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Old 26th August 2012, 18:29   #1
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Default A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

My "LUV" was almost 2 months old and I desperately wanted to take it out on a long drive. Luckily for me, I had a long weekend (Id) and hence decided to use it as an opportunity. I had quite a few options on mind - Shimla, Udaipur, Jim Corbett. However, one of my friends mentioned to me about a resort by name "Baikunth (www.baikunth.com)" in Kasauli as being spectacular and worth visiting once. Besides, Kasauli seemed appropriate as it was around 330Kms (5-6 hrs drive) and also in the mountains. So, I finalized this as my destination. I booked 2 rooms in the resort well in advance; almost a month ahead as usually this is a property that is full most of the time. The entire booking process was completed online/telephone and an advance of 50% paid.

Day 1: 18th aug
Once the booking was done, I was now waiting anxiously for the morning of 18th Aug. The day soon arrived and we (5 of us, my wife and son, my in laws and I) set out in the morning by around 6:45 AM from Gurgaon. We took the Route via Dhaula Kuan and headed on to Outer ring road, crossed Punjabi Bagh, Azadpur mandi and hit NH 1 towards Panipat. We faced some traffic at Azadpur Mandi, but otherwise it was pretty smooth drive. NH1 is awesome and the drive from Delhi to Panipat was pretty fast. We stopped en route at Murthal and had breakfast at Gulshan Dhaba. Murthal for the uninformed is a place with a plethora of Dhabas and most of these offer fantastic Punjabi and Indian food.

Started off with quite some luggage. The last row was folded to make way for the same.

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00851.jpg

The thing we liked about Gulshan's Dhaba was the seating (read plentiful), the cleanliness and hygiene and of course the awesome food. We had parathas for breakfast, while my son as usual feasted on noodles. We then set out for Zirakhpur, the next point in our journey. We left Murthal at around 9:30 AM. The stretch from Murthal to Panipat is awesome. Entire Panipat City was completed over a flyover. However, as we reached Karnal, we encountered several slow stretches due to flyover construction. This lasted well over 15-20 mins. Similar stretches were encountered near Ambala as well and finally we reached Zirakhpur around 11 AM.

From here we took a right towards Shimla and hit the picturesque Himalayan Expressway which is NH22. This is really an awesome sight with the road gradually winding up hill. The route we took was Zirakhpur through Panchkula to Kalka byepass along NH22, Jabli and finally hit Dharampur. Just before Dharampur town we took a left to Kasuali (12Kms from Dharampur). Along this stretch we encountered narrow roads with some bad stretches. We also encountered mild drizzle making the jouney even more beautiful. As you head along this stretch, we reached Gharkhal, from where we took a right for about 3Kms to reach the resort.

The beginning of the Himalayan Expressway.
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00827.jpg

The climb to the hills. Really awesome drive.
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00839.jpg

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00840.jpg

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00843.jpg


The entry to the resort had a very steep climb and my "Luv" did not pose any trouble climbing this stretch. We checked in at around 2PM and were welcomed with a welcome drink. The rooms offered to us were right on the top and again on the 1st floor. I was really enchanted by the sheer beauty of this resort. As we entered the room we were greeted to a large room with impeccably maintained bed with smooth "Maspar" Linen and well maintained bathroom. The room had a balcony that opened to the mountains. Sheer bliss.

The resort is self contained with several amenities for the guests. There is an activity centre that offers facilities for games like a Pool table, Dart board, carrom board, TT, Chess and outdoor games like a track for cricket, basket ball net and Badminton. All equipment for the games is provided by the resort. The resort has a restaurant that offers multicuisine food as well as a cafeteria that offers snacks and tea. You also have facilities like sauna, massage spa, steam bath etc along with Ayurvedic consultations with doctors if required.

That's the room we stayed in.

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00899.jpg

A view from the room's Balcony. Isn't that lovely?
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00864.jpg

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00866.jpg

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00880.jpg

That's the activity centre with facilities to play several games.

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00868.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00869.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00872.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00874.jpg

We spent the first day roaming around in the resort. We also spent time at the activity centre and had an early dinner at around 8:30 PM. Our plan for the next day was to drive down early in the morning to Shimla, roam around Shimla and return in the evening to see Kasauli town. However, we woke up the next day to an entire different Sunday.

