Dotted with dense timbered woods, Kasauli is perched in the Solan district in the charming state of Himachal Pradesh. Located at an elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level, nestled amidst beautiful woody forests of pine and cedar trees, Kasauli owes its mystical and serene ambience to the lavish Victorian buildings built by the Britishers who resided here a century ago. The town was developed as a sanatorium for the British. The quaint little town of Kasauli boasts a tranquil atmosphere and rich cultural heritage. These structures speak volumes of the glorious past of this hill station. It offers the allure of an enchanting calm and is famed for its picture perfect surroundings. The snow-covered mountains, lush greenery, gurgling torrents, sweet voices of the birds, and alpine meadows enhance the unspoiled exquisiteness of the hill station. In addition, it’s also the perfect gateway to thrilling activities. All this mesmerizes visitors with its charm.
A legend says that Kasauli receives its name from a moutain stream known as Kausalya. According to the ancient Hindu texts, Kasauli is said to have been the resting place of lord Hanuman while he was looking for the life restoring herb (Sanjeevani) in the Himalayas. Records state that the Rajput kings from Rewari owned the land and sold it to the British in the 19th century. As a result, Kasauli became an important part of the Gurkha territory. Kasauli was then established as a British cantonment town in 1842 and was developed by the British Empire during its peak period in India.
Best Time to Visit
If you happen to visit the town during the off-season (November to February), it is quite likely that you will not come across any person for a long while on your walk. Still, you will be accompanied by the sweet and soothing voices of the birds along with the gentle rustling of leaves. Kasauli has a moderate climate. Winter temperature is approximately 2 degrees celsius, with summer temperatures rarely exceeding 32 degrees celsius. April to June is the best time to visit Kasauli to watch the birds in the natural habitat.
Famous writer Khushwant Singh was a part-time resident of Kasauli and inspiration for the annual Kushwant Singh Literary Festival hosted in Kasauli since 2012. Ruskin Bond – the Anglo-Indian author, was also born at Kasauli.
Babblers, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Striated Prinias, Mountain Goat and Jungle Owlet can be spotted in Kasauli.
Places to Visit in Kasauli
Like other hill stations, Kasauli too boasts of a Mall road or the ceremonial route. But it has two-the Upper Mall and the Lower Mall, the town’s main commercial centre. Intersection of Upper and Lower Malls is the most important place in Kasauli. The tree-lined avenues, bordered by an array of shops and commercial establishments, are ideal for taking a stroll. The Heritage Market is a good place to do some shopping and when you are exhausted with all the traveling, enjoy delicious local food and hot beverages from the roadside shacks. The cantonment town is also famous for the Kasauli Brewery, believed to be the oldest functioning distillery for scotch whiskey in Asia which is till operating. The old town is also the seat of the renowned Pasteur Institute popularly known as the Central Research Institute, as it produces anti-Rabies vaccines and conducts scientific researches. It is dotted with beautiful colonial buildings such as the Christ Church and Baptist Church, reminiscent of the colonial era and the wonderful Neo-Gothic architecture. The various stained glass windows imported from Spain and Italy depict Christ, Mary, Saint Barnabas, and Saint Francis. Nearby there are some Victorian hotels.
Enjoy breath-taking views atop the Manki or Monkey Point the highest point at Kasauli, adorned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman with a wonderful view of snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas, glistening waters of the Sutlej River and the verdant valley. Explore the beauty of nature as you trek around the scenic picturesque Gilbert Trail. Starting near the Kasauli Club, the trail passes through lush natural beauty, and you can spot birds of amazing variety. The starting point is the beautiful charming sunset point where the incredible view of the panorama awaits. The blissful scenery of the sun setting and the sky changing colors make it a marvel to behold and a great place to spend your evenings.
Other Places to Visit: Sunrise Point, Kasauli Club, Krishna Bhawan Mandir, Shri Sai Baba Mandir, Gurudwara Shri Guru Nanak Ji, Gurkha Fort, Apple Orchards in Parwanoo to name a few.
How to Reach
The nearest airports to Kasauli are in Chandigarh and Shimla; from there the journey to Kasauli is by road.
The nearest station is Kalka, from where you can hail a taxi.
Buses of the Himachal Pradesh tourism ply regularly, as also taxis and private vehicles through the national Highway which is NH 22.
Best Places to Eat
Kasauli Cafe in hills-Upper Mall road, Heritage Market-Cafe Mantra, Cafe Rudra, Narinder Sweet House, Old Town Coffee Cafe etc. There are many more small places on the Mall Road and the market. Maggi, Band Samosa, Pakoras and Jalebi are the most common.
Hangout rooftop cafe-Kasauli Regency, Cliff Houzz- Winnies Holiday Inn, Kasauli Resort, Birds View Resort and Kasauli Castle Resort for a splendid view and lip-smacking food.
Activities in Kasauli
Trekking, nature walks, camping are some of the outdoor activities in Kasauli that visitors can enjoy, along with shopping at the Mall Road at shops like Pinekonez and many more.
This beautiful town in the Himalayas is an abode of pleasure that lures a large number of travelers every year.