Our Himachal and Punjab tour.

#1 Feb 11th, 2015, 21:59
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  • coolkerala is offline
#1
Hi,
Some of my friends and me were planning a north Indian trip for quite some time. Many states were considered and after many discussions all could agree on a 9 days Himachal and Punjab trip.

Indiamike was very helpful in planning the trip, though we still have some missing links and doubts. Our doubts are asked as questions in between our following itinerary description. Hope Indiamikers would be kind enough to help us.

As airfare from Kerala to Delhi was on the higher side, we booked AirAsia from Bangalore to Chandigarh.

Our brief itinerary is as follows.

Day0 Catch Train from TVM to Bangalore.

Day1 Reach Yeswanthpur by 0430 hours and catch a Taxi to Airport for the 0940 AirAsia Chandigarh flight.

Q1. Is there pre-paid taxi service available at Yeswanthpur rly stn at 0430 am? If not, other options please.

We have already booked our travel agency -colorsofindiatours.com. They have arranged us an Innova, hotel accommodations and travel facilities according to our plan.

Their driver will pick us from Airport and drive to Shimla. Of course, We need to keep our spirits high for the entire trip and expect one or two wine shops on the way. As Chandigarh is UT, expect lower taxes for the "fuel". Check in Shimla hotel by evening. Hotel selected is Bridge view regency.

Day2 Sight seeing in Shimla, Kufri. Evening in The mall and the ridge.

Day3 Checkout from Hotel and move to Manali. Sightseeing at Sundernagar lake, Pandoh Dam, Vaishnodevi temple and Check in at Hotel Royal Park Resort.

Day4 Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley visit.

Day5 Sightseeing of Manali, Hadimba temple, Tibetan Monastery etc.

Day6 Drive to Dharamshala. Sightseeing in Dharamshala. Check in at Hotel Royal Palace Resort.

Day7 Visit Khajjar and Proceed to Dalhousie. Check in at Hotel Muniswiss.

Day8 Drive to Amritsar. Visit Saga boarder, Golden temple and Jallianwala bagh. Check in at Hotel P R Residency.

Day9 Amritsar Chandigarh drive to catch 1330 AirAsia flight to Bangalore.

Catch the evening train/bus to Kerala.

We plan to do this tour from 13th March.

Q2. How cold will be the weather in Himachal in March? Should we bring winter gear from Kerala or can be bought at Shimla or Manali?
Q3. Will the tour be too hectic? Any suggestions for must see places in each locations?
Q4. Flight lands at Banglore Airport at 1630 hours. Our Volvo to Kerala starts from Satellite Bus station at 1800 hours. Will we be able to catch it, considering the evening traffic in Bangalore?
Q5. Any other pointers/suggestions?

Thanks.
#2 Feb 12th, 2015, 00:09
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  • NEERAJ JAT JI is offline
#2
Weather will be quite cold in Manali. Bring woolen clothes with you otherwise buy from Shimla or Manali. You will not be able to reach Rohtang Pass due to heavy snow. Plan is not seeming so hectic. But due to hilly terrain from Manali to Dharamshala and then to Dalhausie, time taken may be more as you planned.
#3 Feb 12th, 2015, 09:00
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#3
Manali to Dharmshala is a long drive and you have to leave early. Similarly Dharmshala to Khajjar will be 5-6 hours drive. However you have very limited time for sightseeing in Dharamshala.
Your trip plan is like that that you have to wake up early almost during entire trip so just prepared for same.
#4 Feb 12th, 2015, 09:02
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#4

Re: Our Himachal and Punjab tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEERAJ JAT JI View Post Weather will be quite cold in Manali. Bring woolen clothes with you otherwise buy from Shimla or Manali. You will not be able to reach Rohtang Pass due to heavy snow. Plan is not seeming so hectic. But due to hilly terrain from Manali to Dharamshala and then to Dalhausie, time taken may be more as you planned.
Thanks Neeraj, We will be travelling in an Innova. How much time we can expect between Manali-Dharamshala, Dharamshala-Dalhousie and Dalhousie-Amritsar? We can plan our starting time accordingly.
#5 Feb 12th, 2015, 13:26
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#5

