In October I was in Shimla and was coming back to Delhi in Night Bus. I reached new bus stand at 8:00 pm while bus had to start at 9:20 pm. New Bus Stand in Shimla is fabulous and I thought of doing some mobilegiri there... Above photograph was taken during day time while I was at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, but shot is taken by HTC Desire Camera :)
Before I start sharing photographs of Shimla Bus Stand, let me share something about HRTC services, which have improved a lot in my opinion. Now HRTC have Volvos, TATA-AC and Deluxe buses running between main stations in Himachal. Most of these buses are very comfortable. I don't think, I need to tell anything about Volvos, but at the same time TATA-AC are decent buses with confortable seating and AC. Main different is brand and the other can felt while in hills. So if you go to Shimla from Delhi, it would be hard to feel the difference between Volvo and Tata-AC, as road is wonderful. Deluxe buses have comfortable seating but no AC. Apart from that most of the TATA-AC and Volvos have got LCDs for running movies or other videos...
Shimla Bus-stand has different parking areas located at different levels of this building. This particular area seems for Haryana buses and with time, all types of buses can be seen on a particular stand. So all of these buses would move to respective counter as they have to start for their next destinations.
Here is the area with most of the hustle-bussle, as all passengers are looking for their buses and boarding accordingly.
There is more than enough space inside the Bus-Stand to sit and wait. All the levels of this bus stand are clean as of now and well maintained. Hope Himachal Pradesh government and employees keep this going in same fashion.
There are clean and appropriate options for eatable & drinks...
All current and advanced booking counters are located on ground floor. Temporary counters are also available near the place where buses are parked to pick passengers.
If someone is sitting inside the bus-stand and waiting for the bus, s/he need not to go outside to see if bus has come or not. Whole area is covered with transparent glass.
Apart from that, LED displays are also installed at most of the places. These LED displays show the buses currently on counter with respective information like Departure time, Counter Number, Bus Number etc.
Most of the levels are connected through stairs as well as lifts. I didn't come across any escalator, which was a bit surprising thing.
Here is a photograph of frontal portion of new bus stand of Shimla, which is located near Tootikandi...
This is a huge area and Shimla's new bus stand is considered as one of the best bus-stands in North India. In fact Delhi's Bus Stand is under renovation, so let's see how it turn out.
From entry of this Bus stand, it looks like some shopping Mall or a very luxurious office space. It was hard to digest the fact that it's Bus Stand of Capital City of Himachal Pradesh :)
Bokeh of colorful lights on surrounding hills...
HRTC Buses can be booked online now at www.hrtc.gov.in/ . It's really very helpful for folks to see availability online and book their tickets without waiting in long queues.
This was old Bus-stand of shimla, which has been converted into local bus-stand now. There are regular shuttles between local Bus Stand and ISBT Shimla.