A food Trail in Shimla

Beyond the scenic landscape, cool alpine weather and line of pine forests, there’s a side to Shimla which is explored but not talked about. Being the largest city in Himachal, Shimla has attracted people from all cultures and regions of India and abroad.

A melting pot of various Indian and international cuisines, Shimla brings you a wide array of delectable delicacies to the table, literally! From simple roadside shacks, legendary cafes to fine dining the ‘queen of hills’ has something for every food lover. But as they say, if you really want to know a place, you must eat with and like the locals. Book a Chandigarh to Shimla taxi and embark on this culinary trail to sample the best of Shimla’s local food.

Let’s start with the morning chowdown at Krishna Bakers. The oldest bakery of town, Krishna bakers lays down freshly baked bread and pastries of all kinds. As is the case with most old bakeries of hill stations, Krishna’s menu has never changed over the years. And so has their recipes. The highlight of this place is the fresh-off-the-oven, tender chicken bun.

Goofa & Ashiana: For a cozy dinner with the view of the hills, head to the Goofa & Ashiana. Quite a quirky name, this place offers two dining areas- the basement seating (Goofa) and the garden seating (Ashiana). Maintained by the tourism department, this restaurant is a family favorite and is quite on the fancy side.

Indian Coffee House: Wash down your carbs with a cup of hot Indian filter coffee. One of the oldest coffee houses in India, the Indian Coffee House is also a popular stop for strawberry jelly and fresh cream.

Embassy Ice Cream: All meals must end on a sweet note. And as they say, there’s always room for dessert. And for desserts, there’s nothing better than Embassy Ice Cream. The rainbow-colored façade of this shop quite matches with its colorful recipes. Treat yourself with a hearty serving of sundae loaded with fresh fruits, jellies, and candies. Or a simple scoop of house-made ice cream, topped with fancy goodies can make your day!

Alfa: For the fancy foodies, Alfa does not look inviting. But once you leave your hang-ups and focus only on their specialties, you would forget where you are and why you are there. Don’t forget to try their kheema samosas, sinfully greasy but heavenly, house burgers and melting sundaes.

Sita Ram and Sons: Ever had a Chhole Bhature with a twist? Sita Ram and Sons does just that to your favorite Punjabi dish. Tender and cottony soft bhature, which are more like thick puris, served with a handsome portion of slightly sweetened chhole- every reason for you to gorge on.

Bihari Lal Sharma Chathouse: Yes, the mention of cool and crunchy chat in a cold hill station might not sound very inviting. But Shimla sees quite a harsh summer for its location. And that’s the time, you would love to visit Bihari Lal Sharma. Their creatively made fruit chat and tangy panipuris are sure to beat the heat and leave a zing to your taste buds.

Aunty’s Kitchen: Though small in number, the town has quite a Chinese-Tibetan influence. The heritage Chinese restaurants are living examples of their coexistence. One such place is Aunty’s Kitchen. Running as a family-owned eatery since 1975, this place will leave you spoilt for choice of your favorite Chinese delicacy. Their 25 varieties of soups to choose from, we can bet you will have a long dinner here.

Beekay: Yet another bakery cum café that smells of old world charm. Sample their salami burgers and you are sure to come back for more.

Tibetan Food Corner: Known for kurkeys, the traditional Tibetan dish, this eatery is your go-to place for authentic Tibetan fare. Believe it or not, this food joint is the only Tibetan restaurant serving kurkeys in the country!

If you’re planning on visiting Shimla this summer, be sure to book convenient Delhi to Shimla cabs so you can head to each of these amazing eateries that picturesque hill station has to offer.

Parwanoo – A paradise undiscovered

For the city dwellers of Delhi, Chandigarh and neighbouring towns in Haryana and Punjab, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to a quick weekend getaway. Nature’s bounty along the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh make for abundant options of exploring. Parwanoo is one such surprise package of a place.

Image source: Wikipedia

How to reach Parwanoo

Bordering the Panchkula district of Haryana, Parwanoo is located at 35km from Chandigarh and is easily accessible from Amritsar, Kalka, Pinjore, and Shimla. For a more exciting journey, you can take the Kalka-Shimla heritage railroad. This is one of the most scenic routes in this region, cutting through the mountains via tunnels, crossing cliffs and around the winding slopes. The nearest station, at Taksal, is about 4km away from the town center. If there’s a road trip on your mind, the best way to get to Parwanoo is to book a taxi service in Chandigarh.

Things to do in Parwanoo

Apart from its economic recognition, being on the Shivalik Range, Parwanoo holds the quintessential Himalayan beauty. The landscape remains snow-clad most of the year, which allows you a cooler escape from the sultry city summers.

Ever since travelers started exploring the mountains, lakes and the natural wonders of Parwanoo, this quiet hamlet opened up to discovery and exploration.

