Sunday, February 17, 2013

A walk along the railway lines From Dharmapur to Kumarhatti Dagshai

I love to walk. Only walking presents the character of the place. One you walk at a place only then you know about it. I have done this walk several times and will do it again and again if Creation is willing.
This walk is from Dharmapur to Kumarhatti along the railway line.
A six km walk; very soothing and peaceful.

First step of this walk is to get to the Dharampur either by Shimla Kalka toy train (Station name is Dharmapur Himachal) or by bus. It is just 25 kms from Kalka where mountain begins and about 1 hour journey by bus and 2 hours by train.`
Dharmapur is a small town with lots of hotels and fine restaurants. I stay at Happy night stay. This place is owned by Sardarjee and I rent the top floor. Actually it he rents bed but I take the whole second floor and he charges me for all 4 beds and still it is a bargain. I love the location because scenes are superb from this small and inexpensive hotel.
From the back window in your room you can see the Kasouli mountains area and whole of the railway station. And from the front court yard you can watch the Dharampur town sprawling on the mountain.
Dharmapur has plenty of restaurants, all kinds; inexpensive to expensive and all kind of rooming facilities. Main bazaar is situated just by the railway station. You get to the station to begin your walk. Make sure you pack up some food and a bottle of water because you will be away from any shop or village for the next 6 km. Of-course you may see many villages on the mountains far far away.
I usually begin my walk at about 9AM in the morning after stuffing myself up with a couple of hearty parothas form the nearby restaurant on the main road. A very simple dhaba run by 2 brothers. Then I have my cup of tea just by the stairs leading to the station from the market and then I am all set for this walk.
So you begin walking towards Shimla side.
Don’t worry about trains because you’d know it from the miles. There are several tunnels on the way but still it is safe to cross them by foot. Village folks all walk in the tunnels and also cattle.
And you will be waling upon many scenic bridges.
View of Dharampur form the railway lines.
After just about 200 yards of walk; town abruptly comes to an end and then some railway guest house in very serene setup and then; it is you and Himalayas. A treat of fresh air of mountains and aroma of pine.
After a couple of turns town of Sabathu is visible at your left and then it disappears behind the mountain at the next curve.
After some turns road becomes visible at your right side but it is quite high and far to be accessed.
I am walking on these railway tracks for the last 20 years. Once a friend of me joined me when he came to Chandigarh. He was simply spellbound on this walk; he said that for years he was coming to Chandigarh on official errands and many times he had to stay there for a couple of days but never knew if such a wonder exists near and cost of staying and having this joy was substantially lower than a day’s stay in Chandigarh.
Not to forget that it is a level track so train is not climbing or descending whereas from Kalka to Dharampur it is some serious ascent. Then from Dharampur to Solan is almost level track.
Mountains offer more joy if you walk. I love to walk along the train tracks because there is no traffic and crowd; one is in peace with nature except once a while when train comes. Actually at that time whole place becomes electrified with the roar and scene of the train.
Along the way you will find many ledges and ridges where you’d love to simply sit and look at the mountains. I complete this walk in several hours because I get lost in the views.
As we begin to come near Kumarhatti, road too is coming closer and here comes the Kumarhatti station. Bazaar is just after climbing some stairs and food and everything is available in the bustling market.
Kumarhatti is a small village but all buses stop here. You can go to Shimla, Solan, Barog or back to Dharmampur.
The reason I love waling along the scenic railway routes is that year after year these scenes are unspoiled. Whereas on almost all roads ugly unplanned urbanization is spreading all over India. For example this Kalka Shima route is turning into a bazaar by each year. More homes, hotels and shops are appearing. In my life time I have seen many scenic stretches of the road but then in the years they simply vanished because concrete jungle gets woven around the roads. Whole India is turning into a big bazaar actually.

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