Snowcapped mountains, spectacular lakes, pleasant climate, and appealing greenery –Shimla offers everything one can ask for. Popularly known as the queen of hill stations, the city and the places nearby never finish astounding with their charming beauty. With such extensive range of attractions and well-known places, Shimla is definitely one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. So, today I would try to inform you with few of the places to visit in Shimla. After taking bath we got ready for our full day Shimla sightseeing tour little bit early in the morning. We went to Chail first.
Chail is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is about 45 kilometers from Shimla known for its wholesome beauty and virgin forests. The Chail Palace is well known for its design. The palace was constructed as summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj, on the land selected to him by the British for former’s support in the Anglo-Nepalese War. The cricket ground and a polo ground which is there at a height of 2,250 m were owned by former royal family of Patiala. It is the world’s highest cricket playground and property of government.
Chail is also visited by hikers as it offers wonderful views of the lower Himalayas. Many Eco camps were held here. There are many camping sites for campers and hikers, so camping in Chail is most wanted after activity for enthusiasts.
After accession to the Indian Union, Maharaja of Patiala donated most of his buildings to Chail Military School and Government of India. The place is bounded by the forests of chir pine and huge deodars. Shimla, Solan and Kasauli can also be watched at night from here.
Rastriya Military School Chail is one of the 5 Rastriya Military Schools of the country. Where approximately 300 cadets from all parts of country were trained to be the future leaders of country.
Chail Sanctuary is located at Chail, which is home to sambar, goral (long haired goat) and cheer pheasants. Barking deer could be seen during early morning and evening. Chail Sanctuary has a vast forest cover.
Nearby Sadhupul is a small village between Chail and Solan. It has a river restaurant near a small bridge constructed over the river “Ashwini”. This bridge collapsed by an overloaded truck. A New bridge has been constructed and saw operating. A Water Park and Cafe at Sadhupul was also there.
Chail Gurudwara is also one of the major attractions of that place, it was the first structure to be constructed by the Maharaja and after that the palace was built. The Gurudwara was built in indo-western style with wooden roof is its main and highlighting feature.
Our driver told Kali ka Tibba was situated at the top of a hill it’s also known as Kali Devi Temple. It appeals a lot of pilgrims and tourists from all across the world. We skipped that place due to shortage of time.
One can also visit Lover’s Hill. As the name suggests, that was a hill point for lovers, fundamentally a romantic destination, where you could experience the magical sunset and sunrise. Many newly wedded couple visits that place to enjoy their special days in Chail to appreciate and relish the beauty of nature. The Lover’s Hill is free of cost to visit. We enjoyed in the lap of Mother Nature. The most common story told about the Lover’s Hill was that of the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, eloping with the British Viceroy’s daughter in 1892. He was barred by the British from entering Shimla. So, he built a summer capital for himself at a small village called Chail. And the hill of joint of the Ridge and the Mall, where he eloped her, came to be called as Lovers Hill.
Then we moved to Kufri. The road from Chail to Kufri winds with a lot of twists and turns through the deodar forests and was very lonely and dangerous as it is just a single road, in fact all roads leading to Chail are single roads which were difficult to drive as the widths are very less and have a lot of turns. Our driver was telling that one must never drive here during night and should be cautious during the day time driving as well. There were many small villages on the way and eateries that serve local food and chai (Indian sweet tea). We took snacks and tea there. After driving 32 km for one and half hours we reached Kufri.
Kufri was a small hill station in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh in India. It was located 20 km from Shimla on the National Highway No.22. The name Kufri was derived from the word kufr meaning “lake” in the native language.
First we went for most common activity here that is Mahasu peak hike. A stretch full of rocks, boulders & stones and a horse ride that’s 15 -20 minutes long. Your fate entirely depends on the mood & skill of your horse that’s taking you uphill, steering its way to Mahasu Peak.
I was talking about the much-recommended experience of Kufri, Shimla – riding on the back of an exploited horse to Mahasu Peak. Our taxi driver dropped us to the point that marks the beginning of this adventure. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I could smell horse dung & found myself paying to the guy who would supply our horses to ride us way to Mahasu Peak. With no further argument, we placed ourselves on the back of the horse & sit with much grace & dignity. Here I had taken a right decision. I kept my aged father and my son in our cab.
This ride was less of an adventure & more of a dangerous. The cherry on the cake was that we did not even have a person who could attend us & our horse. We were left on our own. As I sat on my horse, it started to move. At first, it felt liberating. But the next moment, when I saw the patch which was all muddy, marshy with horse dung strewn all over, I started to get nervous. But that was just the beginning. It became worsen with all the rocks & boulders on the way. If we lost our balance even for a second, there could be a serious accident.
But that wasn’t all either. The horses started competing with each other for space by scrubbing against each other. They would shove & push other horses to get ahead exactly like we used to do to secure the seat in Metro. This was more than enough to lose our calm & we started shouting like a kid. The more we shouted, the scarier it got. And then all we had done started taking the name of God & plead for our life.
Here my suggestion is if you do not want to miss the activity, go early in the morning for the horse ride. Spent an hour at the peak & come back before noon. You will avoid the rush hours & the hassles that increase by late hour there.
Kufri had Himalayan wildlife zoo which hosts rare antelopes, felines (one type of cat) and birds including the Himalayan monal (an Asian pheasant), the state bird of Himachal Pradesh until 2007. Kufri was once a part of the Nepal until the area was ceded to the British Raj as part of the Sugauli Treaty.
Intentionally we skipped Kufri Fun Campus as we had less time in our hand. Kufri Fun Campus an enjoyment park to enjoy the entire day. This park is equipped with various rides, pools and world’s highest go-kart track. Kufri was also famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Adventure-seeking travelers used to visit Kufri in winters to enjoy skiing and sledging along its snow-covered slopes. Then we came to Naldhera.
Settled between the gorgeous lofty ranges of the Himalayas, Naldehra near Shimla is no less than a picturesque destination. The blue skies, lavish green forests and an occasional rainbow thrown in made the place appear as if it had been painted on a canvas. The most famous attraction of Naldehra is that the 18 holes golf ground that’s considered to be the foremost challenging golf ground. That was because it was located at a height of 2044 meters!
Naldehra remained ignored till the start of this century when the then British viceroy, Lord Curzon, discovered it. He was totally fascinated by the natural beauty of the place. While traveling the beautiful hill station, he came up with the idea of making a golf course here. The landscape of the place was perfect to build a golf course.
Naldehra was the perfect place to unwind and relax within beautiful surroundings. You could have an exquisite time just walking down the meandering roads amidst thick deodar trees and therefore the light mist that covers the trees. We spent there about an hour and came back Shimla within 1 hour in the evening.
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