I had been wanting to write about my Shimla visit but due to the general laziness that has crept upon me of late, I was unable to do so. The reason for visiting Shimla was my cousin brother’s (Montoo’s) wedding. This was the first Himachali wedding I have seen and so I was excited about it.

I arrived at Delhi on Friday night and the wedding was on Sunday. So we left as soon as it was Saturday morning. The journey through the plains was pretty uninteresting, except that numerous flyovers and highways were being built throughout the route. Was really heartening to see that the country is actually thinking about infrastructure as a major focus area and spending time, money and effort on it 🙂

Things I noticed about the place (some of which I had noticed before too)

  • Entering the hilly region, the first thing that took me by surprise was a hoarding at Pinjore which announced “McDonalds, 15 km ahead “. Hmm, this was something that was not there when I had gone to Shimla in 2003. Had the area become so commercialized?

    So, finally at Jabli, we saw this outlet with the characteristic sign and we instantly knew we were there. The outlet was part of some resort chain, but was quite big; probably to handle the tourist rush that would swamp the hill stations in the summers.

  • There is an absolute dearth of parking in the city! The number of cars has grown exponentially in the past years, I have been observing that through all the time I have come here for my summer vacations, but hardly any effort has been made to provide more space for parking. We parked near the Railway Station (you can see the tracks in the background of the pic) I can imagine the traffic snarls that would occur in the tourist season. The traffic police_wallahs_ are cool though. They allow you a reasonable amount of time to unload your stuff and then firmly tell you to move on, good!

  • The ubiquitous footbridges around the main road. I don’t know if I used to imagine this, but when I was younger, I think they used to be made of wood, at places. But when I finally walked on one it was made of solid concrete. But, I still shied from walking towards the edge, one slip and you would be off the path 😉

  • The “Church” below the District Court and above the ARTRAC (Army Training Command).

  • Rain shelters on the roads. I remember how once I was stuck in the rains with my Masi (aunt) while returning home. These things are really a boon, especially in areas where there is not a place in sight where one can take shelter from the rains