Why travel from Chandigarh to Shimla?

Chandigarh to Shimla is one of the most scenic routes in India for a road trip.  Shimla is still one of the most popular hill stations in North India. The British made this hill town their summer capital as and when temperatures rose in the nearby plains. 

Popularly and rightly called “the queen of hill-stations”, Shimla has everything one can ask for. From the snow-covered mountains, breathtaking lakes, pleasant climate to the alluring greenery. Retaining its old-world charm, Shimla’s colonial-styled bungalows, beautiful churches and the very famous Mall Road are much liked to this day. Therefore, every year tourists flock to this beautiful hill town which is perched at an elevation of 2,200 meters to enjoy the beautiful weather here.

A road trip from Chandigarh to Shimla is very special because the journey is as beautiful as the final destination. The stunning landscape, the lush greenery, the beautiful lakes and streams are sights worth traveling for.

So if you are one of those who loves to be on road, then this road trip guide to Shimla will help you plan your trip just the right way. We will help you discover a few routes, some hidden gems along the way and some places to eat so that your trip becomes more memorable. Let’s get started!

Traveling from Chandigarh to Shimla by car

Traveling from Chandigarh to Shimla by road is the most convenient way of covering this distance, as both the cities are located at a distance of 118 km.  The road trip can be easily covered in about three to three and a half hours. One can choose to either drive their own vehicle or book a cab with Savaari to enjoy the drive which passes through some of the most scenic locations.

When you book a cab with Savaari, you not only get to plan your trip according to your convenience but you also take home a wholesome experience which is otherwise restricted when you take a bus, train or flight. So sit back, enjoy your ride and keep those cameras ready. 

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Thus, experience the joy of being on the road by booking a cab from Savaari.

Best time to take a road trip from Chandigarh to Shimla by car

Shimla is known for its pleasant weather throughout the year. The summers are beautiful here and the winters are equally alluring. During winters, the scenic landscape gets covered in snow which is one of the best things about Shimla. However, even though tourism thrives here throughout the year, it is best to avoid the monsoon season which usually starts from the month of July and ends in September. Winters in Shimla can be extreme, but people come here to experience snowfall in India.

When you take a road trip to Shimla, it is not just the final destination but the journey which will delight you throughout. It offers a sneak peek of the snow-clad mountains, quaint villages on the way and some hidden wonders. Below are some of the routes you can choose when planning a road trip from Chandigarh to Shimla. 

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Route 1: Distance and Time taken from Chandigarh to Shimla via NH5  

Chandigarh — Panchkula — Saproon —  Mansar — Kashmari — Shimla 

Route Mapper

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Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality

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Popular places along the way:

    1. Morni Hills, Panchkula – Situated on the outskirts of Panchkula, Morni Hills is a perfect place for trekking and bird watching. You may easily spot  Wallcreeper, Crested Kingfisher, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Blue Peafowl, Kalij Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Grey Grancolin, Quails, Himalayan Bulbul etc.
    2. Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, Panchkula – Spread over an expanse of 2,600 hectares in the foothills of Shivaliks, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife haven with a wide variety of mammals, insects and reptiles. Also, this sanctuary has the highest variety of Sambar clusters in the country. 
    3. Manki Point, Kasauli – You have to take a detour to reach this place. This point offers a panoramic view of the city of Chandigarh. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman rested one of his feet here which resulted in the shape of this place looking like a foot. You can also enjoy the great views of the river Sutlej from here and pay your respects at the Hanuman temple. 
    4. Sunset Point, KasauliA little ahead of Manki Point is the Sunset Point in Kasauli. Enjoy your time watching the sun play peek-a-boo with the clouds because you may take home some of the most stunning pictures of the sunset from here. sunset-point-kasauli
    5. Mohan Shakti National Heritage Park – Visit India’s first ever national heritage park. One can explore the park, pass through grasslands, indulge in bird watching or catch glimpses of archaeological sites, and gorgeous landscapes of peaks, clouds and sunshine. In addition to these, one can also explore the complex of the Park which has a herbal therapy section, community kitchens, theme parks, residential blocks, temples, study centers, open theatres or ropeway trolleys.
    6. Tara Devi Temple – For some peace and tranquility, stop at Tara Devi Temple which is quite famous for clean and fresh surroundings. 
    7. Vaishno Devi TempleRegarded as a very auspicious pilgrimage for the Hindus, Vaishno Devi Temple is reached after an 11 km trek through the mountainous terrain. There is no place like Vaishno Devi for finding inner peace and strength.

