Beautiful and lush, Kasauli is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the country, so it is no surprise that there are several locations to captivate you with their beauty. One such picturesque place is the Gilbert Trail, which is the perfect taste of paradise for nature lovers! This spot is also an all-time favorite for bird watchers, it beckons you with its pleasant landscape and cool breeze.
Being a tourist spot with a reputation of its own, the Gilbert Trail can be accessed easily from the main road. The Gilbert Trail stretches along a kilometer and a half that you can hike through to witness the most breathtaking view; the panoramic scenery of the valley and hills below will be a sight you will never forget.
Here is everything you need to know about the Gilbert Trail at Kasauli:
The best time to visit Gilbert Trail is between the months of April-June and September-November since the monsoons hinder the roads. The temperature during the summers ranges between 14 to 25 degrees Celsius and 5 to 15 degrees Celsius during winters, both of which are enjoyable for tourists. During your visit, it is best if you visit early in the morning or just in time for the sunset.
You can take a bus to Gilbert Trail from the Kasauli bus stand since it is a mere 2 km. You will be walking and trekking through the narrow road to experience true serenity among the towering trees.
Every year, thousands of birdwatchers flock the trail to get a glimpse of native and global migratory birds who’ve made this dense forest their home. You can turn this little trip into a fun picnic with your family while introducing your kids to new beautiful birds and their sounds echoing through the tranquil landscape with beautiful, clear skies.
It would help to read about the migratory birds and those native to Himachal Pradesh if you are looking forward to spotting a few on your expedition at Gilbert Trail. For starters, watch out for the Red-billed Leothrix, Jungle Owlets, black-chinned Babblers, Verditer Flycatchers, Striated Prinias, Grey Bushchats, and Red-billed Blue Magpies.
The butterflies in your stomach are inevitable when there is such a lovely sight to behold that makes you marvel at nature’s creation. Here’s a heads up: your cameras will never do justice to the raw beauty of the view!
Accommodation is never a problem around Gilbert Trail. Since it is so closely located near Kasauli bus stop, you will easily find a lot of hotels according to your budget to check into. If you want to stay at exotic and high-end luxurious locations, some famous farms and homestays will offer you the best of the best experiences. That being said, all the hotels and farmhouses are located within moderate distance around the town so you won’t spend too much on commute.
The sunrise point is perhaps the most beautiful spot to be when you begin your day. There is something about watching the sun say hello through the first crack of dawn welcoming a new day. Several tourists wake up extra early to catch the sun shining over the valley with its golden rays. This place also makes an excellent location for nature photography so make sure you have your gear in check!
Timings: 5:55 AM
Distance from Gilbert Trail: 8 minutes, 2.3 Km
Even though the area is very popular among tourists, it always seems to hold the tranquillity and peace that only a sunset can offer. Along with its beautiful view, the sunset point being a walk away from Lovers Lane creates quite an impression on visitors. The pine-covered landscape never ceases to amaze. Welcome the evening by watching the last few moments of the sun on the horizon watching over the valleys.
Timings: 8 AM-7PM
Distance from Gilbert Trail: Short Walk, 450 m
Mall Road is very popular among locals and tourists alike since it is a common shopping spot. Lined up with shops selling eye-catching souvenirs, you’ll have a hard time not going crazy with all the options you see. From wooden carved handicrafts, woolen products, and brass jewelry to trinkets and mementos, you will find everything that a shopaholic could dream of in a small exotic town. You will also spot a lot of street food vendors selling drool-worthy snacks, so don’t worry about starving during your shopping spree. If you’re not a big fan of shopping, you can enjoy the view and window shop by appreciating the skill and intricate handwork on the Tibetan carpets and clay statues. The lower mall area is where all the action is at, so be sure to visit it first!
Timings: 9 AM- 9 PM
Distance from Gilbert Trail: 8 minutes, 2 Km
This fabulous spot is no monkey business since it is the highest point in the town of Kasauli! The panoramic view is simply spectacular when you overlook the beautiful city of Chandigarh and the Sutlej River. The origin of the location is fascinating too! Atop this hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. As per the Ramayana, while carrying a mountain of sanjeevani booti from the Himalayas, Lord Hanuman stepped on this particular hilltop. The temple is visited by a lot of visitors who are also entertained by a large number of monkeys living around. These naughty creatures are always mischievous, so be careful if you try to feed them!
Timings: 7 AM- 7 PM
Distance from Gilbert Trail: 4 minutes, 1.1 KM
Known as the Anglican Church in the past, this is one of the most famous churches in Kasauli and one of the oldest churches in India. Constructed by the British settlers in 1853, architecture speaks for itself with its timeless beauty. Since the neo-gothic architecture doesn’t have a lot of its presence in the country, the location is one to explore if you’re fond of structural beauty. The Church has a clock tower along with a sundial in the front, which is a rare sight to find. Also, the ancient stained glass windows are a marvelous sight. One doesn’t need to be a devotee to experience the peace and calm this place instills in its visitors.
Timings: Open for tourists only on weekends
Distance from Gilbert Trail: 27 Km
Band Samosas are without a doubt the most popular food item here and on every tourist’s list of dishes to try! It is made of a normal samosa stuffed within a bun which is grilled on a hot Tawa. Served alongside delicious chole ki sabzi and chutney, the deadly combination has stolen many hearts.
Whether you love rice or not, this dish will make you take second and third servings like nobody’s business. Aromatic basmati rice cooked with delicate spices and vegetables in biryani style would make anyone’s mouth water. Hence, this lovely dish is available at almost all restaurants around Gilbert Trail in Kasauli.
Since Kasauli has a lot of orchards to boast about, they also sell wines at really reasonable prices ranging in different kinds. Don’t be fooled by the low prices though, they taste heavenly. You can take a tour of wine tasting around orchards and sample wines with your loved ones on a day out; sounds like a great date idea!
If you visit Kasauli, make sure you just don’t take a trip to spots like Gilbert Trail. The town is famous for its jams and marmalades which are downright delicious. Freshly made, you can grab mini bottles of apricot, apple, peaches, and plums straight from the orchards. Once you have a taste, you won’t be surprised knowing they’re high in demand in the export market!
The area is surrounded by several orchards, so it is no surprise that they offer amazing wines at reasonable prices. You can take your pick from choices such as apple, peach, plum, sherry, and black grape wines. Easily available at stores, you can buy a few bottles to gift them to your family friends.
Pretty handwoven shawls, sweaters, mittens, and scarves are an instant hit among tourists because of their Himachali roots. Soft and warm, these delicate pieces are a must-have if you visit.
Kasauli, the town that is home to Gilbert Trail, is home to several small cottage industries that create beautiful handicrafts through clay, straw, and brass. You can pick up straw woven items, brass models or clay statues as souvenirs to mark your trip to this beautiful locale.
For amazing viewpoints, local delicacies, interface with nature, away from the hustle-bustle of the city, Kasauli should be your next holiday destination.
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