On my recent trip to Shimla, I took the HPTDC Delhi – Shimla Volvo bus. Timing of this bus (8:30pm departure from Delhi and 6am arrival at Shimla) is perfect for those traveling on weekend trip or are planning to leave for Shimla, right after work.
The bus starts at a alley behind the HPTDC marketing office in Delhi, which is located in the Chanderlok building at Janpath (for directions, click here).
HPTDC Delhi – Shimla Volvo also picks up its passengers from the Himachal Bhawan, before heading off to Shimla.
The bus itself was clean and comfortable and all passengers were provided with a complimentary bottle of mineral water. HPTDC also shows a movie (Love Aaj Kal, during my journey) during the initial part of the journey and the bus only stops twice en route, once at an eatery before Karnal (A New World) and then at a dhaba after Kalka.
There is not much to complain as the staff is decent and bus is in good condition, the only sore point is the fact that the place from which it starts (behind Chanderlok building), does not have any infrastructure. So it is better to wait out in McDonald or Cafe Coffee Day located couple of hundred meters away from there, then to wait in that dimly lit alley. Good thing is, they allow people to start boarding the bus by around 8 o’clock, so if you arrive by then, you will be sitting comfortably in your seat.
It also ends its journey right before the Victory Tunnel in Shimla, which is a bit away from majority of the hotels and one usually ends up using the services of one of the numerous porters and taxi drivers, who double up as touts for the hotel. I seriously hope that HPTDC starts taking its passengers till one of its property or at least till the bus depot, which is located at a much better point.
Overall not a bad way to travel to Shimla for Rs. 680 per person.