The town is the home of the Kasauli Brewery, which is the highest brewery and distillery in the world.
Kasauli is located at 30°54‘N76°58‘E / 30.9, 76.96. It has an average elevation of 1795 meters (5889 feet).
As of 2001 India census, Kasauli had a population of 4994. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Kasauli has an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 76%. In Kasauli, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Legend has it that Kasauli came into being when Lord Hanuman, on his way to getting the Sanjeevani herb, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. At Kasauli there is a Hanuman Mandir atop the 300 m high hillock, called Monkey Point (locals call it Manki Point), where Lord Hanuman is supposed to have rested his feet. This temple lies within the confines of an air force radar station and base and is subject to security restrictions (no cameras or bags allowed). On a clear day, one can get views of nearby cities like Chandigarh. One can reach this point by road or on foot. On foot, it takes nearly two hours from Kasauli town but the scenery and harmony you enjoy makes the walk worth the effort.
Kasauli has many outdoor trails where one can experience the natural serenity. Some of the better round-trip ones are located off Upper Mall Road and originate near BSNL quarters located within the Indian Army Premesis. One such trail leads to Hanuman point. There’s other trails on the Lower Mall that will take you towards Gharkhal. The trails are safe and easy. The main trail to Monkey Point leads through Air Force Guard Station at the end of Lower Mall and one is required to register here first. The entry closes at 5:00pm
The most happening place in Kasauli is the junction of Upper and Lower Malls both of which are markets with shops selling daily commodities and souvenirs for tourists. The Lower Mall boasts local restaurants selling local fast food.
Being a cantonment town, entry to Kasauli is restricted. Foreign citizens must carry their passports. The best time to visit Kasauli is between April and June, and September and November.
Kasauli largely remains untouched by civilisation. During off-season (November-February) it is still possible to walk kilometers without running into other people (unlike its neighbouring cities).
Central Research Institute (CRI) at Kasauli was established in 1905 and is a premier National Institute in the field of immunisation and virological research. The institute’s contribution to medical field has been globally recognised time and again.
Kasauli is home to a beautiful club called the Kasauli club which was established by the British in 1880.
The Pasteur Institute, founded in 1900 by Sir David Semple, is the oldest in India, producing anti-rabies vaccines and also treating sufferers.
Popular Anglo-Indian author of children’s literature, Ruskin Bond was born here. The Irish rugby international Andy Mulligan was born in the town in 1936.Kasauli is also home for some months of the year to famous author Khushwant Singh.
Prominent among the town’s architecture is Christ Church (located near the bus station) and Lawrence School, Sanawar (6 km).
Educational institutions include the Lawrence School Sanawar and St. Mary’s Convent School Kasauli. Both the schools are co-educational and affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education. Lawrence School is a boarding school while St. Mary’s has a boarding facility for girls and accepts local boys and girls as day scholars.
Sanawar, which is 6 km from Kasauli, has the Lawrence school, which is easily over 100 years old and was started by Sir Henry Lawrence. Sanawar is an institution of international repute.
HOW TO REACH
Kasauli is easy to reach by road from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla and other major cities in Northern India. The easiest way is to take the bus to Shimla and get off at Dharampur. One can also take the Kalka-Shimla toy train to Dharampur. Frequent buses connect Dharampur to Kasauli bus station. The fare is just Rs. 10. If you plan to go from Delhi, one good way is to book a cab from Delhi. Take the Chandigarh route. It’s just 350 km from Delhi and shouldn’t take more than 6-7 hrs by road.
Note: There’s also a shortcut through Sector 4, Parwanoo (H.P.) via Jangeshu.
There are various trekking routes to Kasauli as well, from Kalka, from Jabli and from Garkhal. Trek from Jabli to Kasauli is approximately 9 kilometers
Located within the Indian Army premises, Kasauli Club is one of the most prestigious social clubs in India. It’s membership is highly sought after and thus, there’s an average 15 year waiting time. The Club is managed by a regular Indian Army Officer assigned as ‘Club Secretary’. The remaining staff is civilians. The history of this club dates back to the British era who founded Kasauli as an accessible summer retreat. Typical to hill architecture, the club was constructed mostly of wood that had dried up over time. A few years ago, tragedy stuck when a malfunctioning electric component started a fire which razed down the club. A new and much improved wood structure has since replaced the old one. The interior finish and decor is lavish. Facilities include lodging (4-5 rooms), a squash court that has been recently redone, two tennis courts, bridge/card rooms, billiards and an outdoor garden. The club has sisterly ties with many other clubs across India, including The Shimla Club.
Established in 1880, the club has always been the social center of the town. For many years it had an ambience of its own. Old furniture, deep cushioned sofas, and an exquisite Roman table with chairs. The club has since been modernized. Sleek chairs and sofas have replaced the old furniture. Synthetic wall to wall carpets cover the wooden floors. Those who have longer associations with the club reminisce about the facilities and the service in the past. They assert that the tennis’ teas were out of this world and the club served it own cakes and pastries, hot and freshly baked in their bakery. Officers of the army from Sabathu and Dagshai always joined in for a game of tennis to be followed by an excellent tea and dance.
Now the club is active only in the season – May and June. It celebrates Kasauli night during the season when the chef from Chandigarh dishes out tempting tandoori chicken and seekh kebabs. There are a few ‘Happy Hour’ evenings when liquor is served courtesy an institution or a member of the executive committee. These are followed by tambola and a musical soiree. Youngsters can be seen knocking tennis balls around these 2 months, while army officers hit the walls of the squash court nearly all the year around. The card rooms and the bar are packed through the 2 summer months and there is always a shortage of parking space. Marutis run the 1/2 km to the market to get chocolate for the kids and pan masala for the ladies and gentlemen. Evenings are abuzz with back slapping bonhomie in the lounges and bars and the latest doings of mutual friends. The side walks have been paved recently and hedges replaced by fancy railings.
