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Old 3rd June 2007, 11:47   #1
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Post Delhi to Chail - The Planning

Hi Everyone,

So here I am posting my first long trip on my new Esteem Lxi with 1200km on odo when we started.

The Plan

It was 26th May and Friday evening, and the following Monday was supposed to be an off for me...By 5pm, the enjoy ur weekend mails were pouring in from my colleagues and instigating me to take the car for a long trip...just to extend her legs and get a feel of her..So, called up my wife from office and as usual got a big NO from her..I dont know what is the women..they're such a spoilsport and unadventurous..hmmm.so called up my bro-in-law (knew if I can pester and convince him to come along then maybe my wife was no big deal). Finally, I did sell him the idea of a long trip but the destination was still not finalised..Called up my sis-in-law and she was quite a sport in coming along (okay, I take back my words about women).So, I left Noida at 630pm and took my sis in law from DND, then went to my place and my wife had thankfully packed all stuff. saw on the net and the temp there was about 15degrees in day could drop to 6 by night...what a wonderful place it will be, I thought relaxing in my AC at 16 degrees, specially when I had returned from about 40 odd degrees outside. Delhi is extremely hot in summers, it was 44 degrees yesterday
At 9 pm, we - me, wife, bro in law bil and sil sat down to think where we are going..I was a brainstorming session that lasted for about 2 hrs except that no brains were involved, only subtle humour like going to next door dhabas, etc.

The options were:
  1. Haridwar - cant believe we came up with this one. I am just 25, dont want to go for pilgrimage..besides, we already get ganga water in our taps, and no hills means we're not going there.
  2. rishikesh - Next to Haridwar, but only 4 of us with not very adventurous souls in 2..so cudnt have thought of rafting and no hills means no...
  3. Nainital - The place I heard from colleagues was over crowded. Besides, it was raining and we wanted to chill off and not be soaking.
  4. Mussoorie - This was attractive destination, and I must say we were almost going there.
The plan was to start for Mussorie in the morning since drive by night towards Moradabad is not very safe from Delhi via Ghaziabad..It was 1230 am already, and suddenly a plan emerged to put chits (cant believe on our decision making capabilities) and it was ladies' idea anyways..These heavenly chits were supposed to be our guardian towards the trip we were planning for...sigh...

As usual, BIL came up with a SWOT analysis.The Delhi-Chandigarh route is considered to be safe and we could start off asap towards itrather than waiting for clock to struck 4. That way, we would have covered 3 hrs, roughly 150 kms of our destination and save on time..Sounds good, but theb where are we heading? shimla is toooooooo overcrowded and having been there so many times seemed like no fun..Kufri was next but all it has is a big ground and nothing much to see...Chail was one place we had not been....Hmmm, thats the best part of IT guys aka BIL, they can sell u ice on Himalayas.. and I was one of those idiots who bought them.. It was going to be great though.

Finally, we took off at 2 am with the car loaded with stuff, stuff and eatable stuff..Can hardly believe we were going..Hmmm, it was dark outside and Delhi roads are a pleasure to drive on, especially in the nights..
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Old 5th June 2007, 16:24   #2
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Smile Journey - 800kms, 5 states in 2 days

The Journey

After hours of brain(less)storming, it was 2 am that we started off and by 3 am were out on the GT Karnal Road thanks to the trucks on the road.Got a tank ful of petrol from Delhi.Reached Murthal around 4 am, a place quite famous for its paranthas, got some packed and enjoyed them on the way..Darkness was on the way out and sun was about to get up..What a journey…cruising the highway at 120 kmph and looking at the sun going up..

The way was Delhi -> Panipat -> Karnal -> Ambala -> Chandigarh -> Kalka -> solan and then take the diversion towards Chail..

We reached Chandigarh around 630 am and decided to meet my grandparents in law who were more than delighted to see us..Took a small break and decided to move on our journey. Shimla is roughly 100 kms from Chandigarh, but being the hills would take aq lot of time..The slopes started emerging about 30 minutes from Chandigarh where we reached Kalka.

4 people in car and AC on made me shift to 2nd gear more often than not. The car had to struggle in overtaking maneuvers on the hills, something which I was shocked at considering that I was driving a 1300 cc car, not big but better than the 800 I drove last time to shimla. The car had to be revved above 2k rpm where the juices started flowing..Before that was a struggle.

