India is by far not only comprised of (sub-)tropical plain-lands and deserts. As you approach the Himalayas, you see the landscape becoming hilly, the roads windy, and the snow-capped peaks appear on the horizon.
Even in the summer, brutally hot in other parts of the country, this region remained cool and inviting. This is why during the British rule, Shimla was chosen to be the summer residence, with the apparatus moving there to escape the heat. Today, Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh (literally "In the lap of the Himalayas").
While three of us decided to visit Agra, the others would like to breath the fresh air of Shimla.
We arrived in Shimla around midnight. Once we entered the hotel, we understood that not all lodging options offer as much comfort as our accommodation in Ludhiana. With the temperature around 0 degrees, there was no centralized heating. The available warming options were a small e-heater, a lot of clothing and a good company. We made use of all three.
The breakfast next morning is worth a special mention. As you can guess from the number of clothing layers, it was pretty cold. Once we have poured in the chai, the steam has covered the table (the picture does not fully convey the atmosphere). However, the food and the hot drink gave us energy for the day.
As we left the hotel, we enjoyed the magnificent view.
Shimla itself has a lot of nice places to offer. After visiting the main square, we hiked to the Jakhu temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman. In the beginning on the road, a sign challenges the visitors to test their fitness. Although the road was quite steep, we did the hike in 28 minutes!
The station signs reminded me of the London subway.
The weekend ended with a philosophical statement at one of the stations of the Shimla-Kalka railway.
Time to get back to work!