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Lost in the serene tranquility of the nostalgic city of Shimla, a lonesome introvert drifts into thoughts of his own.

 


Paraded by the sheer intimacy of the view from the tinted windows of Himalayan Queen Rail-coach, my mind echoed with the tributes to the men who achieved the extraordinary feat of connecting the historical summer capital of India, i.e. Shimla to the outsiders. A herculean task was performed by H.S. Herlington and his men in laying the narrow railway gauge line with 107 tunnels and 864 bridges encroaching 96 km.

 

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Awe-smacked with the synopsis of what my stance saw, the ever intriguing enthusiast kid in me reaped with cheer, seldom seen before. My avenues opened up to the bewildered sight of the pristine city laying ahead.  Over five hours since I traded my place from Kalka, the wait for the melancholic city ended with a halt. With the breath of architectural masterpiece resonating around the city of Shimla, my heart poured out the love for the place.

 

With a little juggle off to ward off any convenient seekers, I set out on a self-exploration in treating myself to a cozy room to lay off. An ill-fated knee-jerk plan bordered on a shoestring budget routinely paves the way to such self-exploration. Adhering to around half an hour of looking over, I found just the right fit. Guess what, it’s time I napped around before going frenzy on the exploration.

 

With my synergy levels refueled and the substantiate dusk seeking during the early evenings of November, a brisk walk around the city lay ahead. Starting off at the Mall Road, I wandered around the dimly lit lights on a stone-paved path from the early 1900’s of British Raj.

A few steps on, an architectural beauty defying its age stands tall. I stepped aside to admire the colossus feat of British-era Town Hall which had stood the test of time. Bidding adieu to the marvelous beauty, I bequeathed on to the next pleasantly view.

See Also -   Tattapani, The Hill Side Hamlet Near Shimla

 

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Still briskly pacing my way on the stone-path of Mall Road, I gazed my eyes through the crowd of people enjoying their parlay over here in the winters of Shimla. There’s something else in the air of this magnificent city, something that feels so soothing to the heart yet provides enough adrenaline over the course. That’s pretty contradicting. But believe me, I wouldn’t trade it off for anything.

With time ticking over just around 8 in the night, I tripped around to the famous Christ Church before I doze off to dinner. Featuring the Neo-gothic style with exquisite design, the admiration for the place can’t just be summed up in words. I then took time to find a place to help fill my tummy’s quench.

A view of Christ Church at Historical Ridge bathed under flood lights on the eve of Christmas at Shimla, 24 December2008. Photo by:Amit Kanwar

 

With dinners done and dusted, the last itinerary of my excursion lay at The Ridge. The stone-paved long path which offers the grandeur view of Shimla on a bird’s eye scale, this quintessentially high positioned place is a sight to behold.

 

Seating myself at a concrete block far away from the midst of the crowd, I indulged in the spellbound view offered by the panoramic Ridge. Laying there for more than an hour, not uttering a single world, I traced my mind to the hypnotical feel a place of such beauty can stimulate. With the clock ticking over 10, I sheepishly walked back to my hotel calling it a day.

 

With the early morning nature call’s finished off, I gulped a quick few bites of my breakfast before stepping out to the day’s itinerary Kufri and the destinations in between. Over half an hour since trading of the city of Shimla, Green Valley en route to Kufri called for a few clicks.

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Encompassing the fine serene vicinity of Green Valley, I boarded to reach Kufri, a high-peak region with the famed horseback ride excursion. The 9000-ft high altitude offers a sighting that needs to be clicked off immediately. Almost indulging a whole long day tit-biting Kufri and the surroundings, I got back to Shimla.

See Also -   Envision the Journey into Manali-II

 

With a sudden change in plans, I dared to accommodate Manali in my trip.  That would mean cutting off a full day from Shimla, but the thrill of an unplanned trip eludes me. Knowing my time’s almost up at Shimla ticked off the time bomb.

 

With just under four hours viable before I traded off destination, I quickly escorted back to the places that needed a quick visit. I glided through to the same stone-paved path on Mall Road reconciling my mind with the feel of the serene air of Shimla. With hurried footstep than the day before, I compassionated the resonating soothing nature of the place.

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I dined around half-heartedly before stepping atop the Ridge on the same concrete block away from the crowds. Gathering my thoughts and tracing back my memoirs, I rekindled my love affair with the city. Drenching into the heartbroken snob, I sheepishly promised myself to be back here again. 

 

With an eye on the watch, I clutched myself with crossed arms and walked away from the Ridge. The bus en route to destination Manali awaited me to get onboard. Seating myself nearby window, I bid off to the city I fell in love with, before getting lost in my thoughts.


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