Delhi to Shimla driving details
I recently drove down from Shimla to Delhi and back to attend the Auto Expo 2012. The entire journey one way was done in 8 hours flat. While returning from Delhi to Shimla I started from Karol Bag at 9 in the morning and reached Shimla by 5 pm. Karol Bag – Kalka stretch was done in 4 hours, Kalka-Shimla stretch took 3 and a half hour with half an hour break at Kalka for lunch.
From Karol Bag I traveled along the Pusa Road and then on the Patel Marg till I reached the Ring Road near Punjabi Bag. From there it was a straight drive till Azadpur crossing where I touched the NH1. Took a left turn towards Delhi bypass and on to the flyover and I was set for the journey back home to Shimla.
The best part of the Delhi to Shimla stretch is the entire road from Delhi byepass till Zirakpur crossing is without any signal now. The NHAI have constructed flyovers along the entire highway and one does not need to stop anywhere.
The highway from Delhi byepass to Panipat is in excellent condition and one can simply breeze through this stretch. There is a flyover over Panipat town now and you literally cross the entire Panipat town on the flyover, a distance of over 3 km.
From Panipat to Ambala road widening work is going on with lots of flyovers being constructed where you need to slow down as you travel on side road for most of the stretch where overtaking another vehicles can be risky. Too many diversions on this stretch makes speeding up a little frustrating but once ready, this will become an ultimate drive.
Ambala onwards to Zirakpur the road is again in excellent condition. There is some construction work going on after crossing Shahbad. No diversions on the main highway but it gets dusty a bit.
At Zirakpur do not take the flyover to Chandigarh but take the side road and this is the first traffic signal you encounter. Take a right for Shimla. The Zirakpur – Pinjore stetch is again a bliss with four lane roads and flyovers on the way. The dream stretch ends just outside Pinjore. From here you may face massive traffic snarls till Kalka.
The good news is the Pinjore – Parwanoo four lane road is ready and will be thrown open to traffic anytime now. Once opened one would not have to travel through Pinjore and Kalka anymore thus avoiding the traffic snarls. The new road will connect NH 22 near Timber Trail Resort at Parwanoo.
Parwanoo to Shimla is a single lane hilly road which can be easily covered in 3 hours. Upon reaching Kumarhatti I took the byepass road to Solan instead of climbing up to Barog. This road has been freshly done and all pot holes are gone. It just takes 15 minutes to reach Solan from Kumarhatti.
Overall the road from Parwanoo to Shimla is in excellent condition. There are no blind spots on this road and actually the hill drive is pretty good.
Toll Fare between Delhi to Shimla
The first toll booth is at Panipat where I paid ₹ 25, the second one is at Karnal where the toll was ₹ 90, third one is at Zirakpur where I paid ₹ 29 and on Himachal barrier ₹ 30 was paid. Total toll paid was ₹ 174. Toll booth on Zirakpur – Pinjore roads have not started yet. Toll will be levied once the Pinjore-Parwanoo stretch opens.
Stops: There are a plenty of options available for food stop on this route. Murthal near Sonipat is famous with taxi people. Around Karnal there are plenty of good stops namely Haveli and New World. The entire stretch have Haryana Tourism complexes namely at Panipat, Karnal Kurukshetra and Ambala. In Himachal, Dharampur is a popular stop for food. The place has become famous for Giani Ka Dhaba but somehow I have not found the place good as it is over crowded, sloppy service and food quality has also gone down over the years. Instead there is a Haveli restaurant and Hot Millions joint here which have come up recently.
Cost: I was driving a diesel car and a tankful of ₹ 1900/ at Shimla on my way to Delhi saw me through for both side journey. It was ₹ 950/ one way for me.
Total distance from Delhi to Shimla is 370 km. The route passes through Sonipat > Panipat > Karnal > Kurukshetra > Ambala > Zirakpur > Pinjore > Kalka > Parwanoo > Solan > Shimla. There are other options available to travel from Delhi to Shimla namely the VOLVO and by train, details to which are posted in my earlier posts in the below mentioned links.
Here are a few pictures (sourced from the net) to give you an idea about the journey.
Delhi Chandigarh Highway
Construction work between Panipat and Ambala
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