BAROG- A perfect Leisure Destination

It was our maiden venture to the mountains on our own car. We were a group of eight- Me, Subhransu and our daughter Suchetana along with Subhransu’s office colleagues Alok, Shantanu, Daleep, his wife Shalini and their little son Saurya. We all planned to go to a place, with a pleasant weather, far from the madding crowd to beat the heat of Delhi in June 2011. After much research work, the place we opted was BAROG in Himachal Pradesh.

Very early morning at around 5 A.M. we started from Delhi in our Santro and Shantanu’s A Star. The drive was very smooth up to Pinjore as the road condition was excellent. The Himalayan driveway was under construction so we had to take the route through Kalka. Henceforth started our long wait as the road at Kalka was a bottleneck causing long stranding of traffic. After Kalka, the mountainous road began.We switched off our Ac and let the cool fresh air come in through our car windows.The meandering path through the hills,the dense vegetation of pine,oak,deodar,cedar,the little colorful dhabas beside the road all added to the charm of our journey.At around 1 P. M we reached Barog. The tranquil and solitary backdrop of Barog attracted us on its first sight.

Barog is a small hill station in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh on the  Kalka-Shimla route i.e NH-22 at an altitude of 5120 ft, 60kms away from Chandigarh. Shimla is just 55 kms from Barog.

We got accomodation in Hotel Corrins,just opposite to HPTDC Delux Hotel,The Pinewood. Our hotel was moderately comfortable, but the best part of it was the huge terrace facing the green valley. Surrounded by pine and oak forests Barog has a commanding setting. The walk towards the Choordhar mountains leave one dumbstruck with the captivating view of the peak. Summers are pleasant and winters are chilly. There is a small market place with a handful of shops including local eateries at a stone’s throw distance from the hotel where we enjoyed our meals at a very moderate price. There are a few  deluxe hotels in and around Barog of which Barog Heights needs mention.

Solan-Glittering at night

In the evening, we drove through the picturesque road to Solan,just 8 kms from Barog. Solan is a big District Capital with all sorts of city amenities and luxuries. We spent the whole evening in a local fair at Solan and returned to our hotel, only to gossip in the terrace under the clear night sky and amidst total silence of the woods.

Next morning we drove to Dagshai cantonment, just 7 kms from Barog, at an altitude of 5968 ft. It is the oldest cantonment in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh built by the East India Company in 1847. Built by the British as a sanatorium for Tuberculosis patients, it has a British era graveyard overlooking the valley. It is also a short drive from Dharampur, which leads the road to the most picturesque Kasauli. At present there is a very small civilian town, an Army unit, one residential Army school, a private school and an old church in this hilltop place of Dagshai. We all were enthralled by the absolute silence of the nature. The dense pine trees, the green valley, the chirping of the birds in the distant trees and the cool breeze of Dagshai would remain in my memory for years to come.

Dagshai
The deserted road- Dagshai
Dagshai School

In the afternoon we went to see the most interesting and beautiful place of Barog-the railway station. It is located deep down the road almost hidden by thick forests at a distance of 3 kms from Barog on the Kalka-Shimla Highway.We parked our cars on the road itself  and trekked through the jungle path to reach there.Built in Scottish style, Barog railway station is the most beautiful of all the stations in the Kalka-Shimla  narrow guage line. It has the longest tunnel of 1143.61 m in the 103 operational tunnels in the route. Barog station is immediately after the tunnel,the straightest tunnel in the world.Trains take 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel at 25 kms per hour.

 There is an interesting historical fact behind the construction of this famous Barog tunnel which I like to share.Colonel Barog, an engineer was responsible for designing a tunnel near the railway station. He started digging the tunnel from both the sides of the mountain, which is quite apt as it speeds up the construction. However, he made mistakes in the calculation and while constructing the tunnel it was found that the two ends of the tunnel did not meet. Col Barog was fined an amount of Rupee 1 by the British Government. Unable to withstand the humiliation,Col Barog committed suicide. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel. From then onwards the place came to be known as BAROG. Locals believe that the ghost of Barog still hovers around the place.
The beautiful Barog Station
Barog Tunnel-the straightest tunnel in the world
The  tunnel at Barog Railway station
Barog Railway Station-Scottish architecture
Waiting for the Toy Train
View from the top- Barog Tunnel hidden by dense forests
View from Barog- Solan valley at night

Our visit to Barog came to an end.The mood all around was very poignant as we had to leave this beautiful small town but we promised to return again.

Friends,

You may have traveled many a times through the Kalka-Shimla route to distant places in Himachal Pradesh without giving much notice to this small town of Barog, but next time spend a day or  two in this densely forested hill station of Barog which will undoubtedly soothe your body, mind and soul.

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