I have vivid memories of Kasauli the last time I visited it in 2014 and going back solo to Kasauli is exactly how I had always imagined since then. This time it was an impromptu trip from Chandigarh! Since I keep going to Chandigarh for work I thought why not go back to Kasauli. This year I am going huge on solo trips. The first one was to Udaipur and then Kasauli. I had planned Bhutan for this June but had to cancel because of some brand engagements but I am planning to go there solo sometime this year. I am trying to get rid of the fear of travelling solo being a woman. You know how things are different for us, we have to do double the research because of security reasons. I felt extremely safe in Kasauli, walking around beyond 9pm at night in mall road all by myself.
Kasauli is a small hill town which is located on the way from Chandigarh to Shimla, it is a town which has a strong military presence hence beautiful and peaceful. Its refreshing to see how the locals have maintained the beauty of this place. You’ll come across cleanliness placards urging people to keep the town clean and litter free.
Away from the noise and rush you can actually spend a few days here all by yourself. A great time to visit Kasauli is anywhere between April-June and then September- November. Last time I visited during Monsoons and it wasn’t a bad idea. Head to Kasauli between July and September if you love experiencing places during Monsoons, the misty mornings definitely make it a heavenly abode.
The place is covered with woody forests of pine and cedar trees. I spotted some Lavender colour trees and their presence makes the place even more beautiful. FYI, those lavender trees are called Jacaranda. I had no idea until I asked on Twitter.
You will come across people who will say there is absolutely nothing to do in Kasauli (I will get back to that in a bit) but here is a list of things to do there :
1. Gilbert Trail– It is a beautiful long road covered with trees, almost one and a half
kilometres long! Gilbert Trail is one of the interesting treks to do in Kasauli. It
is lush green with mesmerising views of the hills. The road is full of natural beauty, cold breeze and greenery of the hills. This is the place to be for nature lovers.
2. Sunset Point – Your trip to Kasauli is incomplete if you don’t visit the Sunset Point. The thing about this place is, the more you admire it, the more beautiful it will look. It offers mesmerising view of sun setting down the horizon. It is located at the cantonment area of the town. You can reach here by car and then walk 500mts or so to reach the Sunset Point. I met two uncles from army background who teased each other like 6 year olds and addressed their wives as “babe”, they were around 70yo and still the coolest! My evening was so much more fun because of them!
3. Christ Church– On the way to the mall road there is this historical landmark, Christ Church. What makes this church unique is the fact that it is the oldest church of Himachal Pradesh. The structure and the beauty of this church attracts tourists from all over India. There hasn’t been a church I have visited and not sat there quietly for at least 15 minutes! Churches bring back so many school memories because we used to go to church on every Sunday.
4. Gurkha Fort– It is a major tourist attraction enclosed by a thick forest cover and easily approachable by road. It is set at an altitude of around 4500 feet above sea level in the remote corner of the city that has various other buildings of the British era.
5. The Mall Road– Every hill station has a mall road and the one in Kasauli is not too big. There are 2 parts of the mall road, one is the upper mall and the other is lower mall. The upper mall road offers beautiful view of the hills with some food stalls. The lower mall road is a place to enjoy local dishes and the perfect place to buy souvenirs to take back home. A word of caution, be careful of Monkeys here!
Now getting to the point “there is nothing to in Kasauli”, whenever you travel to a place for the first time you will always find things to do even if they are less so don’t stress about that. When I went back to Kasauli for the second time it didn’t even occur to me once that there is nothing to do. I love going for getaways where there is not much to do since my vacations are always packed. Also, if you are looking for a getaway to the hills from Delhi, Kasauli is the nearest and you can avoid the rowdy crowd, the presence of which is so much these days in most hill stations!
WHERE TO STAY
It’s quite a task to find a decent place to stay in Kasauli. Since it was an impromptu decision to go to Kasauli I didn’t have much option. Ramada was completely booked and I came across this really cute cottage called Kasauli Castle, it was full of greenery. I booked online, it cost me around Rs.3000 without breakfast. Funnily with breakfast it was around 5500. I ordered breakfast which didn’t even cost me Rs.200 so it was a wise decision!
HOW TO REACH THERE
Simply drive down from Delhi which will take you around 6 hours to cover a distance of 287km. There are no direct buses or trains from Delhi to Kasauli. I went from Chandigarh so I hired a private car and took me a little more than an hour to reach. It cost me RS.3000 for the cab (return trip from Chandigarh to Kasauli for a day). There are no direct buses from Chandigarh to Kasauli, so the best option is to hire a car.
WHAT TO EAT
I didn’t really find anything so special about the food here. I am not a big fan of Momos in North India, all of them taste the same to me. Also, I don’t like to have Momos with Mayonnaise! So can’t really recommend the best place to have Momos. I tried Maggi at a few places because that’s what I like in the hills and you can find decent Maggi almost everywhere here. Try Mohan’s Bun Samosas which is very popular in Kasauli. It was over by the time I reached but I remember trying it last time!
Since I get this question so often about how much money I spent on a particular trip, its not easy to put it there since most of my trips are paid by brands, partly sponsored or paid. For this trip I spent Rs.7000 which includes travel, accommodation and food. I think that is a good amount for affordable luxury! You can save a lot on transport if you manage to get a bus from Chandigarh to Kasauli. I have noticed solo trips cost you more than traveling in a group, so plan it well.
If you want to go in the lap of the nature, make sure you stop at Kasauli for a couple of days. The best thing about Kasauli is that it is untouched by excessive tourism.