Visit any of the touristy places around Shimla and you come face to face with poor road infrastructure. It’s been ages when the roads in Shimla district were mettaled last. Visiting Naldehra, Kufri, Chail or Narkanda from Shimla is a big bumpy ride and a nightmare for the tourists. One feels cheated coming on a vacation to Shimla since all one enjoys is broken unmettaled stretches of road.
The first bump starts appearing when one crosses the Goyal Motor showroom at Tara Devi. As the magnificent view of Shimla appears near Kachhi Ghati so does the bumps multiply and once you are crossing the railway station area the entire vehicle starts rumbling and jumping in a strange fashion. If you have to cross the Victory Tunnel and travel to Sanjouli side, do not forget to remember your gods as the road here is just a track with even and uneven bumps. By the time you are stuck at the traffic jam at Rivoli Bus station and moving your car in centimeters, you start having serious doubts about your decision to choose Shimla for your vacation. Anyway, welcome to Shimla, you sucker!! This is the real Shimla and not what you read about Shimla being Queen of Hills and the countless hero and heroines romancing and dancing in Shimla on silver screen.
There is a real treat in store once you cross the IGMC. Absolutely shambled road with craters as wide as 5 feet and the dust cloud to complete the whole experience. Still counting on Shimla, better read on. There is a releif of sort once you enter the Sanjouli bypass road and as your body and car start enjoying the smooth ride of 5 km, you enter the (in)famous NH 22 at Dhalli. I bet if you survive the first 50 meters on this stretch, you are really a man of steel. Hats off to your spirit. Drive to Naldehra will exhaust what ever patience you have had preserved and once you reach Naldehra you dread thinking about making the journey back. That’s much to speak about the holiday you have planned and saved for so long!!
In case you have to travel to Kufri, Chail or Narkanda, then may God really help you. I will not waste time and space lamenting about the road condition. Come here to experience it. Once, you “been here done that”, you need not go in for Raid-de-Himalaya. The experience is far more thrilling and challenging than the original Raid. Spruce up your car with brand new shockers while traveling in these neck of woods. You will be needing another set once you get back to the plains.
Tag line of Himachal Tourism says it quite aptly – “Unforgetable Himachal”. You won’t forget your Himachal experience very easily. After all which state lets you spend your hard earned money to experience the dusty tracks up in the North. You are transformed into the 19th century where it all started when the popular mode of transport used to be a bullock cart. We are very close to owning our own carts. Shimla roads make the Hondas & Suzukis pale in shame.
Really Unforgetable – That’s a promise.