Famed for 103 tunnels,864 bridges and more than 900 curves with angles as sharp a 48 degrees, the train to Shimla still pricks one’s imagination and leaves us awed with the technical an material effort put to construct the most expensive tracks of the time.
The most spectacular aspects of this railway track are the bridges that resemble Roman Aqueducts showcasing engineering brillance,with the longest of them extending for 2.8 Kilometers. Its beautiful arched galleries, tunnels, and the numerous mellifluous station en route Shimla, lend much character to the railway line.
Historically,the strategic and political importance of importance of Shimla wouldn’t have been seized if not for the establishment of this narrow gauge railway line. The train locomotive would primarily provide quick and efficient transportation to the dignitaries visiting the British Summer Capital,Shimla
Engineers cut through the harsh mountainous topography by laying a 96 km long track from Kalka at sultry height of approx. 640 meters to a far more salubrious Shimla at a height of approx. 2060 meters – giving the Shimla Railway track an emblematic stature.
As a result of the difficult terrain,the course of the line was altered a number of times. In fact,it is believed that the course of the track was determine by a common laborer, named Balkhu. He would march for long tracks with the engineers and give directions as was communicated to him by the devtas (local deities) through lice in his head.
The planning and proposing of the line had begun as early as 1847. The British in Delhi wanted to escape the excessive summer heat, and found Shimla equivalent to the European temperatures.
And so the first regional survey was conducted in 1884 and another one in 1885. The Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company commenced work in 1889 and 9th November,1903 made history, for it opened traffic on the kalka Shimla Railway line.
The broad gauge line wound up at Kalka to let small train carriages take a thirty inch narrow gauge. The experience of the little train whistling and perforating through the picturesque countryside stimulated immense excitement,then and now.
Of the 103 tunnels, initially constructed,the longest tunnel,measuring one Kilometer was built at Barog, a significant stop over and the station midway between Shimla and Kalka. The station was named after engineer Barog,who met a tragic end.
He built a tunnel,the two ends of which could not meet . His failure lead to the imposition of a fine Rs. 1,which became so unbearable that Barog shot himself while on a walk with his dog.
Interestingly when the train began operations, passengers went through “plague inspection”, just short of Shimla,to prevent pestilence from reaching the Capital. At Tara Devi,they would register all their details. Authorities were so vigilant that each passenger also underrwent fumigation
Even today,journey abroad the train is delightful and reminiscent of the old-world charm and magnificence.it does take few hours longer than road (6-7 hours) to cover a distance of 97km,but watching the magnificent mountain ranges as you pass keeps you asking for more.
|Type of Seat||Remarks|
|72451||Rail Motor||5.10am||9.50am||FC – First Class||Temporary Train|
|52457||KLK SML Pass||4.00am||9.20am||FC – First Class||Regular Train|
|52451||Shivalk Dlx Exp||5.30am||10.15am||CC – Chair Car||Regular Train|
|52453||KLKA SIMLA Exp||6.00am||11.05am||FC – First Class
|52455||HIMALAYAN QUEEN||12.10am||17.20pm||CC – Chair Car||Regular Train|
Rohtang Pass the gateway to the tribal Lahaul-Spiti valley has opened up on Friday. The BRO has done a tremendous work as they have achieved the target before the deadline. BRO was under pressure of opening up the pass before the General Election Voting, which is on 7th May 2014 for Himachal Pradesh. On Saturday the HRTC buses plied on the Road between Manali- Keylong on trial basis. However tourist won’t be allowed to move up till Rohtang pass, as the road Clearance has to widen.
We were very lucky to get permission to go to Rohtang Pass. Special Thanks to the Magistrate .This year to the patch between Marhi and Rohtang has been deteriorated by snow. Rani Nallah as usual was a nightmare.
The grunting noise of car from beneath almost took out my heart. As we reached the Glacier Point in Rani Nallah. It was amazing to see huge walls of Snow At least 40 feet, I Guess?
After that up till Rohtang it was JUST MESMERIZING .To see our Gypsy to move between the walls of snow, was something like a dream come true.
Throughout the week it was quite sunny. There is a decrease in tourist visiting to Manali. Surely due to freezing temperatures. Temperature during nights is below zero hence we can see frozen ice on the roads where the water is collected. Due to delay in snow fall this year. The people of the valley are facing extreme cold conditions. Not only the locals but tourists are also praying to see their first snow fall of 2013. There are chances of snow during Lohri and Makarsakranti as there is a weather report given by the local administration, also various internet weather sites also show chance’s of snow fall and rain during the coming week.
Visit Himalaya this week had clients from ACC CEMENT FACTORY EXECUTIVE’S. They did fully enjoy and promised to return back to Manali. They specially had come here to see snow, but were little disappointed, when they saw that snow in Manali has already melted. But we took them to Solang Valley and Anjani Mahadev where they encountred fresh snow . Solang valley is at a height of 7000 Feets. Approx. which is 1000 Feets above than Manali and is 16 kms away from town .Especially Anjani Mahadev was fully covered with snow. Anjani Mahadev is 2km from solang valley . You can even take horses from there. But we chose to trek. As it is more adventurous. We were very tired but didn’t feel it as the beauty at the spot was so mesmerizing, that are clients couldn’t resist from saying that “if people are searching for heaven it’s here in Manali” . At Anjani Mahadev there is a Shiva Ling of snow with height of at least 40fts. You have to stop 300 mtrs. Back and remove yours shoes and go barefooted walking on the snow till the shiva ling. Our clients did fully enjoy and spent lot of time. It was getting very cold but we didn’t wish to return back. The sun was about to go behind the mountains. As did our day got over.
The second day was too a great day. Today we went to JOGNI WATER FALL. A beautiful waterfall located in Vashisht. We started from vashisht where we had our natural Hot Spring Bath with our clients. All of them were amazed to witness that in such a cold place people are blessed with hot springs. People of the village use the hot spring water to bath, clean clothes and utensils. Even it is used for cooking food. After our bath we had to move for our trek. The trek is fulfilled with everything great views,jungle walk, streams , meditation places and little bit of wildlife too. There are two waterfalls on the way. The first one is little dangerous as the path is narrow and below you there is a deep gorge. But after reaching the fall, the silence of the place the gush and shower of water will make you feel heavenly. After an hour we started walking too Jogni . Again you have to climb a mountain. . We took a three halts in between and reached the fall. Our clients now didn’t had any words to explain the beauty. Rapid flow of water. The fall and wind hitting your face and snow around just added the beauty of the fall. Nobody wanted to leave the places. But we had too just before we left JOGNI SHOWED ITS another color we saw a huge rainbow. We have captured the beauty in our cameras.
Our clients were full satisfied. One of them had already visited Manali before. He said that he came here two years back “ par bekar cheez dekh kar chala gaya” . But this time the experience that Visit Himalaya has given is surely incredible. I will surely come back here again.
In The Mahabharata it is mentioned that Hidamba is the wife of Bhim, the strongest of five Pandava brothers. Bhima fell in love with Hadimba, a sister of demon Tandi. Bhima Killed Tandi in combat and married Hadimba, who today worshiped as the incarnation of Kali. This temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the year 1553 in the worship of Hidamba Devi. The area surrounding the temple gives a festive look always as tourist dressed up in traditional colorful dress available at price for photography. This wooden temple is beautifully designed in a Pagoda style. There are many wooden carving works in the walls and main entrance door of the temple. There will be long Queue for the darshan in peak tourist seasons like summer.