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What you should know
You will take the bus 17 or 143 from Behlana to Isbt-17. This journey will take you 19 minutes and cost you USD1. Then you will make a transfer at Isbt-17 and take the RSRTC Super Luxury bus from Chandigarh to Shimla. This journey will cost you USD2-3 and take you around 1 hour 39 minutes, and you will arrive Shimla railway station/bus station where your guide will pick you up and bring you to the Exotic Marigold Homestay.
Alternatively, you could take the bus 17 or 143 from Behlana to Isbt-17. This will cost you USD1 and takes around 19 minutes. From Isbt-17, take bus 204 or 214 to Sector 8/18. This will take 3 minutes and cost USD1. At Sector 8/18, make a transfer and take bus 1422, 945, 741 from Chandigarh to Una. This will cost you USD 2-3 and take you around 2 hours 50 minutes. From Una, you will have to take a private hire to Basdi Village. This will take you around 1 hour 16 minutes and cost you USD 29-35.
Yes, but going with a guide will allow you to receive more information about the daily lives of the locals and your guide will also be your voice as the locals do not understand English.
It is a three-day trek so training would be needed and the route involves a visit to the Shali peak which is a steep but pleasant walk of about 3 hours so training would be needed to build up stamina. While it is strenuous, the hike up to the peak is definitely worth the effort!
It is possible to visit all year round but the best time to visit is from October to April when the temperatures are cooler and on average less than 30 degrees.
This hill retreat is home to a multitude of famous sights such as Jakhoo Temple and Tatapani which is known for its hot water springs that are said to provide relief for ailments ranging from fatigue to even reducing fat!
If you're interested in shopping, head down to mall road which is located in the mains street of Shimla which is filled with departmental stores and cafes. Indian Coffee house is one of the only stores at mall road that maintains the charm and authenticity of the past and is frequented even by the locals.
Or, if you're more interested in the local markets, head down to Lakkar Bazaar which is filled with exotic and authentic artifacts, unique to that of North-East India. They are especially famous for their wooden works, particularly their intricately carved walking sticks. Don't hesitate to haggle for prices and you might even get more than a 50% discount.
And finally, what better way is there to get to know a culture than food!
Shimla is also famous for its traditional food such as Madra and Dhaam. For those that are hungry for authentic Himachali cuisine, Ashiana & Goofa will satisfy that craving. Offering a spectacular at the base of the mountain, this restaurant is beloved by locals and tourists alike.
If you're looking for some fusion food, Baljee's Fascination offers a diverse Italian-Indian menu. Gulab Jamuns, a Himalachi breakfast is a definite must-try.
Shelters and rest homes are set up along on various routes to allow for trekkers to rest up and reenergize.