Re: Our Himachal and Punjab tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spgupta1975 View Post Manali to Dharmshala is a long drive and you have to leave early. Similarly Dharmshala to Khajjar will be 5-6 hours drive. However you have very limited time for sightseeing in Dharamshala.
Your trip plan is like that that you have to wake up early almost during entire trip so just prepared for same.
Thankds spgupta. Yeah we also thought on similar lines. Hope waking up early wouldn't be an issue. But we may have skip the complimentary breakfasts offered by the hotels.
#6 Feb 13th, 2015, 09:03
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#6
Quote:
But we may have skip the complimentary breakfasts offered by the hotels.
You can negotiate rate accordingly.
#7 May 16th, 2015, 21:01
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#7

Our Himachal and Punjab tour.


We had an amazing trip. A photo from Manali is attached. Trip report will soon be updated. Thanks for your feedbacks.
#8 Jun 26th, 2017, 22:11
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Be late than Never

Please find the holiday report. I am not a good writer, so please don't expect fancy English and good writing skills. All I share are lots of facts which may be helpful to some and may be boring to some others. Also I intend to contribute back to the community, however small it may be.

Prologue

We (6 friends from different locations in Kerala) were contemplating for a long trip for quite some time. Himalayas were our destination but didn't had any clarity n when and where to start. Thought of the trip was live for months. After many discussions and deliberations, we finalized on HP and Punjab, which will give us a taste of Himalayas and North Indian plains. The initial plan was to visit Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala and Amritsar.

A rough plan of a nine day trip was chalked out. But information from many sources suggested Dalhoiuse also as a must see place. So we included that too in our itinerary. Last minute inclusion of Dalhousie really stretched our plan so that we had to spent a night in our rented Innova. More on that in details, later.

We got a contact of travel agency (colorsofindiatours.com) through one of our friends and got a reasonable rate of Rs15300.00 per person from them. The rate included 7+1 seater innova for 9 days, 3 star hotel stay for 8 nights with break fast and dinner (triple occupancy), travel for the entire trip and local sight seeing.

Next, started our hunt for cheap air tickets. Initially we planned, TVM/Kochi - Delhi to and fro flights, but dropped plan due to high fares. After many delibrations, we decided to book AirAsia from Banglore to Chandigarh and return. We booked in January for our trip to be done at March. We got the tickets at Rs 8K per person, to and fro.

To reach Banglore, we booked in train number 12778 Hubli Express, which starts from Kochuveli at 1250hrs and reach Yeswanthpur at 430hrs. Friends will board the train from their convenient stations on the way. Train number 12778 was our convenient train as the flight was scheduled at 940 hrs.

The travel agency forwarded us the list of hotels in each town they had tie ups with and based on feedback from trip advisor, we selected Hotel Bridge view regency for Shimla, Hotel Royal Park Resort at Manali, Hotel Royal Palace resort at Dharamsala, Hotel Miniswiss at Dalhousie and Hotel PR Residency at Amritsar. Now with Airtickets and rail tickets booked and advance paid to the travel agency, we waited patiently for the D-day on 12th March 15.
#9 Jun 26th, 2017, 22:14
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#9
Day 0 (12 March 2015)

Myself and friend from TVM, reach Kochuveli railway station in a taxi and boarded the 12778 Hubli express by 1230hrs. Train started exactly on time. We chatted about our trip for while and later relaxed on our berth. Train reached EKM, TCR etc and our friends boarded from their stations. As train food always found to be stale, our friend from Thrissur bought biriyani from Hotel Saffire, a well known non veg restaurant at TCR, for our dinner.

We booked an Innova through "Taxiforsure" from the train itself for our next day early morning journey from Yeswanthpur railway station to Kempagowda international airport. We had dinner in train and slept.

Day 0 Distance travelled- 570KMs.
#10 Jun 26th, 2017, 23:54
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#10
Day 1 (13th March 2015)

Train No 12778 Hubli express reached Yeshwanthur railway station by 4 30AM.
The pre booked Innova driver was waiting for us, outside the railway station.


Yesvantpur Jn at 5AM


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The journey from railway station to Airport took about 45 minutes. We paid him Rs1780.00
We reached Bangalore Airport at about 6AM. We relaxed a bit, took some photos, and also freshened up in airport.
Check in for the AirAsia flight to Chandigarh began at 7AM. He had an excellent south Indian veg break fast from the
"Malgudi express" restaurant inside the boarding area.