Day 2: Aug 19th
What started as minor drizzles till around 9 AM, turned out as a party spoiler later. We completed our complimentary breakfast and got ready to leave and that's when the skies really opened up. It rained and rained as if there was no tomorrow. The whole first half was wrecked by heavy downpour. We spent the entire morning in our rooms. Even the TVs were not working. Since we were 5 of us we spent the time chatting. We had lunch in the resort and then came back to our rooms hoping that it would relent, but alas no luck till around 3PM, when the rains subsided. We quickly set out at 4:30PM to Kasauli town which is about 9 kms from the resort.

Some shots of flora at the resort

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A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00885.jpg
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We reached the town at around 5PM and then drove into the main market. Kasauli has a street called Mall road and an old church. In addition there is ‘Monkey point’, named after the plethora of monkeys you see around here. There is a street (Market road) with several eateries that offer some cheap and delicious food. We walked around the town for an hour and a half, had some Bhutta and French fries and returned to our resort by 8:30PM. We were happy that at least we were able to see Kasauli town. We then retired to our rooms by 9PM post a fantastic buffet dinner at the resort. The plan was to leave by 9 AM the next day, visit Kalka Mandir, Chandigarh town enroute to Gurgaon. Little did we know that the next day would turn out be a day mare.

Kasauli Town:

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00920.jpg

Day 3: Aug 20th
We started from the resort by 10AM and drove down towards Kalka. The drive was smooth and quick. We reached Kalka at around 11:30 AM. I parked the car opposite the temple and we went for the Darshan. We had a very good Darshan, but never realized that we would have unfortunate news awaiting us. As we reached our car, we found that the rear left door window was broken and someone had stolen my wife’s and mother in law’s handbags. It had several documents, credit and debit cards. I quickly called up the respective banks and got the cards blocked. But what we failed to understand was despite so many people around, how this happened. My father in law and I went to the police station and reported the incident. The Inspector visited the site and car and subsequently filed a DDR. All this took 2.5hrs of our time. We finally left Kalka at 2PM.

Enroute, we enquired at several Maruti showrooms for a replacement glass. We finally managed to find one at Karnal showroom. We drove straight to Karnal ditching our plans of Chandigarh visit. We had to bear the heat as I could not switch on the AC. We managed to reach Karnal by 5PM. The glass replacement was done by 6PM. Despite being famished, we decided to drive on and have dinner at Murthal. We reached Murthal at around 8PM and had a lavish dinner and reached home by 10PM.

Even though day 3 turned out to be a real dampener, the overall trip was fantastic. I would definitely recommend this resort to people who like to spend peaceful time amidst nature. Though the resort is slightly on the expensive side, it is definitely a wonderful experience.

Random shots of the sheer beauty of nature:

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00940.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00860.jpg  

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00888.jpg  

A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00911.jpg  


Last edited by nurni76 : 27th August 2012 at 21:15.
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Old 28th August 2012, 10:28   #2
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th August 2012, 08:14   #3
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

That looks like a stress buster despite the one unfortunate incident. The resort looks lovely and I'm sure a better place to spend amidst rains.

The mountain highway looks fantastic! Pardon my ignorance, but is it 4 laned all the way up? What is the toll they charge?

I remember seeing Gulshan Dhaba in TLC or some other channel. The place apparently is quite famous in the stretch and seems to be flocked by many regulars on the route. Needless to say, food must be delicious then!

And what was the FE you got on this trip?
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Old 29th August 2012, 08:22   #4
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

But why do you leave valuable things inside a locked car and that visible to any one from outside, inviting sure theft? In my car, I never ever allow anyone to leave such stuff and when they have, it is suitably hidden or camouflaged.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:31   #5
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Agree with HVK. You should have either carried along with yourself (could have gone inside the temple in two groups for darshan) or have placed in LUV such that it is not visible form any angle. Do not trust people roaming / standing around you car at new places. I hope that the thief couldn't use any of the cards?

By the way, you left Murthal at 9:30 AM and reached Zirakpur at 11:00 AM, seems to be a typo mistake, unless you drive double the prescribed speed limits.

