Delhi to Shimla by Train

I just logged in and noticed that today one of the most common search terms for people landing here was on information for trains between Delhi and Shimla. So i decided to do a small write up on it while my wife waded through something called Melrose Place , a Tv show from the early 1990’s which became quite popular and featured a story line very similar to Beverly hills 90210 , which i guess half the word has heard about!

Coming back to the subject at hand – There is no direct train to Shimla from Delhi. The journey needs to be broken up, whether one likes it or not. There are lots of trains from Delhi to Shimla , but none is more convenient than the Shatabdi. The Shatabdi leaves at around 730 AM in the morning, hit Chandigarh at 1045 or so and then Kalka at 1130. Kalka being the start of the hills. The broad gauge track ends here – 2 options from this point – Road or the Toy Train. Numerous cabs are parked outside the station at Kalka , but they are expensive , anything between 1500-2000 is normal. You can also catch a bus which would be cheap but crowded and longer, time wise.

Before i forget , the shatabdi costs around 550 per head one way in the chaircar. They serve meals on the train which are included in the fare , as well as some amount of snacks, water, juices. The important stops are Soniapt , Panipat, Karnal (halfway point) , Ambala , Chandigarh and finally Kalka.

The other option is the toy train , now please note THIS IS THE SLOWEST WAY TO GET TO SHIMLA. The toy train takes close to 6 hours to get there, It has multiple stops along the way and the average speed is slower than an truck loaded with 40 tons of apples. But its definetely an experience and a very scenic ride… as long as you have the time. The train stops at the heart of Shimla , just below the mall. Its reasonable and the last time i travelled , around 2 years ago, the ticket was around 150. The train does have compartments i.e 1st class , 2nd class etc etc, but theres not too much difference. Just be careful… The train leaves dot on time from every station, so if you are told that xyz is a 4 minute stop, it wouldbe advisable to treat it as 2. The starting point for the T-Train is the same station where ther Shatabdi finishes its journey.

What i am not aware of is the current situation with respect to it. About a month ago , due to torrential rains one of the stations along the line was wiped out – I am not aware of the exact situation now , i can find out if any of you really need the info though..but only if its very important.

Hope that helped.

I haveย  attached this timetableย  as of the latest info i.e 21stJune 2o09. FC, SC, CC means – first class, second class and chair car.

Toy train schedule from Kalka to Shimla

Toy train schedule from Kalka to Shimla

New Delhi to Kalka on AC Chaircar (Kalka Shatabdi) is at 465 INR and First AC at 885.

178 thoughts on “Delhi to Shimla by Train

  1. Hi Sidharth,
    Really cool info. They are definitely useful anyone planning to visit Shimla. I heard that, low cost flights are cheaper than shatabdi. I checked on internet, and Found that, it is true to some extent. Do you have any Idea about that?

  2. I dont think it would be cheaper really – Jagson Airlines is one of the carriers to Shimla and i just did a quick fare search and it comes to INR 3700 , per person, round trip – so total of 7400 for 2. Now on the Shatabdi this would be around 2000 , so a difference of almost 5 grand. Add the taxi fare to Shimla and Back from the Kalka station i.e 4000 the total would be 6000 – still cheaper by 1400.

    Similar search of Flight Raja puts the total cost at 15000 !

  3. Hi!

    How do I get back from Shimla to Ambala Cantt. I need to catch Swaraj Express, departing Ambala Cantt at 1750hrs.

    Couldnt find a train connection.

    Please guide.


  4. You have a couple of options. Catch a bus from Shimla to Ambala. Approx travel time 5 hrs. Second take a cab which will get you there in about 4 hours. There is no proper train connection…. if you want a train u will need to use one of the above options or use the toy train to get to Kalka and then catch a train from Kalka to Ambala…..much more complicated than a bus or cab.


  5. we want to go to simla from delhi.. by train..
    in dilemma whether to catch kalka shatabdi or himalayan queen to reach kalka..

    from kalka to simla, himalayan queen leaves at 12:10pm, while
    kalka shatabdi arrival time at kalka is 12 noon.. delhi -kalka himalayan queen arrival time at kalka is 11:20 am..

    kalka shatabdi seems dicey if its running even a little bit late..
    or does himalayan queen wait at kalka ..for k-shatabdi to arrive before leaving for simla?

    what would you suggest??

  6. Hi. Forget the Kalka Shatabdi. I agree its cutting it too fine, and the queen wont wait if there is a delay. There r enough passengers who travel from Kalka itself and if it has enuf ppl it will leave.

  7. Actually the train waits for Shatabadi. If Shatabadi is late which it seldom is, the T-train will not leave at 12:10. I know this as we take this route regularly, going to Solan from Delhi.

  8. hi ,
    I am planning to travel to Manali from Delhi . Could you please suggest me the best transport route . Flight seems to be a costilier option .
    I am more keen on travelling by Bus / Train .
    Thanks in advance .

