How to reach Shimla town of Himachal Pradesh from different parts of India : Delhi to Shimla? Chandigarh to Shimla? Kalka to Shimla?

Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North India and that's why we also receive lot of queries through form on our blog. Most of the folks commonly ask - Shimla Weather, Shimla Hotels, How to reach Shimla from Delhi/Chandigarh, main places to visit in Shimla, Shimla mall road etc. In past, we have shared some of these details on our blog, but here is an attempt to write a comprehensive post which helps you with details about various ways to reach Shimla from Delhi, Chandigarh or Kalka.


Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North India and that's why we also receive lot of queries through form on our blog. Most of the folks commonly ask - Shimla Weather, Shimla Hotels, How to reach Shimla from Delhi/Chandigarh, main places to visit in Shimla, Shimla mall road etc. In past, we have shared some of these details on our blog, but here is an attempt to write a comprehensive post which helps you with details about various ways to reach Shimla from Delhi, Chandigarh or Kalka. 


How to reach Shimla -

Small and Beautiful Railway Stations on Kalka-Shimla narrow track: Posted on www.travellingcamera.com by VJ: The Kalka-Shimla Railway built to connect the summer capital of India in 1903 at an altitude of 2076 meters offers a panoramic experience of the picturesque Himalayas from the shivalik foot hills at Kalka to several important points such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, Salogra, Summerhill, Shimla and beyond up to the silvery snow line near the towering peaks.Sonwara Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...Himalyan Queen waits for 30 minutes at this station to let Shivalik Express pass through....  KOTI Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...I have clicked these photographs during recent visit to Shimla.... We reach KOTI Railway Station after crossing longest Barog tunnel....Jabali Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...Kandaghat Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...Located at an altitude of 4680 ft above sea level Kandaghat is the nice place in Himachal Pradesh for you if are looking for a quiet and peaceful vacation. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh built his palace in Kandaghat after which this place received the attention. Raja Bhupinder Singh was the ruler of Patiala and when he was expelled from Shimla, he set up base in Kandaghat. Today, this is one of the most popular destinations to travel in India.  A reflection of Kandaghat Railway Station on train window...Dharmpur Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka..Just 15 km from Kasauli on the National highway No.22 Dharampur has one of the best hospitals in India for the cure of tuberculosis. It is also connected by Kalka Shimla railway line.... Shoghi Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...SHoghi is a small town near Shimla and now its being developed as new tourist destination in Himachal. There are many resorts with good facilities in Shoghi and have reasonable arrangements for tourist groups..Kandaghat Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka..Delux Rail-Car standing @ Shoghi Station...Tara-Devi Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka...Tara Devi temple is located on Tarav Parvat, in the western side of Shimla. Temple provides an overwhelming view of the mountains below and Shimla Town. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Tara Devi temple, which has a great spiritual and heritage value. Historically speaking, the temple was built approximately 260 years ago ...Salogra Railway Station on the way to Shimla from Kalka..Kalka Railway Station...Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana in India. The name of the town is derived from the goddess Kali. The town is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and is a gateway to the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh. It is on the National Highway 22 between Chandigarh and Shimla and is the terminus of the Kalka-Shimla Railway. To the south of Kalka is Pinjore and the industrial town of Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh) is to the north on the NH 22. Industrial development has led to a continuous urban belt from Pinjore to Parwanoo, but Kalka remains largely unaffected by these developments. Nearby is Chandimandir Cantonment where the Western Command of the Indian army is based. SHIMLA became the summer capital of British India in 1864 and was also the headquarters of the British army in India. Prior to construction of the railway communication with the outside world was via village cart.The railway was constructed by the Delhi-Umbala-Kalka Railway Company commencing in 1898. The estimated cost of Rs 86,78,500, however, the cost doubled during execution of the project. Because of the high capital and maintenance cost, coupled with peculiar working conditions, the Kalka-Shimla Railway was allowed to charge fares that were higher than the prevailing tariffs on other lines. However, even this was not good enough to sustain the company and the Government had to purchase it on January 1, 1906 for Rs 1,71,00,000.

First thing first - there are different ways to reach Shimla. Primarily I share options to reach places from Delhi. 

If you don't mind traveling in buses, there are plenty of options.     - HRTC offers different bus services between Shimla and Delhi/Chandigarh. Most comfortable Volvo buses are available for overnight journey. They start late in night and reach Shimla early in the morning. Apart from that, you have options of TATA-AC, Deluxe, Semi-Deluxe and ordinary buses. Online booking can be done through this link.     - Apart from that lot of private operators run luxury buses to & from Shimla.

If you don't mind traveling in buses, there are plenty of options. 

HRTC offers different bus services between Shimla and Delhi/Chandigarh. Most comfortable Volvo buses are available for overnight journey. They start late in night and reach Shimla early in the morning. Apart from that, you have options of TATA-AC, Deluxe, Semi-Deluxe and ordinary buses. Online booking can be done through this link


Himachal Pradesh Tourism buses are also available from different cities in North India. 

