Hello everyone! Finally, the Christmas long weekend arrived and we started our family trip to Shimla from Delhi. It is 22nd December and already a cold wave is flowing and kissing our cheeks. The temperature in Delhi was clicking at 16 degrees and we are boarding our Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express expecting minus temperature and snowfall in Shimla.
Travel route from Delhi to Shimla:
New Delhi- Chandigarh-kalka-Solan-Shimla
Total Time: 9-10 Hours by Train
Ticket Per Person from Delhi to Shimla via Kalka- 1500 INR per person (3 Tier AC)
Our 3 day trip to Shimla from Delhi was scheduled with train reservations to experience the scenic journey through Shimla toy train. In this
Shimla travel blog, I will cover all the deets of train schedule, timings, tour budget, meal and stay options.
Although a road trip to Shimla from Delhi is also comfortable if you want to enjoy toy train experience, you can have a look at the given travel plan and best time schedule.
Tips for Toy Train Tickets
To book toy train tickets, here is a catch- It opens 1 month prior to the travel date, and in peak season, must book hurriedly to get the confirmed seats.
Our Delhi to Kalka tickets were booked in Kalka-Shatabdi Express which is approx 900 Rs per ticket for kids or adults both. If you pay a little higher, you can book tickets in an executive chair car. It was our first experience in this train with an hour's journey time from Delhi to Kalka. Seats were reclining with good leg stretch space. The service and meals offered were good. Water bottles, breakfast, and dinner were served within 2 hours of the journey. Finally, we arrived in Kalka and departed from the railway station to our pre-booked hotel in Kalka which is within 1 km of Kalka railway station.
Morning in Kalka
We woke up early in the cold morning of Kalka and started to get ready and catch our Him Darshan Express at 7 am in the morning from Kalka railway station. Shimla-Kalka toy trains are the heritage of India with unique gestures to offer. We were very excited to board on train and enjoy the most talked toy train ride. Do you also want to know about the toy train interior? There are 18-20 seats in a train coop with 5-6 coops in total. All seats are flexible which offers to seat in two directions and enjoy the view from the windows. Glass windows on top of train is offered for watch snow fall view but unluckily there was no snowfall even in the last week of December.
The toy train ride was overwhelming offering photogenic views and mountain sceneries. The train has some beautiful stops as Barog, Solan, and Dharampur Himachal. Barog and Solan have mesmerizing views offering picturesque captures.
The train arrived at 12:30 PM at Shimla Railway Station. I must say the station was very beautiful and equipped with a waiting room, a well-maintained platform, and bio washrooms. We came out of the station, where we had a pick-up scheduled with the car on rent in Himachal. We have booked a Toyota Etios car for the trip of 4 members including me, my husband and 2 kids. Our all-travel arrangements were done by Himachal tour operator in Delhi. They have made our hotel bookings, planned our 3 days Shimla travel itinerary.
Finally, we reached Shimla and check in our pre-booked accommodation in Shimla- hotel Sukhsagar.
We were very happy to see the room as interior was very good and price were also very affordable. Hotel was situated as Circular Road in Shimla. Our 3 nights 4 days Shimla tour include visit to all famous attractions of Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Naldehra and Mashobra. Let us come and dive into our enthusiastic travel details.
Day 2: Shimla Local Sightseeing
After getting freshen up and lunch at the hotel cafeteria, we boarded our car and departed directly for Jakhoo Temple which is 2-3 km distant from our hotel. To reach Jakhoo Temple, you can take a ropeway or walk by car. For one way, we reached by car and then climbed the stairs to reach The Temple and have a darshan of 108 feet Hanuman idol- the World's largest idol.
The temple ambience was very good and peaceful. You will find monkeys over there snatching prasad from tourists. From there, we took a ticket for the downside ropeway which was priced at 250 Rs. We took a thrilling ropeway ride from the ropeway station where the waiting time was approx. for 15 minutes. Jakhoo Temple Ropeway was coupled with scenic views of Himalayan Mountain view.