A quick trip to Parwanoo calls for these touristy activities:

Ride over the Timber Trail

Image source: Wikipedia

When in the mountains, a view from the top gives you a refreshing perspective. A cable car ride across the Timber Tail gives you a 360-degree view of the entire Shivalik range. But just to be cautious, this activity is not for the faint-hearted. For a nominal price, this 1.8km ride lasts for about 10 minutes and takes you to the top of the Timber Trail at the resort of its namesake.

Enjoy the magnificence of the Kaushalya Valley, from a height of 5,000 ft above the sea level. A trip to Parwanoo would be incomplete without this scenic cable car ride and photographing the birds’- eye view of the landscape.

Discover Dagshai

About 28 KM from Parwanoo, lies the old settlement of Dagshai. Established by the East India Company in 1847, this timeworn cantonment town, still displays traces of its colonial past. The highlight of this town is the Dagshai Church, an ancient church built under the British rule. The colonial architecture reflecting sheer brilliance adorns the church’s façade and interiors.

The old-world charm of its construction never fails to enthrall the tourists and admirers of ancient art. Though there are no accommodation options here, Dagshai makes for a good day trip and picnic destination.

Visit the fruit orchards

If you are anywhere in Himachal, you will not be spared from the intoxicating aromas of apples, plums, and peaches. And probably because the economy of Parwanoo was based on fruit-based industries, the orchards became a fun-filled destination for tourists. The orchard tours will be a treat to your eyes as well as to your taste-buds. The array of reds, orange, crimson and green are indeed like a page out of a picture book. Indulge yourself in samples of fruit jellies, jams, pickles and other goodies to mark a memorable end to your orchard exploration.

Explore the Gorkha Fort

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Gorkha Fort would be of great interest. About 16 KM away from Parwanoo, the Gorkha Fort sits on a hill in the village of Subathu. It was established by the Gurkha army chief Amar Singh Thapa to fight the British troops, this fort is a testament of strength and power. There is a museum associated with the fort, preserving exhibits dating back to 1815.

Once a somnolent little settlement, this hamlet has grown to become a trending destination for Himachal Tourists and still needs to be explored. If you’re exploring hill stations around Delhi or Chandigarh, we highly recommend adding Parwanoo to your list. Book a Shimla taxi service to get to Parwanoo and explore some of the other quaint towns and hill stations on offer in Himachal Pradesh.

#60DaysOfSummer – Spiritual Journey to McLeodganj

If you’re looking for a quiet, spiritual journey head to McLeodganj near Dharamshala. With gorgeous Buddhist temples and some churches near town, McLeodganj may be the perfect getaway for those of you who are spiritually inclined.

You can head to the Dalai Lama’s temple Tsuglagkhang or to Kalachakra Temple in the main street. There’s also a very old and picturesque Anglican church called St John in the Wilderness that dates back to 1852. And while you’re soaking in the spiritual beauty of the place, there’s a lot of trekking and exploration to be done in this lovely hill station at the foothills of the Himalayas.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from New Delhi to Dharamshala.

#60DaysOfSummer – Paragliding in Manali

If you’re looking for adventure while still being far away from the heat, head to Manali where it’s a cool 18 degrees right now and there’s plenty of paragliding to be done.

While you’re there, take a paragliding course in Solang Valley, a little distance away from Manali. You get to try your hand at paragliding with the help of an experienced trainer. There are a number of spots from where you get a view of Solang Forest, Kullu Valley and Solang Resort, so there’s plenty to choose from.

The best season for paragliding in Manali is in the summer when the breeze is gentle enough to help you sail and the aerial view of the valley is clear and spectacular. You can even plan on exploring all possible paragliding spots along the Manali, Kullu and Solang valleys.

HOW TO GET THERE

Book a cab from Delhi to Manali and then take the cab further to Solang Valley if you wish to do the paragliding course there.

 

#60DaysOfSummer – Paragliding in Rohtang

Are you an adrenalin junkie who swears by a sense of adventure in all your vacations? Head to Rohtang Pass this summer to try your hand at paragliding.

A number of adventure sport companies arrange for paragliding and parasailing in the summer, particularly in Kullu and nearby towns. If the idea of a view of Himachal from the sky excites you, this might be the perfect summer getaway. If you’re someone who likes a more grounded form of sightseeing, however, wait until May when the Rohtang Pass opens up.

From there, you can head to Spiti Valley for a breathtaking roadtrip or to Kullu and Manali if you feel like you’re too far from civilisation.

Keep in mind that the region is extremely eco-sensitive, and you need a permit to drive through the pass. We recommend that you apply for a permit online a good one week before you intend to travel. The number of vehicles allowed through the pass each day is limited.

HOW TO GET THERE

You can get to Manali by air, train an bus. From there, it is advisable to take a car to Rohtang with the proper permits.