually get back to the daily chores of life in the urban city which we have somehow come to call us as our ‘home’.
The most happening place in Kasauli is the junction of Upper and Lower Malls both of which are markets with shops selling daily commodities and souvenirs for tourists. The Lower Mall boasts local restaurants selling local fast food.
Being a cantonment town, entry to Kasauli is restricted. Foreign citizens must carry their passports. The best time to visit Kasauli is between April and June, and September and November. Kasauli largely remains untouched by civilisation. During off-season (November-February) it is still possible to walk kilometers without running into other people (unlike its neighbouring cities).
Although I almost always prefer to take the road instead of the train or the flight to any place (I ride my motorcycle to places, you see), it is not really compulsory that you must follow suit! If you don’t want to drive for long, there are other options available to reach Kasauli as well.The Kalka town of Haryana, situated 40 km from Kasauli, forms the nearest railhead for the hill resort. The train journey from Delhi to Kalka will take you past mesmerizing natural beauty, which is sure to make a place for itself in your heart. After getting down at the Kalka railway station, you can either take a bus or a taxi to Kasauli.
If you are in that part of the country (Himachal Pradesh), please make it a point to have Kasauli on your itenerary.
It will surely not disappoint you; this much I can personally guarantee! However, also do keep in mind that if you are the type whose idea of ‘relaxation’ is to go to some ‘mall-road’, and shopping their hearts out and having a gala time going to a market full of like-minded tourists, then you will find NOTHING in Kasauli. You are, perhaps, better off visiting places like Manali or Shimla..On second thoughts, perhaps you should stay in the urban jungle we have lovingly started calling our ‘home’!