Driving into the paradise

Driving in snow

With roads all blocked from Kufri onwards and no chance of reaching Kotgarh, today made a small detour to Kasauli with family. This year we have not been beyond Shimla, thanks to the new addition in the family, the 11 month old toddler. Actually mothers get hyper with babies. It was with great cajoling that Anu agreed to a day trip to Kasauli.

Drive from Taradevi onwards was nerve breaking. With news of snowfall getting flashed in the  plains, traffic was much heavier. The pleasant drive down the winding hill roads became a nightmare, when faced with hundreds of cars coming up, carrying the horrific driving habits of the plains with them. The biggest problem with these drivers from the plains is they drive on the middle of the road. They need to understand that driving in the hills is a completly different ball game.If any of the urbane drivers happens to read this… here are a few rules for safe driving in the hills. 

Rule 1: The driver in front of you is not in race with you. So relax, take it easy and enjoy the journey.

Rule 2: The driver behind you is not your enemy. Don’t block his path.

Rule 3: The driver overtaking you from the right which is the correct way is not committing an act of treason. Let him pass.

Rule 4: The line in the middle of the road is not there to align your car astride it. Please beleive it is there to keep to its left.  

Rule 5: Learn from the wisdom of the hills and don’t be in a hurry. The price that you pay for those few moments is not worth it.

Rule 6: SMILE and hold that smile. You never know who is busy clicking pictures of the hills. You might find yourself in the foreground and that frown won’t do justice to your handsome face.

Rule 7: Be accomodative to the pedestrians also. Unlike in the plains, the pedesterians of the hills are equal shareholders. Yes I know we hill folks are crazy, so be it, but the pedestrians do have a right of way in the hills.

Rule 8: Parking in the hills is a problem unlike in the plains. You can’t halt in the middle of the road. Park your cars in the parking lots.

Rule 9: Smile! Hey you deserve it.

Rule 10: Now that you are in the paradise, help us keep it clean unless you don’t ever want to visit us again!


(Driving rules – thanks to the original poster)   




2 thoughts on “Driving into the paradise

  1. Two years back, I was on my way to Delhi and had to reach Delhi. It was only by 2:00 in the afternoon that I got the news that the roads were cleared. So from Snajauli I took the By Pass road to avoid jams at the High Court and Lift and local Bus stand. But from Dharampur onwards it was a nightmare to drive down till I passed Kalka and avoided accidents many a times. It seemed that the whole Chandigarh was in Kasuali and was on its way back. But there were many others too who were going uphill. And many of them don’t know how to drive in the hills, which becomes nightmarish and there are some “stunt heroes” as well who think the when in the hills they ought to show their stunts with race and blaring music and drink Beer in the open. I had two little cousins along with me. And for their life I was scared, when a Bolero in front of me braked all of a sudden, I managed not to hit him by a a couple of centimetres but the car behind me did hit my bumper, which did put a dent. But I just had my cool as couldn’t blame him entirely. There was no point. Even I could have hit the Bolero in front of me.

    Recently, I met Amitabh Kant, the brain behind Incredible India campaign. His idea was to discourage bagpackers, and the classic example are the hill-stations which have been destroyed by the bag packers. They spend less but put pressure on your infrastructure, so allow people you can sustain and hold, with capacity and if they ant to enjoy beauty they should pay for it. So levy taxes. And encourage high-end tourists. The story is not as out. I’ll share the story once it is out.

  2. The problem with a city like Shimla is that it cannot support high end tourist due to inherent lack of infrastucture. In-adequate parking, a very poor traffic management system, lack of adequate water supply and the list is endless. Holiday has to be an “experience” with family and friends and for an average tourist it becomes a “nightmare” in Shimla during season.

    Places like Manali and Dharamsala attract more high spenders than Shimla. A look at occupancy charts of Oberoi’s two hotels in Shimla can prove this.

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