To get from Chandigarh, a major city in North India to Shimla, a popular hill station, one can either take a bus or hire a private taxi. One can also take a train to Kalka followed by a toy train to Shimla. While Shimla does have an airport, it is not operational for most of the year.
How far is Shimla from Chandigarh
The distance between Chandigarh and Shimla by road is 106 kilometres, while by train the total distance is 122 kilometres.
How long does it take to get from Chandigarh to Shimla?
By road, the travel duration from Shimla to Chandigarh is approximately four to five hours. A train journey takes five to seven hours in total, including the transit time at Kalka.
What is the cost of travel between Chandigarh and Shimla?
Bus tickets cost between INR 150-250, while a private taxi costs between INR 1800-4000. A train ticket from costs between INR 500-1400 from Chandigarh to Shimla, while a toy train ticket from Kalka to Shimla costs between INR65-500.
How to get from Chandigarh to Shimla by bus
By far the most popular and obvious way to get from Chandigarh to Shimla is by bus though buses do not offer many options either.
What bus operators offer tips between Chandigarh and Shimla?
Currently only the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operates buses from Chandigarh to Shimla. The buses depart from the Chandigarh bus station at the center of Chandigarh and arrive at the Shimla ISBT which is in the outskirts of Shimla.
How many bus trips are there between Chandigarh and Shimla?
The number of bus trips between Chandigarh and Shimla is limited. There are only a few trips per day; one can check the schedule online.
How long a bus ride from Chandigarh to Shimla take?
It takes from four to five hours from Chandigarh to Shimla by bus. The route which takes the fastest time is the National Highway 5.
How much does a bus ticket cost?
Bus tickets are fairly cheap; the cheapest one cost as low as INR 150-250. Be ready to pay more for extra comfort and Ac buses.
Chandigarh-Shimla bus travel tips
Most of the buses on the route are not air conditioned. The route is very scenic and passes through two wildlife sanctuaries and several forests. However, since Shimla is a hillstation, the road is often curved and some experience motion sickness. Carry along motion sickness medication like Avomine.
While there are no toilets on board the buses, they will stop two or three times along the way at roadside restaurants. These will have washroom facilities, but some are not well maintained. Therefore, travellers should carry along toilet paper and sanitiser.
How to get from Chandigarh to Shimla by train
Taking a train from Chandigarh to Shimla is not as convenient as a bus journey, as a traveller has to take a train from Chandigarh to Kalka and then take a toy train up to Shimla. However, it’s an incredibly beautiful, historically significant journey; the Kalka Shimla Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Try taking the Himalayan Queen from Kalka to Shimla.
Is there a direct train from Chandigarh to Shimla?
No. You need to connect via Kalka. Trains to Kalka depart from the Chandigarh Railway Station which is in the outskirts of the city. Toy trains depart regularly from Kalka to Shimla and reach the Shimla Railway Station; one can check the departure time online.
How long does it take to get from Chandigarh to Shimla by train?
It takes forty minutes to get from Chandigarh to Kalka by train and from four to five hours to get from Kalka to Shimla.
How much do train tickets to Shimla cost?
Tickets from Chandigarh to Kalka are priced between INR 500-1400 while tickets from Kalka to Shimla cost between INR65-500.
Chandigarh-Shimla train travel tips
Tickets for both trains can be booked online and should be booked at least two weeks in advance. Choose an air-conditioner compartment as temperatures can get very cold as the train ascends the mountain.
While there are no dining cars on board, one can buy refreshments at the Kalka Railway station before boarding the toy train up to Shimla.
There are no toilets on board the toy trains, but they will halt halfway through the journey at a station which has a restroom.
How to get from Chandigarh to Shimla by taxi
Another way to travel from Chandigarh to Shimla is to take a private taxi which costs between INR 1800-4000 depending on the car one chooses. Carry along motion sickness medicine as the road is serpentine.
If you are flying to Chandigarh, it is a good idea to book a private taxi to Shimla right from the Chandigarh airport.