If you like train journey, then ensure that you are aware of train options near Shimla. One can take train till Kalka/Chandigarh and then either take slow speed toy train till Shimla. Or take taxi/bus from Kalka to Shimla. Before making a decision, ensure that you are aware of fact that toy train takes almost whole day to reach Shimla. 

If you plan to self-drive, please ensure that you have arranged parking in the Shimla town. Many of the hotels don't have appropriate parking, so ensure that you book with hotel which provides convenient parking. 

Here is a detailed post about options to reach different hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, including Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Dalhousie, Dharmshala and a lot more.

How to reach Shimla from Delhi?


Lot of folks from Delhi travel to Himachal and especially to Shimla. Delhi folks who want to go to Spiti valley or Kinnaur, have to go through Shimla. Many folks coming from other parts of Indian states, first come to Delhi and then go to Shimla. So let's talk about all options available to delhi tourists when it comes to reaching Shimla from Delhi. 

There are good number of buses available from Delhi to Shimla. During the day as well as overnight buses are available. 

Buses from Delhi to Shimla :   1. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport corporation) buses start from ISBT Kashmiri Gate and can be booked through HRTC website as well as Redbus website.     2. Haryana and Delhi transportation also have buses from Delhi to Shimla. They also start from Kashmiri gate. Advanced booking is preferred but if you don't have a booking, go to Kashmiri gate and you should be able to get a seat. In worst case, take a bus to Chandigarh and then take connecting bus from Chandigarh to Shimla.

Buses from Delhi to Shimla :


1. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport corporation) buses start from ISBT Kashmiri Gate and can be booked through HRTC website as well as Redbus website. 

2. Haryana and Delhi transportation also have buses from Delhi to Shimla. They also start from Kashmiri gate. Advanced booking is preferred but if you don't have a booking, go to Kashmiri gate and you should be able to get a seat. In worst case, take a bus to Chandigarh and then take connecting bus from Chandigarh to Shimla. 

3. Himachal Tourism AC bus also starts from Himachal Bhawan in Mandi House. Ticket can be booked through Himachal Tourism website. It's overnight bus with good timing if want to save day time for explorations. 

4. Private buses also operate from Delhi to Shimla. These are usually AC buses, which start from different parts of Delhi. Majnu ka Tila is one of the main stops of these buses for pickup. If you are choosing private bus, I would only recommend booking through Redbus so that you can be sure about reliability of the vendor. Some of the private vendors you find outside ISBT Kashmiri gate can cheat. I have had personal experience when me and my friend were made to sit in a bus to Jalandhar, after taking all money. Then we were dropped at Ambala and then we had to figure out next commute on our own.

Related Blogpost - What makes HRTC Volvo a better option over Indo-Canadian bus from Delhi to Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh


Train from Delhi to Shimla :

Let me start with stating that there is no direct train from Delhi to Shimla. Here are few options, if you prefer train:

1. Take Train from Delhi to Chandigarh and then take taxi or bus from Chandigarh to Shimla.

2. Take train from Delhi to Kalka and then take taxi from Kalka to Shimla.

3. Take train from Delhi to Kalka & then take toy train from Kalka to Shimla. Make sure that you book your train tickets in such a way that there is not lot of waiting time at Kalka and waiting time should not be too less as any delay in first train may lead to trouble. Another important thing to know is that Kalka Shimla track is narrow gauge and it takes significant time to reach Shimla from Kalka through toy-train.


Delhi to Shimla by aeroplane :

There is a small airport in Jubbarhatti, which is closest airport for Shimla. Jubbarhatti to Shimla distance is approximately 50 kilometers. There are taxis available from outside the airport. Schedule of these flights keep changing. It may be hard for you to find flight. It may not be daily, so availability and pricing of air tickets from Delhi to Shimla is discouraging. 

Delhi to Shimla by driving in your own car or Taxi : 

Folks who love driving and have reasonable group, can chose to drive your own vehicle or rent a vehicle. If group is bigger, it makes sense to book something like Tempo traveler. When you chose this option, make sure you book your hotel accordingly. Not every hotel has parking close to it, especially if you are driving in bigger vehicle. Hotels are goo at arranging transportation from parking area but you need to be sure that you understand all that. Things becomes problematic if there are elder members in the group. 

Advantage of driving in your own vehicle is that within Shimla, you can roam around freely and don't need to hire a taxi there. That saves some money at times, although it's less about money and more about comfort with one vehicle throughout the trip. 

Road from Delhi to Shimla is pretty good. As you reach Shimla, there can be traffic jam challenge due to narrow roads and lot of vehicles on the road. It's not that Delhi people are not used to traffic jams but it's different in hills and it can eat up lot of your time. You realise the pain more when you are on driver seat :). 

