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Old 1st March 2013, 21:48   #1
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Default Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Prologue!
Friends who know me will make out that I never do a leisure trip, as i am a workaholic. More over its attributed to the fact that I belong to the Queen of the Hills 'Darjeeling' in the east and practically work from another hills in west, Mt.Abu, my second home. People pay top dollar to come to these places. why should i go elsewhere.

January end I had to come to Delhi, my another home by marriage for some family affair. After getting trolled by IRCTC website for not less than 50 times, I decided to drive all the way with my family.


Abu to Jaipur
After getting the route plan advice from HVK sir, we started out on 11th Feb 7:00 am taking the route because the usual route via Beawar is being built into four lane.

Abu>Pindwara>Udaipur>Chittorgarh>BHilwara>Kishnaga rh>Jaipur>Gurgaon>Delhi

Abu to Jaipur was pretty fast so did that in just 5hr:30min.

Jaipur to Delhi
Real problems started from Jaipur. Flyovers are being built on villages and small town that fall between Jaipur and Gurgaon. Started at 3pm and reached Delhi at 8:30pm. Doing 275kms in 5hr30mins is ridiculous timings. Roads are bad, numerous diversions. and the most Ironic part is we are charged tolls for roads and flyovers that are not even complete. We are practically being robbed by our Govt.

Gurgaon to Delhi is another pain. We have huge crawling traffic of people who are returning from their work. And this is the scene at the heart of the capital city of India. and people call Gujarat development is a myth. It takes total of 6 hours of leisurely driving to across whole of Gujarat.
Towards Simla
After we finished the Family Thingy in Delhi, a day later wifey decided why not kill time of remaining days by driving to some place. I gave her a limit of 500kms one way. She selected Shimla. So 350 kms never hurts so off we went. Route taken was as follows.

Delhi>Panipat>Karnal>Ambala>Zirakpur (Chandigarh) > Kalka>Shimla

Route is pretty straight forward, Take NH1 and then later switch to NH22 and SH16 after Zirakpur till Shimla.

Road till karnal is very fast. After that till Zirakpur new flyovers are being built on small towns. Unlike Jaipur/Gurgaon ones these are managed by traffic cops very efficiently. So there is a very less chance of losing time in these diversions. I did the route including 100kms of uphill in less than 6 hours with three stoppages. Also i overtook a Black Micra with PB22 number with LTD sticker at Solan.

The uphill route is in very good condition unlike what we have in Darjeeling. There is even four lane uphill for about 20 kms.

I must say this is the best time to visit Shimla. For once snow haven't melted yet and second its kind of off season. So no crowd with huge discount in hotels added as benefit. We stayed at Cedar Grand. A good hotel on the main cart road with good parking space. Be aware most hotels in Shimla like Darjeeling do not have their own parking. So relying on remote Govt tendered parking space is the only option. For people like me and many others here who treat their cars more than just a commuter thingy, parking space is mandatory. Manager of this hotel is a very good person and offered us a discount on the suite which is never heard of and can't be mentioned here.

Shimla is an exact copy of Darjeeling, the city, the traffic condition, the mall, The ridge, the congested bus and taxi stand.

Shimla to Kufri!
Kufri is a small town about 14 kms from Shimla. For city people of plains like wifey, a visit to see the snow clad mountain is a privilege. Just when i was taking the car out of the hotel parking lot a young guy, a guide insisted he tag along for a mere rs.100. Normally i don't take in stranger while going for a drive, but what the hell, its hills and hill people are honest most of the time.
Just after 5 minutes of drive we are greeted by snow filled roads. The guide was bit worried about my slick drivings, I said don't worry i have driven on worst of roads with muck, snow is much easier. I must also commend that Energy XM2 is a wonderful tire and behaved wonderfully in snow.

Now after 12 kms local people discourage to drive to the hills and take a pony. which is expensive. But here is the catch you can actually drive up if you have driven in muck or snow before. Just avoid using brakes too often, and use low gear to control speed.

We stayed for three days and for wifey and kids it was a trip to remember as not only they saw snow clad mountain but they actually saw a snow fall for a brief moment.

