Manki Point trek

Stuck somewhere between Kalka and Shimla, Kasauli is a well-known village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The small cantonment area is quite popular due to the iconic Bollywood movie ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ (Don’t take it literally, kuch nahi mila). The film which gave the B-town its first alien – a short, friendly and blue creature which is head over heels in love with sunlight – and could do some pretty cool magic stuff such as making kids fly during basketball matches. It all sounds weird but, what can we say? Jadoo to Jadoo hai na boss, he did what was written in the script.

Just look at it, there’s no better way to prove how beautiful Kasauli can be.

Now, why am I saying all this? Am I high or something? No. I’m not high just because I’m talking about Himachal. I’m trying to covey something very important – Jadoo has dragged Kasauli into a big problem. “What?” Before you ask, the problem was with what Jadoo did – he left but jadoo ka jadoo abhi bhi chal raha hai.

Kasauli Bazaar
Now, it’s too crowded.

This movie inspired me and many others to visit Kasauli. Of course, who wouldn’t like to see the jungle, the church and all those places where that blue creature proved he’s got some moves by shaking it like shammi with Hirithik on “aaj dharti se gagan ka” song. It was all well for some time, people were going to Kasauli to spend their weekends in the small cantonment area and come back. But, with every summer in the North part of the country, visitors here or in any hill station have become a problem.

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People, especially those living in Delhi, Chandigarh, and all the nearby areas are crazy about this place jaha Jadoo apne Hrithik bhai ka bro bana. Whenever the temperature goes ‘aukaat ke bahar’, people go nuts and run to Kasauli or other nearby hill stations like Shimla, Kkhajjiar, Solan, Kalka (not exactly a hill station), etc.

People, especially those living in Delhi, Chandigarh, and all the nearby areas are crazy about this place jaha Jadoo apne Hrithik bhai ka bro bana. Whenever the temperature goes ‘aukaat ke bahar’, people go nuts and run to Kasauli or other nearby hill stations like Shimla, Kkhajjiar, Solan, Kalka (not exactly a hill station), etc.

Christ Church, kasauli
Even the Church used to be beautiful, now it’s crowded.

Abhi Rohit sach me bara ho gaya and he left Kasauli in search for a better life, but that doesn’t mean we all should turn Kasauli into Delhi? Abhi ek Delhi is more than enough, isn’t it? Besides, what if Rohit comes back? Would he enjoy the scene? No. Leave Rohit, what if Jadoo comes back? Tell me, would he ever feel like spending his summers in Kasauli again? No. Abhi Jaddo left after his unpaid internship on earth, promoting Kasauli to an extent it soon won’t be the Kasauli people would like to visit for peace and serenity. Believe me, when I visited the place last year in March, it was beautiful. The air was still breathable and the roads were still like the way Robert Frost would have described it, “less crowded and full of people coming and going to and fro.”

Kasauli Roads
The roads in the village used to be empty.

Did you get the problem yet? I am sure you haven’t. So, let’s get into the details and understand every part of the problem one by one.

  1. The visitors: As I said, as soon as the summers in North of India gets ‘aukaat ke bahar’, which is the story of every next year, people from Delhi, Chandigarh, Panipat, Gurgaon, Noida, etc. run towards Kasauli. Now, even though I understand it’s hot in the said parts of North India and visiting a hill station is the only option but, bro, car se aana jaruri hai kya? In March 2018, the roads, as I said above, the roads were still less crowded and Kasauli still looked like it should – the hill station less chosen. This year, in 2019, I went back again, this time for a few hours since I was there to visit Kalka. Believe me, the bus driver left us in the midway because there was an endless queue of cars on the one way, for as long as you could see. I, along with my siblings, had to walk for at least 5kms to reach the Kasauli bus stand. While we were doing that, the people inside the cars were honking and honking as if that would have helped them. Now, my question is – when we have regular trains, and buses of at least three different states (Punjab, Himachal, and Haryana) available, why the duck you want to drive your car to Kasauli? Imagine if everyone in Delhi decides to drive to Kasauli in their car, on the same day, and on the same time. Would you ever reach your ‘final destination’? No. Believe me, nahi hoga dharti se ambar ka milan.
  2. Their attitude: As some very wise men have said, “apni gali me har kutta sher hota hai”, it’s very obvious that locals won’t let outsiders overpower them. But, who would tell this to those gabru dudes who jump in their gaddi shaddi and leave their homes as if aaj to jhanda gaar ke aayenge. Firstly, when you visit someone’s home or their village, don’t behave as if it is yours. Secondly, remember, gali tumhari nahi, so be respectful. Kasauli or most other hill stations in India are dependent on the income from tourism for survival. If there was any other way, believe me every other hill station like Kasauli would have banned visitors from entering altogether. Thank your stars and theirs that you still have access to such beautiful places. Also, what’s up with loud music? Khud suno yaar, duniyo ko kyu sunana? May be you and the others you’re trying to offer free music have different taste in music, or maybe they are here to avoid such things only. That said, no offence. Play ‘raat di gedi’ as much as you want, just plug in your earphones.
  3. Responsibility: Again, as someone rightly said, people are no going to understand responsibility as long as it’s about their things or people. Go to hill stations, even Kasauli for that matter but try to keep the place as clean as possible so you even feel like coming back. Believe me; you won’t like the fact that the restaurant you’re eating at has a huge garbage dump right behind it. Besides, it doesn’t look good for people who just threw their empty mineral water bottle on the road a moment before uttering, “darling, ye desh kabhi nahi sudhar sakta.” Don’t be that guy! Cool na? I hope it is. This time when I went to Kasauli, I could see big piles of plastic bottles here and there. The same views continued even when we visited the iconic church.

What can be done to save Kasauli or any other visitor’s paradise?

roads 2
Now, the roads are too crowded. (P.S: Couldn’t click the long queue of cars on the one way)

Switch to public transport

The buses are pretty much available till 7 or 8 PM. Even if you don’t get a bus, rush to your nearest toy train station and you’ll find a train. The last one is around 11. That said, the Himachal Government could increase the frequency of buses and start late night services. If not that, you can always book a local taxi wala. They might prove expensive but given the fact they have to survive on the same income till the next time you visit again, the charges (as long as genuine) are fair.

Be respectful and follow good practices

Be respectful to locals because what you give is what you get. Let’s give Jadoo a reason to come back on earth for a full-time job, abhi wo bhi bada ho gaya hoyega na, job to chahiye. Gedi shedi is okay but let’s play the speakers on low volume and let’s not fight with locals over idiotic stuff. Also, garbage goes in garbage dump. Let’s repeat one more time, Kachra jayega kachre ke dibbe me, road ke side fekne ka nahi. On a serious note, skip mineral water. You’re in the lap of mountain, the mineral water you buy in 20 bucks is available for free here. Even if it’s not mineral water, drink the one the locals do. It’s not like you’re not going to die, you have a vulnerable life.

Hope you guys take no offense and understand the message I’m trying to convey.