Chandigarh and Shimla are each as unique and fascinating as the other. Their one link is the Chandigarh to Shimla route that every biker has on their bucket list. With breathtaking views and challenging curves, meeting other motorists and cursing the speeding vehicles as they pass, it is an adventurous bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla. Curious to know more? Read on to know every detail needed for a bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla.
French Designer And British Favourite – Chandigarh and Shimla
Designed by Swiss-French modernist architect, Le Corbusier, Chandigarh city is itself a load of fun to bike through. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of urban planning and city structure in India. Known for the green trees that fringe the wide, well-kept roads, Chandigarh has much to boast. A must-see here is the Rock Garden, its many themed parks, and Sukhna lake.
Shimla was the favoured location by the British when India’s harsh summer became too much to handle. It still remains the summer capital for most of India, as it has pleasant weather throughout the year. Summers have a maximum temperature of no more than 30°C, while winters see snowfall. With many things to do in the city as well as loads of day trips around, Shimla is a preferred destination for bikers from Delhi or Chandigarh.
The most popular route for a bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla is to take NH 22, newly renamed to NH 5. Shimla is 112kms from Chandigarh, and your ride there should take around 3.5 to 4 hours. Look out for Panchkula, 11 kms and around 19 minutes away from Chandigarh. This is where you will find a diversion that leads to NH 5. Hit the highway, and you’re on your way to the Queen of hill stations. Ensure you have enough petrol in the tank as the journey will definitely need it. Pinjaour has a petrol pump where you can refill.
However, a road widening project on the highway has been on since 2015. The project aims to widen the highway from Parwanoo to Solan, making the highway 4-lane. However, due to a range of reasons, the project is currently temporarily suspended. Nonetheless, keep in mind that Kufri is the start of the winding road and the hairpin bends to Shimla. Safe riding with a full petrol tank and tummy is a must. Lastly, avoid this road trip at night at any cost. Lack of adequate lighting and speeding vehicles make it too dangerous to undertake.
Who Is This Bike Trip For
Four hours may not seem like a long time in the diary of a biker. However, the route to Shimla is no easy one. Shimla lies at an altitude of 2,276 mts above sea level, so expect to be on a steady inclination. Not only are there inclines, but your way winds along the hills and mountains as you approach Shimla. Expect any number of hair pin curves that you’ll have to carefully navigate.
Additionally, seasoned drivers and careless motorists will speed past you, while oncoming traffic may not always honk to warn you of their approach. Speeding is not an option at all, neither is getting too distracted by the spell-binding views. As a result, we recommend this bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla be undertaken by seasoned, professional bikers. Intermediate bikers can undertake it as well, but we’d recommend going with some company.
Best Time For Chandigarh To Shimla Bike Trip
Shimla’s temperature rarely exceeds 30°C, and in winters it dips to sub-zero temperatures. Winter season often sees snowfall in Shimla, and the houses and fir trees covered in a blanket of snow is an unbeatable sight. While winter is a good month to be in Shimla, it is the opposite for a bike ride. The weather is biting cold, and the chances of snow bring with it sudden roadblocks and occasionally, landslides. Riding in snow not only requires specialized bikes, tires and clothes, but also a trained rider with experience.
Additionally, avoid the monsoonal months as well. You don’t want the risk of skidding to be added to the already risky ride to Shimla. We highly recommend the months of March to June. These are the pleasant summer months, with the best possible weather. The hills are still green and fresh, still rejuvenated by the moisture of the melted snow. The sun shines but it remains fairly pleasant and this is when you will best enjoy a bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla.
A bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla needs the right kind of bike with good traction to get you up the hills. Read up on the different types of bikes to get an idea of what you need to have a hassle-free trip. Make sure you take occasional breaks to rejuvenate and admire the scenery as it unfolds around you. There are several locations on the way that offer a lot of sightseeing options.
Look out for the Pinjore Gardens, Morni hills and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, all at Panchkula. Kasauli also offers the sunset point, though we recommend ensuring you get to Shimla way before sunset. We hope this has got you all geared up for a fantastic bike trip from Chandigarh to Shimla.