Our first stop was at McDonalds.I was shocked and happy to see one on one of the n number of curvy turns that we took enroute on the hills. What was more shocking was the fact that it had been built on the place where there was a hotel last time I had visited shimla. The hotel used to have a trolley that took one to the top of another hill where a small resort from the same hotel was built. Anyways, had quick refill on our now empty stomachs and carried on. There is a diversion towards another quiet place near solan called Kasauli..Had a small thought to go there but then our mission was to reach Chail. So after crossing solan, saw the milestone that said 29 kms each towards Shimla or Chail..Got down a slope towards Chail. The entire 29kms that we were to cover were almost deserted.The road had become half wide than it was from Kalka to Solan, and needless to say that tarmac had given way to broken stretches laid with pebbles. The car behaved very much in control and made me think at times that I was off roading. There was just enough space to have a car going in one way, and luckily we encountered only a couple of cars for this stretch. The view was spectacular, and we stopped a lot many times to hear the silence. It was such a relief given the maddening rush of delhi. I could not believe that there exists such an isolated and serene place given the fact that Shimla is the place mostly affected by tourists during this peak season. How happy I was to be here. It was about 530 pm when we reached Chail. It was quite cold and next on agenda was to find a decent accommodation, which we thankfully did. The weather was such a relief, especially sight of people wearing winter clothes strolling on endless stretches of the beautiful hill station at a temperature which would have not been more than 10 degrees.

There is not much to do in Chail except to laze around and enjoying the silence and serenity of the place. Moreso, it doesn’t even have the popular mall roads like its counterparts in Shimla, mussoorie and other hill stations. We enquired about the places to visit and were told of the highest cricket stadium in the world at 7500 feet, which is about 3 kms from Chail. Another place is Tarika Resort, which we were apprised is one of a kind that boasts of all recreational facilities. So, caught up on the Laughter Challenge on star One at 9-10 pm for a dose of humour before we slept..got up early next day had breakfast and headed towards the Cricket ground, and reached there within 15 minutes. There is a Military Cantonment in the vicinity and hence the quality of roads was quite good. There is also a small temple the inclination towards which is about 30 degrees IMO. The road is quite treacherous and the driving experience is out of the world. The temple provides a breath taking view of the mountains and made me remember the phrase which most school going children can relate to – PIN DROP silence..

Believe me, it is possible to hear silence here. Unfortunately for us, our vehicle had to break this silence and we were to head back to Chail and then to Tarika Resort. There are 2 ways to go back from Chail:
  • That goes to Kufri and then Shimla. 29 kms to Kufri and then shimla
  • The road we came from, that will take us to solan @25kms
Tarika resort is about 11 kms from Chail on way back to Solan, where one has to take a diversion from Gannaur. The road towards Chail is extremely narrow, one can relate it to the road from Mussoorie to Dhanaulti, if any of TBHPians has been there – quite treacherous, adventurous, lonely and at the same time quite risky to drive. Most of the cars traversing here were SUVs, but my Esteem never behaved awkwardly and always had a great presence on this path. I would recommend only experienced drivers to drive here. Breath taking views are omni present on this stretch. Alas, we reached Tarika. The resort is built in quite a secluded place the entry to which is heavily guarded, and reminds one of those enormous Jurassic Park doors that opens in a similar fashion. The guard comes upto the car, and in a polite fashion asks one if they have a reservation, since the entry is exclusive. But we were advised by our hotel owner to say that we were visiting the restaurant only, and so we did. The guard went back to his cabin and after 5 minutes opened the grand gates. We were thinking who would visit this place, but how wrong we were. The road from gate to parking lot was about 1 km long, that’s how grand the place is. The parking, to our amazement was fully packed. The guard takes the keys from you, and the golf car is waiting next to it that takes one to the restaurant. We found that the buffet was on, and we had to wait till 1030 am before we could be served. So, we decided to see the place, and what a marvel it was!!! The food, infact everything there is quite expensive FYI. There are glass cubicles that seem as if they are hanging from the mountains which are infact rooms for guests. Exclusivity is the word to describe this place.

So, we finally decided to move from the place and head back. We reached a place called Kandaghat enroute solan. The place has nice stream which boasts of a small restaurant which has tables and chairs kept in the middle where one can have food and drinks while their feet are in flowing water!!!!