And why did you not got the window glass replaced at Kalka, Panchkula, Chandigarh or Ambala. There are lots of Maruti delaers / workshops in these towns on the route. Actually you faced heat and also took a risk by reaching Karnal. The workshops normally close by 5:30 / 6:00 PM.

Anyhow, you trip was good but did you not visit Chail? It's also a good place to visit, I would say better than Kasauli.

Cheers!
Irish
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Old 29th August 2012, 12:22   #6
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
Agree with HVK. You should have either carried along with yourself (could have gone inside the temple in two groups for darshan) or have placed in LUV such that it is not visible form any angle. Do not trust people roaming / standing around you car at new places. I hope that the thief couldn't use any of the cards?
Yes I agree, we learnt it the hard way. We thought the vehicle is opposite the temple where many people were around and hence would be ok; We managed to block all cards so that was not a concern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
By the way, you left Murthal at 9:30 AM and reached Zirakpur at 11:00 AM, seems to be a typo mistake, unless you drive double the prescribed speed limits.
Actually we reached Zirakhpur around 12 Noon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
And why did you not got the window glass replaced at Kalka, Panchkula, Chandigarh or Ambala. There are lots of Maruti delaers / workshops in these towns on the route. Actually you faced heat and also took a risk by reaching Karnal. The workshops normally close by 5:30 / 6:00 PM.
We checked with Dealers in Kalka, Panchkula, Ambala. None of them had the glass in stock. The only showroom that had the glass was Karnal. Hence, had to drive till Karnal. We were lucky to reach the showroom just in time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
Anyhow, you trip was good but did you not visit Chail? It's also a good place to visit, I would say better than Kasauli.
As I mentioned we had planned to drive to Shimla on Day 2, but heavy rains made us stay indoors for the better part of Sunday. Yes Chail is now on my travel list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
But why do you leave valuable things inside a locked car and that visible to any one from outside, inviting sure theft? In my car, I never ever allow anyone to leave such stuff and when they have, it is suitably hidden or camouflaged.
Mistake..... I will hence forth ensure not to leave anything inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvurride View Post
That looks like a stress buster despite the one unfortunate incident. The resort looks lovely and I'm sure a better place to spend amidst rains.

The mountain highway looks fantastic! Pardon my ignorance, but is it 4 laned all the way up? What is the toll they charge?

I remember seeing Gulshan Dhaba in TLC or some other channel. The place apparently is quite famous in the stretch and seems to be flocked by many regulars on the route. Needless to say, food must be delicious then!

And what was the FE you got on this trip?
Thanks luvurride. That was a stress buster despite the mishap. 4 lanes is not all the way up. I think after Parwanoo, it becomes a 2 lane, but road is good till Dharampur, after which it is narrow.

Overall FE for the trip was 19.8Kmpl.

Last edited by nurni76 : 29th August 2012 at 12:24.
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Old 29th August 2012, 12:36   #7
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Thats a well written travelogue with nice pictures. If only I could afford to take leave and escape like you.

Leaving behind a handbag is a sin. I lock doors and hide my cell phone and Ipod when I drive so I would tell you to please be careful.

Safety is more important than convienence. I can relate that depositing things at crowded places is a pain but blocking cards and driving in the heat is worse.

You should have put up more pictures. Well done.
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Old 29th August 2012, 13:31   #8
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

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Originally Posted by nurni76 View Post
We had to bear the heat as I could not switch on the AC.
And why is that you did not switch on the AC?
Was it because of the broken glass only? Or, was it because having it on or off did not make a difference in the cabin?
A nice travelogue nevertheless and feel sorry for that incident with the broken glass.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 30th August 2012, 22:33   #9
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

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Originally Posted by starter View Post
And why is that you did not switch on the AC?
Was it because of the broken glass only? Or, was it because having it on or off did not make a difference in the cabin?
A nice travelogue nevertheless and feel sorry for that incident with the broken glass.
Cheers,
Deepak
yes because of the broken glass. Luckily the weather was cool and did not cause much trouble
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhishekB86 View Post
Thats a well written travelogue with nice pictures. If only I could afford to take leave and escape like you.