  9. dear friends
    i want to go to shimla and manali in mid june. i will reach chndigarh at 10:00 am from Lucknow. can any one suggest the best way to reach shimla from chandigarh. i will go with my wife and 2 yr old kid.

  10. Hi Cybershamim

    The best way is to go to the Chandigarh bus stand and take a bus which leave every 20 odd minutes. The other option is a taxi and the third option is to get to Kalka and then take the toy train to Shimla, a unique experience in itself.

  11. Hi Puchoo

    I just spent a good 30 mins searching for a train btw delhi simla. ur write up was more than helpful.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I am coming from Cochin in Kerala to Shimla
    What i understand from the write up is that I can reach Delhi by the Shatabdi and then another Shatabdi from Delhi to Kalka (Which leaves from Delhi at 0730 in the morning and reaches Kalka at11:30 am in the morning)
    Please advice

  13. Hi Sidharth,
    After many months, I thought to post anothr comment here, because this time, I will be really going to Shimla (Ticket are already gotten from Sri Lanka to Chennai. I am planning to come on 12th July Saturday, and hoping to catch a flight on the same day from Chennai to Delhi. Is there any chance for a meet-up at Delhi or Shimla?



  14. Hi

    I am from australia and coming to india on 21st august. Is their anyone help me out, who let me know that what’s the best way to go to shimla. as i never been to india earlier.

    I know about taxy services, so please tell me some other way.

    Your help will be much appreciated.


  15. What is the best way to travel to Shimla from Chennai (Madras)?

    So my option is to 1) fly from Chennai to Delhi, 2) catch the Shatabdi Express to Kalka and then 3) take the toy train?


  16. Hi Rajeev,

    Are you 100% sure that the train to Simla waits for the Shatabdi? if it doesnt, then we’l land in a soup.
    Also, any idea about hotels for the night stay there? I will be travelling with my wife, so we’l need a decent place to stay for the night in Kalka if we want to take the toy train again the next morning.


  17. hi this information was really useful.can someone suggest a good cheap place to stay in shimla and what are the other places nearby to visit.

  18. This was a great experience in my life, I thinkthe satabdi is a better and convinient with airlines.

    we really enjoyed our tour.

  19. Hi,

    I want to travel from delhi to solan. I have 2 little kids. What is the best transport to travel. Can anone help me with the fares too.


  20. hi,
    the informations u mentioned are really very very useful….. and the way u told them is nice.
    aapki language aur batane ka tarika achcha laga,kyok aapne chhoti chhoti information clear ki hain.

    thanks !

  21. Iam planning to go from Delhi to Kalka by Kalka Mail-2311.Then Kalka to Shimla by Shivalik Express-241(as I heard lot about it).But is kalka mail clean n neat and proper train?As we are three ladies travelling.will it reach on time at kalka? I want to spend my night time in travelling so I get the whole day for sightseeing.Reply.TQ

  22. thank you so much this is so useful but as i am travelling from abroad so i will be landing at indira gandhi national airport and from there i would like to go to the reailway station
    1. how to get to train station?
    2. i want to go to shimla so i have to take shabatdi and then after that how can i switch to toy train? is it far?

    thank you very much for helping
    i love india such a beautiful place

    p.s. please give me any other tips that i should know

  23. From Shimla to Manali is a night bus of HPTDC at 8 pm.Is it safe to travel by night?As if I travel in the morning bus my whole day will go in travelling.I am going to Delhi,Chandigarh,Shiml,Manali,Kullu andagain come to Delhi from manali then go to Agra and Fatehpur sikri.My plan is for 10 days.Can u suggest me anything spectacular not to be missed place so I can squeeze my timetable.TQ

    • Hello Sima

      We are planning a similar trip as yours- Delhi to Shimla in April. About 10 days. We are coming from London. How did your trip go? Any tips and places to see and stay in delhi and along the way to shimla. What places did you visit? We did the delhi/agra/jaipur/udaipur trip 3 years ago through the a local agent and this time feel more adventurous to try on our own.

      Any advise and help would be apreciated. Thanks.

      • Hi Fatima,

        Shimla is my hometown , so every trip is always good! Might i recommend a travel website which will not only take care of your questions but also give you some pretty good ideas on things to do – Its a forums of travelers destined to come and already in India , loads of information and wonderful content.

      • times for train from delhi to shimla /shimla to delhi would help it is are first trip to shimla many thanks paul wootten.

  24. ditto…. 10day plan to all the places u mentioned, and even im looking out for same help, plz lemme know if u find anything worth sharing about the trip…thnx in advance..bon voyage ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Just get to the Ambala bus stand and take something for Kalka or alternatively Chandigarh. From Chandigarh there are numerous buses leaving every hour for Kalka / Chandigarh. The road has been fixed up and you should make it to Chandigarh is just over an hour and to Kalka in under 2.

