The journey began with a phone call to a friend, I called my friend in the evening that day and just told him that I wanted to go for a trip. His reply was “let’s meet at 11.30 pm at Kashmere Gate ISBT Bus Station. Excited, I agreed, started packing, and was all set to leave. I reached the bus stand and found him with his college friends whom I was meeting for the first time. Totally unaware of the plan, I was just waiting to leave Delhi.
Finally, we left at 12.30 in the night in a Haryana Roadways Bus. Even today, I remember how scary the bus ride was because of the dense fog of January and the speed of the bus driver who was determined to drop us before the estimated time of arrival. But, I was in a different zone and just wanted to wake up in the mountains the next morning.
During the journey, I discovered that it was my friend’s birthday in two days! Strange no! I wasn’t aware of my own friend’s birthday with whom I planned a trip. We talked endlessly and reached Kandaghat early in the morning. The freezing temperature was literally killing us and to our rescue, we found a little tea shop. We all relaxed there and the view of the place refreshed us all.
So, I will tell you something about Kandaghat.
Kandaghat is a very small village located at the crossroads of Shimla and Chail. There’s a small railway bridge just above that crossing from where you can enjoy the sunrise. If you happen to reach the place early morning, you can actually witness a great sunrise.
Let’s get back to the journey which is full of thrills. The bus from Kandaghat to Chail was supposed to leave within the next 60 minutes. We boarded the same and reached Chail and woke up with the chilly wind. Though we had not slept for a minute since last night, the lush green mountains and the purity of air refreshed us all. Isn’t it surprising how nature takes away all our sufferings effortlessly?
To our surprise, a few kilometers ahead we discovered a beautiful place called Sadhupul. Within no time, our plans changed and we were on our way to Sadhupul. Very faintly, I recalled the name and description of Sadhupul by my friends but never got a chance to visit this place. See how this unplanned trip is making me discover unplanned, beautiful, and unexplored places. It proved to be a great decision, you will know why in the image below:
RIVER SITTING CAFE AT SADHUPUL
So, this unconventional place has small tents and cafes among the hills and running water. It is a young place where people come to spend a peaceful time with friends mostly. There were sea-facing tents and in-water cafes that make this place exotic. Seeing the beauty, we rented a cottage for six people after negotiating for an hour. The cottage was immensely beautiful with dim lights and a fireplace to help us cope up with the bitterly cold weather.
Once we adjusted, we could not wait to experience that in-water cafe, despite the weather. I mean a trip without such adventures is not worth remembering.
We stayed there for a good one day and enjoyed the night in our room at Sadhupul. The temperature outside was -3 degrees celsius as it started snowing in Shimla and Chail. The next morning, we woke up and started walking towards Chail and we pre-booked a Hotel this time. Our only craving by this time was good food so we were in a rush to reach Chail. But, we were hell tired and found it difficult to walk towards our hotel in Chail. We were lucky to get a lift and within half an hour, we reached our hotel that had a really amazing view. We checked in, freshened up, ate to satisfy our appetite, and left for the remaining journey.
CHAIL MALL ROAD
We hired a cab from our hotel to Chail Mall Road which just had 10-15 shops. To our amazement, we found our childhood love boomer, center shock, etc. which were not available in Delhi. Super-elated, we collected it all and started walking towards the next location as the roads were snow-coated.
We started walking from Chail Mall Road to the world’s highest cricket ground through the lush green mountains and cantonment area of Chail. Trust me, it was a really peaceful walk through those roads. The view we witnessed from the mountain top was totally worth the effort we did to reach the place. Walking for another half an hour, we experienced heavy snow on the roads and what could be better than this. E played with snow like kids and got some rest too. Then, finally, we started walking towards our final destination and reached the cricket ground. But alas! The ground was closed that day. Nevertheless, we were not disheartened as the memory of the journey to the ground was truly amazing. Perhaps why it is being penned today.
LAST DAY OF THE TRIP
It was the last day of our unplanned trip. We looked back with a huge bundle of memories but just one regret. We could not visit the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary which remains one of the top tourist destinations in Shimla and the surrounding places. We headed back to our hotel and our eyes discovered a table tennis setup. What next, just us and the TT table until the day ends.
While everyone was happily enjoying TT, I managed to slip out for a while to coordinate with the hotel staff to arrange a cake for my friend as it was his birthday the next day. I was earning some brownie points as I was the only one who remembered his birthday.
At 12, the cake was delivered to our room and it surprised all the other friends as much as it surprised the birthday boy.
The birthday ended, so we did our trip when we woke up the next morning and headed back to Delhi.
With a bag full of memories and adventures, we stepped back into our normal schedules. We embraced the beauty of friends and unplanned trips. Since then, I have advised everyone I know to go for at least one unplanned trip.
Words of wisdom
To experience the calm of the place and the best hospitality, it is best to visit Chail in the off-season. If you are a lover of mainstream places, Shimla is the destination for you. And in the same vicinity, if you want to experience an unexplored place, don’t forget to visit Sadhupul. For all the three destinations, monsoon is just not the right time to visit.
Go ahead and plan your trip soon! Adios.