Barog is a small hill station nestled in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. Barog is famous for its railways station having straightest tunnel in the world with length of 1143.61 m. This is the longest tunnel on Kalka -Shimla toy train route, 33 is the tunnel number. Station lies on UNESCO world heritage sites. Various tales are associated with this railway station. Distance from Delhi is 290 km (approx.)
The name “BAROG” came after British engineer Colonel Barog. He was in charge of constructing a tunnel through a mountain on Kalka-Shimla railway. He was in charge of tunnel number 33, made a mistake of boring the tunnel from both the sides of mountain to speeds up the construction. Based on his calculation and vision both sides boring would meet in center of the mountain to become single tunnel. But both sides didn't meet even after crossing the center. He realized the calculation went wrong and both the ends couldn't meet. He suffered from depression after this incident, at the same time British government fined him with rupee 1, as he wasted the government money and property, this was the big humiliation to him and he committed suicide.
After colonel's death, engineer H.S. HERLINGTON was given the construction charge. He along with BABA BHALKU, a saint from Chail constructed the new tunnel, few kilometers away from old incomplete tunnel. In the memory of colonel the new tunnel named “BAROG TUNNEL”. The old tunnel is considered as haunted place by the locals.
I stayed there one night with one of my student cum friend , I recommend you to consider it as a weekend getaway since this place is under 300 kms from Delhi. One can find lush green woods, sky kissing mountains across railway station, perfectly a majestic stay in nature's lap. Rooms at station still preserves the flavor of British Era.
NOTE: Barog to Barog railway station (famous for stay), distance is 4 km.
Retiring Rooms At Barog Railway Station (No online booking facility):
Barog railway station is famous for its retiring rooms facilty. There were of two types, charges Rs. 300 & Rs. 750 (Don't pay more than that)
I stayed in Shivalik retiring room, costs 750.
Note: Retiring rooms are for those who traveled by toy train to reach Barog . if you didn't, then talk to staff (railway staff at barog station) they will manage something for you.
I paid Rs. 30 per head more for railway Ticket. As i traveled by HRTC to reach Barog not by toy train.
So here begins the journey of a teacher and a student. Since there was not much difference in their ages, they were like friends.
It was a Friday night of 9th Sep'16 when Devesh and I boarded the HRTC bus bound for Shimla via Barog. Timing for the bus was 11:40 pm and I had already booked the bus few days before the journey commenced.
The tyres started rolling from ISBT Kashemere Gate en route to Himachal. I was feeling exalted and felt the same for Devesh, as we were finally going to Barog. Another student of mine, Dhvani also wanted to join us but couldn't make it.
As usual, I informed my mother just 3 to 4 hours before the trip. And then came her words “Sharam to hai nahin, hamehsa apne mann ki karni hai, humne kabhi roka hai, blah, blah…blah”(“You're completely devoid of inhibitions, and always follows whatever crosses your mind, have we ever stopped you?”) and all.
Nevertheless, she had cooked some maggi and packed some chappatis for me and Devesh for our journey.
Trees, buildings, and roads were passing by and the bus was heading towards its destination maintaining its pace. I knew that Devesh was famished because he had left Pillani around 4 in the evening, so I offered him whatever I had packed to eat. I wasn't that hungry as I had dinner just before leaving the home. He guzzled 4 chappatis out of 6 and and told me that he would eat them later. I was happy to see him eating as he's like my younger brother and seeing him eating was a heart warming experience.
Bus stopped somewhere in Pipli for a meal, but Devesh and I ate nothing as we already had too much as maggi and chappatis. The only thing that we went for was nature's call.
Friday had passed, and Saturday morning announced its arrival. Bus took another halt somewhere before KUMARHATTI which was few kilometers away from Barog for pee and again we had nothing there except that one thing.
Around 7 am we alighted the bus at Barog bus stand and that was a terrible mistake. I will subsequently explain it that why it was a mistake.
Let me take you a little bit back in time, as the bus stopped in morning for pee, I exchanged a few words with the driver and conductor regarding the Barog railway station but they didn't have any idea about that.
Back from rewind: What was that ‘mistake'?
The mistake was that we got off the bus at the bus stand and Barog railway station was just 3.5kms away from the bus stand. I had a hunch that it would be 1km far from stand, but no, it was actually 3.5kms far.
We walked about 3.5kms from the bus stand to the railway station. We saw a sign board of the railway station but it were still 0.4kms left from that board and it was a downhill trek into the valley.
Ohh….the mission was finally accomplished and we reached our destination. It looked more beautiful than I had seen in the pictures on the internet. I was lost in love with this railway station.
Amazing time had started now. At Barog railway station, I met Mr. Brahmdutt Upadhyay. He was an Asst. Station master there. He was very calm, polite and helpful. First, he told us the whole history of Barog station, how it was built, what were the stories related to it and many more.
I asked him to show us the room and he asked us whether we came by train or bus and I told him that we had reached there by bus. Then he told us that we had to buy rail ticket to stay in retiring room, because only those who travelled through rail were allowed to accommodate in those rooms.
