Saturday, September 27, 2014

Photo blog: Kasauli - a weekend getaway

Mapping the view at Sunset Point, Kasauli
This British-era cantonment town in Himachal Pradesh is a cozy weekend retreat for tourists escaping the heat of the plains. The mist rolls in at odd hours, sometimes accompanied by squalls and - in our case - hailstones.

Shaggy dogs, each more bearlike than the next, loll about the cobblestone paths that meander past gabled houses shaded by pine trees. Intrepid monkeys lie in wait for careless tourists - one sudden move and that mouth-watering bag of goodies is lost to the simians.

Quaint shops sell knick-knacks; even the more modern ones offer apple cider vinegar -- a magic potion that sucks in fat to help you fit into that beloved pair of pants. Waste bins shaped like tiny green houses stand guard at almost every corner, flanked by old-world streetlamps. At Ros Common, the heritage hotel where we stayed, there are no electric fans. Not that we need them. We spend much of our time on the garden swing, laughing and basking in the sun.

At night, the silence is deafening and the pre-dawn twittering of birds is music to my ears. We devour aloo parathas for a lazy breakfast in the open, while a bunch of speed merchants roar past us on fancy motorbikes. The imposing Christ Church, built in the 19th century, is a short walk away. The climb to Sunset Point takes a toll on my knees but the glorious view, laid out before us like a landscape painting, is worth it. Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake glistens in the distance, dozens of kilometres away.

It's a trip well spent, in the company of former colleagues at India’s premier news agency. Amazing people, each one of them. We should do this again.

(Photos clicked on my Nokia Lumia 925 with added Instagram effects.)

Christ Church, Kasauli

My friend Sumit at Sunset Point

Another milestone achieved

All smiles on the way to Sunset Point

Breakfast in the sun

Kasauli as seen from Mount Path

Clean and Green

The bikes of the biker gang

Designer streetlamps

Peter the dog soaked in the sun on top of cars

Christ Church, Kasauli

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