  25. Hi, my wife and I are planning to travel to Shimla from Delhi. I have read all the above comments, and I also went onto the IRCTC site for railway bookings. I can see the Shivalik DLX from kalka leaving for Shimla at 5am, which train can i take from Delhi stn to reach in time for the Kalka – Shimla toy train?? I am confused as we are abroad and will be arriving at Delhi airport the same day. I would like to do all my train bookings online. Thanks a lot.


    • Hi Rajiv

      The Howrah Delhi Kalka Mail gets into Kalka at 4:40 AM , and i cant recall if the Shivalik DLX will wait for it to get in before leaving for Shimla. All other trains get in various times which dont suit you. What time do you get into Delhi incidentally? Maybe you can look at catching a bus till Kalka / Chandigarh?

      Just noticed something which is interesting , the same train i have mentioned above gets into Chandigarh at 3:20 ( i.e it take 1 Hr 20 minutes to get to Kalka for it to be 4:40) – maybe what you could consider is jumping off at Chandigarh and then catching a bus / taxi which will take you to Kalka ( A 30 minute drive at night) and then hop on to the Shivalik at 5.

    • If there is something you want to know about Naldehra then let me know , should be able to help you out. As such depending on where in Naldehra you wish to go , its about a 40 minute drive outside Shimla. You catch the kufri road and just after Sanjolin take the left going towards Mashobra and Naldehra. Much quieter than Shimla , much more green as well and has a couple of nice places to stay. Long walks, reading is whats available this side of town! ๐Ÿ™‚


  27. Great piece of Information.

    Overwhelmed to know two things.

    1. Himalayan Queen runs on time from Kalka to Shimla @ 12:10 pm
    2. HImalayan Queen waits for the Kalka Shatabdi, if delayed, which is schedule to arrive Kalka @ 11:30 am

    I am going to Chail but travelling Kalka to Kandaghat by train, just to get the feel of the toy train.

    Hope everyhing turns out pleasurable.

    • It would technically be the train.

      Drive down to Kalka/Chandigarh and then catch the outbound Shatabdi. The drive plus the train journey will take about 7.5 hours in total approx ( determined by your drive more than anything else)

      But its possible to beat it on a car as well , but i doubt it now given some of the road work taking place along the way.

  28. Hi. I need your guidance.. I want to go to shimla from gurgaon.i would prefer it by Bus ,if not then train. I have exactly 3 days in my hands. i.e friday, saturday and sunday and i need to come back to gurgaon before 10 am on Monday. Pls suggest.. Will it be worth it ,with such little time in hand ? and taking my time constraint in mind what option would you suggest to reach shimla and coming back from there..

    Thanks a lot in advance..

  29. Hi

    the information provided by you is good , but can you please breif me step by step , as we are planning to visit shimla near 13 or 14 aug 2010 & planning to take an overnite journey , we want to avoid car drive, can you suggest wht would be good volvo bus or train .we want to be back on next day:


    • In the event that this reply is not too late or still helps. I would go with the Volvo – catch it from Himachal Bhavan or ISBT around 8 – 830 and you would be at the Shimla bus stand by 630-7 the next morning

  30. Hi, find the information very useful. am planning to visitwith my wife, daughter and grandson four of us, chennaito-delhi, from there to shimla, and from there to kahmir-total number of days ten excluding our travel from chennai to delhi and back . pl help me plan our trip. thanks. s.a.balu

  31. hi, i want to travel from delhi to shimla by train but want to reach before 12 noon next morning so what will be the procedure easiest and good way..i also want to experience toy train so plz suggest me which train to take from delhi to shimla …i am comfortable with overnight travelling

  32. we are planning from pune to delhi.and from delhi to goa express we will be reaching to delhi at 6.45am.can you help us for further journey from delhi to manali/shimla.

  33. 15 of us are planning to travel overnight from Delhi to Shimla . Are there any SLEEPER or BERTH buses available . If so can u give us a contact number. Thanks in advance . arun

  34. can u please tell me about the hotels to stay in shimla for 10-15 days and i wanted to know what is better to do all things self or to get help froma travell agent

    • thats a long time! i envy you!! lots of hotels to choose from , select basis your budget , since its such a long time i am guessing that even minor increases/decreases in rates would have a substantial impact. Its pretty easy to plan things on your own , seek help from the hotel to help you visit places. if you have already decided on a list of places , let me know and i can try and tell you the most optimum manner in which to handle them

  35. hi .. thanks ford info …
    but i want to know the weather condition of shimla in june and july..
    s it humid, hot ??

  36. hello Puchoo. we are staying in shimla in june and on june 20th we are leaving shimla and heading down to delhi. we want to catch the morning kalka shtbadi 12006 which leaves kalka at 6.15. whats the quickest way to get to kalka from shimla and at what time should we leave shimla to catch this train?

    many thanks

    • the fastest way is by a car. you can be there in 2.5-3 hours depending on stops and speed. A bus would take a little longer as it would have defined stops which it would need to make.

