The calm and peaceful air of Kasauli belies any sense of history. Raj-era bungalows with baroque gable roofs and wooden balconies; chestnut-and-pine-fringed hill paths, their tranquillity disturbed only by birdsong: Kasauli’s quaint appeal lies essentially in its well-preserved colonial ambience – a reminder that this small cantonment town was originally established by the British as a summer retreat along with Shimla. Although it is only five hours drive from New Delhi, Kasauli (at a height of around 1,927 mts. above sea level), remains one of the quietest, least commercial hill-stations around, making it an ideal escape for tired urbanites seeking some peace and quiet. Pleasures here lie in the simple things: long scenic walks; spectacular, emerald views of the valleys below; leisurely picnics on the hillsides or just lazing in the crisp mountain air and gentle sunshine.

Kasauli has several buildings dating back to the 19th century and though they have been through various incarnations since, they’re still hugely reminiscent of the colonial era. The striking stone-walled structure of the Protestant Christ Church was erected in the 1840s, and while the furnishings were redone over the next 50 years, a lot of the woodwork – the pews, the gallery and the altar – belong to that period. With its Gothic arches and buttresses, stained-glass windows bordered with delicate carvings and handsome brass memorials, the church is easily one of the most impressive edifices around.

Another endearing landmark – the stately Kasauli Club, started life as the Kasauli Reading and Assembly Rooms in 1880, before becoming the social and recreational centre of the town, best-known for its lavish ‘tennis teas’ of oven-fresh cakes and pastries and dances on the polished wooden floors of the ballroom. Today, the club holds the distinction of being among the most exclusive in this part of the country favoured by some of the capital’s most prominent denizens. The main walks around Kasauli, the Upper and Lower Mall are also very beautiful.