The Journey: From Delhi via Chandigarh to Shimla.
Ideal Time to Visit: The best time to travel to Shimla as I reckon would be September to November or March to June.
Entourage Strength: 10 Riders.
Preps: It is always good to ride with your safety gears. En route Shimla, I will suggest that you also carry a rain gear, since it rains quite frequently there and you can wear it before the rain starts. Another important tip while riding to any hill station is that you must eat well but eat light. Keep yourself hydrated with water and don’t depend on tea or caffeine.
Assistive Gizmos: GPS navigation system for maps and Scala Rider G9X for communicating with fellow riders and listening to good music.
Road & Traffic Conditions: The roads are nice to ride on but traffic is something that you will have to deal with during peak season which is April to August. It’s difficult to get a pass from truck drivers during this season.
Best & Worst Stretches: Once you move out of Delhi the whole route towards Shimla is amazing. The highway is nice and has smooth roads.
Weather Encountered: The weather on this route is always pleasant. Summers are also pleasant as soon as you reach the outskirts of Chandigarh.
Food Joints & Stopovers: As you start from Delhi, you must take your first stop at Jhilmil Dhaba at Karnal. This dhaba serves mouth-watering paranthas and sweet lassi. The dhaba also has outlets of fast food chains like McDonalds, Subway, Domino’s etc. in its periphery. If you cannot wait to reach Karnal, then you can take a break at Murthal. Gulshan Dhaba and Sukhdev Dhaba are the best that you can find there. These places serve lip-smacking paranthas topped with homemade butter and fresh yoghurt. Haveli at Karnal is also a nice stopping point. Your next stop point to have lunch should be at Timber trail at Parwanoo that serves the best Shahi Paneer and Kadhi Pakoda I have ever had and the scenic view from this point is amazing and absolutely free!
Bike Care: It is always advisable to get your bike serviced before going on any long journey. However, if you don’t have enough time to get it serviced, then taking the following precautions can enhance your riding experience:
- Change the oil and filter
- Check the air and fuel filters
- Adjust throttle and brake cables
- Adjust and lube the drive chain (if applicable)
- Check tire pressure and tread
- Check all gauges, lights, horn and signals
- Visually inspect the entire bike for any broken or worn out parts
- Ensure that the tyres are in good conditions and brakes are absolutely working fine
Locals: People of Shimla are very kind and helpful.
Caution: Fuel is an important aspect while travelling to hilly areas, especially if you are planning to explore places around Shimla. There is no gas station between Chail and Kandaghar via Junga and Sadhu pull route. Therefore, it will be sensible to keep an eye on the fuel gauge and don’t wait to refill until your bike gets dry completely. Also, if you use 97 octane fuel, carry your octane boosters with you as no gas station sells it en route Delhi to Shimla.
The road to Shimla is awesome and makes for a wonderful ride but, once you are in Shimla, the places that you must visit apart from the famous Mall Road are Kufri, Chail and Jaakhu Mandir. The trek from Mall Road to Jaakhu Mandir is very nice and rejuvenating. You should also go to Tattapani and take a dip in a hot sulphur spring. A natural spa!
Riding to Shimla is always a pleasure for me; I hope this trail helps you enjoy your jolly ride to Shimla. Plan it out and hit the road soon, who knows we might catch up sometime en route Shimla!