      Why dont you head down the previous night and stay closer to Kalka , there is a resort there called Timber Trail which is pretty decent and about 30 minutes from the kalka station or the other option can also be to spend the night in Chandigarh and catch the train from chandigarh as well as it would have a decent length stop there – can confirm with your travel agency

  37. we’ve booked our hotel already for 4 nights. i think the other option will be to get the himalyan train which i believe leaves shimla at 10.30am and get s to kalka after 4pm and then i could get the evening shtbadi to delhi. just means a whole day spent on trians and i’ve heard the himalyan isnt that comfortable or is it?
    thank you


    • there is no scope for cancelling 1 night? The other option is to cancel your last night and catch the Kalka Mail which leaves at 23:55 from kalka and gets into Delhi at 6 AM – you cn spend the night sleeping! this would entail you needing to cancel your last night or add one more day depending on how you wish to play it

      Which hotel are you staying at by the way? i am sure they would be flexible? If you have no choice and need to catch the shatabdi only , then i would recommend leaving shimla at 3. at night it would be faster and you should be at the station by 530-545 comfortable – assuming you are staying in Shimla town and not outside?

  38. we are staying at the radisson. i’m just thinking perhaps we could get the taxi to chandigarh spend time touring there and then get the evening shatdbi. we cant check into delhi hotel until 2pm anyway. also i have another question and that is we are staying in rishikesh and then need to book a taxi to shimla. is it best to book the taxi when we get to rishikesh or do it now from somewhere?

    many thanks

    • Thats not a bad option as well. Its an interesting city and has a few places visit – only issue would be the heat but then you are coming down to Delhi anyway! Ask your hotel in Rish if they can arrange for it , they should be able to and confirm the price well before during iterations.

  39. Hi.
    Just to confirm… the trains listed in your attached picture are collectively known as Toy Trains?


    • You can go by both. Train till Kalka then switch over to the toy train or you can catch a bus all the way to Shimla. The hybrid option is to take a bus till kalka then switch over to the toy train as well.

  40. Hi! We are planning to visit Shimla somewhere between August 13-20th. Pls suggest if its a god time to visit Shimla. Does it rain often?

  41. Hi,
    I am planning to travel Shimla. From Delhi 12011 Kalka Shatabdi and then catching up the HIMALAYAN QUEEN at 12:10. But it seems the time difference is too stiff. is HIMALAYAN QUEEN waits for Kalka Shatabdi ? Any Idea.Also can you tell me how much time it takes on Volvo from Shimla to Delhi ISBT ? is there night buses available?

  42. HI puchoo,
    Iam from delhi.We r planning to travel to mussorie and corbet.I have got two kids aged 7 and 2.Which is the best way to travel there?Got booked in club mahindra.Just confeused whther to take a train and get a vehicle for local travel or travel from delhi by our vehicle.Which is more comfy?

    • HI , i think the train + car idea might be better. It is a stressful drive but it depends on how you plan to break it. If you first leg is Delhi to Corbett and then you are planning to do Corbett to Mussorie then its easier but if you are looking at doing Del Mus straight or vice versa then its a long drive – the road is i believe still quite bad , the recent flooding on some parts of that road might have worsened conditions even more as well.

  43. Hi.. Iam leaving for Shimla in december for one week tour from New Delhi. what is the best and safest way for me. As i want to reach shimla in the morning because i want to look for some hotels there. I want to experience the kalka shimla train.

    • The best way if you wish to reach Shimla in the morning is to catch the overnight Volvo which is run by the state government. It leaves from Delhi around 745 and will put u in Shimla around 6-630 in the morning. THe toy train can be done on the way back , you can come down on it and then catch a train to Delhi from there.

  44. I want to go delhi from kalka by train 0n 14th sept 2011, and I have not reservation. Can I buy a ticket on 14th morning.
    pls tell me all trains schedules and fare from kalka to delhi.

    thanx in advance

  45. I am from malaysia and I plan to go to Shimla. I plan to go on 21st to 29th January. My flight will arrive at new delhi and I plan to take bus or train to Shimla. Which is the safest method for foreigner? Bus or train? How safe is it for a group of 4 people (husband and wife) to travel to Shimla from New Delhi? I love bollywood movies base on movies I saw all Indians can speak english very well so it won’t be a problem for us. Right? We plan to take cab directly from new Delhi airport to bus station to take the express bus to Shimla. Is it possible?

    • Hi. Would advise that you catch the Volvo bus which is run by Himachal Tourism from Himachal Bhavan in New Delhi. Its a comfortable safe journey with a decent crowd as well and you should not have any problems. I am not implying that the train is unsafe but it will expose you to more people which might try and squeeze some money out of you.

      The bus leaves at about 7/8 PM and reaches Shimla at 630sh AM the next day.

      English should not be a problem , not everyone speaks it but you will be able to get by.

