Dehradun to Paonta Sahib:
Paonta Sahib is around 45 Kms from Dehradun but it takes around 1.5 hours to reach Paonta Sahib. Most of the journey passes through the Dehradun city so the journey of 45 Kms takes a lot of time which it should not take.
On the way from Dehradun to Paonta Sahib, you cross a lot of known and famous places of Dehradun like Indian Military Academy (IMA), Forest Research Institute, Dehradun etc. Also, you see a lot of Litchi and mango gardens and orchards on the way.
The journey from Dehradun to Paonta Sahib goes along the Rajaji national park. Just before the Paonta Sahib, there is the Yamuna river, which once crossed, lands you in the Himachal Pradesh. Because of the dam, there is hardly any water in the river, but the view is surely scenic and if you want you can also take a break in Paonta Sahib before heading towards Shimla.
Paonta Sahib to Nahan:
From Paonta Sahib to Nahan distance is 40 Km and it takes around another one hour to reach Nahan. You also get an elevation gain of around 1750 feet, from 1300 feet to 3050 feet.
Once you reach Nahan, I would say, the main journey and the beauty start from here. No wonder if you feel warm inside your vehicle driving to Nahan because the real elevation gain starts from Nahan.
My Personal Experience:
In the azure sky, there were some white trails running across the sheet of the sky. Those white trails appeared closer than they were. It felt as if they were just hanging in the sky not much above than a jump. They were covering a stretch from one small hamlet sitting on one side of the sky to another hamlet which was located on the other side of the hill.
Nahan to Kumarhatti/ Dagshai:
I would say this stretch of the journey is one of the most beautiful parts of the journey because of certain reasons like Lessly populated areas, little traffic while driving to Kumarhatti and beautiful views of the Himalayan wilderness.
This 75 Km of driving stretch takes around two to two and a half hour. You also get an elevation gain of around 2600 feet. The remote villages, small Dhabi’s, clouds hovering over the hills, beautiful sun shades, flowers, pine trees, beautiful people, cold winds will make your journey worthwhile.
My Personal Experience:
It was mid-April and the pine had just worn the new leaves. Some leaves were still not fully colored to green, they were just yellow. The whole drive along the valley looked like a beautiful drive along the trail of a beautiful spring garden which had just begun to bloom with the arrival of the spring.
Dagshai to Shimla:
Though you do not get much elevation gain along this route you can see the commercial side of Himachal tourism. This stretch of around 55 KM takes around two to three hours to reach Shimla.