Why Go To Naldehra:
Beautiful Drive Shimla-Mashobra-Mandi, Good Resorts, Golf Course, Sipi Fair!!!
Distance: 22 Kilometers from Shimla.
Elevation: 2044 m (6700 ft) Above Sea Level.
Date of Drive: 23.11.2011
My love with the Himalayas is so deep rooted that it is always looking for slightest of excuse to be back with them. I had some business calls to attend in Himachal Pradesh. Also drive from Shimla to Manali via Naldehra and Tattapani has been high on my wishlist. I rode on this road on bike the previous year and have had good memories. Being worked for a bank, I have facility of holiday home at few places. So got holiday home at Manali booked for 5 days from 22th November to 27th November 2011 and was ready for another dream drive in Himachal Pradesh.
The drive got delayed by two days due to some family engagements. So instead of 21st began the drive on 23rd from my home in Ludhiana for solo drive to Manali on my Lalpari.
Drive from Ludhiana till Ropar is a beautiful drive along sidhwan canal. From Ropal I drove on Nalagarh-Baddi-Pinjore road to Kalka and had few business meetings all along.The drive from Nalagarh to Kalka through Baddi was tiresome..bad road, heavy traffic and bad drivers.
I have been on this road from Kalka to Shimla for over 25 years now and never get bored. I have always enjoyed this drive and have very fond memories of many of those. This is perhaps Himachal’s most important and busy road. There are so many good places along the way both from travelers as well as business point of view. While Pinjore is famous for its 17th century garden and hmt factory, Kalka is famous for Kalka-Shimla toy train. Kalka is the starting point for UNESCO World Heritage toy train to Shimla, which passes through many tunnels and beautiful royal railway stations built by the Britishers.
Parwanoo is an Industrial town and has lot of business hotels and restaurants. I have had a wonderful experience of Parwanoo. Many many years ago me and one of my school time friends, went for a trek from Parwanoo to Kasauli. I was barely 22, had just joined the Bank and both of us were bubbling with excitement. We walked all the way to Kasauli through woods, fields and jungle singing those beautiful hindi romantic songs.
There is also a place just 2 km from Parwanoo on the road where we use to walk for drinks and murge ka achar in the evening. Further 2 km walk is Timber Trail Resort where a trolley takes you to a wonderful hill across the valley with a nice restaurant cum hotel. I remember how excited we were, when we rode that trolley first time…..many many years ago.
There are so many good tourist places on the way, each one of them, is worthy of separate post. After crossing Parwanoo, TTR, I was in Dharampur. Dharampur is famous for many eating joints. Most of the travellers break their journey here to have food and rest. There is a diversion to the left here which goes towards Kasauli and famous ‘The Lawrence School’, Sanawar. Little ahead is famous Dagshai cantonment area.
The drive is beautiful and passes through Solan, Barog, Kandaghat, Shogi and Tara Devi. Barog is the highest point of the drive. By the time I reached Shimla, it was quite dark. Since I did not have specific destination in the mind and was enjoying the drive, I carried on further. After crossing victoria tunnel, Lakkar bazar, Sanjauli, I turned left from Dhalli to Mashobra. The drive became even more enjoyable after Mashobra as it became dark. Soon I was in Naldehra, checked up few hotels and finally decided to stay at a hotel, which looked very good.
The Hill View, Naldehra is right on the left edge of the road overlooking deep, beautiful valley and world famous Naldehra Golf Course on the right. When I reached hotel, It was already 9pm. As I came out of the warmth of my car, chilly breeze welcomed me by kissing on my cheeks. The night was dark, silent with starlit sky. I checked into cosy room, ordered some food for dinner and settled down. There were 3-4 rooms on the floor I was on. I heard some beautiful female singing voices, coming from my neighbouring room. Came out of my room into chilly veranda and the singing became clearer. There seemed two pahari women singing melodious songs in pahari dialect to entertain guests.
I brought my glass of whisky out in the open, onto the silent road under the starlit night. listened to the mesmerizing romantic female singers sing beautiful pahari songs. Such a romantic setting, such beautiful romantic songs, in the middle of the night, romance of the hills, a starry night. Cool breeze kissing me from head to toe. I was thinking Nature has enacted this grand scene only for me. Standing outside, sipping at glass of whisky, I was feeling kind of lost and never knew when the time was up for dinner when the room boy came with the message that dinner was ready. Had a nice simple dinner of dal, sabzi, chapati and salad.
This was what I was dreaming about. I was again living my dream.