  46. Thank you, Thank you so much for replying. This is my first time travelling to India and I would be greatful if you could suggest the best place to visit between New Delhi to Simla. I am thinking Taj Mahal is a must, Fort Agra, and Shimla. Is there any other destination that is close to Shimla that I could squeeze in my tight schedule (9 days). Thank you again.

    • Between New Delhi and Shimla meaning a place which lies on the same route? From Delhi , Agra and Shimla are in 2 opposite directions. Delhi to Shimla is about 350kms and Delhi to Agra about 200 – So shimla to Agra is about 550 in total.

  47. Sorry to bug you again – We made the decision to spend 2 days 2 nite in New Delhi, 3 days 2 nite in Shimla and 2 days 1 nite in Manali then plan to travel back from Manali to New Delhi – I believe there should be direct coach/bus from Manali to new Delhi. is there?

  48. Hi, I am from Bangladesh. I will be visiting beautiful India from 21h Janโ€™12 to 31th Janโ€™12. My plan is to reach Kolkata first then move to Delhi by Rajdhani Express. Is there any better/faster train service then Rajdhani Express from Kolkata to Delhi?? From Delhi I will go to Ajmer(sharif) & Agra (Tajmahal). So please kindly advice me the safest & easiest as well as convenient way (train/bus/car/tourist bus) to visit these two places from Delhi?? Also I will go to Shimla from Delhi & planning to take tourist Volvo service so please advice me from where I can buy tickets of tourists Volvo bus?? Sorry to ask you many questions but please advice.

    • Kolkata to Delhi – i dont think there are faster trains , if your budget allows , why not simply fly? Adding to delays right not is ofcourse weather nd fog as well , its a curse for the railways

      Delhi to Agra can be done in a taxi – about 3 hours / there are also enough trains and buses running to Agra from Delhi.

      For Shimla – there is an online booking portal ( , the same site also provides a list of locations from where you can get the tickets!

      Happy travels!

  49. Puchoo,

    we are reaching Railway station Rohilla (DEE) by 7.00 am (26th Dec/Mon). will we able to catch The train “KALKA SHTABADI” which leaves New Delhi (NDLS) at 7:40 AM .

    Please advise wat are the places to visit .. we have planned to visit simla and manali.


    • Where are you arriving from? The reason i ask is because as it is you have only 40 mins to make the connection , and winter is leading to delays across the entire railways network and you never know if you could get unlucky and get delayed as well.

  50. Hi All,

    we are planning for a trip to simla (delhi to simla) , we will be reaching delhi at 4:00 PM (Jan 26th), And plan to travel simla,. Please suggest us a best way to travel. I opt for night traveling so that we will get 2 full days (27tth and 28th ) for site seeing in simla.

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Menaga,

      If you are reaching Delhi at 4 PM you can catch the night bus which leaves for Shimla at around 7 PM from Himachal Bhavan – do check the exact timings from them in case they have made any amendments keeping winter in mind. Your ability to catch the bus partially depends on which part of Delhi you are reaching at 4 – if you can let me know that i can advise on time.

    • Hi , i just checked Indian rail – there is no direct train , you will need to catch a connection from New delhi and then either switch to a toy train at Kalka or take a bus/taxi from Chandigarh or Kalka

  51. Quite informative article. Yes I was also searching for a direct train from Delhi to Shimla but found later that To reach Shimla by train we can use Kalka to Shimla. otherwise from Chandigarh or Kalka by Bus.

  52. Hey we are planing a trip to Shimla for year end via train.. as per ur suggestion looking up for Shatabdi.. just wnt to knw if toy train bookings happen online?

  53. Hi,

    You blog is very informative , and quite exhaustive . Need a quickie here , planning to visit Shimla in Jan 2012 end and plan to stay a week there . Can you help me with the below queries

    1) Take a train to kalka shtbdi (12005) new delhi – kalka Dept 17:15 Arrival 21:20 , if take this train will be reaching on the late evening and from there to Shimla a good 90 kms . Are there any transport available late evening to reach shimla from kalka . Incase of snowfall i assume the road network shall be closed? Is this safe or not recommended to travel with family during night

    2) If no , any stay options in Kalka ?

    3) How do reach from Kalka to Shimla in the early morning

    • Hi,

      You can find transport in the form of buses but it will be quite cold so if you need to wait etc then might be inconvenient. Kalka does not have too many places to stay at all , you could drive to Parwanoo which has a few options available like Timber Trail.

      Alternatively , instead of catching a train why dont you take an overnight bus? You will be in Shimla in the morning , its a comfortable enough journey and you dont have to worry about planning anything other than getting your tickets.

      • hi dear, will u plz tell me the train route n places in shimla to see coj i want to go with my family. if u r comfortable plz tell me the cheap hotels there also.

      • Hi Poonam , you can catch the Shatabdi till Kalka from New Delhi and then onwards either a bus or the toy train. Exact train fares and current timings would be available on the Indian railways website.