Images

Hotel Highway King, Jaipur Bypass. for dear @hvumar
Good food, cheap and clean room, if you want to relax. It has bar too, but the one who drives please stay out!!
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-1-jpr.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-2-jpr.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-3-jpr.jpg

Shimla!!
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-4-shimla.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-4-shimla1.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-4-shimla2.jpg

Upcoming University of JP group I guess. about 50 kms from Shimla
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-5-shimla.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-5-shimla1.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-5-shimla2.jpg


Traffic jam. Imagine being here in season time. Similar sight in Darjeeling
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-5-shimla3.jpg

The founder of HP
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-himachal-pradesh-founder.jpg

The Mall/Ridge
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-shimla-mall.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-shimla-mall1.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-shimla-mall2.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-shimla-mall3.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-6-shimla-mall4.jpg

PS: I have never written a travel loge, so excuse my faux pas, if you find any.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd March 2013 at 11:14. Reason: Remove "dude", replacing with "founder". Thanks
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Old 1st March 2013, 22:03   #2
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Default re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Well done on your first travelogue Sir Alec. We did Himachal in end January and you're right about the low number of tourists. In fact it was one of the reasons why we enjoyed our trip so much.

I think you did decent time on your Jaipur- Gurgaon stretch. On a particular trip it took me 9 hours to cover the stretch
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Old 1st March 2013, 22:30   #3
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Default re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

More Images!!

Thats Atar Bhai, the guide who tagged along.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-7-way-kufri.jpg

That much slippery it was.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-7-way-kufri1.jpg

From here you are encouraged to take the pony.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-7-way-kufri2.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-7-way-kufri3.jpg

About 3km up hill. But they will misguide you to be 9km. Zoo at the top is useless. just the midway point is good enough and has a good view.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-8-kufri.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-8-kufri-1.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-8-kufri-2.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-8-kufri-3.jpg

Footpath, this is very unique as it is supported by iron bars. Anybody can show some light on this, who built it ?
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-footpath.jpg

Yak, for photo shoot session for kids.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-kufri-yak.jpg

This is a piece of history. K2 class Steam Engine, Britishers bought them here on Ships all the way from Glasgow. The parts are so reliable that you can fire this right away. But too sad this is in very bad shape than what we have in Darjeeling. Also DHR steam engines have nick names, these don't.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-shimla-coal-engine.jpg

Rail Museum, just a 2 minute walk from our hotel.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-shimla-rail-museum.jpg

Apart from being a Car Nut, Railway engine is my second obsession. Kalka Shimla Railway's one of the ZDM3 that does Kalka - Shimla round in about 5 hours. Has 102 tunnels and 864 bridges.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-shimla-station.jpg

Car wash, Wakhnaghat, about 25 kms downhill from Shimla. Whole of shimla i could not find a car wash. Even hotel, even star category ones do not have the service. Reason being scarcity of water, and hotels pay as much as Rs.1500-Rs.2000 per tanker.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-vaknaghat-carwash.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-vaknaghat-carwash-2.jpg

Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-9-vaknaghat-carwash-3.jpg

Barn Find, A Pontiac. Owner was not willing to sell but said they he had some great offers. Meaning ridiculous ones.!!
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-barn-find.jpg

Ever seen a closed 24 Hr. ATM. Only SBI can pull such extreme stunt.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-closed-atm-himachal-pradesh.jpg

Haveli, Ambala, Great Veg food, They have recently opened a Non-Veg joint, just for me. no kidding.
Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla-haveli-ambala.jpg
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Old 9th March 2013, 22:16   #4
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

I forgot to add...
There is a Green Tax levied on non-HP registered vehicle before entering Shimla. It is Rs.200 for small cars. Don't know about big vehicle. Its valid for a week. Please keep the receipt safely as its required at Kufri as well as while leaving Shimla.

Last edited by SirAlec : 9th March 2013 at 22:18.
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Old 9th March 2013, 23:17   #5
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

We mostly see/hear/read, folks going to hill stations for vacation. This is the first time I am reading folks staying in a hill station going to another hill station for a vacation !