The fantastic Gondola ride rises to 8,054 feet above sea level and covers the distance of half a kilometre just in 3-4 minutes. We take a stroll in Ridge Maidan, Christ Church, and Viceregal Lodge. Enjoyed ice cream, Maggi and momos at Mall Road market. The market was getting ready for winter carnival 2023 starting from 25th December to 31st December.
Lakkar Bazar and Lower Bazaar were not as good as expected, but still, we did some shopping of wooden articles and shawls.
Clicked many pics near Church and Mall Road. As our cab has dropped us at Jakhoo Temple, we have to come back to our hotel by walk only. As the time clicked 7 pm on the clock, cold waves started and we were feeling cold. However, we strolled for about 3-4 hours there and came back to the hotel by walking down the hill slope.
Tip- You must enjoy bakery items available at Mall Road, Theature lovers can visit Gaiety Theature (we skipped it due to lack of time).
Day 3: Shimla to Kufri and Narkanda
The 3rd day of our tour was going to be thrilling as we were on an excursion to Narkanda. We had our breakfast of sandwiches, Aloo paratha and tea and dressed up to explore the cold waves of Narkanda. We hopped on our car at 9 am approx and started our trip. We take our first stop, just a few km from Shimla- The Green Valley. The view was amazing and made our day with the first glimpse.
After a 2 hours drive, we reached Narkanda, but our destination Hatu Peak was still 5 km away from here. This 5 km drive to Hatu Peak was thrilling and gave goosebumps to us. Route was very narrow and full of challenging terrains with sharp curve, one way road and deep valleys. It took more than half an hour to reach at Hatu Peak top. The view was unexpectedly thrilling, mesmerizing, lively and beyond the adjectives. The Hatu peak is at 11152 feet height from sea level and we can see the Dhauladhar mountain view covered with snow. Have a look at beautiful pics of surroundings of Hatu Peak.
Hatu peak is also famous for Hatu Mata Temple located in serene and quaint atmosphere of peak. Generally, Hatu Peak receives snowfall in month of December, but global warming and environmental conditions are changing the weather in mountains too which is resulting in delay snowfall in hill stations.
We spent approx 1 hour at Hatu Peak and started our drive towards Kufri. Kufri was not looking like the pictures thrown over internet as it was missing snow. In Kufri, you will find various places for adventure as Hip Hip Hurray Adventure Park, Kufri Snow World. Here you can indulge in activities such as horse riding, skiing, bungee jumping, ziplining, 9D movies, go-karting and many more. I found the price quite higher for each activity, but still we tried and book some adventure packages including ziplining, 9D movie show, magic show. As we are short with time, we did not visit Kufri Snow World. It is a good place for panoramic views of Himalayas and adventure activities. As it was a long weekend, during our return, we face long hours of traffic and reached our hotel in Shimla by 8 pm in night.
Day 4: Shimla to Naldehra and Mashobra
Today we have time till afternoon to explore in and around Shimla. To make the most of the day, after checking out from the hotel, we drive towards Naldehra which is 20 km from Shimla in a downward direction opposite to Kufri on heights. Naldehra and Mashobra are famous for greenery and dense forests. Mashobra is famous for apple and cherry orchards but you will find no fruit in the winter season. To see fruit-laden apple trees, must visit Mashobra in month of July to September. In Naldehra, you can enjoy horse riding in the 5 km forest trail dotted with mountain surreal views.
The location is also famous for many old Bollywood films shot in 90’s era. We did horse riding that was very exciting and quite challenging. My kids enjoyed this horse-riding adventure a lot. Finally, after visiting some parks in Mashobra, we arrived at Shimla Railway Station by 4 pm as we had a returning toy train at 5:25 PM to Kalka. Our last train of the trip was at 12 in the night and we came back to Delhi in the early morning.
It is my personal travel experience to Shimla with my family and covered the trip by train. We have planned the Shimla trip in December in expectation of snowfall, but not lucky enough to have that view. You can plan a trip to Shimla in January to view snowfall in Kufri and Narkanda as suggested by local people. The trip was covered under a 50K budget including train tickets, accommodation, car rental fare, sightseeing and ticket charges at different places.