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Hailstorm Experience at Kufri near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

On Day 4 of our Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh tour we had a long road trip from Mussoorie to Shimla of nearly 8 hours.

Day 5 on 27th April 2023: We started a bit early for a one day sight-seeing in and around Shimla. Our first destination was Kufri where my daughter wanted to enjoy few adventure activities.

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the popular hill stations of India and was known as the Queen of Hill Stations. Shimla is situated at a height of 7,240 ft. The panoramic and spellbounding valley views are the main attractions of for the tourists. These valleys are rich in pine, oak and deodar trees. Many people visit this place to escape the din of the city and have a peace of mind. While few others visit for adventure activities.
As the car moved up and up the ghat we kept admiring the beauty of nature at this place. The tall green trees in the valley looked awesome. The scenic beauty of the morning sunrays penetrating through the tall trees was simply amazing.
Through out the journey we were so immersed in the beautiful nature that for a second we really forgot where we were going until the driver stopped the car at a decent restaurant.
We had our morning breakfast at this place. Food was okay but the view from this place was spellbounding and the weather too was chill.
We spent some time in the chill weather capturing the beauty of Mother Nature in our cams. We then started from this place and on the way to Kufri we saw some local vendors with Yaks where tourists can dress up in the local typical pahadi costume and taking clicks.
Here also we were a bit hesitant to wear the costumes as these are worn by different tourists and we don't know whether these are cleaned properly or not.
There were few tourists who were wearing these costumes and taking clicks. Some of them were sitting on the yak and taking clicks. It looked so funny. At around 10.30 am we reached the destination. There were many tourists at this place and a row of vendors selling tickets for various adventures at Kufri which was inclusive of mule known as khanchar in Hindi ride up the hill.

Kufri is one of the popular tourist attractions for adventure activities esp. for winter activities. We bought tickets from one of the vendors which costed nearly Rs.4000/ and it included few activities. We were then taken to the place where a number of mules were stationed. The place was rocky and slippery and was horribly stinking. I guess the mules were not cleaned regularly by the vendors. Somehow I managed to mount the mule with great difficulty. Each one of us mounted on a mule and the three mules were tied one behind the other with a rope. And the person who escorted held the rope and was walking in the front while these three mules walked one behind the other.
OMG! it was a terrible experience for me while my daughter and husband enjoyed the ride. The path uphill to Kufri was very narrow and rocky and it is a two-way path. Tourists on mules were moving up and down the narrow path making it more difficult and dangerous. I was so scared with the mule ride that I was continuously shouting 'Anjaneya', 'Jai Hanuman' and 'Jai Sri Ram' till we reached the destination. From the entrance we walked up on the rocky steps.
All along the way there were local vendors, some with rabbits while others with yaks and few others with pahadi costumes. Tourists were taking pictures with rabbits, yaks and pahadi costumes as a memory. There were rows of shops selling woollen garments and other local items. We walked up and up and literally were aimless. We were totally aimless and didn't know where to go and what to do in that valley. This place could be excellent for the youth who go for winter adventures. But frankly speaking Kufri was not my cup of coffee, there is literally nothing at this place which could be enjoyed except for those rides for youngsters. There were many local vendor selling saffron (kumkuma puvvu in Telugu) at this place. I am not sure whether it's genuine or not but purchased one small dibbas for 100 Rs. That's really very nice and I still use it while I make sweets at home.

We had chai at one of the food stalls at this place. Until then the weather was clear and while we were having chai suddenly the weather turned cloudy and within no time it started raining heavily. All the tourists ran under shelters and everyone was shivering with cold. One the guys of the food stall put fire and we all gather round it for warmth.
As it rained heavily the entire area and the roofs of the stalls was covered with white snow. Initially we thought that it was snowfall but later when we saw the hails falling realized that it was a hailstorm. There were no signs of clear weather and we all stayed there for a long time. As the heavy rainfall slowly turned into a drizzle all the tourists ran out. As there was nothing for us to see and enjoy at Kufri we no longer wanted to stay here. We got back to the point where we had to once again mount the mules to go down. The return journey on mules was even more terrible and scary. The narrow path became muddy and slippery due to heavy rainfall with puddles of muddy water. The guy and the mules also were skidding and really my heart stopped beating for a moment. By god's grace we safely reached down and got into our cab. As the mules were getting down the muddy and slippery narrow path, I was very much surprised or so to say shocked to see few tourists riding the mule with one hand without any escort and taking selfie video with the other hand. So daring and careless. From here we head to mall road and on the way stopped at Green Valley for few clicks.
Many tourist vehicles stopped at this view point wherefrom we could enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the Green Valley. In fact Green Valley was much more enchanting than Kufri where there's literally nothing to see and enjoy. On seeing the vast stretch of lush green and tall trees in the valley it reminded me of the famous novel 'How Green Was my Valley'.
The beauty of nature at this place was beyond description. After getting indulged in the panoramic view for some time we proceed to Mall Road which is one of the popular tourist attractions in Shimla. It's a shopping centre where you will find rows of shops, restaurants and many more all along the narrow roads on the mountain.
It was around 3 pm and I was completely exhausted walking up and down. I could no more explore other places and we were back to our room. I was so exhausted that I laid down in the bed and evening I was down with vomitings and fever. I doubted that this was due to allergy to unclean and unhygenic stinking mules. Anyways. The next day we were to visit Manali. But unfortunately the same night my daughter too was down with fever and vomitings. As our health got badly affected we were back to Hyderabad the next day night cancelling the Manali trip. My husband sat till late night and booked flight tickets from Chandigarh to Hyderabad at very high price. I learnt a lesson that due to improperly planned trip we had to incur huge loss.
  1. We booked hotel room at Manali. No refund was made though we didn't visit Manali
  2. The Solo cabs which we booked for a round-the-trip from Delhi airport covering the places of Haridwar - Rishikesh - Mussoorie - Shimla - Manali and back to Shimla, also refused to refund the differential amount.
  3. We booked Himalayan Queen Exp train tickets from Shimla to Kalki for enjoying the view and my daughter was particular about this train journey on the mountains. No refund of the train tickets.
  4. As we had to stay overnight at Kalki, we booked a hotel room at this place. No refund from this hotel as well.
  5. Next we booked train tickets from Kalki to Delhi the next day. No refund for these train tickets as well.
  6. And we book return journey flight tickets from Delhi to Hyderabad the same day afternoon. No refund of these tickets too.
On top of these huge losses incurred by us we had to book flight tickets from Chandigarh to Hyderabad at very high price.

Finally on Day 5 of our trip we were supposed to go to Manali but due to health problem we went to Chandigarh and were back to Hyderabad at night. Finally we were back home at night and after refreshing I immediately cooked rice and prepared rasam miriyala charu. We really relished pickle rice (avakaya annam), rice with rasam and curd. As we were damn tired and exhausted we went to sound sleep. And that's how our Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh tour ended.

Previous Posts of Our Trip

  1. An Evening at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar
  2. One-day Sightseeing in Rishikesh
  3. Stay in Hotel at Mussoorie
  4. Kempty Falls in Mussoorie
  5. Company Garden, Mussoorie
  6. Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Happy Valley
  7. Mussoorie Shimla Road Trip


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