We reached back Chandigarh at 5 pm, where got 14 litres of petrol to reach back Delhi. Finally stopped at Karnal –ambala stretch on a place called haveli, famous for its ethnic Punjabi food and traditional views. The place was jam packed but we managed a place. It boasts of recreational facilities like Go karting !!!!!! Not that we did it, but all it costs was Rs.80 for 10 laps

Reached back Delhi at 11pm.

Some facts:

Total distance covered : 800 kms
Fuel used : 42.5 litres

AC was ON for 80% of the journey.

Must stops:
  • Dhabas at Murthal
  • Haveli at Karnal – Ambala stretch, on right side if heading towards Chandigarh
  • McDonalds after Kalka
  • Timber Trail after Kalka, if you want a quick trolley ride
  • Kandaghat, for its experience od in stream restaurant
The car behaved extremely well all the way. FE was amazing as you can see. Couldn’t have had a great weekend specially in the maddening summer rush.

BTW, 5 states are UP, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and finally HP

Last edited by Rtech : 5th June 2007 at 16:49. Reason: removed formatting html tags.
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Old 6th June 2007, 11:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
The Journey
...
Nice writeup but without any photos ... and I'm quite amazed to see the FE (18+).

It would be nice if you can complete the travelogues with some sharable photos from your trip.

take care !
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Old 6th June 2007, 12:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
Mussoorie - This was attractive destination, and I must say we were almost going there. The plan was to start for Mussorie in the morning since drive by night towards Moradabad is not very safe from Delhi via Ghaziabad..
Good, you decided against going to Mussorie, otherwise you were in for a rude shock. The route from Delhi to Mussorie IS NOT via Moradabad, it is via Meerut :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
There is also a small temple the inclination towards which is about 30 degrees IMO. The road is quite treacherous and the driving experience is out of the world.
This is called "Sidh Baba ka Mandir"; and yes, the drive upto it is quite interesting but very short, about 200 meters in all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
We reached a place called Kandaghat enroute solan. The place has nice stream which boasts of a small restaurant which has tables and chairs kept in the middle where one can have food and drinks while their feet are in flowing water!!!!
Kandaghat is the place on Kakla-Shimla highway, from where you take the detour to Chail. The place you are talking about is called Sadhupul.

Cheers

Nitin

Last edited by ntomer : 6th June 2007 at 12:28.
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Old 6th June 2007, 12:35   #5
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hi cutdcrap nice detailed write up. I also visited Chail in last sep and it was fantastic holiday i have spent, i book one of the lodges/vills provided by the Chail Palace and it was worth spending . The weather was perfact a little bit rain and coll breeze. I is really nice place off the track ( not that much) but yes 100% better than shimla, or Mussorie . vbmenu_register("postmenu_456115", true);
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Old 6th June 2007, 13:33   #6
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@ntomer

Indeed, the route towards Mussoorie is from Meerut. What I meant was that the road via Gzbd is not safe at night, be it towards Haridwar or Hapur. Sorry for not being clear.

Sadhupul it is, indeed as you said. Been there, ehh!!

@bruty

Chail palace is another beauty built in a secluded place. Very serene. Next time I shall visit around Dec when I get to see the snow. Shimla is s**t at this time with all the crowd and anyways IMO.

@souravbasu:

I was amazed to see the FE as well..And remember it is a car with 2k on its odo now. After 2nd service, it will go up!! !
I shall be uploading some pics very soon, ie as I get tiem from this work
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Old 27th June 2007, 02:12   #7
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A very nice detailed write up. But as they say a picture says thousand words. So waiting for the pics.
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Old 27th June 2007, 11:39   #8
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yeah its incomplete without pictures ..
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Old 28th June 2007, 11:21   #9
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You have just inspired me to go to Chail next weekend. I was banging my head these last few days thinking of a weekend getway from delhi with the wife. Thanks, you just solved my problem. Bookings are being made at Tarika Resort. Cheers
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Old 28th June 2007, 12:01   #10
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hey Kapil . Guess how do I know yr name. Your BIL has a very nice detailed review of yr trip with photos, I was browsing the net for more info on chail and came upon this writeup and it looked quite similar to yr writeup. LOL , small world. Cheers BTW my trip is now all booked. Thanks to you mate.
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Old 28th June 2007, 12:20   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Your BIL has a very nice detailed review
Now whats this BIL.. ( my guess bro-inlaw )
one cannot hide from google

Last edited by navdeep : 28th June 2007 at 12:22.
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