Leaving behind a handbag is a sin. I lock doors and hide my cell phone and Ipod when I drive so I would tell you to please be careful.

Safety is more important than convienence. I can relate that depositing things at crowded places is a pain but blocking cards and driving in the heat is worse.

You should have put up more pictures. Well done.
I never took leave. Just Saturday, sunday and Monday (holiday due to Id). I have some more pictures. I will try and upload over the weekend.
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Old 30th August 2012, 23:49   #10
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

Nice pictures and beautiful place/resort it seems. Except that instance on 3rd day, seemed a great trip! That economy figure is really good for a big car. I'm planning to travel Delhi in October, stay there for a week, yet to decide what places around Delhi we should be going at that time of year. This can be a good quick destination, thanks for sharing!
Drive safe.
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Old 31st August 2012, 10:51   #11
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

Nice resort with beautiful scenery.

Sorry to hear about the bad incident but at least now you will never leave any valuables exposed. I always put items in the trunk or camouflage them before leaving.

Anyways thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 1st September 2012, 10:46   #12
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Nice resort with beautiful scenery.

Sorry to hear about the bad incident but at least now you will never leave any valuables exposed. I always put items in the trunk or camouflage them before leaving.

Anyways thanks for sharing your experience.
Thanks; yes now I have learnt the lesson, will never leave anything, though for the last 10 years have never faced a situation like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
Nice pictures and beautiful place/resort it seems. Except that instance on 3rd day, seemed a great trip! That economy figure is really good for a big car. I'm planning to travel Delhi in October, stay there for a week, yet to decide what places around Delhi we should be going at that time of year. This can be a good quick destination, thanks for sharing!
Drive safe.
Yes the resort is really beautiful, though slightly on the expensive side. You could look at Kasauli and also do Chail/Shimla along with it.

Attaching some more pictures
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00904.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00850.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00865.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00887.jpg
A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"-dsc00846.jpg
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Old 5th September 2012, 16:44   #13
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

Glad to hear the trouble free performance of LUV in hills. The expressway must have really been good. The break-in news is an eye-opener. Frankly, until now i had never thought about such a possibility! Coming to think of this, the beautiful glasshouse that ertiga is, keeping valuables out in the open will be an open invitation to disaster.
Nice write-up and good photos. About the resort, if i may ask, how expensive is expensive (just to keep tab for a future visit) ?
Although i would love to take such a trip in my LUV, it appears to be a distant dream since i am struck down south. Every year however, we take similar trips from Delhi in 2 innovas.
Tks to your travelogue, I can add more destinations kasauli, chail (tks Irish), etc. to my future list.
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Old 5th September 2012, 17:29   #14
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Default Re: A trip to Kasauli in my "LUV"

my friend was contemplating a LUV but is confusedd with petrol or diesel. your log clearly shows that LUV has undue power left to handle terrains.

amazing location chosen, luv the pictures.
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Old 9th September 2012, 22:07   #15
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my friend was contemplating a LUV but is confusedd with petrol or diesel. your log clearly shows that LUV has undue power left to handle terrains.

amazing location chosen, luv the pictures.
If your friend drives more than 800Kms a month, then diesel it is. It has much more torque than the Petrol and will perform better in the hills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viswam View Post
Glad to hear the trouble free performance of LUV in hills. The expressway must have really been good. The break-in news is an eye-opener. Frankly, until now i had never thought about such a possibility! Coming to think of this, the beautiful glasshouse that ertiga is, keeping valuables out in the open will be an open invitation to disaster.
Nice write-up and good photos. About the resort, if i may ask, how expensive is expensive (just to keep tab for a future visit) ?
Although i would love to take such a trip in my LUV, it appears to be a distant dream since i am struck down south. Every year however, we take similar trips from Delhi in 2 innovas.
Tks to your travelogue, I can add more destinations kasauli, chail (tks Irish), etc. to my future list.
Yes the ertiga is a glass house with great visibility from outside. I have learnt the lesson the hard way.

I have lived most of my life in Bangalore and never got an opportunity to visit the hills. Now that I am here in Gurgaon, making every opportunity count. The resort rooms cost Rs 8000 per room inclusive of taxes for 1 night with complimentary breakfast included.
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