In search of Snowfall – Himachal mountains

Chapter 1

It was my dream to experience snowflake dwindling from sky. In fact, you all must have dreamed about it or you must have thought to visit mountains and see a live snowfall. We all know that snow is composed of tiny ice particles and usually get formed in a constant weather and low pressure areas. Trust me that above is just a definition.

Seeing snowfall live is magnificent and one should never let any chance left to feel the sensation of it.

Our journey started with one and only goal to see live snowfall. Back then, I was working with Canon and had never experienced the snowfall. Like I said, it was my dream. Though I dream of many places to visit like spending few days near sea, live in mountains to see heavy rain pouring on to the ground etc. Thankfully, I am lucky enough that I have visited such places by now. I will keep on sharing articles of my journey so that you can be benefited if you plan to visit.

Back to the point, I was intended to see snowfall with my naked eyes. I was determined and my decision was firm like ice. I said, Ice because I had planned to go to the mountains many time before and every time my plan melted like ice. This time, I was serious and Yes, I was damn serious.

Year 2011, Dec 30th. I reached office, had a round on floor. While I was checking emails, I saw snowfall in Shimla. I scrolled up and it was a flash showing forecasted weather in Shimla. A tentative warning of snowfall was flashing on the screen. I jumped from my chair and immediately planned my trip for Shimla via Chandigarh. Kasauli was in my list and dropped it immediately. I wanted to enjoy more, seeing live snowfall. Finally, I managed to convince some of my colleagues who were Vinay Bagga from Quality, Mukul Sharma from Foreign language support and Swapan Chaturvedi from Training. Swapan agreed to bring his Maruti Alto and that’s all. We were all set ready for a trip to Shimla.

Post office hours, we started for Shimla. Canon office was located in DLF building no 5, Cyber City, Phase 3, Gurugram (earlier known as Gurgaon). Rapid metro work was in full swing because of which entire Sikandarpur road and the circle towards NH48 was completely jammed pack. Nonetheless, we started. There is a gas station near Building 5. We filled the car fuel tank and continued. It took us more than an hour to cross Gurgaon toll road.  After that another one hour to cross Mukarba Chaowk.

Delhi to Shimla is 343 km and takes 7 hours of car drive. Various mode of transportation are available. One can book direct Volvo or catch train to nearest station Kalka. From Kalka local transportation is easily available. Kalka Shimla Railway, constructed in 1906 can also be used to reach Shimla.

Shimla is capital of Himachal Pradesh and it has an altitude of approx. 2200 meters (7230 ft). It’s a hill station built on top of seven different hills namely; Inverarm Hill, Observatory Hill, Prospect Hill, Summer Hill, Bantony Hill, Elysium Hill and Jakhoo Hill. The highest point in Shimla is the Jakhoo hill, which is at a height of 2,454 metres (8,051 ft).

We reached Parwanoo by 2:00 AM in the morning. It was chilly winter and we needed a warm Tea desperately. We crossed Parwanoo and entered into hills. After a drive of 30 minutes, we spotted a tea stall and stopped our car.

The tea stall was at elevation. We parked our car. We walked towards the stall. I observed it must be a very old stall but definitely not a tea stall. It must be converted into a tea stall. One possible reason could be losses in previous business. Anyhow, we had our tea, paid the money and walked back to our car.

In next 2 hours we were at Shimla. Rest everyone was searching for hotel to sleep, I was looking for traces of Ice and snow. I could not find any and thus consoled my heart to wait till morning. We booked one room in a cheap hotel and went to bed immediately. By the way, it was not a cheap hotel, we paid 4000 INR for 24 hours back in 2011.

The next day sun was shining in the sky. I woke up and came out of hotel. I thought atleast now I can see some snow. To my utter disappointment, I saw nothing. No forest, no greenery, no snow. It was all stones and dirt of city. Back in time, Shimla was known for its surrounding forest of Pine, Deodar, Oak and Rhododendron tree. In year 2011, I saw nothing and my excitement and impression was all shattered to dust.

Swapan, Vinay and Mukul were equally disappointed. We came back to our room and thought not to stop. It was 31st Dec and we had planned to see snowfall. Swapan suggested that we can immediately leave for Manali. He said he could be able to drive and we should be reaching Manali by evening. We didn’t have to think twice and the very next moment we were checking out of the hotel.

I will take a hold here. Let me know your excitement for next chapter. Keep reading and Share your views..

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