When the green wood’s laugh with the voice of joy, And the dimpling stream runs laughing by; When the air does laugh with our merry wit, And the green hill laughs with the noise of it – William Blake
Destination: Kiarighat (Himachal Pradesh)
Duration: 2 days (weekend)
Expenditure: 8500 (For 3 person including fuel)
Mode of Transportation: Ford Figo
Journey Distance: 360Km
Route: Noida->Sonipat->Karnal ->Ambala->Panchkula->Solan->Kiarighat
Other modes of transportation: Direct buses from Delhi, Chandigarh. Any vehicle going to Shimla from Delhi route will drop you at Kiarighat
After spending a hectic week in office, I was planning to spend weekend away from the city. I do not want to spend Saturday-Sunday in Delhi/Naiad and waste it for some movies or shopping stuffs. I was not able to find a suitable place at a distance of some 250-300 kms from Delhi, as I have already visited most of the places or at least I have crossed that place. Somehow I came to know about Kiarighat. It is located at a distance of approx. 350Kms from Delhi and en-route to Shimla. This time I was looking for a perfect resting place, trekking was not in my mind. I would suggest you not to visit any well known hill-station or hilly areas on weekends. If you have not booked in advance, you may not get a room to stay or definitely finding a room will not be an easy task. I have faced similar problem both in Shimla and Dharmshala. If you want to stay away from Shimla crowded hotels and looking for peaceful and serene place to stay then Kiarighat is probably the right place for you.
I was travelling with two of my friends. We left Noida at 6 am. Our aim was to avoid early traffic in Delhi. Traffic in route was more or less moderate. As we were approaching Sonipat, some police constable stopped our vehicle. I thought that it was just a regular document heck, but constable told me that I was over-speeding and I have to pay the fine. I even told him that in this traffic everyone is driving at a same speed because of heavy traffic in that area. How can you fine arbitrarily. His straight answer was, “Sir, whether you will pay the fine amount here or in the court”? I was left with no option so I asked him about the amount of the fine. His answer was 1400 INR. He was expecting that I will bargain for a lower amount in form of bribing. I told him to give me the receipt and I will pay the fine. The actual amount was 400INR. We reached Himalayan expressway (Near Chandigarh) at around 10 am. This expressway is one of the best high-way of India. I would recommend you to drive there. As it was Saturday morning, there was not much traffic on NH22, however the tourist vehicles were quite visible. Sometimes it will appear like 10-12 cars are running like bogies of a train. Weather was quite favorable The temperature was quite moderate and wind was blowing smoothly. As we crossed Solan, we came to know that there is a massive earthquake in Himalayas. It is very difficult to feel the earthquake while driving and finally we reached Kiarighat at 12:30. There exactly we knew about the severity of earthquake.
We have booked a room in Apple Cart Inn Hotel, which is owned and managed by HPTDC. It is a beautiful hotel, rooms are spacious. In front side there is a big lawn and the back side of the hotel is valley. It has just six rooms. If you are planning to visit there, I would recommend you to book in advance. There are many private hotels too. I am not sure about tariff of those hotels but all of them are economy hotels. Food in Apple Cart inn is quite good. You can try chicken cutlet, vegetable-cutlet, omelette and aloo-parantha. You can also try tea there. They serve Kangra tea and its taste is bit different. The most important thing of this hotel is drink menu. It is quite economical. This is a heaven especially for those who drink. It has parking arrangement and a separate fast food restaurant. Staffs of this hotel are very polite and helpful.
There was nothing as such to do. You can go for a walk, you can go for a hiking or just sit in the lawn. This is a perfect place for those who want to do nothing. In fact you can’t do anything here, other than snacks, tea, reading books and sleeping or some walk. In the evening we went for a walk. Night was quite cold. This is a perfect family place away from the crowd.
If you are staying in Delhi or nearby areas, you do not even need to take a leave if you want visit the place. This place is just 6-7 hours drive from Delhi. You can also plan for Shimla and spend night at Kiarighat. We all have visited Shimla many times so we were not motivated to extend our plan. We left Kiarighat at around 12:30 pm and reached Noida by 7 pm. This was not an adventure trip rather a comfort trip.
- If you are staying at Apple cart Inn then Chicken & Vegetable Cutlets are the best things to eat.
- You can get different beer brands and whiskey at a quite cheaper price here.
- The restaurant and bar closes at 11pm, so you need to have your dinner before 11 pm.
- Driving on Himalayan expressway is just pleasure
- Leave Delhi as early as possible, preferably by 6 am or even earlier.
- This is a perfect resting place.
Things to carry
- Carry some essential medicines, books, water with you.
Things to avoid
- Don’t drive your car at very high speed near Panipat as speed limit is 50 kmph else police may issue you speeding fine.
- Don’t take heavy launch as it might result in vomiting.
Nearby places to explore
- The Glen – picnic spot
- Maharaja’s Palacen – located on top of the Rajgarh Hill
- Sadhupal – a small village
- Dagashai – was a British cantonment surrounded by pine trees and has a beautiful church
- Solan Brewery – situated at distance of 11km from Kiarighat. Asia’s oldest Brewery. Dedicated to Old Monk lovers J
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain