Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kasauli-Chail diary dusted, unwrapped...

Underneath piles of pending work, sat calmly, a pretty little diary, waiting patiently to be unwrapped...
In it, were etched in ink, the memoirs of Skeeter's travails to Kasauli and Chail from the tenth month of the year two thousand and eight.
This was a three-day family trip with the base of stay being Kasauli, which is a cantonment town located in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
The journey was completed in approximately 6-7 hours from Delhi via car enroute Chandigarh-Kalka-Shimla.
Having passed through these busy towns, reaching Kasauli was a welcome relief. From the moment, the road-sign 'Kasauli' was read, there was a dramatic fall in the number of homo sapiens seen around. It does good to the soul at times :-)
Day 1 was dedicated to saying friendly hullos to the cold air, a climb to the manki point and a stroll down the tibetan market. A hearty and filling evening spread followed.
Legend goes that Kasauli came into being when Hanumanji, on his way to getting the life-saving Sanjivani booti for Lakshman, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. And the place where Lord Hanuman is rested his feet came to be known as Manki point (also called monkey point). The point is situated on a hillock, and is quite a climb for those who are not in good form :P
Skeets or for that matter nobody was allowed to take their cameras or cellphones to the Manki point as there is an airforce station just below the manki point. Initially Skeets was sad. But when Skeets reached atop the hillock she was glad. For now she could concentrate on enjoying the super cool breeze :-) It cleansed the mind of any and every trace of stress.
Day 2 was marked for a luncheon at Chail Palace which is downtown. Thank to Pa's pro hill-driving skills, the car and the family returned without any scratches, for the roads that led to Chail were so narrow that Skeets is amazed till date, how all that tricky driving was managed.
The picturesque drive lasted 1.5 hours.
Deodars, pines and rhododendron trees make the drive majestic.
The palace was eerily calm. One keeper of the gate, no visitors in vicinity and sprawling but silent lawns greeted us.
The entrance to the palace donned a grand chandelier and the reception was unmanned.
The Palace now owned by the HPTDC, was once the residence of Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, who had made Chail his summer capital.
It was a relief to see the dining hall filled with few guests.A Himachali lunch was called for. Himachali kadi, chole, some greens with himachali wadiyan, prefectly boiled rice and a few more dishes that Skeeter is forgetting.
A very satiating meal it was. Dessert followed.
What we missed: visiting the Chail cricket ground which is touted to be the highest in the world and doubles up as a polo ground as well.
Then the drive back to Kasauli began. The trees had the most vividly coloured climbers which almost made the entire valley look as if it was an illustration straight out of a fairy tale book. Barely five minutes after the drive started we were greeted by a gang of Langoors. Sigh* couldn't click them.
On way back Skeets noticed the following population density signs of towns that fell on the way from Chail to Shimla. Just imagine if you live in such low-density place. I'd call it heaven :-)
Mahog - 74
Sakori - 136
Dinit - 29
Shilru - 408
Machine- 234 (Yes that is the name of a place)
Sainj -146
Kotla -84
Enroute we noticed the Kasauli Brewery touted to be the world's highest again. Also saw the mushroom farming area. These two along with a ride on the Kalka-Shimla toy-train (world heritage) remain on the top of the agenda for the next visit whenever it happens.
Day 3: To Chandigarh briefly and back.
Enjoyed the evening in the Kasauli tibetan market eating corn on cob, noodles and what not :-)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

the pictures are so dreamy, i wish to be there someday, thanks skeety

B. O'Hemian said...

Oh, I thought it was "Monkey" point. But we were allowed to take our cameras there... of course this was in 2003 (I think). Maybe rules have changed.

You should explore those dusty diaries a tad more and write such posts. They are good reads :)

Jagjit said...

Is that the famous Shimla Church?

ceedy said...

Nice pics and you had fun!

Renovatio said...

I plan to go there at some point. I also plan to go to a lot of places in India. I just haven't been able to get around to it.

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Reeta Skeeter said...

Anony: :)
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B'ohemian: yeah..maybe the restriction for cams has been imposed of late... yeah sure will@ diaries :)
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Jagjit: Yes it is!
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ceedy: thanks..yes i did!
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Reno: :-) long time
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Future mantra: spammer ! grr!

Vaudevillian said...

aye aye food blogger and everything, such tiny description for himachali delicacies dun do justice man. wher da pics?

Reeta Skeeter said...

Vaudevillian: Sometimes food is BEST enjoyed and not written about :P saywhat?

Vaudevillian said...

heh ofcourse. unless you're writing it with edible crayons. or a pen that runs on red chutney.

ancientmariner said...

i'd love to visit these places some time...