It is located on the Chhota Shali hillock just on the other side of Shali peak. The size of the lake is almost equal to the size of the Annadale ground of Shimla. The water of the lake is not very clean but from a great way up the hill, its first sight between the trees is unforgettable, because of, it is shining like a big emerald in the Sun. The location of the lake is beautiful and worth a visit.
Tara Devi Temple
Tara Devi Temple, located in Shimla is a very famous tourist attraction of this place. Situated at a distance of around 11 kilometers from Shimla, this famous temple can be visited while traveling on the Kalka – Shimla National Highway. The Tara Devi Temple is situated at the top of a hill in Simla and the lush green environs surrounding it give the temple a very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. One must visit this temple to check out the breath-taking views of the countryside. The backdrop of the lofty Himalayas and the clean and fresh air works wonders and makes your vacation worthwhile.
The origin of this temple can be traced back to around 250 years. It is said Goddess Tara was brought all the way from West Bengal to Himachal Pradesh. A King from the Sen dynasty visited this place after some years. He had brought along a small gold locket in which his an idol of his deity was encased in gold. He always wore this locket in his upper arm. The idol remained encased in that locket for many generations to come. One fine day, Raja Bhupendra Sen (of the 96th generation) had an unusual incident. While hunting in a dense forest, he had a vision of Goddess Tara along with Hanuman, who desired that she should be available for the public to pray and seek blessings.
Immediately, the Maharaja donated a big piece of land to build a temple dedicated to Goddess Tara. Thus, a temple was built and a wooden idol of the Goddess was installed for people to worship. After some more generations, Raja Balbir Sen had a vision in which the Goddess had wished that she be installed at the top of a hill known as Tarav Parvat. The Maharaja got a temple built at the top of the hill and got a beautiful idol made out of “Ashtadhatu”, a rare combination of eight elements. He got it installed in a grand fashion by taking out a huge procession and carrying the idol on the top of an elephant named Shankar. The temple stands in its entire splendor even today on this hilltop.
Kasauli Hill Station
The Kasauli Hill Station is situated at an altitude of 1927 meters above sea level and is a small hill station that still retains its colonial ambience of the 19th century. You can find a hint of the colonial influence in each and every little thing in this place. The cobbled paths, old-fashioned shops, the gabbled homes and classic porticos – all remind you of the bygone era of the colonial rule. You are sure to have an amazing time at the Kasauli hill resort near Shimla as it has got everything that shall make your vacation a perfect one.
Kasauli is filled dense thickets of Himalayan oak, pine trees and chestnut trees. The narrow zigzag roads that wind up the hill are a delight to take long walks on. The place is blessed with breath-taking scenery and soothing views. This place can be easily reached from Shimla by road and the journey is one that you shall never forget. The lush green hills filled with light mist that greet you on your way to Kasauli are no less than paradise.
Kasauli is famous for the Pastur Institute, which prepares vaccines for protection from rabies and dog bites. The institute is also famous for treating victims of hydrophobia. This institute is the oldest institute set up in India and is famous till date. It was set up just at the start of the 20th century. Kasauli is also famous for the Monkey point, where it is believed that monkey God Hanuman set his foot while getting the Sanjeevani herb for Lakshmana. The place is shaped in the form of a big footprint. You can also visit the Christ Church, which was built by the British and still its old world charm.
Chail Hill Station
The Chail hill station is located at an altitude of 2250 meters and is one of the smallest hill stations of Shimla. The Chail hill station of Shimla has an interesting story behind it. It is said that when the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh was expelled from his kingdom, he was determined to create his own summer capital. He came to Chail and was mesmerized by the beauty of this place. That is when he decided to make the Chail hill station of Shimla his summer capital. To experience the bliss and divinity of this place, you must visit Chail hill resort near Shimla and have an experience of a lifetime.
The Chail hill station is located at a high altitude and is covered with thick deodar trees, which give the hill station the look of a wonderland. The Chail resort is a place that shall bowl you over completely. You will be surprised to see the beautiful amalgamation of beauty and comfort over here. The resorts have elaborate log huts with modern amenities, perfectly manicured lawns, traditional cottages and everything else that goes in to make a perfect holiday.
The major attractions near Chail are a Children’s park, facilities for fishing and trekking and the famous Chail wildlife sanctuary. Chail is also famous for the world’s highest cricket ground that is located at a height of 2444 meters above sea level. This cricket ground is also a polo ground and was made in the year 1893 after an entire hilltop was leveled. Chail Sanctuary, Sadhupul (3 km)- The sanctuary was notified on 21 March 1976 near the town in district Shimla and covers an area of about 10,854.36 hectares. The Chail sanctuary has ‘ghoral’, ‘kakkar’, ‘sambhar’, ‘red jungle fowl’ and ‘khalij’ and ‘cheer’ pheasants. Machan like sighting posts have been built at Khuruin.