        Lots of cheap hotels in Shimla , too many to start naming in fact but there might be a little premium in the rates at this point given that it is Summer time and tourist traffic would be heavy. You will find lots of options near the ice skating rink , Sanjauli area

        In terms of things to do , clearly the mall including the ridge , tibetian market is everyones favorite , Kufri is another location many people like to visit , Viceregal Lodge is a historical location you can consider as well.

  54. I would like to go to manali from Delhi. What is the best possible option? I prefer train journey all the way. Please mention the cost involved by bus and train.

    • HI , the exact fare would depend on the class of the bus or the train you choose to take and hence best to check directly on the concerned websites. There is no direct rail link between Delhi and Manali – at best you can proceed on a train till Chandigarh or so and then get onto a bus!

  55. Hi Puchoo
    We are from Chennai and planning for a familly trip to Delhi and surrounding places like Shimla and Manali. We prefer train route as some are road sick. Can we cover these 3 places in 3 or 4 days if travelling by train? Can you give an Idea how much it would cost for 9 people on travelling non A/C as travelling in November?

    • Hi , 3-4 days to do Shimla and Manali is too little , you wont do justice to either of the destinations and will be quite exhausted at the end of it all!

      • Thanks for ur reply. thats cos we don hav much time. how abt oly delhi agra n simla. pls estimate an approx cost for 5 days for 9 people.

      • Still not sure if thats enough time for example

        Day 1 : Delhi
        Day 2 : Delhi , leave for Agra at night , spend night in Agra
        Day 3 : Tour Agra back in Delhi by the evening and you catch a bus to Shimla the same day
        Day 4 : Arrive in Shimla in the morning. Day in Shimla
        Day 5 : Now if you need to be back in Delhi on day 5 then you need to leave Shimla by the morning as it will take about 10 hours to reach – so that gives you only 1 day in Shimla which is Day 4

    • Yes there is no reason to feel that Shimla with a baby will be unsafe – in fact on mall road you can hire baby strollers as well for convenience. I dont have too much experience traveling with babies ๐Ÿ™‚ , but assuming that a train might be better in terms of being able to do certain items such as changing diapers etc in more comfort thanks the bathrooms being available etc?

  56. Hello,
    This is Omio from Dhaka, Bangladesh.
    I am planning to visit India with my family (7 persons) during mid of August 2012. We are planning to visit Ajmer, Agra, Delhi, Shimla and then back to Dhaka via Kolkata. We plan to stay 1 night at each of the destinations and visit that place for about half a day. Half a day might not be enough but we only have August 15 to August 24 to travel as our offices and universities will reopen on August 25.

    Can you please suggest me the best possible route, type of transportation and hotels for our trip?

    Will appreciate your quick response.


    • Its a veru rushed trip , i understand you wish to cover as much as possible but might be best to drop a destination like Shimla off and spend more time in the others – i say Shimla because that is the one which is really off your route as such – Delhi , Agra , Ajmer are all clustered – you could consider adding a destination here itself – maybe Bharatpur (very close to Agra)

      • Thanks for your reply. We all are very eager to see the snowy mountains and natural beauties of Shimla and therefore would love to be there. We will have to sort out our tour itinerary and see what we can do.

        Thanks for your useful suggestion.

      • Hey,
        Thanks. By snow I meant not snow fall but Hills covered with snow. I guess we will be able to see the hills covered with snow. Isn’t it ? Or there won’t be any snow at all?


  57. hi leaving to manali from bangalore on 25th october and leave manali on 28 th morning and classes in mysore on 29 th morn. kindly help on timings n best way . thank you.

    • You could go to Chandigarh which would be about 5 hours and see if you can get a flight from there back to Bangalore. If you can this will allow you to be back in Bangalore on 28th evening else you can come back to Delhi and catch a late flight out. Manali to Delhi would be 11 hours or so , hence you would need to strat relatively early in the morning to get to delhi and eventually to Bangalore in good time.

      • Hi ,
        I am planing to come shimla on Mid sep,
        I will reach on 15th sep morning,
        I have booked my ticket from kalka hawra, which reaches at 4:30 AM, then form Kalka to shimla by shivalik express, which depart at 5:30 AM
        My worries is that if Kakla Hawrha is get delay then shivalik leaves then what is the options ?

  58. I am planning to travel Shimla during end of Aug 2012. From Delhi โ€“ Kalka by Shatabdi Express at 7:40am and then catching up the toy train . But it seems the time difference is too stiff. Does toy train waits for Kalka Shatabdi ?
    How is there weather at Manali during August 25th. Appreciate receiving your response

    • HI , i have not had first hand experience in sometime now connecting between the two trains but i believe it does wait – ofcourse if the Shatabdi is running extremely late it may not but the Shatabdi rarely does , but like i said have not done it personally for a while now and best to confirm with the Indian railyways once.

      Weather in August is good , it might be rainy as it would be towards the end of the monsoon period for Manali.

