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Old 12th January 2015, 15:26   #16
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Default Re: Ahmedabad to Shimla, the Queen of Hills

hi musaafir,

you are spot on.

Besides, journalists generally have a tendency to highlight things that are negative (and ignore the positive stuff). I guess I too have done that Ė have mentioned everything that went wrong but forgot to mention most of the best things.

Yes they were ponies and not horses

Our destination was the fun world plus a temple and some orchards. I did ask the taxi driver cum guide if there were any motorable roads. But he denied.

The next day when we went for the tube ride, the guys who were running it told me there is a road to Kufri. He said it was a difficult one. I guess no taxi driver will tell us about such a road.

I am sure guides, taxi drivers, pony owners and others want tourists to take the route which brings them more money. Besides, if it is a road suitable for only SUVs, it would have been difficult for me.
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Old 12th January 2015, 16:14   #17
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Default Re: Ahmedabad to Shimla, the Queen of Hills

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreepathy View Post
In Corbusierís Chandigarh

That is the beauty of a planned city, I told my navigator, who reminded me that to some extent even Gandhinagar is like that!
It has to be.
When legendary architect Le Corbusier designed Chandigarh Project in the 1950s, Two young man HK Mewada and P. Apte had worked as trainees under him.
In 1960s, both men were responsible for Gandhinagar City Plan!
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Old 12th January 2015, 17:29   #18
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Default Re: Ahmedabad to Shimla, the Queen of Hills

Hello Sreepathy,

Good travelogue. Thank you for sharing.

Your Kufri (mis)adventure reminds me of my visit there more than 9 years back in forth week of November. Luckily that was start of winter and there was snow. During that time, one pony took us all the way up and another bought us down. Though the ride at some places was risky but not as dangerous as you described. Probably because of peak tourist season and heavy snow those people were making the most by cheating visitors. Fortunately for you there was no untoward incident.

You have summarized it pefectly, the best part of the journey was the drive, like a true petrol-head.

Thanks,
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Old 13th January 2015, 01:06   #19
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Default Re: Ahmedabad to Shimla, the Queen of Hills

Quote:
Originally Posted by zalaps View Post
It has to be.
When legendary architect Le Corbusier designed Chandigarh Project in the 1950s, Two young man HK Mewada and P. Apte had worked as trainees under him.
In 1960s, both men were responsible for Gandhinagar City Plan!
True. Gandhinagar got reduced to a backyard for babus, while Chandigarh became a vibrant business, commercial, institutional and educational centre and served multiple functions to its dwellers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello Sreepathy,

Good travelogue. Thank you for sharing.

Your Kufri (mis)adventure reminds me of my visit there more than 9 years back in forth week of November. Luckily that was start of winter and there was snow. During that time, one pony took us all the way up and another bought us down. Though the ride at some places was risky but not as dangerous as you described. Probably because of peak tourist season and heavy snow those people were making the most by cheating visitors. Fortunately for you there was no untoward incident.

You have summarized it pefectly, the best part of the journey was the drive, like a true petrol-head.

Thanks,
One pony ride to the top would have been fantastic, the bad terrain notwithstanding. But that was not the case. Maybe the recent snowfall plus the year-end touristic traffic made it worse
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Old 13th January 2015, 13:57   #20
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Default Re: Ahmedabad to Shimla, the Queen of Hills

I have missed a lot, said my navigator after reading the travelogue

Besides, a gentle push by jkrishnakj also prompted me to add some of the positive parts of the trip that I very conveniently skipped.

Xmas@ClubMahindra

The best of the highlights would be the Christmas party at Club Mahindra. They had organised a band, bonfire, a buffet and special activities from evening till midnight or so. True to Club Mahindra style, they charged a bomb for it.

Everybody had a blast that night, the proof being missing photographs!! Kids enjoyed the mocktails and BBQ around the bonfire, while sneaking inside frequently to see the dance and music performances that were warming up the cold and chilly night.

Donít know how long the party went on. The dinner was a special buffet. I remember the non-veg fare being limited and unexciting, forcing me to rely on the salad section that had great variety.

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The snow-covered lawn at Club Mahindra

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The Xmas party

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Street Food


Was staying near Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula and just outside our building, the street becomes alive when the night falls.

Surprisingly it was pretty hygienic. There were all sorts of stuff being made and sold there, and another surprise was that food was priced fairly. There was no garbage thrown around and people were queuing up for their turn. All very unlike Amdavad.

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Dressing Up

Kids tried out the traditional Himachal clothes on our way to Kufri.

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Wine Shopping

Somebody told me there will be apple wine available in Shimla. So the moment we reached there we started asking around for it. Stopped at most wine shops, but none had it.

A friend told me a wine shop next to Krishna bakery in Lakkar bazaar will have it. But we somehow missed it. Imagine our delight when we found it in the provision store just outside Club Mahindra. That too for just Rs 280.

Everything is not fine!

I have mentioned in the post how we were caught for speeding and fined Rs 1,400. I didnít write how we got away with a fine of Rs100.

A GJ in Shimla!

GJ registered vehicles were pretty common in Rajasthan. But once we entered Haryana we became a head turner for most. Didnít find a single GJ registered vehicle in Haryana on our way.

Same was the case in Chandigarh/Panchkula and at Club Mahindra people were surprised when they saw the vehicle and I told them we drove down from Gujarat. In Shimla we were a rarity among the sea of DLs, HRs, HPs, PBs and UKs. Curious eyes followed us at most places.

Making friends on the road

Found a KA registered chevy aveo (had a colour very similar to alto brick red). It overtook us somewhere in Haryana. I tried following it. It was consistently keeping 120 kmph. I found it difficult giving it company and lost sight of it soon. But after sometime it emerged from nowhere and overtook us again Ė he might have stopped for tea/lunch. I followed him for some more time and then gave up.

Next morning, when we said bye to Jaipur once again we spotted the chevy. Maybe he too had stopped over in Jaipur. There was no one else except the driver in the chevy. This time too I couldnít follow him for long. Well, we almost became friends in the two days we were on the road.
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