Category Archives: Himachal Pradesh

Trivia: Making of Shimla Rail Route

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Even more so if you make it a point to mingle and chit chat with locals!

On our Shimla Toy Train ride, in the hills of Himachal, we found ourselves in the company of an elderly gentleman, O P Sharma who to this day travels to Shimla daily from his home in Shoghi to meet his friends and spend time in the reading room. We were on our way to Taradevi Temple and he was kind enough to tell us that we should be getting off at Shoghi and not Taradevi for an easy access to the temple located on a hill. It was a wonderful time chugging through the scenic beauty of Himachal and listening to the stories he had to share.

One such story related to how the rail route was finally constructed for this hill station. As per the locals, the onus of the rail route is on a simpleton, fondly called ‘pagla baba‘ or mad man. Apparently pagla baba used to dream up the rail route at night, and in the morning spill it out to the Britishers who were repeatedly failing to get it right otherwise. It is said that the blueprint was prepared based on the baba’s inputs. Since Mr. Sharma’s family has been in Himachal for generations, we had to believe this story, something we may never find in books or records.

My Travel Memoir shared with http://www.nomadmemories.com

 

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HAPPY  TRAVELLING!
Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe

Shimla in The Monsoon

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Usually people avoid hills in the rains. Well, its better to be safe than sorry, with so many calamities doing their rounds in the news. We too debated for long and kept our final decision for the final hour based on weather predictions. As luck would have it we found ourselves driving down (8 hours) the wonderful route to Shimla from Delhi. A good time to avoid the vacation crowd and have a good long weekend.

Since we reached our destination in the night I was up early morning to take in the green, clean, fresh views of Shimla (a hill station that never sleeps). I was all smiles with the misty views, chirping birds, green hills, rolling valley and rain washed nature. Hill rains can be very unpredictable usually playing hide and seek with the sun / clear sky. If going to hills during monsoon please be acceptable of the fact that you may not be able to follow the itinerary that you would have made. Instead choose a place where you can relax amidst nature and go for short walks which may cover some of your to do list.

We managed to do our toy train ride to Shoghi, visit to the Ma Taradevi temple and enjoy a wonderful leisurely walk, in the drizzle, on the Mall Road only. Nevertheless, it was good enough for a rainy weekend and it keeps the place open for another visit 🙂  Our experience of the Toy Train ride to Shoghi can be read on this link  https://travelerinmeblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/shimlatoytrain/

The evening walk on the wet Mall Road was sheer fun. Soft drizzle and weekenders enjoying themselves. The markets on the Mall Road is always abuzz with life. We did some interesting window shopping, picked up some books and little stuff, had some delicious pasta and brownie at a quaint small Italian joint called ‘Wake & Bake’. On your visit to Shimla do not miss admiring the British colonial buildings now housing important offices (some seen on the Mall Road).

So if you are living near Shimla and want to get away from the mundane, simply plan an extended weekend and enjoy the rains @ Shimla.

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….and, if you like what you just read, do ‘like it’ & ‘share it’. Non WordPress users please ‘rate’ it to express your appreciation 🙂 Also do not forget to ‘follow the blog’ to remain updated about newer posts ❤ 


HAPPY  TRAVELLING!
Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe

 

Being a child again – Shimla Toy Train Ride

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We took a trip to Shimla in the monsoon of 2015 to avoid the tourist crowd in summers and enjoy the misty greens of the hills. We also experienced our first toy train ride and that too amidst soft drizzle and beautiful Himachal terrain!

Our destination was Ma Taradevi mandir located in Tarav parvat. We had taken tickets till the Taradevi halt but was advised by a gentleman to get down at Shogi instead and take a cab up to the temple. A sound advice in monsoon and for people who do not indulge much in trekking.

You need to be punctual, rather before time, to be able to get seats in the toy train as most of it is unreserved. Since we did not check the timings we missed the morning train and had to wait for the next one in the afternoon. The station has a canteen that serves simple veg thali. One can also buy some toy train related souvenirs from a little shop there.

Our beautiful joy ride began from Shimla to Shoghi and while we chugged along I sat back to enjoy the journey and nature at a leisurely pace. We had an interesting co-traveler, a local of Shoghi who had many interesting things to share that we may never find in any books / notes. The child like joy of seeing the train turn (now a rarity from the closed AC bogeys) and passing thru numerous tunnels is captured in a couple of pics shared.

This is a must do for all traveling to Shimla. The Kalka Shimla train track is a narrow gauge and it takes 5-6 hours to reach Shimla. The Kalka-Shimla route is 96 km long, which includes 102 tunnels. Every tunnel has its own story and the longest tunnel of Barog takes around 3 minutes to cross.

P.S. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka–Shimla Railway have collectively been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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….and, if you like what you just read, do ‘like it’ & ‘share it’. Non WordPress users please ‘rate’ it to express your appreciation 🙂 Also do not forget to ‘follow the blog’ to remain updated about newer posts ❤ 


HAPPY  TRAVELLING!
Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe