Kasauli Travel Guide
Kasauli Travel Guide
77-km from Shimla and 35-km from Kalka, at 1,927m, Kasauli is a quaint little town that seems to exist in a time wrap of an era that reminds one of the 19th century. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by cobbled paths, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. Mixed forests of chir-pine, Himalayan oak and huge horse chestnuts surround Kasauli. Its narrow road slither up and down the hillsides and offer some magnificent vistas.
asauli is one of the small towns developed by the British during the 'hey day' of the empire, and reached by a branch road from the Kalka-Shimla road. The quite beautiful hill-station of Kasauli has a Pastur Institute that produces the anti-rabies vaccine against mad dog-bite and, at the same time, treats victims who have fallen prey to the dead disease, Hydrophobia. The 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.
ide by side another institute produces other vaccines, this is the Central Research Institute affording immunity from Typhoid, small-pox, cholera and snake-bite. The Shimla Hills stand on water - parting between the Sutlej and the Giri, a tributary of the Yamuna.
South of Shimla is the Panchmunda ridge, which is crossed by a railway through a tunnel, the longest in the Kalka-Shimla run at Barog, where a series of fissure to springs occur at its flank. The first ridge above Kalka rises abruptly to pine-clad Kasauli at a height of 1,927m and is joined by a 12-km bridle path. The distance by road, however, from Kalka is 36.5-km.
Kasauli, unlike other popular hill stations such as Shimla and kullu, is a quiet town. It is ideal for people who want to spend a holiday in the midst of green hills and untouched natural beauty. If you are a solitude lover or an artist, it has everything you could want, scenic beauty, serenity and warm, friendly people. If you wish to take a tour to this enchanting hill station then you can inquire more about the hill station and the cost of traveling to Kasauli, from Hill Resorts in India, which is a major Tour Operator in the country.
Places to visit
The highest point in Kasaulicalled Monkey Point is just 4 km from Kasauli bus stand. The monkey point commands an excellent view of distant plains of Chandigarh region and the river Satluj tracing a silvery trail through the scene.
A small temple is also situated on the top of the hill which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Accordind to legend at the of Ramayana when Lord hanuman returning from himalayas after obtaining Sanjivany Booty (Magical Herb) touch the hill by his foot thus top of hill is in foot shape. On a clear and starry night the gorgeous view of Chandigarh can be seen from the Monkey Point.
Just 15 km from Kasauli on the National Highway No. 22. Dharampur situated amidst the healthy air of the fragrant pines, Dharampur has one of the best hospitals in India for the Cure of Tuberculosis. It is also connected by Kalka Shimla Railway Line.
A little cantonement town has a Gurhka fort built in the early years of the 19th century is situated at an altitude of 1437 mt. A town which quartered British soldiers in the time of British empire. A diversion road from Dharampur 15 km away leads to the Sabathu town.
Nestling amid the sylvan splendor of the Shivalik foothills lies a sleepy hamlet called Dagshai. Located ideally barely 50 kms from Chandigarh on the Kalka - Shimla Highway (NH-22), Dagshai is one of the oldest British cantonments with a unique old word charm. It is just 4 kms off the highway and a signboard near Dharampur marks the turn off. Built at the height of approximately 6000 ft. above the sea level, it boasts of a huge play field where Durand Cup football matches used to be played. Though a modest hill station, Dagshai is resplendent with scenic beauty and offers an ideal retreat for the city weary people. Perched atop the Dagshai hill, the Army Public School, with its colorful red and green rooftops can be seen from the National Highway -22, as if beckoning the outlooker towards itself. The imposing buildings on the campus were built in 1876. Every building is associated with the glories of the past and appropriately an educational Institution has been establishment in them. The nearest railway station Dharmpur (Metre Gauge) is 5 Kms and Kalka (Broad Gauge) is 28 Kms from Dagshai. The District Headquarters, Solan is about 16 Kms away.
Dagshai has a story to tell, so one turns over the pages of history to trace its emergence from a cluster of hamlets in wooded wilderness to an establishment of significant historical importance.
In the early 19th century, the British were invited by local hill chiefs to liberate them from the continued terror and attacks of Gurkhas. On May 15, 1815, a major battle was fought at Malaon . The combined forces of the British with their superior artillery, the Sikhs and local hill chiefs crushed the Gurkhas in a stunning defeat. A declaration was then signed with the hill chiefs, restoring them their land under British Protectorate and with the British maintaining cantonments at Sabathu, Ramgarh, Kotgarh and Sandoch. The Maharaja of Patiala, who assisted the British in the battle against the Gurkhas, was awarded land in the neighbourhood areas, which now constitutes Shimla and surrounding mountainous terrain. On the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839, the Punjab state plunged into turmoil and disorder. The British took the opportunity to strengthen themselves militarily and politically and established cantonments in Kasauli, Jutogh and in ‘Dagshai’, formed with five little hamlets. All the while Shimla continued to be the most favourable focal point, where buildings, offices, schools, markets, promenades, etc. came up. The satellite hill stations assumed greater importance with increased British presence in Shimla.
Dagshai developed into a well-established cantonment with a large jail, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1846. Here freedom fighters, mutineers and foreign law-breakers were interned and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. The convicts were tattooed on their foreheads with indelible markings that permanently branded them. Hence the name Daaghe-Shahi, marked or stained by royalty, for Dagshai was conceived. Many prisoners were hanged here. To this day, there stand 50 prison cells. Each cell is approximately 6 feet by 12 feet with a small iron-barred high window and locked by two strong doors — one wooden and the other made of iron. The doors are 6½ feet by 2 feet. The jail was built on the lines of a fortress. At the entrance, there are two solid iron gates. All facilities were available on the jail premises. This area is now used as an M.E.S. godown.
When the First War of Independence broke out in May 1857, the hill areas were not much affected. Panic-stricken Europeans from the hills and plains fled to cantonments, seeking a safehaven at Dagshai, Sabathu and Kasauli. Local hill chiefs also provided security to the Europeans at their residences and protected areas. The revolt was eventually crushed.
Dagshai, meanwhile, grew in importance and prospered. According to the 1901 census, its population was 2000. The market area was a buzzing centre of retail and wholesale trade, especially in ginger and flour. Trading spread to neighbouring as well as far-off areas of Sirmaur district.
India’s Independence in 1947 brought with it the Partition of the country. Almost half of the local population in Dagshai migrated to Pakistan. The sudden fall in population adversely affected the economic stability and led to further migration of locals to more prosperous areas. Until 1985, two Army battalions were based in Dagshai. At present, it has one battalion and an Army Public School with residential facilities. The army establishments are self-sufficient and do not depend on local traders.
The local inhabitants are deeply concerned about Dagshai’s dwindling stature and hope the government would develop Dagshai, bringing it on the tourist map as a beautiful alpine resort which has economic viability and historical significance.
The Lawrence School, Sanawar
The Lawrence School, Sanawar, (elev. 1750 m., 5780 ft.) near Kasauli, in the Shimla Hills, was founded by Sir Henry M. Lawrence and his wife Honoria. The School was one of the few of its kind in the world of that time. The School started with 14 boys and girls on 17th April 1847 and grew to a strength of 195 pupils by 1853. This was the year the School was presented Kings Colours by Lord Dalhousie. Sanawar was the first School in the entire British Empire to be presented the Kings Colours.Sitting on a hill as it does, physical activity is the daily bread of life for all Sanawarians. While the breadth and scope of its buildings provides for every possible need, academic, sporting and pastoral, Sanawar still has magical spaces for repose and quiet, where students are free to sit and reflect.
ESTABLISHED as a retreat for the British armymen and their families in 1842 this cantonment, Kasauli, houses some of the most tastefully done buildings reminiscent of the erstwhile English architecture. Prominent among these are Christ Church and the Chapel of Lawrence School, Sanawar, built on a spur amidst the placid environs.
