Tourists going to Shimla can now avoid congested Kalka and Pinjore towns to save at least an hour on their road trips with the opening of 10 kilometers long Himalayan Express bypass from Zirakpur to Parwanoo. The bypass, cutting through the Shivalik hills, is part of the 27.5 km expressway project between the two towns on NH-5.
Though the stretch will reduce the distance between Zirakpur and Parwanoo by only three kilometers, but this bypass will save time and fuel in a big way. More important is about the fact that drive will be more pleasant through wonderful shivalik hills.
Rough estimates suggest that tourists driving down from Delhi would now take seven hours to reach Shimla instead of eight.
Himalayan Expressway is built by Jaypee group. This road runs two kilometers in Punjab, 21km in Haryana and 4.5kms in Himachal Pradesh catering to about 30K vehicles passing through the stretch everyday. Commuters would need to pay Rs. 21 as toll for each trip on the stretch. Eventually, all the lanes would be having an RFID reader, which would be able to read from the chip embedded on the windshield of the vehicle and deduct balance from the users account. It seems Jaypee group would start issuing tags to commuters soon at a rate of about Rs.100, which is expected to come down as demand increases.
Drive on Himalayan Expressway is a wonderful experience through Shivalik hills and this experience becomes more beautiful with clouds around these hills. Drive on Himalayan Expressway is like a surprise for folks who have been driving in planes and suddenly chip into the Shivalik hills.
Here is a photograph of Himalayan Expressway passing through Pinjore town. This is not exactly Pinjore town but it's outer part.
Four-laning Himalayan Expressway of Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch is a part of the National Highway Development Project. Jaiprakash Associates was mainly responsible for Himalyan Expressways.
Himalayan Expressway has become very useful for Chandigarh folks who love to visit Kasauli, Solan or Shimla during weekends. Now frequent travllers need not to experience the irritating traffic in Kalka streets.