If you are in Delhi and you’re planning a weekend run somewhere nice, cool and quiet, you can’t go wrong with Kasauli.
About six hours from Delhi if you drive like a sane person and less than five hours if you drive like a loco, Kasauli is a pleasant place to visit any time of the year. Maybe not when it’s raining, but that’s only from a driver’s point of view; your co-passengers might like the rain feel, so tough luck. The cantonment hill town in Himachal Pradesh is some 60 kilometres from Chandigarh and the Delhi-Chandigarh highway is a great long stretch of asphalt to drive on.
There’s nothing much to see in Kasauli, except a church at the town centre, a bazaar, some hill walks and a Hanuman temple inside an air force base. So you may want to give less priority on the sightseeing part of the trip. Instead, use the time to recharge your cells at some cottage and maybe take a walk to the market in the morning and have tea. Or sit at the lawns of Alasia Hotel, whose history goes back to 1873, with a glass of brandy.
The hill drive to Kasauli from Chandigarh is not steep at all. That’s one of the reasons why the place is full of people at all times and there’s some traffic.
What’s the catch, you might ask. Well, be careful if you’re buying apples from the supposedly nomadic folks who sit by the highway near Kasauli. Himachal Pradesh is known for its apples and many people blindly buy sealed cartons of them from the ethnic-looking ‘farmers’ by the highway, but later find that under the layers of good apples there are many rotten ones. By then the people who bought the apples would have reached home, far from Kasauli, and the sellers would have vanished. Nice trick.