Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

5 May 2006

Waxing lyrical is all very well...

But how do I reach Shimla?
My favourite: by train. You have to head for Kalka first & then catch another train or a cab to Shimla.

Trains between Delhi & Kalka:
  • 2005 Kalka Shatabdi. Leaves New Delhi at 17:15. Arrives in Kalka at 21:15. Runs on all days of the week.
  • 2011 Kalka Shatabdi. Leaves New Delhi at 07:40. Arrives in Kalka at 12:00. Runs on all days of the week.
  • 4095 Himalayan Queen. Leaves Hazrat Nizamuddin Station at 05:05. Arrives in Kalka at 11:20. Runs on all days of the week.
  • 2925 Paschim Express (This train runs between Bombay's Bandra Terminus & Kalka). Leaves Hazrat Nizamuddin Station at 10:08 Arrives in Kalka at 16:05. Runs on all days of the week.
My absolute special favourite:
  • 2311 Howrah-Delhi Kalka Mail. Leaves old Delhi station at 2140 Arrives in Kalka at 04:40. Runs on all days of the week.

1. First class air-conditioned (AC) on Shatabdi: Rs. 880.
2. First class air-conditioned (AC) on Howrah-Delhi Kalka Mail: Rs. 995.
3. AC chair car: Rs. 445.
4. Second seating: Rs. 97.
5. Second AC: Rs. 580.
6. Third AC: Rs. 411.
7. Second sleeper: Rs. 177.
8. Second seating: Rs. 96.

Options no. 5, 6, 7 & 8 are available only Howrah-Delhi Kalka Mail.
Options no. 6 & 7 on are available only on Pashim Express.

Trains between Kalka & Shimla:
Or, the fun bit.
  • 1KS Kalka Simla Passenger Train. Leaves Kalka at 04:00. Arrives in Simla at 09:20. Runs on all days of the week.
  • 241 Shivalik Deluxe Express. Leaves Kalka at 05:30. Arrives in Simla at 10:15. Runs on all days of the week. (Fare includes tea & breakfast charges). This is a great option if you have time on your hands and would like a nice slow journey.
  • 251 Kalka Simla Express. Leaves Kalka at 06:00. Arrives in Simla at 11:00. Runs on all days of the week.
  • 255 Himalayan Queen. Leaves Kalka at 12:10. Arrives in Simla at 17:20. Runs on all days of the week.

1. First class (only available on 1KS Kalka Simla Pasenger): Rs. 189.
2. AC chair car (only available on Shivalik Deluxe Express): Rs. 280.
3. First class (only available on 251 Kalka Simla Express): Rs. 228.
4. Second seating only available on 251 Kalka Simla Express): Rs. 51.
5. Ac chair car (only available on 255 Himalayan Queen): Rs. 167.

You can post further queries on this blog. I shall atempt to answer them as best as I can.
IRCTC allows you to book tickets on-line.
Cleartrip offers very user-friendly options for booking train tickets.


Anonymous said...

Hey cheers for info -- any recommendations for the wait between 22.15 arrival from NDLS and 4am departure to Shimla?

gonna be around Shimla next Fri/Sat/Sun (ish things change nfp) -- dont know the place - feelin good vibes from blog if ya fancy showin a couple of seasoned travellers around -- we dont bite

Sarah n Greg - bobthebangladeshi@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

what is the best way to book a train ticket from delhi to shimla? i am in new zealand now and arrive in delhi in 2 weeks and would like to book the ticket before i leave NZ. Any adivce? if the train is all booked, what is the next best option to get to shimla?


Gabi said...

Hello, in two weeks I am travelling from Delhi to Shimla, I tried to book a Shatabdhi train, but they claim if I book my ticket via www.irctc.co.in, they want to send the ticket either to my address or to a hotel in India, however, I live in Europe. Can I book a ticket on the Internet and pick it up at the airport in Delhi before my departure to Kalka?
I will arrive in Delhi by plane at 3am and plan to take 7.40am train to Kalka, is it possible?
Thanks a lot for your information

Gallimaufry said...

Hello Gabi,
If you're booking a ticket through IRCTC, select the e-ticket option. This will take you through the booking process & then generate a ticket which you can print at home. The i-ticket option depends upon the efficiency of the postal systems of India & your country! If you're booked into a hotel, you could ask them to hold on to the ticket, but I wonder how trustworthy these people would be. Haven't tried this myself.
As for the timings, I'd say it will take you an hour to get out of the airport (immigration + baggage) & another hour (at worst) to travel to the railway station.
Your best bet is the pre-paid taxi counter which is located on the right hand side just as you exit the main terminal. It'll cost you between Rs. 250 to 300 to get to New Delhi station. Hold on to the receipt until you reach the railway station - do not give it to the cabbie until you get out of the cab at the station - no matter what he says. I think you'll have enough time to catch the 7:40 train.

Anonymous said...

I'll be doing the journey next week. I've booked the Kalka Mail train from Delhi but am wondering which of the two morning trains from Kalka to Shimla you recommend.
I'm happy to pay the extra for the best experience (after all, expensive in India is still cheap by western standards) but do you suggest
"AC Chair car" on Shivalik Deluxe Express. Leaves Kalka at 05:30
"First class" on Kalka Simla Express. Leaves Kalka at 06:00

On either train I believe I should go for a window seat on the right hand side for the best views - is that right?

Thanks in advance

Gallimaufry said...

I prefer the Shivalik Deluxe (the 5.30 train). As for which side is better, well, considering that the train winds its way in and out of the mountains, you get a good view on either side.
Also, please book in advance as this trains rather popular with people travelling our way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. Now booked.

** Note for anyone trying to book through the IRCTC site:
The IRCTC site says Shimla station does not exist!
You need to enter the name as "Simla" (without the "h").

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