The bird which took at us to Chandigarh

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Boarding started by 9AM and took off by 945AM. Though the flight was on schedule, cabin experience was neutral.
I have had better hospitality in other low cost airlines like Indigo, GoAir etc. The cabin crew avoided eye contact with the guests
and didnt even smile to the guests. Landed at Chandigarh as scheduled by 1250PM.

Flight path

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Check out from Airport took about 10 minutes. Chandigarh civilian airport is a small airport (when compared to Kochin,TVM, Banglore etc)
which occupies a part of Chandigarh Airforce station. Try to get a left side window seat in the flights landing in Chandigarh airport to get
a full view of the various aircrafts used by the IAF.

Our driver, Manoj, was waiting for us in the airport with his Innova. He loaded our luggage on to the carrier.

Team at Chandigarh airport

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The route to Shimla

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Manoj knew only Hindi. As many of us knew Hindi, communicating with him was not a problem. The Innova was well maintained one
registered in Oct14. We drove off to Shimla by 1PM.

On the way "the spirits" were bought from a wine shop in Haryana, as price for the same was supposed to be higher in HP.
Later we found that prices in HP was only marginally higher w.r.t prices in Haryana. The wine shop was in the periphery of
small town of Surajpur exactly in N30.76653 E76.90547

On the way to Shimla

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to be Continued...
#11 Jun 27th, 2017, 00:01
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Day 1 (13th March 2015) (Continued...)

We continued our journey uphill and one of our friends suggested about a ropeway near the town Parwanoo. The rope way was actually build by
Hotel Timber trail heights for their use. But it is open to public also for a per head cost of Rs700.00. Though the asking rate was costly, we went for it
for the adventure and thrill it offered. The ground station is at N30.83500 E76.98262. The ropeway is about 1650 metres long and climbs about 500 metres and takes about 15 minutes to go in one direction.


Ropeway pics

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We spent around an hour in Timber trail ropeway and continued our journey. We had our lunch from a way side dhaba at small bustop of Koti at N30.8620 E76.99894

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The Kalka-Shimla railway line is almost running parallel to the Shimla-Highway. We had not booked a ticket in the heritage railway line as all trains departed
before 1230PM from Kalka and we were scheduled to land at Chandigarh by only 1PM. But one among us asked. What if the train runs late? So we asked Manoj to take us to the nearest railway station so that wecan board any late running trains. He said "yes" and took us to the nearest railway station, which was at Solan. We reached Solan railway station by 3 15PM, but the station master told us the last train to Shimla left at 1 45PM. Those we felt dejected, decided to spent some time in the station, relax and take photos. The Solan railway station hasa old world heritage charm of itself. We spend about half an hour there, took many photos and continued our journey to Shimla.

Solan railway station


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We reached Shimla at about 8PM. The travel agency booked in Hotel Bridge view regency, which is in Mall road. Vehicles are banned in Mall road, soe we were dropped at the "bridge". It is near to the taxi stand and "lift" to the mall road. The "lift", operated by HTDC can be used to go to the Mall road from the bridge. Rate per person is Rs10 and each trolly is also charged Rs10.00

The Bridgeview regency is a multistoried building, whose top floors are used as hotel. If you have weak knee or physically challenged people in your group, please avoid this hotel. First, vehicle entry is banned in Mall road and second, you have to climb many steps to reach the lift, which takes you to the reception
at 8th floor. We checked in the hotel and soon had dinner.

The Bridge view Regency

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Dinner

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The location of Hotel Bridge view is good. It is right in Mall road and it offers good view of the town. Rooms offered to us were good and clean, except that the
supply of hot water was not available at times. Room service rates were high for such a hotel. We had breakfast and dinner included in our package. Both were
buffets and non veg options were less. Can recommend this hotel for a stay of a day or two.

Total distance travelled in Day 1 of our trip was about 2111KM (32KMs-Yelvanpur rly stn-Airport, 1965 KMs- Banglore-Chandigarh by Air, 114 KMs Chandigarh-Shima by road)
#12 Aug 28th, 2017, 12:52
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Good start for sharing your TR, Waiting for more pictures to pour in...

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