Places to eat along the way:

  1.  Almakrand Restaurant, Khanna – Stop by at the restaurant for a wholesome meal of Chole Bhature, Pav Bhaji or some piping hot rice cakes
  2. Old School Social Cafe and Restaurant, Khanna – Stop here for some freshly baked pizza and pasta. They are your best option for Italian and Continental food. 
  3. Hangout, Kasauli – Try this rooftop restaurant at Kasauli. They have good food, pleasant music, and the open area is perfect for a lovely dinner.
  4. Narinder Sweet House, Kasauli – This little shop around the corner is perfect for a break enjoyed with some chai and fried pakoras.   

Route 2: Distance and Time taken from Chandigarh to Shimla via SH 16

Chandigarh — Bilaspur — Kurali — Shimla 

Route Mapper

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Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality

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Popular places along the way:

  • Gurudwara Sheesh Mahal Sahib, Paroul – Approximately 20 km from Chandigarh, this is an exceptionally beautiful gurudwara. Surrounded by lush greenery on all sides, people like to stop here for a quiet break and of course some delicious langar too.gurudwar-sheesha-mahal
  • Shimla Farm Camping Open 24 hours, this place is a perfect destination for camping under the night sky. 
  • Gorton Castle, Shimla – Gorton Castle was built in 1904 and is surrounded by the tall lush green Deodar trees. The scenic beauty of the location makes it look incredibly majestic. Many people believe that the castle has a magical vibe to it. It’s stone structure and glass windows take visitors back to the bygone era.
  • Baba Bhalku Rail Museum, Shimla – At a distance of 1 km from Shimla Railway Station and 190 m from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Baba Bhalku Railway Museum was inaugurated on 7th July 2011 as a tribute to the man who guided the construction of the rail line with his supernatural powers. The museum has some very interesting parts from the pages of history such as the 1930 lost property register. The register has details of lost properties like bags, umbrellas, caps, and coats left in the waiting rooms of the station or the trains. The museum also has on display several items and parts used in the trains dating back to the early 20th century.

Places to eat along the way:

  • Mitran da Dhaba, Siswanbadi Road – This dhaba would be on the highway. Stop here for some lip-smacking Punjabi food prepared with generous dollops of ghee and butter. Their Kali Dal and Mango Lassi are quite a hit among regulars. 
  • Raja Dhaba, Chandigarh Road – Quite famous for its plush interiors and heavenly food, Raja Dhaba is a great option for a wholesome lunch or dinner. Their naan chole and unmatched variety of chats are to die for. 
  • Coco Toucan, Baith Saida – Stop here to taste some of the best cakes, pastries, cookies and homemade chocolates. A passionate baker, the owner of this bakery is warm and welcoming who bakes some of the best cakes in town which are sure to give his customers gastronomical heaven in their mouth. 

Route 3: Distance and Time taken from Chandigarh to Shimla via NH7 and NH5

Chandigarh — Zirakpur — Panchkula — Tipra — Saproon — Mansar  — Rampur — Shimla

Route Mapper

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Vital Statistics – Distance, Time & Highway Quality

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Popular places along the way: 

    1. Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala – The Old Moti Bagh Palace is among the oldest buildings in Patiala. It is another example of architectural marvels in Patiala. It was the residence of the royal family of Patiala, and is among the largest residential buildings in the world. 
    2. Mohan Park, Solan – You can take a break from driving by stopping at Mohan Park. The terrace gardens, the beautifully crafted sculptures here provide a serene atmosphere to relax and unwind from all the traveling. 
    3. Mount Karol – Located at an altitude of 2240 meters, Mount Karol is the highest in Solan. It is perfect for a single day trek near Chandigarh.  Along the trek, we also visit the famous Pandva Gufa/cave, which is the oldest and longest cave in the Himalayas. Apart from mythological reasons, the trek offers panoramic views of Solan town and on a clear day, one can see Churdhar top and Shimla city too.
    4. Mahendra Chaudhury Zoological Park – Experience some wildlife safari and photography at Mahendra Chaudhury Zoological Park in Zirakpur. 

Places to eat along the way:

  • Essence Restaurant, Chandigarh National Highway – Stop here for a good meal, great desserts and lovely ambiance. They even serve food till late in the night which keeps this place alive 24/7. 
  • Boston Bites, PatialaFor a quick breakfast, stop at Boston Bites. However, their pizzas are heavenly and it would be a sin to miss trying their mouth-watering pizzas.
  • Himalayan Coffee House, Solan – A very old, simple place to enjoy some coffee and snacks. Available on the menu are also some delicious dosas and hot dogs. Enjoy a nice time here with friends and family. 

Book a cab from Chandigarh to Shimla

Other means of traveling from Chandigarh to Shimla 

By Flight:

The Shimla Airport, also known as Jubbarhatti airport, is around 20km away from the main city and is also one of the very few airports at any of the hill stations. Having one of the smallest airstrips, the airport is not functional throughout the year. Therefore, it is advisable to choose Chandigarh or Delhi as connecting airports. Book your cab from Chandigarh airport here.  If you choose the Delhi airport as your connecting airport, you can book your Delhi airport taxi here.  

By Train:

The nearest railway station to Shimla is the Kalka Railway Station which is about 90 km from the hill town. It takes around 5-6 hours from Kalka to reach here by train, but it’s a very beautiful journey with the tunnels and some. gorgeous scenery. It surely makes up for the extra time taken in the route. For more details, you can visit the IRCTC website. 

Explore Shimla like a local

Shimla’s timeless beauty which is adorned with snow-clad mountains, lush greenery and beautiful lake make it one of the most popular hill towns in the country. The best part about this hill town is not just limited to its scenic landscape, but the fact that it can be visited all throughout the year for its lovely weather. This makes Shimla one of the most favored weekend getaways in the North. Here is a guide to traveling the length and breadth of the hill station – 

Popular attractions in Shimla for sightseeing

Only 5 km from the famous Ridge is the Summer Hill which offers spectacular views of the green valley. It is one of the best places in Shimla to start your day from and is therefore quite popular among the tourists. 

Visit the busiest street of Shimla, the Mall Road. This stretch is a mini world in itself as it offers everything from clothes, shoes, furniture to some rare spices. 

Visit the Jakhu Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The ancient temple is soaked in legends and mythology. However, people like to stop and admire the Hanuman statue here. It is the tallest in the world. There is also a considerable monkey population around this area to keep you company.  

Relax and unwind at Mashobra. Only 10 km from Shimla, therefore you can easily head to Mashobra for some quiet time. 

If you are visiting Shimla in winters, then a must-visit stopover is Kufri for its mind-blowing skiing experience.

Lastly, stop at Chail for a day for some amazing hiking experience. It is a paradise for nature lovers because one can feel the purest touch of nature in this quaint fairy tale like town.   

 

Places to eat in Shimla

  • Italian and European – Baljee’s & Fascination 
  • Indian – Devicos and Qilaa
  • Fine Dining – Seventh Heaven
  • Himachali cuisine – Ashiana & Goofa
  • Cafe, French and Lebanese – Wake and Bake Cafe 

Hotels and Resorts – Accommodation in Shimla

Hotel Name Address
Radisson Jass Shimla Lower, Bharari Road, Goodwood Estate, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171001
Snow Valley Resorts Shimla NH 22 Kachi Ghatti, Ghora Chowki, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171005
Woodville Palace Hotel Raj Bhawan, Road, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171002
The Oberoi Cecil Chaura Maidan Rd, Nabha, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171004