Ins and outs
The airport and railway stations are some distance from the centre with pre-paid auto rickshaws to town. From the large Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in the busy Sector 17, you can walk to several budget hotels and restaurants.
Airport, 11 km. Taxis charge Rs 300 to centre. Indian Airlines: reservations, S17, T0172-265 6029, airport, T0172-622 4941, 1000-1630. Daily to Mumbai and Delhi. Jet Airways, 14 S 9D Madhya Marg, T0172- 274 0550, airport T0172-265 8935, daily to Delhi. Air Deccan, T0172-265 1748, daily to Mumbai and Jammu.
Free to CITCO hotel guests.
It is easier to get a seat on the Shimla bus from Chandigarh than from Kalka. Many buses daily from ISBT, S17. A 2nd terminal in S43 has some buses to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Srinagar; city buses connect the 2. Transport offices: ISBT, S17, 0900-1300, 1400-1600; Chandigarh, T0172-270 4005; Haryana, T0172-270 4104; Himachal, T0172- 270 4015; Punjab, T0172-270 4023. Buy bus tickets from the designated booths next to platforms before boarding. Seat numbers (written on the back of tickets) are often assigned. Shimla buses (via Kalka) leave from platform 10. To Amritsar, 6 hrs (from Aroma Hotel, T0172-270 0045); Pathankot, 7 hrs; Dharamshala, 10 hrs; Kalka (from Platform 10), Rs 11-28. Buses to Shimla also stop at Kalka; Kullu 12 hrs. Also Himachal Tourism coaches during the season, to Delhi, 5 hrs, Rs 180; Manali, 0800, 10 hrs, Rs 280; Shimla, 5 hrs, Rs 100.
Sikhs are officially exempt from wearing motorcycle helmets, although strictly speaking the length of cloth used to form the turban should be not less than 5 m as anything less is not deemed to give adequate protection.
Auto-rickshaws are metered with a minimum fare, but you can bargain. Stands at bus station, railway station and the Rock Garden. Cycle rickshaws are unmetered.
Private taxi stands in S22, S17, S35. Chandigarh Tourism (CITCO), S17, T0172-270 3839. Mega Cabs, T0172-414 1414. To Kalka, up to Rs 400.
The station (8 km) has a clean waiting room but a poor bus service to the city. Prepaid auto-rickshaws, Rs 45 to S22; to bus stand Rs 34; to Kalka (for the brave) Rs 200. Enquiries/reservations, T0172-265 3131, 1000-1700; City Booking Office, 1st floor, Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT), S17, T0172-270 8573, Mon-Sat 0800-1345, 1445-2000, Sun 0800-1400. Tourist office, 0600-2030. New Delhi: Shatabdi Exp 2006, 0650, 3¼ hrs; Shatabdi Exp 2012, 1820, 3¼ hrs; Himalayan Queen 4096, 1728, 4½ hrs. Old Delhi: Kalka-Howrah Mail 2312, 0110, 5½ hrs. Shimla: Himalayan Queen 4095, 1028, 1 hr to Kalka, then 40 mins’ wait for Exp 255 to Shimla (1210, 6 hrs, book ahead).