How to reach Shimla from Chandigarh?

Buses from Chandigarh to Shimla :   1. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport corporation) buses start from Sector-43 bus stand in Chandigarh and can be booked through HRTC website as well as Redbus website. There are buses which start from Chandigarh and buses coming from Delhi also stop here. During rush times, when Delhi buses are full and they don't have anybody to drop in Chandigarh, they may skip coming to the bus stand.

Buses from Chandigarh to Shimla :


1. HRTC (Himachal Road Transport corporation) buses start from Sector-43 bus stand in Chandigarh and can be booked through HRTC website as well as Redbus website. There are buses which start from Chandigarh and buses coming from Delhi also stop here. During rush times, when Delhi buses are full and they don't have anybody to drop in Chandigarh, they may skip coming to the bus stand. 

While I share about bus stand, there are 2 bus stands in Chandigarh. One is in sector-17 which is old one and the newer one is in sector-43. Most of the Himachal buses start from sector-43, but there may be handful options from sector-17 which are starting from other cities and taking a halt in Chandigarh city for dropping passengers.  I have seen it changing multiple times, so would recommend to rely on sector-43 bus stand for buses to Shimla from Chandigarh. If you are close to sector-17 bus stand, don't worry. There are regular buses between 2 bus stands, so take a bus to other bus stand. That's very good part of Chandigarh. 

2. Haryana, Punjab & CTU transportations also have buses from Chandigarh to Shimla. They also start from Sector-43 bus stand. 

Tip : Just outside the bus stand in Chandigarh, at times you get taxis, tempo travellers which charge almost the same as bus ticket and take you to Shimla city from Chandigarh. Usually these are vehicles which had come to the city to drop someone and anyway need to go back. Before boarding, be sure about the drop point. At times, they drop you at unreasonable places and that becomes a reason of botheration. 

Train from Chandigarh to Shimla :

Let me start with stating that there is no direct train from Chandigarh to Shimla. Here is what you can do - 

Take taxi from Chandigarh to Kalka (or bus from Chandigarh to Kalka Railway station) & then take toy train from Kalka to Shimla. Another important thing to know is that Kalka Shimla track is narrow gauge and it takes significant time to reach Shimla from Kalka through toy-train.


Chandigarh to Shimla by aeroplane : NA


Chandigarh to Shimla by driving in your own car or Taxi : 

Folks who love driving and have reasonable group, can chose to drive your own vehicle or rent a vehicle. If group is bigger, it makes sense to book something like Tempo traveler. When you chose this option, make sure you book your hotel accordingly. Not every hotel has parking close to it, especially if you are driving in bigger vehicle. Hotels are goo at arranging transportation from parking area but you need to be sure that you understand all that. Things becomes problematic if there are elder members in the group. 

Advantage of driving in your own vehicle is that within Shimla, you can roam around freely and don't need to hire a taxi there. That saves some money at times, although it's less about money and more about comfort with one vehicle throughout the trip. 

Road from Chandigarh to Shimla is pretty good. Now new Himalayan highway has cut the chaos of Kalka. As you reach Shimla, there can be traffic jam challenge due to narrow roads and lot of vehicles on the road. 



How to reach Shimla from Kalka?

When it comes to coming to Shimla from Kalka, the most popular mode is toy-train. It's time taking but can be unique experience to have. Another important thing to know is that Kalka Shimla track is narrow gauge and it takes significant time to reach Shimla from Kalka through toy-train.

Buses and Taxis are also available from Kalka. 

Kalka to Shimla distance is just 85+ kilometers. 

How to reach Shimla from Manali?

Interestingly lot of folks ask about how to reach from Manali to Shimla. In this case, we don't have options of Train or aeroplane. 

There is good frequency of buses running between Shimla and Manali. I would recommend day time commute as you can appreciate changing himlayan terrains in this route. There are good number of private as well as HRTC buses available from Manali bus stand. You can do advanced booking of HRTC buses through their website. 

Shimla is approximately 250 km away from Manali and it takes ~8 hours to reach Shimla from Manali. 

Other option is certainly to book a taxi and that's a better option if you intend to stop on the way, or want to take some detours. 

How to reach Shimla from Dharmshala? Dharmshala to Shimla distance is 230 kilometers and options are exactly the same as mentioned in case of Manali to Shimla.     We shall soon be sharing about following and more places as per queries coming in from travelers.     How to reach Shimla from Amritsar?     How to reach Shimla from Lucknow?

How to reach Shimla from Dharmshala?

Dharmshala to Shimla distance is 230 kilometers and options are exactly the same as mentioned in case of Manali to Shimla. 

We shall soon be sharing about following and more places as per queries coming in from travelers. 

How to reach Shimla from Amritsar? 

How to reach Shimla from Lucknow?

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