History: in the early years of the present century the Sanitary Commissioner with the Government of India initiated a scheme for the establishment of a Bacteriological Department and a Central Institute for Medical Research in India. This scheme met with approval of the Government of India and in 1904 work was commenced on what is now the Central Research Institute of India.
The Institute was located at Kasauli, in the Shimla Hills, about 6,000 feet above sea level. The Maharaja of Patiala and the then existing residential buildings were modified extended and suitably adopted for laboratory use presented the original site. In 1933 further extensive alterations were made and laboratories constructed on modern lines, provided. These laboratories were further added to when, in 1939, the functions of the Pasteur Institute of India, were incorporated with those of the Central Research Institute. In 1946 the Government of India accepted a scheme for the expansion of the Institute in principle. This necessitated re-modeling of the main building, the acquisition of neighboring sites and the erection of new buildings. Building operations in connection with this scheme were commenced in 1947, but owing to unsettled conditions, transport and other difficulties, these were not completed according to schedule, within the year.
The Central Research Institute was opened in 1906 under the Directorship of Lieut.-Colonel, later Sir David Semple (1906-1913) who was succeeded by Lieut.-Colonel W.F.Harvey (1913-1925), Colonel Sir Sammuel Rickard Christophers (1925-1932), Major-General Sir John Taylor (1932-11944) and Lieut.-Colonel H.W.Mulligan (May 1944-1947). After this Lieut. -Colonel M.L.Ahuja took over as 1st Indian Director of the Institute.
Functions: It was originally intended that the Institute should provide facilities for (I) Research work on problems of medical and public health interest, (II) Manufacture of vaccine and sera, (III) Training of selected officers and (iv) to act as a centre on which inquiries in the field could be based. Sections were formed for bacteriology, malariology, helminthology, entomology and manufacture of biological products.
The activities of the Institute have varied from time to time, depending on the experience and the specialized knowledge of members of the staff. Immunological problems have always been the main subject of research, but other problems, both in the laboratory and the field, have not been neglected and much attention has been paid to such subjects as medical entomology, malaria, kala-azar, cholera, rabies, etc. Of recent years, however, and particularly during and since World War II, activities, have been restricted, more and more, to routine duties chiefly connected with the manufacture, assay and maintenance of vaccines and sera, for which there have been ever-increasing demands.
War effort: During the First World War supplies of prophylactic vaccines to the Army in India, Egypt, Mesopootamia, etc., were about one lakh doses per month, which at that time constituted a record in production. During the war years 1939-1946 manufacture of vaccines and sera reached the unprecedented total of one million doses monthly. The Institute met all demands for its biological products from the Defense Services in India, Burma and the theatres of war, civil authorities and Indian States, in full. In addition valuable research work was carried out in connection with the production of essential commodities not available from abroad, owing to war-time difficulties in transport, e.g. surgical ligatures, laboratory stains, etc. The year 1947 was a critical one for the Institute. With the change over of Government, the institute has, for the first time in its history, an Indian Director and also a wholly Indian staff. Changes occurred early in the year, Lieut. – Colonel W.J. Webster, who for almost 13 years had been Senior Assistant Director, retired on 31st December 1946. Other European Officers of the I.M.S. proceeded on leave prior to retirement – Captain R. Passmore and Captain P.J.Wormald in January, Lieut. – Colonel H.W.Mulligan in May, Major C.L.Greening in July and Major T.Sommerville in August. With the exception of Colonel Mulligan, whose place was taken by the present Director, all these posts remained unfilled throughout the year.
This and the sudden depletion of the subordinate staff owing to “partition” threw an unexpected strain on the Institute. Disturbed conditions, threatening epidemics, exceptional demands for vaccines for refugee camps, transport difficulties, heavy rains resulting in floods, inability to get sheep for the preparation of anti-rabic and other vaccines, all added to the mental and physical strain of members of the staff. Nevertheless, over one and quarter million doses of vaccines were issued in the month of October 1947, constituting an all-time record in the history of the Institute. This was in spite of the fact that owing to remodeling work going on at the Institute, manufacture for several preceding months had been greatly reduced and reserves of vaccines were therefore low. Had it not been for this last factor the Institute may well have doubled this figure during the emergency. It is not, however, suggested that output on such a scale could have been maintained for any great length of time, for boilers and sterilizers cannot be kept in continuous use without damage to their fabric, even if human efforts were equal to the strain.
Research: In the circumstances it was inevitable that research work should be relegated to the background. Nevertheless, immediately conditions improved and inquiry into the comparative values of antirabic vaccines was commenced and by the end of the year interesting results obtained. In addition, during the year Dr. C.B.D’Silva commenced studies on the chromogenic strains of acid-fact bacilli isolated from convalescent cases of pulmonary tuberculosis and also isolated a strain of tubercle bacillus which appears to be non-pathogenic to guinea-pigs. These experiments conducted in 1947 will be published in due course. Work was undertaken by Dr. D.L.Shrivastava in collaboration with Mr. P.Bruce White in the earlier months of the year on the serological variations of V.cholerae and El Tor vibrios are grown in broth containing type-specific serum they quite readily yield cultures of the Inaba subtype. It had not been possible to induce similar change in the Inaba subtype. A considerable amount of work had also been done on the isolation of several chemical fractions from various strains of vibros. The results of the study were published in the July 1947 issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research.