We at AutoPortal simply love being on a road trip especially one during the summers. So we decided to head to the hills near Delhi, in Himachal. Actually, it’s always a good time to head up to the hills, irrespective of the weather. We decided to head up to a place called Naldhera, which is around 25kms ahead of Shimla, which is about 45 minutes in driving time in the hills.
We started around 5 in the morning to ensure that we wouldn’t be caught in Delhi’s choc-o-block city traffic. With minimal traffic at this hour we made rapid progress and touched Karnal by 7am. Once there, we stopped at JhilMil Dhaba, a place for brilliant aloo paranthas. The NH1 is an arrow straight highway with fields on both sides.
If you do get bored driving on this road, you can always take a break by sitting near a bore well around these fields. After driving for around 200kms you need to get off NH1 just ahead of Ambala and head onto NH22, which leads to the Himalayan Expressway. This is a well tarmacked road, with clearly marked signs and manicured dividers.
The road leads all the way to Parwanoo and goes all the way up to Shimla. On the way you will also pass the Solan valley, which provides picturesque views of the Himalayan range. If you are planning to do this trip during the monsoon season be wary of landslides, which not only could have blocked the road but also pose a threat to fellow motorists.
Also, remember to always follow the rules on the hills and maintain lane discipline. We decided to borrow a Terrano from Nissan for this little vacation. The Terrano’s tourquey engine makes it one of the best SUVs for steep inclines on the hills, while its sixth gear makes the engine very flexible on the highway.
The Terrano’s able suspension along with the beefy brakes and chunky tyres means that grip is never an issue. And though it isn’t a sporty SUV to drive it is one which delivers good pleasure while negotiating the twistys. Another advantage of this SUV is the fact that it delivers consistent fuel efficiency figures no matter how you drive it.
We managed to get a consistent 16.5kpl in the hills and 20kpl on the arrow straight highway, with three passengers on board along with their luggage. The AC was also on for almost the entire journey. The Nissan Terrano’s large boot also gives it the edge over most soft road rivals and ensures that the Terrano is a good choice for long highway trips. Overall, we enjoyed our experience in it.
Entering Shimla and negotiating traffic around this hilly area is a chore. This town’s popularity means that it is the default choice for many tourists living around Chandigarh and Punjab. We took over 2 hours to cross this town and finally reach our destination of Naldhera which was barely 25 kms away.
Once at Naldhera we checked in at the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) property there. HPTDC hotels offer affordable accommodation with neat and clean rooms. The staff here is courteous and the food good to taste.
If you are in this part of the world then it’s a good idea to also taste some local wine made by the local breweries here. The apricot and plum jams made in Himachal are famous across the world as well and it’s a good idea to buy some for your loved ones back home.