19 Jul 2013 India: Time stops at Kasauli
There are so many hill stations in India to contemplate upon that one is spoilt for choice while deciding to visit one of them- more so when one is in the beautiful city of Chandigarh from where the hilly places are not too far away. This time we decided to explore the sweet little town of Kasauli which is inconspicuously situated in the pristine and green Shivaliks. It is a quaint and placid destination which is still as obscure as any remote and dusty village in UP, notwithstanding the 150 years since its discovery by our colonisers.
Being a cantonment settlement of the Indian army, Kasauli is undoubtedly one of the cleanest hill stations in the country. With littering attracting a penalty of Rs 1500 and ban on plastic bags being religiously implemented in the entire city, it is definitely a paradise for nature aficionados.
Kasauli offers an old worldly charm- inviting those seeking solace and peace. Scores of photographers, poets and writers flock to the city in search of some solitude and to be inspired by the serene views of towering mountains and deep green valleys. Kasauli is particularly popular for its out of the world views of sunrise and sunset; it harbours in its biome an eclectic flora and fauna which is a treat for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Some of the most visited tourist spots in and around Kasauli include Manki(some call it Monkey) Point and Christ Church at lower mall road and sunset point at the upper mall road. The Kasauli Bazaar or the Heritage Bazaar is the quintessential mall road market that holistically completes the hill station. The town possesses a setting akin to the Victorian era as if the Englishmen are still overseeing the operations and taking care of their most beloved summer retreat. It’s a fairy tale town with an innocent ability to make you fall in deep love and reverie.
To tingle our taste buds, we had impeccably cooked momos, tikkis and samosas from a shack that appeared to be a favourite among the locals- as scores of people were buzzing like bees all around the cramped chamber. Momos were served with three bright coloured chutneys(sauces)-refreshing green, piquant red and sweet white-which made for a presentable contrast on the eco-friendly disposable plate. I loved the novel taste and relished the heavenly delicacy with all possible senses-which touched my soul.
The breeze was now cooler and it was now time to jog towards the beautiful sunset point. It was a sight to behold when the sun shed some of its pride for us to make an eye contact-turning crimson red from fiery orange before vanishing from our view-leaving an ephemeral yet ethereal legacy of incredibly spectacular hues in the western horizon. There was still some light when we spotted the moon directly above us- moments after sunset- as if cheering us up and reminding us that there is always a glimmer of hope and light left behind after every “sunset”. Slowly and gradually, darkness enveloped the sleepy town- making way for twinkling stars- as our eventful yet so relaxing journey came to a pleasant end.
About the Author: Anshumaan Goel is an Engineering student at Delhi Technological University, New Delhi, India who loves to explore new places and travel far and wide. Find him on Facebook.