Kasauli: A Paradise for Hikers – Travel guide

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Table of Contents:

Introduction

While India has a plethora of options for city dwellers to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, Kasauli holds a special place. This colonial-era town, nestled in the Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas has cobbled streets, beautiful gardens, architectural marvels, and mesmerizing avenues making it a top pick for people looking to spend time in the hills. Kasauli is also famous for being the birthplace of the famous writer Ruskin Bond.

History & Culture

There are many beliefs behind how Kasauli got its name:

  1. Some people believe that the name Kasauli was derived from a nearby mountain called Kausalya.
  2. Others believe that the name was derived from the word ‘Kusmawali’ that translates to flower maiden.

Another belief of this magical town is that the Hindu Lord Hanuman had placed his foot here when he had come to the Himalayas looking for the Sanjeevani herb. This led to the creation of the town. In fact, there is a Hanuman Temple at the place where it is believed that Lord Hanuman had stepped.

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Parwanoo

Kasauli has a mix of British Colonial and Indian cultures. It also welcomes all religions and you can find temples, mosques, churches, and gurudwaras at all times.

Interesting Facts about Kasauli

Here are some interesting facts about Kasauli:

  • The people of Kasauli are also called ‘Pahadis’ and live a simple life.
  • Hindi is widely spoken in Kasauli and the neighboring regions.
  • Kasauli is one of the few places in Himachal Pradesh that is relatively popular but still unspoiled by commercialization.
  • Kasauli is home to the famous children’s author Ruskin Bond.
  • The Kasauli Brewery is the oldest distillery for scotch whiskey in Asia.
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Gilbert Trail

Places to visit Kasauli

Being a small town, Kasauli does not have a lot of options except the endless vistas of the Himalayas. Here are some tourist places in Kasauli:

  • Gilbert Trail – A stone walkway that stretches for around 1.5 km beginning from Lover’s Lane and taking you through amazing flora. This is also a great place for bird watching and sightseeing in Kasauli.
  • Sunset Point – If a breathtaking sunset takes your breath away or if you are a photography enthusiast and can’t wait to capture the 50 shades of orange that adorn the sky during sunset, then a visit to Sunset Point is a must. 
  • Manki Point – This is the highest point in the region and offers some picturesque views of the surroundings and a bird’s eye view of the Air Force Station.
  • Christ Church – This is the oldest church in Himachal Pradesh and has a gothic architecture with a cemetery around it. 
  • Sunrise Point – There are few places in Himachal Pradesh that offer a spectacular view of the sunset and sunrise and Kasauli is one of them. Located at the Lower Mall Area, the Sunrise Point is a must-visit for a blessed start to your day.
  • Gurkha Fort – A historical fort surrounded by pristine nature, the Gurkha Fort has ancient frescoes on the walls and 180-year-old cannon.
  • Kasauli Brewery – Established in the 1820s, the Kasauli Brewery is the oldest scotch whiskey distillery in Asia.
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Christ Church

Things to do in Kasauli

Kasauli has managed to maintain its rustic charm and serenity despite being close to the tourist-heavy destination of Shimla. Here are some things to do while in Kasauli:

  • Take a cab to Dharampur, get into a toy train up to Barog, and return on the train to Kasauli. This toy train ride encapsulates the beauty of the region perfectly.
  • The Timber Trail is a popular activity among all kinds of tourists in Kasauli. The trail is lined with pine and coniferous trees. The two mountains of the trail are connected by a 1.8 km cable car. A ten-minute ride in this cable car is bound to be a memorable one.
  • Trek from Kalka to Kasauli. While this can be a strenuous trek, the vistas it offers can be mesmerizing.
  • The Mall Road in Kasauli is a shoppers’ paradise. From locally handcrafted products to books and clothes, there is a lot to keep the shopper inside you interested.
  • If you are traveling with your significant other, then a walk at Lover’s Lane should not be missed. This is a 1.5 km serpentine trail that is lined by trees and an abundance of flora and fauna.
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Toy Train

Places to eat in Kasauli

While Tibetan food is a special delicacy in Kasauli, there are many places to enjoy different cuisines too. Here are some places where you can eat including street food places and the best restaurants in Kasauli.

  • Ross Common Restaurant, Lower Mall Road – Indian and Asian food and vegetarian-friendly
  • Gyani Dhaba, NH22-Dharampur – For Dhaba-style Indian food
  • Shelly Restaurant, Near Kalka Railway Station – Indian and Asian food with vegetarian and vegan options
  • Narinder Sweet House, Lower Mall Road – Indian fast-food
  • Rudra Cafe, Heritage Road – Italian, Chinese, Fast Food, and vegetarian-friendly
  • Cliff Houzz Restaurant and Bar, Winnies Holiday Resort – Continental food with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options

Geography

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Kasauli lies in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh and is spread across an area of around 20 square kilometers and at an altitude of 1900 meters or 6200 feet above sea level.

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Kasauli Weather

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Kasauli has moderate weather throughout the year. While the Kasauli temperature during the summer months can range between 14 and 28 degrees C, winters can be chilly with temperatures falling down to 2 degrees C with snowfall. Kasauli also receives moderate rainfall during the monsoon. Summers are the best time to visit Kasauli.

How to reach Kasauli

Kasauli has good connectivity with most parts of India by road, rail, and flights.

By Train

Kasuali does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railhead is Kalka, at a distance of around 25 km from Kasauli. You can get a train from most major cities to Kalka. Once there, you can take a taxi from Kalka to Kasauli and reach your destination within 60-70 minutes.

By Road

Kasauli has excellent road connectivity with most cities and towns in North India. Here are some route suggestions from major towns around Kasauli:

  • Chandigarh – Located around 60 km. You can take a taxi from Chandigarh to Kasauli and reach there within 1.5 to 2 hours via NH5.
  • Shimla – Located around 70 km. You can book a cab from Shimla to Kasauli and reach there within 2-3 hours via NH5 and/or SH16.

By Flight

There is no direct flight connectivity to Kasauli. The closest airport is in Chandigarh. You can catch a flight to Chandigarh and then hire a taxi from Chandigarh Airport to Kasauli.

Places to visit near Kasauli

Here are some places near Kasauli that you might consider while creating your travel plans:

  • Shimla – Located at a distance of around 70 km from Kasauli.
  • Kufri – Located at a distance of around 85-95 km from Kasauli.
  • Solan – Located at a distance of around 28 km from Kasauli.
  • Chail – Located at a distance of around 68 km from Kasauli.
  • Dharampur – Located at a distance of around 10 km from Kasauli.
  • Parwanoo Located at a distance of around 23 km from Kasauli.
  • Salogra – Located at a distance of around 36 km from Kasauli.
  • Mashobra – Located at a distance of around 85-100 km from Kasauli.
[Here’s a guide on how you can make the most out of your Chandigarh to Shimla journey.]

Homestays in Kasauli

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Homestays are one of the best ways to experience life in a laid-back town like Kasauli. Here are some options to consider:

  • Wildleaf -Valley Homz, Brewery Road
  • Sai Homestay, Jagjit Nagar
  • Sai Home: 3BHK Complete Cottage, Dharampur
  • Headntail Homestay, Dochi Road
  • Whispering Pine Homestay, Dharampur
  • The Hideaway, Sanawar Village

Share this travel guide with your travel buddy to get started on your journey to the mountains! What are your fondest memories from a trip? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Reading between lines - the ones that rhyme, on a journey with no stop sign.

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