Barog is a cute little place immerging as a major holiday attraction to spend a day in. It is a small village in Solan district in the Himachal Pradesh. Set in the mountains Barog is just 60km from Chandigarh on the Kalka-Shimla highway. It used to be an important stop in the early decades of the century when the Kalka-Shimla toy train stopped here for an hour while the sahibs and memsahibs enjoyed a lavish lunch. The station, one of the prettiest on the line with its hanging baskets of pink geraniums. Barog was settled in the early 20th century during the building of the narrow gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway. It is named after Barog, an engineer involved in building the railway track in 1903. Barog, the engineer, was responsible for designing a tunnel near the railway station. He commenced digging the tunnel from both sides of the mountain, which is quite common as it speeds up construction. However, he made mistakes in his calculation and while constructing the tunnel, it was found that the two ends of the tunnel did not meet. Barog was fined an amount of 1 Rupee by the British government. Unable to withstand the humiliation, Barog committed suicide. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel. The area came to be known as Barog after him. Soon another tunnel was built by H.S. Harrington, Chief Engineer in Railways at that time. This tunnel is the longest of the 103 operational tunnels on the route of the Shimla-Kalka Railway, which is 1143.61m long. Barog station is immediately after the tunnel. Barog tunnel is the straightest tunnel in the World. Trains take about 3 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 kilometres per hour.
Barog’s attractions include the railway station (4 km) which is perhaps the most attractive one on the kalka Shimla Railway line and also has the longest tunnel which is over a kilometer long. You may also hike to old abandoned tunnel that lies at some distance above the station.
In past couple of decades, Barog has emerged from a mere stopover on the highway to a popular and full fledged destination. Surrounded by pine woods and views of the valley and the
Just 7km away from Solan, the small village height of 1680m is gradually developing in to a township dotted with quite a few hotels and eateries. HPTDC also has Pinewood hotel here. The little township has come up on top of a hill through which runs the longest tunnel in Kalka line. The northern end of the tunnel open on tidily kept railway station at Barog where exist a pretty, cosy dining room having a wall Clock marked with 'Benson of London, NW Railway 1903'.
FAST FACTS :
Climate : Barog is a small hill station at a height of 1800m, cool in Summers, can get occasional snowfall in winters. Due to its height, temperatures ranges between 23 to 10 °C during summers and between 15 to 5 °C during winters. The summers last from April to July. Winters set in during December and typically last up to February. In winter, heavy woolens are required and in summers light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Best Time to Visit : Whole year
Accommodations : The Himachal Tourism Resort - Hotel Pinewood (Deluxe Hotel), Hotel Barog heights, Hotel Corrins. These Hotels and the local dhabas there all serve a variety of different cuisine’s.
HOW TO REACH / ACCESS / GETTING THERE :
Air : The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti at Shimla, 65 km away.
Rail : Barog is also connected with both places Kalka and Shimla by mountain train and the experience can be memorable. Nearest Railhead is at kalka 23 km away.
Road : Barog lies on Shimla Kalka highway and regular buses and taxis ply from both of these places. Take NH 1 till Ambala, turn towards Chandigarh, turn left under the bridge at Zirakpur, reach Kalka via Panchkula. Take the Kalka-Shimla highway to Barog.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN AND AROUND BAROG:
- RAILWAY STATION : On of the most attractive station in the Scottish style on the Kalka - Shimla rail route. At about 3km from the station lies the grave of Barog. The poor man failed to align both the sides of the tunnel and supposedly committed suicide after that. It is said that if the tunnel had been properly built it would have been the longest in the world.
- RAJGARH (53 km): A picturesque area with numerous orchards and picnic spots like Habban and Nacchana located along side the Solan - Rajgarh road, this place is famous for Mahasheer fishing in Giri river.
- KAROL GOOFA (17 km) : On the Karol Tibba (2135m) and 8 km from Solan town is an ancient Sidh Goofa which is considered to be one of the longest Goofa in Himalayan region. It starts from Karol and ends somewhere at Pinjore. Besides Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman temples, Thakur Mandir on top of the hill are some the great attractions for the pilgrims and visitors. The trek up to Karol is steep but quite enjoyable. This place is very popular amongst the trekkers and adventurous picnickers.
- JATOLI (15 km) : 7 km from Solan this small but beautiful village on Solan - Rajgarh road famous for Vishal Shiva temple.
- DOLANJI BON MONASTERY (18 km) : On Solan - Rajgarh road there is a small village known as Ochhghat. 5km from here on Narag-Sarahan road, located at famous Bon Monastery known 'Yungdrung Bon Monastery' being run by Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre. This was founded in 1969 by the Abbot Lungtog Tenpai Nyima. After 14 years of hard work, he managed to create a totally self sufficient monastery with 120 monks, developing it into a thriving, active centre of all branches of Tibetan traditional learning. On the eve of New Year and on other occasions three sacred Bon dances are performed here which are of great attraction.
- HORTICULTURE AND FORESTRY UNIVERSITY (16 km) : In the surroundings on Rajgarh Road the University is an unique centre of higher studies and research in horticulture and forestry. The entire campus is worth seeing.
- DAGSHAI (7 km) : A one time British cantonment. This is small town surrounded by pine trees and has an old church.
- Spencer Restaurant : Another tourist attraction of Barog is the Spencer Restaurant which, once again, dates back to the Raj. It used to have separate sections for the British, the Hindus and the Muslims. You could try their vegetable cutlets, they’re really good.