A quaint little town tucked away in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh in India, Kasauli also doubles up as a hill station. The sleepy little town was founded by the British way back in 1842 and has everything to make it an enjoyable summer retreat. At an elevation of 6322 feet above sea-level, the town is bestowed with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and far off mountains. Being less populated, Kasauli is the perfect place to enjoy peace and serenity that makes a vacation ever relaxing and refreshing.
Due to its elevation, Kasauli is blessed with a moderate climate that remains mostly on the cooler side throughout the year.
Best time to visit (March to June) – The months of April to June are the best months to visit Kasauli. Being the peak tourist season, it is advisable to book hotels well in advance. The weather is pleasantly cool with temperature around 28 degrees Celsius and a cool breeze blowing during the evenings.
Tip: The Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Music Festival are held here every year in the month of March. The festival hosts performances by a bevy of famous as well as upcoming Indian musicians. A fund-raiser is also hosted and donations invited to serve the under-privileged and orphaned children and those that are critically ill.
Good time to visit (July to October) – The monsoon months of July to October are also a favorite time for tourists to visit. The weather is cooler than summer and Kasauli receives very low rainfall making these months the most suitable for outdoor activities. July is also the month to catch the Sari Festival when Kasauli is decked up colorfully with fairs and an array of activities like the very popular buffalo fight.
Visit with Caution (November to February) – The months of November to February mark the winters and temperatures are considerably lower touching almost zero degrees in December. Kasauli also gets a moderate amount of snowfall and nights are extremely cold and heavy woolens are required. The narrow mountainous roads are slippery and prompting occasional avalanche alerts.
Located high up on a hill-top, Kasauli does not have the privileges of an airport or a railway station. The only way to get to the town is by road from the nearest cities.
By Air – The most convenient way to get to Kasauli in less time is via Chandigarh that has the nearest airport. Chandigarh airport is serviced by all major domestic and international commercial flights. The airport is about 59kms from Kasauli and hired cabs from the airport take around 2hrs to reach the town.
By Rail – The nearest railway station is Kalka Station, 26kms from Kasauli. Cabs can be hired from the station and takes around an hour to reach Kasauli via Parwanoo.
Alternatively: Chandigarh railway station is about 52kms from Kasauli and takes about 1.5hrs to reach by hired cab.
By Road – Due to the lack of a bus station, Kasauli can only be reached by cabs or private cars. The nearest bus stop is at Parwanoo, 24kms from Kasauli. Kasauli is also connected with all other cities via the network of National Highways. The nearest cities are Chandigarh, Delhi, Shimla and Mohali.
Must Visit Places in Kasauli
1. Monkey Point
The highest point in Kasauli, the Monkey Point or Manki Point as it is locally known is a perfect example of nature’s hidden treasure. The area lies inside an Indian Air Force base and the climb up to the top may prove to be tiresome. However, the effort is worth for the breath-taking view that waits at the summit. The city of Chandigarh lies below spread gloriously accentuated by the sparkling Sukhna Lake. The River Sutlej that flows far below is also visible from the Monkey Point. In the horizon, the snow-clad peaks of the Dhauladhar Range make for some mind-blowing photography. According to history, Lord Hanuman had once set foot on this summit and thereafter a temple has been constructed atop the hill.
Opening Timings – 7:00am to 7:00pm on all days (including holidays)
Restrictions – Bags, Cameras, food and cell-phones are not allowed and needs to be submitted at the gate.
2. The Mall
Being the focal point of the town, The Mall is Kasauli’s prime hangout area and the busiest place. The main market of Kasauli is at the Mall from where the locals buy their everyday stuff. The bustling Mall area is divided into Upper Mall and Lower Mall.
- The Upper Mall – This area is less crowded and more serene with mesmerizing bird’s eye views of the surrounding valleys. It is distinctly one of the posh areas of Kasauli with beautiful bungalows and heritage buildings including the Kasauli Club. Kasauli is a popular haven for trekking and the famous Gilbert Trail is accessible from the Upper Mall. This part of the mall provides ample opportunity for good photography and also to spend some alone-time in introspection.
- The Lower Mall – This is the market area and tends to be quite busy during the day-time. The place is packed with small shops selling everyday stuff. For tourists, there are several shops offering local handicrafts and memorabilia. Woolen clothes, shawls and Tibetan carpets are popular tourist shopping items here. The Lower Mall is also the area where most of the hotels are situated. The mall road is lined with many restaurants and eateries offering scrumptious North Indian food.
Opening Timings – 8:00am to 8:30pm everyday
Should Visit Places in Kasauli
3. Sunset Point
Located on the Upper Mall, about 100 meters from Kasauli Club, Sunset Point is one of the most favorite spots for photography enthusiasts. The view-point presents a magnificent view of the sun as it sets over the mountains in flashes of yellow and orange light. The blissful walk up to the point takes you through a narrow mountain road lined with tall oak and pine trees and sometimes covered in a blanket of mist. Once the sun sets and it is dark, the lights from the valleys far below provide another stunning view. The cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Kalka can be seen from this spot. There is an eating joint at the spot that served several snacks items and piping hot tea to freshen up. The barbeque and smoked chicken at this eatery are said to be their best fare.
4. Kasauli Brewery
Bringing a small part of Scotland to India, the Kasauli Brewery was set up by a British Edward Dyer in 1820. Dyer discovered the fine spring waters in Kasauli coupled with the pleasant climate was akin to that in Scotland. At about 6000 feet above sea level and set on an idyllic hill-top, the Kasauli Brewery prides itself for being the highest brewery in the world. Even though the ownership of the brewery has changed hands several times after its establishment, its age-old equipments like the copper pot stills are still intact and fully functional. Even today, the brewery serves a plethora of big brands like Old Monk Rum, Diplomat Deluxe, Black Knight, Colonel’s Special and its own brand Solan No.1.
Guided tours of the distillery are available on request for tourists. It is a fascinating walk-through of the distillery and learning all there is about the production of Scotch whisky and Malt whisky.
Opening Timings – 7:00am to 7:00pm everyday
Can Visit Places in Kasauli
The small army cantonment of Dagshai, 19kms from Kasauli and at an altitude of almost 6000 feet above sea-level has the old world charm of the British Era. A day out at the town is an eye-opening experience of the ancient Mughal and British times and their military regiment. The museum at Dagshai Central Jail, The Roman Catholic Church and the Dagshai Cemetery are some of the interesting places to check out while there. The football field at the hill-top was also famous at one time for hosting the Durand Cup Football championship. Apart from the historical monuments, Dagshai also provides spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Trekking through the narrow mountainous lanes and by-lanes of this small town will surely remain a memorable experience.
Nestled high above and overlooking several valleys, the sleepy little town of Kasauli is no less than a hidden wonder. With quite a few intriguing places packed into it, its blissfully serene ambience, fresh unpolluted air and magnificent views, Kasauli serves as a peaceful respite from the noise and dust of big city life.