Nice !
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Old 15th April 2013, 21:21   #6
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
We mostly see/hear/read, folks going to hill stations for vacation. This is the first time I am reading folks staying in a hill station going to another hill station for a vacation !

Nice !
Bro! i love the hills. I hate city life, BTW who doesn't right For me grass is always greener on my side in every aspect of my life
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Old 15th April 2013, 21:32   #7
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
Bro! i love the hills. I hate city life, BTW who doesn't right For me grass is always greener on my side in every aspect of my life
Used to stay closer to Abu. Visited the place a couple of times. Provides a refreshing change in state of Rajasthan. Shimla is a different cup of tea, but surely an enjoyable one!
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Old 15th April 2013, 21:36   #8
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Used to stay closer to Abu. Visited the place a couple of times. Provides a refreshing change in state of Rajasthan. Shimla is a different cup of tea, but surely an enjoyable one!
Up close?? where bro!! closest car nuts i know are 350 and 250kms away. in ahmedabad and jodhpur.
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Old 15th April 2013, 21:44   #9
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Nice pics , good travel log

I was in Mount Abu earlier this month. Good place but HOT!! But then again Dehradun being my hometown and Mussorie being around 20 km's from my place, I am spoilt
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Old 16th April 2013, 15:12   #10
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Good to see someone from one hill station visiting another hill station and enjoying it .
BTW I spotted your Ritzy in Delhi near GT by pass, I guess you must be returning from Shimla.

Post some more pics please.
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Old 16th April 2013, 20:52   #11
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

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Originally Posted by kkg View Post
Good to see someone from one hill station visiting another hill station and enjoying it .
BTW I spotted your Ritzy in Delhi near GT by pass, I guess you must be returning from Shimla.

Post some more pics please.
And I thought it was discreet. I stayed in NCR for month and nobody spotted me. If it was night yes, if its morning, i was back from panipat. i did many rounds on GT during the month long stay.

Yeah! entering delhi is nightmare from all side. Be it from Gudgaon, Noida or Sonipat. Traffic was nightmarish and people having zero lane driving sense amazes me. With the number of car increasing, it will be more difficult. and Govt is very funny in delhi.

I was ticketed for the very first time in life this time. It was in Cantt and there was no working light. He booked me for jumping red light. When i thought left was free. It was for 100 Rs.
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Old 24th April 2013, 20:32   #12
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Hello SirAlec,

Nice travelogue !!

I am planning to drive down to Shimla this weekend in my Princess (Punto). Could you (or anyone else) throw some light on the driving duration for the following stretches:

1. Delhi to Kalka
2. Kalka to Shimla

I would be starting around 5~6 PM on Friday and plan to do a night halt at Kalka and resume the journey the following morning. Is it a good idea?

SirAlec: Do you mean we could drive upto hiltop (where you have that adventure island) at Kufri?

I haven't done any hotel bookings; though the season has started I hope to grab a deal there.
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Old 25th April 2013, 18:02   #13
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheetumanu View Post
Could you (or anyone else) throw some light on the driving duration for the following stretches:

1. Delhi to Kalka
2. Kalka to Shimla
Delhi to Kalka should be around 6 hours as the amount of traffic would be higher. Kalka to Shimla should be around 4 hours. Both times accommodate for a stopover.

BTW, you don't need to go through Kalka. Rather take the lovely Kalka bypass, right from the traffic light with a board for Baddi.
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Old 12th May 2013, 22:19   #14
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Default Re: Mount Abu -> Delhi -> Shimla

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheetumanu View Post
Hello SirAlec,

Nice travelogue !!

I am planning to drive down to Shimla this weekend in my Princess (Punto). Could you (or anyone else) throw some light on the driving duration for the following stretches:

1. Delhi to Kalka
2. Kalka to Shimla

I would be starting around 5~6 PM on Friday and plan to do a night halt at Kalka and resume the journey the following morning. Is it a good idea?

SirAlec: Do you mean we could drive upto hiltop (where you have that adventure island) at Kufri?

I haven't done any hotel bookings; though the season has started I hope to grab a deal there.
So Sorry!

I could not see your post before. Hope you had a pleasant stay.

please share your experience in a detail travelogue.

Thanks
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