It was an exciting day for us as we as a family was leaving for Shimla by train. We booked our train tickets way ahead so that we can reach Shimla comfortably and peacefully. We booked the sleeping AC cabins from Delhi to Kalka. The Delhi station was big, but very crowded. The train arrived on time and departed by 9.30pm. We had a good sleep and by the time we reached Kalka, it was 3 am. We then boarded the Toy train from there to Shimla. We had first class seats in the air conditioned cabin. So we were totally ready for this joy ride among the beautiful mountains and breathtaking sceneries.
It is one of the most beautiful railway journeys of my life. The Toy train ride offered amazing views of the high rugged mountains, lush green valleys, pine covered forests and breathtaking waterfalls. I remembered our train journey to Ella, last year in Sri Lanka as this was a similar experience. We were able to witness the verdant beauty of Himachal Pradesh. The train passed through more than 100 tunnels and 800 bridges as we covered more than 60 miles. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. My 2 girls who are usually glued to their tabs during trips were also fascinated with this journey.
When India was under the British rule, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of the British Empire. The concept of Toy train being a narrow gauge train started in November 1903 to provide quick and easy access for British to reach Shimla without consuming too much time.
The train allows passengers time to enjoy local food and snacks along the way, as it stops for few minutes in main stations. You can even step out of the toy train to capture as many photos as you like while basking in the pleasant atmosphere and breathing in the fresh air.
It was almost 11am when we got off at Shimla station. We have already booked a taxi to cover all 3 destinations for the next 6 days. We reached the Police mess in Shimla which was situated amidst high mountains. We were planning to stay here for the next 2 nights. Our accommodation was booked for us by a good friend of my husband. There, all 4 of us had a much needed warm bath. We were offered a tasty Indian lunch with local fruits as desert. We didn’t waste much time as we wanted to take maximum benefit of our trip by sightseeing.
Shimla is situated at an altitude of 6812 feet, amidst mystical woods and lush green hills. We explored the rich colonial history of the hill station as we travelled to various places in Shimla.
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