Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trek to Kandaghat along Shimla-Kalka line

Sharing with you nature watch along the trek from Kaithlighat to Kandaghat that I did with my senior colleague Mr Thapliyal.
May like to see pics of two common birds, and narrow gauge railway line which is now a renowned World Heritage Site.

The train journey from Shimla to Kaithlighat in spring season is breath-taking as the route is strewn with the Rhododendron petals, a red carpet laid out by nature.

The trek began at Kaithlighat with a patch of deodar forest and lots of Green backed tits; a little ahead shrieking Slaty headed Paraqueets occupied space above the railway line. As we trudge ahead, we heard very distinct calls of Red Jungle Fowl, and on two occasions high-pitched calls of Pea Cock. Listening to two pheasants out of seven that are found in Himachal Pradesh was simply exhilarating. In a distant a Scaly bellied Green Woodpecker has been making very clear high-pitched calls of three notes. Good to be at the Kanog Railway Station which was devoid on any passenger but full of House Sparrows and White cheeked Bulbuls seeking crumbs from our lunch. A couple of Himalayan Tree Pie could be heard from the thick forest across the viaducts with multi-arched galleries with their harsh and noisy conversation. And ubiquitous Hill Barbet fills up the atmosphere with its incessant calls.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North-West India travelling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. It is known for breathtaking views of the hills and surrounding villages. Along this trek, we came across many bridges but two of them Bridge no 541 and 493 have a special mention as World Heritage Site. They are viaducts with multi-arched galleries like the ancient Roman aqueducts. Bridge No 541 is 52.90 m long and 23 m high constructed in 1898. It consists of 34 arches in four stages. Bridge No. 493, historically known as the "Arch Gallery", situated between Kandaghat and Kanoh stations, is an arch bridge in three stages, constructed with stone masonry. May see them in the pics.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Kalka-Shimla Railway built to connect, the summer capital of India in 1903 at an altitude of 2076 meters offers a panoramic feast to experience the grandeur of the picturesque Himalayas