I started thinking that “Oh god, how can we manage to stay here, because we did not travel through railways”.
Then he told us about some “jugad” and said don't worry that he would arrange tickets for us, which cost Rs. 60/- for two people without hesitation and I asked him to do it asap.
Now it was time to have a look at the rooms. First we saw the rooms with charges of Rs. 350/- and then we saw Shivalik rooms with charges Rs.750/-, and it intrigued me and Devesh a lot. But we committed a mistake in haste; we did not check the washrooms and they weren't clean and were disheveled and unhygienic about which I made a complaint to the station master. Deluxe rooms were also available there.
Shivalik rooms are known for their British touch, they still maintain the cupboard and wash basins of that era, just to keep the history alive. They haven't changed their interior at all. Sometimes Vai Sarai also used to stay in these rooms during British era.
After clicking a lots of photographs we started our journey to explore Barog.
Around 8:30 am in the morning the train arrived at station, I was buying samosas and pakoras at that time. Train stopped there for at least 15 minutes. We took n numbers of pictures of train, then we boarded the train for Solan.
This train journey was courtesy of the station master.
Ohh I forget to tell you about Mr. P.K. Dutta who is a senior station master there.
He accompanied us to Solan station. He was very kind and generous, he told us from where to catch bus, when to go, and where will you get what.
He also showed us his home which was being constructed. Then we left him, and came back to the Mall Road, Solan old bus stand is on the Mall Road. We had breakfast there and took the 11:30 bus to Mohan National Park located in “ASHWANI KHAD”. Ashwani is given here. Around 12:40 we reached to Ashwani Khad, a beautiful temple was located there. I had never seen this type of temple in my entire life. Beautiful sculptures of Devtas, Sur, Asur, Apsara, Muni, God and Goddesses were sculptured there. White marble sculptures attract you like nothing else. Beautiful courtyard was there, you could also see beautiful mountain ranges from there.
Temple was full of devotees and some primary school students. After offering prayers at the temple we headed back to catch the bus. But the bus was a bit late or you can say that it was around half an hour late. Devesh got the chance to talk to schmooze to some localites. They talked almost full of voyage, exchanged glances, smiles and all. Devesh asked a girl for a pin to open his mobile sim slot and she rendered him with her earrings.
By then bus had also arrived at the stand and it was time to bid adieu to beautiful localites. We started walking towards the Mall Road en route to our new destination “JATOLI”.
We bought some chocolates to get some energy. Suddenly, I wondered that where was Devesh, ohh a beautiful girl was going the same way, they exchanged glances and smiled again.
And the beautiful chapter named SUMAN THAKUR was closed.
Now the room's clock was showing 2:45. We took bus for Jatoli from DC office. We arrived at Jatoli temple within an hour. Temple was situated at a height from the road level. We trekked uphill, offered some prayers and got back to Jatoli bus stand to depart for “BON MONASTERY”.
As we didn't have any idea about the route to monastery, we sat at an old uncle's shop for tea and snacks. He was very nice but his opinion about Delhi was a bit harsh as he said “sab thug hai Delhi mein”(“Everyone is a crook in Delhi”). We had a great time of almost half an hour with him, as we were waiting for the bus. As we were not getting any bus for monastery, he told us to board the bus for “KALAGHAT”.
Monastery was situate in Dalonji, which was 2kms away from Kalaghat. We took off from bus at Kalaghat and started walking, and after walking for a couple of kilometers we finally reached the Bon Monastery. Here is a big idol of Buddha guru. Monastery was vibrant and the interior looked almost like heaven. Little idols of Buddhists gods, huge worship areas, copious greenery were what we experienced there. Several monks were roaming there. They were learing how to become a monk. We also found some Europeans and Americans there too. All of them were drenched in devotion of god.
After having a look around, we covered path of almost 2kms to return back to Kalaghat for Solan bus. We forgot about the time but were fortunate as last bus from Kalaghat to Solan was at 6:00 pm.
Eventually we arrived Kalaghat exactly at 6 and came to know that bus was a few minutes late.
The bus dropped us at the Barog bypass, since I had a word with conductor that I wanted to go to Barog railway station, he suggested us to alight at Barog bypass. We took another bus from Barog bypass after 15 to 20 minutes, we reached the road where the railway sign board resided. We had Kadhai Chicken in dinner there. Chicken was okay okay type. And as clock struck 9:00 at night, we reached station after trekking for 0.4kms from road to station.
Devesh was a bit afraid of leopards during our stroll towards station as it was a dark night and he was familiar with mountain conditions during night hours.
We settled all the expenditures till that day during our night conversation.
I asked Devesh to set the alarm for 6 in morning, he set the alarm and we slumbered.
It was Sunday morning dated 11th of September'16. I woke up before the alarm rang. We packed our luggage, had lunch at railway station and clicked some more pictures, and it was time to say good-bye to Barog Railway station.
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