  59. Hi I am planning to travel from Mumbai and wanna visit shimla, kullu & manali & again back to Mumbai, i am planning for 16th of november 2012 i will reach kalka , If i am planning to travell by paschim express from Mumbai i will reach kalka at around 5 pm, wil I get a toy train connection from kalka to shimla at around 5 pm the same day, if yes please tell me where to book the tickets from? & from shimla i will travel to manali on 20.11.12 local sight seing & rotang pass and from manali to kalka/chandighar advise me some transport and time if I wanna connect to paschim express on 23nd nov at around 10 am, at what time should i start from manali?

  60. Hi Puchoo
    We have now planned a 7 days trip in october to cover delhi, agra n simla. Could u pls help with travel n list some of the best places to visit in these 3 places. we r 9 members. Thanks

  61. Hi Puchoo
    Your blog is very interesting.
    I am looking to travel from Jaipur to Shimla and hoping to take to toy train from
    Kalka end of August.
    What would you recommend?

    • Hi Jyoti! Thank you and glad you found the blog useful. Nothing wrong with the way you are planning it – you can catch the Shatabdi till Kalka and then hop onto the toy train.

  62. please can anyone tell me to plan my trip from bangalore to shimla, which is the best month to visit and how are the train costs, also give me the accomadation details …thanks in advance

    • Hi. Well depends on what you want to do and see as well – for example if you are looking at being able to see snow then plan it for December , or if thats too cold then October would be a nice time.

      For updated train costs , best to visit the Indian Railways website and there are tons of accomodation options available in Shimla , difficult to narrow it down for you without a budget ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. Hello,
    I am planning to visit Shimla & Manali during 20th to 30th Oct 2012 with my wife.
    Pls let me know whether this time is good for Shimla & Manali??


  64. Hello,
    I hope you would be able to enlighten me. Iam from malysia and
    I will be in Delhi on 26/12 with my family (husband and 2 sons).
    I am planning to make a trip to Simla (abt 3 days).
    This is the first time we are travelling to delhi and simla. No problem about delhi as we have a family friend there.
    As for simla we have to make our own arrangements. You have been speaking about night travel. I was just wondering if we travel in the daytime :
    1. What would be the best means of transport?
    2. Is the journey interesting (Sight seeing while travelling)?
    3. How do we book our tickets and lodging?
    4. I don’t speak any Indian language, would there be a problem?
    5. Place to visit – my sons would like to ski or do any snow activities (this is their first time seeing snow)
    6. What would the cost be roughly ( Amout to spend would be abt USD 500-700 for all of us)?

    Thank you for your reply.

    • Hi,

      1. You can catch the morning Kalka Shatabdi train from Delhi which leaves at about 630 AM ( timings need to be confirmed) , once at Kalka it will take you about 3 hours to drive up – you can either take a taxi or take the toy train – the toy train takes longer but comes highly recommended given that it is a very senic route

      2. As above

      3. Train bookings can be done on the Indian railways website , most hotels will allow booking through their site itself – by most , i mean bigger ones or chains

      4. English should help you through , given the high number of foreign tourists that come to places like Shimla its not that difficult to get by

      5. Skiing is not a big thing yet here but can be experienced –

      6. 700 is sufficient but i am not sure of what your preference would be in terms of the level of hotels you are looking at staying etc , best to figure that out and then take a call , we have some chains where the daily rates can be as high as 500 USD , which clearly would then mean an increase in budget or a lesser level of a hotel.

      Hope this helps , let me know if you need anymore info!!

  65. Hi Puchoo
    A blog written 5 years back, 153 responses, need I say its the most informative and seemingly reliable webpage when one is planning a trip to Shimla. I would like to congratulate you on that and yes thank you, your blog is quite helpful.

    I am also writing for the same reason as all others- planning my first ever trip towards Shimla – with mine and two other families (that includes five kids 2yrs to 11yrs old). Main purpose of the trip being snowfall and snow sports (of the level of these kids) –
    (1) my first query is what are the chances of finding snow in the last week of December and First week of January.
    (2) How much time does it take to go to Narkandha and Kufri.
    (3) Where should one stay – Shimla Narkhanda or Kufri

    • Hi and firstly , thanks for the acknowledgement and glad that the blog helped out!!

      The chances of finding snow are good in the time frame you mentioned , but the weather is a bit fickle , there is no guarantee that it will definitely snow. All this signs might be present but eventually its a bit ‘play it by ear’ , the higher you go i.e Kufri / Narkands the better the chances but even at those locations its always going to be a bit unsure. However from an overall perspective , its a good time to go up and the chances are good.

      Narkanda will be about a 2 – 3 hour drive from Shimla basis speed / traffic and stops you make , Kufri on the other hand is about 1 hour. This also depends on which side of Shimla you start out from , if towards the beginning then the above timeframe is reasonable to expect , if from the other end i.e Sanjauli then you can knock off about 20-30 minutes.

