"You must visit Shimla once", my friend at college used to say. "It is heaven and has quite beautiful places to visit". It's nothing like Delhi, where you cannot find greenery anywhere, just buildings everywhere. Once he started on the topic of Shimla, it was quite difficult to stop him. In order to fulfil his desires as well as ours, we planned for a trip of a week this summer. A team of four of our best friends started preparing for the trip as the summers in Delhi is quite extreme.
Planning for the trip
As our vacations neared we started planning our trip and started making arrangements as well. We looked for the places to visit in and around Shimla and then came to know about Kalka-Shimla Railway. This site has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, and hence we planned to try it for sure. We booked the tickets in Howrah Delhi Kalka Mail train, booked our ticket in Shivalik Deluxe Express and also booked our resort in Koti Resorts. Even in the peak time of summer, we were able to get this Luxury resort in Himachal Pradesh at affordable rates.
The trip from Delhi to Shimla
On the day of the journey, we reached the old Delhi railway station the designated time and found out that the train was late by 15 minutes. We relaxed a bit and waited patiently for the train to arrive. Finally, after the train left the station, we were again filled with joy in the hope to reach our destination. After having the dinner we took a nap and were surprised to find out that we fell asleep quickly. When we opened our eyes, we had reached the Chandi Mandir station and started packing our bags. At 5 am we reached Shimla.
Then after freshening up a bit, we boarded the Shivalik Deluxe Express. It was quite an amazing train with quite small and narrow coaches. Since we were used to seeing the wide and long trains, it amazed us a bit. As the train started, it was an amazing ride as it passed through the hills. We passed through a large number of bridges and tunnels. Earlier we were counting the number of bridges and tunnels we passed but in due course of time we lost our count and had to look on Wikipedia later. Finally, after a 5-hour long journey, we reached Shimla.
After arriving Shimla, we booked the cab to go to Koti Resorts, and the journey between Manali to Koti Resort was too was quite exhilarating with amazing twists and turns. While most of enjoying, one of our friends was feeling a bit afraid. Finally, we arrived at our resort and were amazed by the location in which it was situated. With hills on all sides and greenery all over, we were mesmerized by its beauty. After visiting the rooms we were amazed and can proudly say that this has been the best resort in Himachal Pradesh I have ever been to. We were greeted and during our stay found out the staff to be quite friendly and helpful.
Some of the places we visited
We were completely tired and exhausted for the day and slept the remaining time after having the breakfast. It was in the next day that we went for river rafting in Tattapani River. We also came to know about the Quad Biking that was taking place nearby and tried our hands on the same. Both the activities were quite enthralling and came to know more about ourselves. The next day we went for Naldehra which features the oldest and highest golf court in India. After that, we visited The Retreat Building which is the official retreat building for the President of India. We were stupefied by its grandeur and its beauty. We also did some shopping in the Mall road where the main tourist attractions were the handicrafts that were on display. In the latter days, we also visited Shyamala Devi Temple, Jakhu Hanuman temple, and the Ridge. We also visited Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary where we came face to face with many birds and wild animals in their natural habitat.
As the trip ended, we finally bid farewell to Shimla with a heavy heart and with the hope to revisit the place later again.