Located near the town’s bus stand, Christ Church stands out as a magnificent creation drawing the visitor’s attention with its imposing appearance. A grove of chestnut and fir trees surround this 159-year-old structure. Built in the shape of a cross, the church was built by the British families who also laid the foundation of Kasauli town in 1842. About 30 families, belonging to the Protestant sect of Christians, worship here besides the tourists visiting the town. This historic church was previously under the organisation of the Church of England when it was known as Anglican Church. In the year 1970, it was taken up under the organisation of the CNI (Churches of North India)and is presently managed by the diocese of Amritsar.
visit to this cathedral enthrals one with spiritual and mental peace which seems to pervade every nook and corner of the church. As the priest exclaims, “The church is a beautiful piece of the 19th century architecture where visitors feel the presence of God everywhere”.
The other cathedral is located amidst the salubrious environs of Lawrence School, Sanawar, about 5 km from Kasauli. Located on a spur, the grey stone structure with fittings of cedar pine emulates a pointed gothic architecture style. Designed by Rev William John Parker in 1850, it was completed a year later.
The Lawrence School, Sanawar
The Lawrence School, Sanawar, (elev. 1750 m., 5780 ft.) near Kasauli, in the Shimla Hills, was founded by Sir Henry M. Lawrence and his wife Honoria. The School was one of the few of its kind in the world of that time. The School started with 14 boys and girls on 17th April 1847 and grew to a strength of 195 pupils by 1853.
This was the year the School was presented Kings Colours by Lord Dalhousie. Sanawar was the first School in the entire British Empire to be presented the Kings Colours.Sitting on a hill as it does, physical activity is the daily bread of life for all Sanawarians. While the breadth and scope of its buildings provides for every possible need, academic, sporting and pastoral, Sanawar still has magical spaces for repose and quiet, where students are free to sit and reflect.
Getting there & around
The Indian hill resort of Kasauli is easily accessible through air, road and rail from the other major Indian cities and states. touristplacesinindia can arrange for you all types of transport for your comfortable journey to and in Kasauli and throughout the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Delhi is connected to Chandigarh by air. From Chandigarh it is a little more than an hour by road to Kasauli.
The road network of the entire state of Himachal Pradesh and northern Indian is very convenient. A good network of highways and national highways connects almost all the major towns and cities. touristplacesinindia can arrange for you all types of land transport for your comfortable journey in Kasauli and throughout the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
In the 17th century, many Rajput families from Rewari (present day Haryana) took refuge in the lower Himalayas after fleeing their homes. They finally settled down in a village, named Kasul. Now, we know this small village as Kasauli, and it is no longer just a tiny village but rather one of the popular hill stations in India.
Though now we know present day Kasauli as a quiet little hill station, things were different before. This region fell under the Gorkha expansion plans. But later, the Gurkha surrendered the Sabathu Fort (one can take a tour to Sabathu and still see this fort), after which it was turned into a recovering or nursing home for British Nationals.
Another strange event took place in 1857, the Kasauli guard soldiers, about eight of them set out to join the revolt by the Gurkha regiment, after hearing of their revolt against the British. Unfortunately the British got to the Gurkha regiment first, and forced them into submission, and promised them amnesty. Fially, the Kasauli guards were left with no way out, and were severely punished by the British.
After hearing all this, it is quite hard to believe that it is the same Kasauli, that saw such chaos and political disturbance, but then Nature is never cruel, it remains the same. It is people who change and wage wars, destroying not only societies and civilizations but also the Nature and its beautiful creatures.
When to go
Though there is really no bad time to take a tour to Kasauli. The hill resort can be quite cold in winters, so if you cannot stand too much of cold, then try visiting from April to November. In the summers it offers a perfect summer retreat from the hot summer sun of the plains. If you are planning to take tour in winters then, do not forget to bring along some heavy woolen clothing and if its summer holiday you are looking forward to, simply get some cotton wear and a light jacket.