      With respect to stay – how long are you planning to go for? Given that there are kids i would probably at this point say Shimla – there is much more to do there in terms of keeping yourself busy , Kufri can be a day trip up. If you have enough number of days i would suggest an overnight stay at Narkanda , you can hit it by the afternoon/ late morning , explore the town , maybe go upto Hatu temple , stay overnight and drive back the next day , Kufri can be done on this drive back comfortably if you leave early-ish

      Let me know the number of days you are planning , might be in a better position to suggest.

      Have fun!

  66. hello in looking night journey by train from delhi to shimla and manali to delhi for the month of may so please can you help me with the same..

    • Hi, the Kalka mail would be a good option , you can check exact timings from the railways site but approximate departure from Delhi is around 845-9 PM and arrival at Kalka is at 4 AM , from there you would need to take a bus or taxi upto Shimla.

      Alternatively , you can catch the Himachal tourism bus which leaves around 8 PM from Delhi and will be in Shimla by 6 AM. They are comfortable plus you have the added advantage of reaching Shimla directly.

  67. I will be reaching delhi by 2 PM and would like to leave for shimla. what are options as no reservation in trains is available.

  68. Hi, Thanks for the work you are doing. It is a great resource. We are planning to visit Shimla or Manali or Both in May (2nd week). We’ve contacted two travel agents and get a wide range of opinions on the travel times. Could you please give me an authoritative answer on the best way to reach Shimla or Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh. We are traveling from Bangalore.
    The issue in our case is that one of our group members has back issues and we have a few children who are prone to motion sickness. So we are trying to keep our travel in cars to a minimum length of time. Are there direct trains to Shimla? Is it better to go by train or car? Are trains reliable? Are there flights to Shimla or Manali from Delhi?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi , Thank you and glad you found the blog useful.

      The Best way to reach Shimla from Delhi is to catch the overnight volvo which leaves around 8PM and reaches Shimla approx 630 AM , but if this is going to be uncomfortable for the kids etc then you could consider taking the Shatabdi to Kalka and then getting on to the toy train from there upto Shimla – this is however a longer process owing to the speed of the toy train and takes about 2-3 more.

      Similarly there is also a VOLVO which runs from Delhi to manali.

      There are supposed to be flights , there is an airport near Shimla and Bhuntar near Manali post which you will need to hire a cab to get to Manali – the problem is that i just searched and there appear to be no flights available ( not sold out simply not available) for May – as such Air India flies to Himachal as does Kingfisher , would advise that you keep checking online portals such as Cleartrip , Yatra to see if something comes up.

      Hope this helps , if you need anything other info let me know

  69. we are from kolkata and are planning a trip to shimla,kullu and manali. our trip will be for 10 days in total.can you please suggest the best way to travel.and to be specific we are a family of 6 and 2 of us are also road-sick. so can you please suggest accordingly.

  70. I am planning a trip to Shimla, Kuku and Manali starting from Delhi. Can I make it within 6 days Come back to Delhi? please suggest me accordingly.

      • we had done dharamshala, manali, kullu and shimala in 7 days. Beware of tour operators. you can get decent rooms for Rs. 1500.00 . Check Himachal tourism for river rafting, paragliding as they are cheap and other charge almost thrice.
        Try saloni Cottages in Manali. if you require a brand new apartment and wish to have a personalized service.
        Check that your tour includes manikaran.

  71. you can also contact Mr. Amarjit singh on 093717553404,whom we had engaged as our Innova driver from Chandigarh. he is knowledgeable about this area and very good

  72. I am happy to note comments from all of u its very informative.Thanks . after my trip in Himachal I along with 6 others wii arrive in Shimla by 20.12.13. want to reach Mumbai after 2 days stay.I was informed that from Kalka to mumbai tks r difficult to get.What do we do to reach Mumbai? Can we book from some other place like Ambala ?

  73. This page is so relevant even after 6 Years ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s like a final clear-cut verdict of travel to Shimla. Just dropped by to say Thank you – it helped me in booking my tickets..Rgds.

  74. Excellent blog. Though written in 2008, it still holds true on most of the part. keep up the good work.
    There is just one small question if you can help me with:
    Im planning a trip to your hometown and was wondering if it will be safe to travel with my wife and 10yr old daughter during the night time from Chandigarh to Kalka?
    Im planning to take the Howrah exp from Delhi and reach Chandigarh by 3 in night. take a taxi to Kalka so that Ill be in time for the Shivalk to shimla.
    I know the howrah exp also stops at Kalka, but since this is a long journey train it might get delayed and hence there is a chance that ill miss shivalk. So please let me know if it is safe to travel at night?

    • Thank you , much appreciated. The distance is only about 28 odd Kilometers and as such there is no problem in driving down. Just keep the taxi guy in check in terms of speeding and style of driving and be careful as one would while driving at night generally. Hope that helps.

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