Himachal Pradesh

Sep 7th, 2007, 03:25 PM
  #1  
bjm
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 54
Himachal Pradesh

My husband and I will be traveling to Himachal Pradesh in early March. We hope to drive from Dharmasala to Manila to Shimla. Has anyone made that journey? How good are the roads?

We also are considering lodging. Has anyone stayed at The Bhagsu in Macleodganj? Or have other suggestions. In Manali, we are considering The Naggar Castle. In Shimla, we are looking at The Mamleshwar, Chindi, or The Hotel Holiday Home.

We are not looking for luxury hotels, but good 3 stars or an occasional 4 star. Please advise and thank you for your help.
bjm is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 08:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,510
Funny you should post this today. My husband and I just decdied to go back to India in October. We are thinking of Shimla too.

We'll likely stay at the Oberoi Wildflower though. Anyone stayed here?
lcuy is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 10:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 678
The road between Dharamsala & Manali is quite good. It takes about 8 hours to do this distance, being quite busy at places. You will pass through some most beautiful sceneries in Himachal near Palampur & Gopalpur Tea Estate. I would suggest that in between you overnight at the Taragarh Palace, one of the 5-unsung properties around. It is about 2 miles short of Baijnath & the estate is right on the road. On the way you may visit the Norbulingka tibetan institute.
At Dharamsala, do stay at Udechi Huts 7000ft.at Naddi, facing the Dhauladhar range, which shall be covered with snow at that time of the year. Mrs. Suvarnima Singh is a gracious hostess & her kitchen brews delicious fixed-menu meals! Visit the Mcllo restaurant in the Mcleodganj square, above the bus stop. At Naorojees, the oldest shop in Dharamsala, of 1860 vintage! Buy those picture postcards from him & give my salaams to the elderly gentleman!!
Apart from Dalai Lamas temples, visit the Shaivite temple in Bhagsunag & as you pay your obeisance, you will see pious Hindu women offering milk to the 'shesh nag' (primordial serpant).
In Manali, the Banon Cotages are better located for the market is but 10 minutes by foot. Manali is more commercial than Dharamsala.
In Simla, Hotel Holiday Home is a good option for a budget. Being a Govt. run joint, the service may be a little lax but you do have great views from their bar. The food is good. Hotel Woodville or East Bourne, near the BCS, is a good choice. The tall ugly building behind the Clarkes has killed those beautiful views, one saw a few years back.
March is a time when you could move eastwards from Shimla for some great sight-seeing.
Happy travels!
vp_singh is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:24 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 677
Hi,

Not exactly, no. Never been to Dharmasala. But have travelled from Shimla to Manali with a couple of stops, one of which was in Naggar. Stayed in a lovely guesthouse with a stupendous view (wonder if it's still there ...) but went to the Castle once for afternoon tea. And sat on the verandah and just gaped.

Is that the place you mean? Castle Hotel, Naggar? Just that it's not in Manali, it's in Naggar which from memory is 30-45 mins drive from Manali Town.

Fantastic location. Wow! Gorgeous building; no idea about the rooms.

HP is a wonderful destination.

Saharan was worth the trip, and there's the Spiti Valley too.

chimani is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #5  
bjm
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 54
Thank you, vp_singh, for your wonderful suggestions. I have begun checking the web for the hotels that you mentioned. By the way, if we arrive by train at Pathankot, what is the best way to hire car and driver for the trip to Shimla? Actually we would want to hire the car and driver all the way to Haridwar. At that point, we would go on by train.

Chimani, do you remember the name of the guest house near Manali?

Lcuy, enjoy your trip. October sounds like a great time.

Thanks all.
BJM
bjm is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 10:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 678
Imo, the best option would be to arrive in Amritsar, visit the Golden Temple, engage a cab & be off on your subsequent destinations. For, Pathankot is a mofussil township & though you will certainly get the cab for your tour, I do not think the driver will have been initiated into foriegn-tourist-friendly etiqquets. And you need to be very careful on driver selection, for, no one wants to have a man who is crafty.
Best wishes!
vp_singh is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 677
bjm,

where will you be coming from?

In other words, why Pathankot?

The best route to Shimla from Delhi is train, and then toy train (if it still exists). So I must assume you are not travelling from Delhi.

Can't help with car and driver, sorry.

Can't remember name of guesthouse, and even if I could, I doubt if it would be the kind of place you'd like to stay. Guesthouse was perhaps too grand a name!!

Agree totally with suggestion of visiting Amritsar, especially if you are coming from Pakistan, which maybe you are.

chimani is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 08:00 AM
  #8  
bjm
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Actually our plans shifted from arriving in Pathankot and going to Dharamsala toward Shimla. We are reversing the direction arriving in Kolka from Delhi. Visit Shimla, Mandi, Manali, Palampur, and on to Dharamsala. We plan to catch the train at Chakki Bank for Haridwar on our way out of the region. We have family at Haridwar. We plan a toy train ride on another portion of our trip,the Darjeeling portion, which is being arranged by an Odyssey agent. My husband and I are planning the rest, i.e. he plans the sequencing of sites and how you get from one place to the other and I plan the hotels. Actually, the order of sites between Mandi, Manali, Palampur and Dharamsala is my ordering. Suggestions welcomed.
bjm is offline  
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