Kasauli is a beautiful hill station located just 77kms from Shimla. The small town was built in the 19th century by the British and it has an old-world charm. The Central Research Institute in Kasauli set up in 1900, is the oldest in India, taking care of pet, police and army dogs as well as their masters.
It was also featured in the Time’s best of Asia list under “Best Literary Excursion”.
The narrow roads of Kasauli slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni (also called the Choordhar) powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible.
The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli’s length and one can enjoy long walks on it. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircle the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by a stretch of cobbled roads, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.
This picturesque hill-station, oozing old-world charm is covered with tall Deodar, wildflowers, rhododendrons, wild roses, the flame of the forest, and flowering Kichnar in summer and is a popular hub for bird-watchers. Winters, with snowfall, is beautiful too.
What to see
Monkey Point: 3 ½ Km from Hotel Ros Common a hill which derives its name from Rishi Man-ki who used to worship an idol of Lord Hanuman and later the summit is crowned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and presently being looked after by the personnel of Air Force, stationed here. The area is restricted from a security point of view, no belongings like camera, bags are allowed. Legend has it that Kasauli came into being when Lord Hanuman, on his way to getting the Sanjeevani herb, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. At Kasauli, there is a Hanuman Mandir atop the 300-mt high hillock, called Monkey Point, where Hanuman is supposed to have rested his feet.
The other attractions: An ancient Church is worth seeing located on the Upper Mall Road. A little above this place, there is a Central Research Institute established in 1906 by Dr. Sample, It prepares vaccines for the treatment of typhoid, cholera, smallpox, and snake-bite and is only of its kind in Asia. Close to this there is Pasteur Institute founded in 1900 to produce anti-rabies vaccine against dog-bite. There is a sanatorium for TB patients who benefit from its healthy environment. TV Tower is another landmark. Baptist Church established in 1923 is also worth seeing.
Baba Balak Nath Temple: On the Graner Hill top is a famous temple of Sidh Baba Balak Nath. It is believed that Baba Balak Nath one night appeared in dreams to a local resident named Vijay Kumar and told him to build a temple at the place. This temple is one of its own kind where issueless couples visit to be blessed with a child. Baptism ceremony of children is also performed in this temple. Photographs of such blessed children are kept as a record by Baba Vijay Kumar in the Temple.
Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir: Built-in 1989 by Sai Sudha Trust, it is a famous temple located half km away from Garkhal. The idol of Sai Baba was built in Jaipur and the burning flame in this temple signifies the divine power of Sai Baba of Shirdi. When to go: Best time to travel to Kasauli is between April-June and September-November.
How to reach:
Air – From Kasauli the nearest airport is Chandigarh. Shimla is the nearest airport for Solan.
Rail – Nearest railhead is Kalka in Haryana, which is 40-km from Kasauli and 44-km from Solan. Solan is also connected with narrow gauge railway line from Kalka.
Road – Solan and Kasauli are well connected by road. Buses, coaches and taxis are easily available from Chandigarh and Delhi.