Tuesday, January 29, 2002 8:30 AM
26-27-28 January 2002
So Folks,

We are just returned from KALKA-SHIMLA -KUFRI trail. Happily tired.
On Thursday, there was a heavy discussion at my section, whether to give
OFF to Pasupathi or not.
Finally it is okayed.
So i got Friday,Sat,Sun three days to swindle.
On 27th is our 3rd Anniversary.
We decided to see it on SHIMLA.
God helped us, all the way.
Friday morning 8.30 Kalka - Shimla Passenger we have to catch.
3.30 L. got up. Made Hot Idlis. Thursday night we both already prepared Puris.
5.30 am I got up. By 6.30 we both were sitting on Honda, cutting through the thick fogs on the Plain Black Ribbon road to KALKA.

7.30 am we reached Kalka. Parked the bike at Station Masters' House, as there is no parking facility there.
Kalka is on the foothills of Shivalik Mountains.
From there a metre gauge train puffs off (Diesel Engine) to Shimla.
Rs17 only on Passenger. Rs34 on Express.
Miserably, both takes the same time (6 hrs) to reach destination.
On way there is not much Ramyam, as the Nature is fully exploited by the people dwelling there.
8.30 train sharply reached 2.30 pm at Shimla.
A small trek on the hilly slope to the Hotel followed by the omnipresent Dogri porter.

Sight seeing places are:- Kufri, China Telescope, Fagu Valley, Green Valley, Kufri Zoo, Potato Research centre etc..etc.

Next day morning after hot water bath we took a Maruthi Omni on hire to Kufri. (Rs.350 up and down).
After reaching Kufri, we wore the customary Snow boot (Rs.50 for two pairs on rent).
Took two Horses (me on Black and L. on white) uphill. (Rs100 per horse for upward journey only)
Horse ride was really nice. Ofcourse with snow boots also climbing the hill is really a mess.
They took us to the Indira Gandhi Natural Park.
Snow - snow - snow -Enkengu Kanginum snow.
White - white - white -Enkengu Nokkinum white.

Temp minus something. Feet are frozen inside the boot.
At the park we took photo on Dogri dress.
Now from nowhere the flakes started to fall. L. watched it first. Actually i thought it was some 'Kosu kootam'
(Mosquito cluster). L. was right, soon the clouds darkened, the flakes became thicker and thicker, it was allover the fabulous "SNOW FALL" which i desparately tried to imitate on a Java script at this link...

We felt so lucky. Thanked god for being kind enough to show one of his beautiful creations.
We do not know until then that next day morning God will be more jubilant to create 30 to 50 cm thick ICE FALL at Shmla and a 100cm at Kufri, and HE made it a News headlines.

At the tea shop, Kufri,an old gentleman murmered that it is back in 1971 that day (Jan 26, Repulic Day) saw Snow Fall in Kufri. Otherwise its all otherdays that are blessed.

So we were double Lucky to see an affair after nearly 50 years.
Took a whole 40 frames there.
Around 5.30 back to Shimla. The clouds are pitch - black now. People started hurrying home.

The Mall Road - Shimla's famous shopping place was still lit, people walking up and down the Mall.

From State Secratariat, where a bare bodied Gandhi stands frozen in stone, The Mall extends till Kali Bari, the Bengali settlement.

We took snap on the Big Servo Temparature Indicator mounted over the Sectt. When the boy clicked it, the temp was minus 0.8 degrees!.

Gaiety Theatre, Town Hall, Police HQ, BSNL Shimla Regional Office, Railway Buildings, Standard Chartered Bank, all are in festive mood, decorated with colorful bulbs.
We did just Window shopping as prices are cosmetically high compared to Delhi, Chandigarh.

KBC question - who is the founder father of Himachal Pradesh?
Ans:- Parmar - His statue is there near the Sect.
Q2:- Shimla is HQ of Himachal Pradesh
Q3:- 1971 HP attained statehood.

Next day morning 8.30 we started back home. Outside the Hotel it was full of snow. No words can explain the beauty of it. Simply put, it was a new year postcard effect!. Picture perfect!.

We sadly missed the Sony 440x Camcorder my friend promised me to lend. As he himself doesn't know much of how to operate, we were afraid to bring it. But it would have been great if it was with us.

The return Himalayan Queen Express chugged 10 kmph towards Kalka. We could not separate our minds and eyes from Shimla.

Enakkul Oruvan, Shimla special (both Kamal) movies came to our mind.

On the heavily packed train, with malayalees, punjabis, himachalis we sang tamil, hindi, punjabi songs to pass the 6 hours ardous journey thru 106 caves on a metre gauge mini train.

The difference between Ooty and Shimla train journey are...

Ooty Shimla
1. Train pulled bt Steam Engines Diesel Engine
2. Tracks are metre gauge same
3. Tracks are built with sprocket - chain No
on bogi's on which the bogies cling to scale the
90 degree slopes time to time. This famous invention
of British Rail is still surviving. Its' the one and only type
in whole of Asia.
4. Most of the stations still bear English names only one bear english name -Summer Hill
(e.g) Hilldale, Wellington
5. 6 hour journey for 40+ km 5. 6hrs journey 80 km
6. 9 rupees ticket on passenger train 6. 17 rs
7. Mini Train 7. same

We invite you all respondants of this mail to Chandigarh and Shimla. Our house is small, but we beleive we can make temporary arrangements if you are planning to come here. We hope to hear from you.
Posted by pasuG at 12:02 PM 0 comments


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