I was disappointed to see no snowfall when I reached Shimla the morning. The sky was still dark and it was a bit cold but no views of snow anywhere. There were still many hours to check in the hotel. While I was passing my time sitting at a chair at ISBT Shimla, I was thinking where to go to experience snow else my weekend trip would have been spoilt. When the sun started to spread its golden rays, I booked a cab and managed to reach my hotel after several directions. I spent some time there at the hotel, got freshened up and left to Kufri Zoo.
I had no idea of visiting this place. It was all told by this cab driver who kept on talking on the way and gave me a deal of taking me to some famous places of Shimla including Kufri Zoo, Himalayan National Park where I experienced snow for the first time. Well, it wasn’t snow fall, but I had my first time experience being surrounded by so much snow and playing with it.
There was snowfall two days before my arrival – I wasn’t lucky enough…
While I was heading to Kufri from Shimla in the cab, I could see snow almost everywhere. I got to know that the city had snow fall two days. I wasn’t that much enough to have snowfall experienced. Shimla ditched me or may be my schedule didn’t work out the way it should. Or maybe something invisible did it. Well, whatever it was, one thing is sure, if you travel without any planning; this is what you get to deal with in many situations.
Passing through valleys with trees and snow spread like cotton everywhere, I was so much excited to see and play with snow since it was going to be my first time snow experience like this. Before this, I had seen snow traces while I was heading to Shangarh from Sainj. But here, it was more than what I saw in Shangarh and that made me more excited. With all these thoughts jumping around like butterflies in my stomach, I reached Kufri Zoo which is also called Himalayan National Park. The driver dropped me at the main entrance and asked me to call him once I was done with roaming around.
Having my first snow experience at Kufri Zoo – Himalayan National Park
I don’t remember the exact cost of the ticket I paid to enter the zoo. It was bit crowded, I guess there were many people like me who came here to experience snow or who came to Shimla for snow but their luck ditched me like mine. I wasn’t ever craving to visit Shimla and didn’t even include this city in my travel list but somehow I came here in the year-end (2019) and that too with one thought that I would get to experience snow but that didn’t work the way I planned. Okay! I didn’t even plan it; I just came here without even thinking of what to do.
Well, I grabbed my ticket and moved the way others were moving. The way opened to a large room with lots displays where animals were stuffed and kept with their details. I barely even remember them. There were birds, animals as far as I remember (it’s been more around 6 months). I must have spent five minutes staring at those stuffed animals placed for display with their information and followed the way the crowd was moving through a narrow path. To my surprise that narrow lane opened into a pool of heaven. Oh yes, all I could see was white snow (snow white) everywhere. Himalayan pine trees, wood logs and uneven carpet of white snow everywhere.
My eyes were open, wide open. I was having a wonderful moment of my life, my first snow experience at Kufri Zoo. It was not like a child’s heart, jumping out of pleasure on seeing his favourite toy but I have wanted to see snow and it was in my bucket list of travel. However, I wasn’t that lucky to experience snow fall yet there was something to cover it up. The snow was both soft as cotton and hard as stone, at places. I could see people throwing snowballs at each other which I had only seen in movies by the time and it was my time now to do so.
I was wearing my green coloured army boots which gave little grasp over the slippery snow. I love boots and travel with them. Since I was walking on the snow for the first time, it was both little scary as I may have slipped and at the same time, it was fun. The park had fenced ways along with the cages or space made for the zoo animals to live. I remember having slipped once and the fence gave me a scar which is still visible even after six months. Well, the pain of the wound didn’t stop me from enjoying the moment I had in the moment. Sometimes life treats us this way and teaches us to appreciate the bigger happier moments by subsiding smaller reasons to whine.
From snowballs to snowman, I did everything. I roamed, I slipped, I saw the animals and I saw people dancing, picnicking from kids to the aged ones. Every face I saw there was happy and smiling. I saw tiger, deer, Himalayan tahr, antelopes, birds I don’t remember their names and the most beautiful thing I saw was the snow itself which I had come here, to which I had dedicated my weekend, came here from Delhi. This pleasure could have been more, had I come here during snowfall time and well that too if I had it known earlier. But sometimes you let the life happen to you, you don’t design anything, you don’t decide anything.
While enjoying my first snow experience at Kufri Zoo, I never realized how the time passed by. Well, that’s another lesson life teaches. When we are happy, enjoying; we barely come to know how much time has passed by. We lose track of time. Since I had to cover more of the city and I was planned to visit Jakhoo Temple before the sunset, I found it wise to leave the place, call the driver and move to the next destination of the day.
The fun I had while having my first snow experience at Kufri Zoo took me to the top, it was cold and I mean it, bitter cold but the warmth of nature kept me going on and on and I too followed the pace without thinking about anything much. I felt like being a child again, I felt the child in me came out and played in the snow like I used to play in mud and soil. I will have to wait for long to have my first ever snowfall experience. Till then, ciao!