The Road to Shimla : In the early days of Simla settlement the visitor to Simla required Herculean strength to cope with the hardship of uncomfortable, cumbersome and exhausting travel. By the 1860's the East India Railway had come only upto Ambala (Umbllah) from where one had to proceed by four wheeled 'Dak Garry' or Mail Wagon to Kalka, at the foot of Simla hills. These Carriages were mainly drawn by horse but at times bullocks or even elephants were utilised to pull them across the bridge-less River Ghaggar. From Kalka another eight hours of gruelling journey by 'Tonga', a two wheeled horse carriage, brought the visitor to Simla.The tonga was a greater affliction than the Dak Garry. It was a crude,uncomfortable but strong two-wheeled cart drawn by one or two Kabul ponies, harnessed in curicle style passengers sitting back to back, and luggage strapped on to the sides over the wheels,with the pathan driver at the reins. It accommodated 4 to 6 passengers. The other modes of transport of earlier days were bullock-carts, mule-trains, camels and horses, 'dandy' (a sedan chair slung on poles and carried by bearers) and 'jampan' or 'doli' which was a covered type of curtailed tiny box-like compartment, carried like the dandy. the janpan was described by one sufferer as 'a jolting, back aching abomination'--
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The Road to Shimla
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The Road to Shimla : In the early days of Simla settlement the visitor to Simla required Herculean strength to cope with the hardship of...