Chharabra is a small village situated approximately 8250 feet (2514 m) above sea level, 13 km from Shimla. Chharabra is situated on top of mountains which are a major watershed. One side of Chharabra is part of the catchment area for the Yamuna River while the other side is part of the catchment area for the Satluj River. The entire area around Chharabra is densely forested and is part of Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary and Catchment Area.
The Retreat Building, Chharabra
The Retreat Building is the official Retreat Residence of the President of India at Chharabra, Shimla. It is located 10km away from Shimla and is a thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top. Entry to this building is by permission only. The President visits Mashobra at least once every year, and during this time his/her core office shifts to The Retreat at Chharabra. The building housing The Retreat is a purely wooden structure originally constructed in 1850. It has dajji wall construction, and a plinth area of 10,628 sq ft (987.4 m2).
The Retreat was officially assigned to be the presidential mansion. The 16-room residence is surrounded by a 300-acre (1.2 km2) forest. The President stays at The Retreat for two weeks a year during the summer, but the building is mostly used by the Government of India to house foreign VIPs visiting Shimla. The property belongs to the former Raja of Koti, and has been given to the Government of India on a permanent lease.
Hemkunj or Hem Kunj is the official summer residence of the Governor of Punjab, India. It was formerly known as Dane’s Folly. It is situated on the road leading to The Retreat, between Wildflower Hall and The Retreat. The house was originally built by an Englishman called Mr Dane, who, believing that Shimla town would come up at this point, predicted that Shimla would come up on this side of the hill. However, as his prediction was proved wrong he named the house Dane’s Folly. A new building was constructed next to the Dane’s Folly building, which is used as residence of Governor of Punjab. Dane’s Folly and the new building both still exist. The entire property has now been renamed Hemkunj.
Fagu is situated at 2,509 m height, just 6 km from Kufri. Fagu is a vantage point with panoramic views of the ranges and valleys. Picturesquely located amid forests and orchards, Fagu has a rest house and tourist bungalow overlooking the Giri Valley.
Kufri Hill Station
Breathtaking views, stunning locales and tranquil surroundings – this is what Kufri hill station is all about. Popularly known as Switzerland of the East, the spell binding beauty of Kufri hill station of Shimla will definitely enchant you. Check out the Kufri hill resort near Shimla and make sure you stay here for some time to experience pure bliss. It is located at a distance of 19 kilometers from Shimla and can be reached very easily from Shimla.
The best thing about Kufri is the skiing and hiking that should be absolutely tried once, if you are visiting. The snow-clad hills of Kufri provide the ideal locale for trying your hand at skiing. In winters, Kufri is literally filled with tourists who come here to seek adventure and get some excitement in their lives. For the weak hearted, there is always an option of trekking and hiking on the steep hill slopes. The best season to indulge in these sports is during winters, i.e. from November to February. If you are not into skiing and other adventurous pursuits, you can visit the hill station during the months of April to June. The weather is pleasant and cool and just perfect for enjoying your much-awaited vacation!
Kufri remained unexplored and hidden from the rest of the world for a long time. It was not until the time the British explored this area that Kufri came into the knowledge of people. As and when Shimla gained importance, Kufri was also identified as an important tourist place near Shimla. Shimla was an important place as the British declared it the summer capital of India till year 1939. Kufri, which was once a part of the Nepal Kingdom, was recognized as a part of Shimla after India gained independence. So visit this magical place and experience the fun and frolic yourself!
Tattapani Hot Springs
One of the most popular excursions from Shimla is the Tattapani hot springs. It is located at a distance of around 51 kilometers from Shimla. Located at an altitude of 656 meters, Tattapani hot springs near Shimla are a major tourist attraction. Many people visit the place as the springs are supposed to have medicinal value and healing properties. People also take some water from the springs back to their homes. Apart from the hot springs, Tattapani is also famous for its religious places and temples that should be visited if you are traveling here. The place also offers adventure sports like rafting, fishing and trekking and is a heaven for all adenveture seekers.
Mashobra is a town in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Mashobra is notable for housing one of the only two Presidential retreats in India. The president visits Mashobra at least once every year, and during this time his core office shifts to the retreat at Chharabra, in the vicinity of Mashobra. The building housing the retreat is a completely wooden structure originally constructed in 1850.
Mashobra is also popular as a tourist destination. Wildflower Hall at Chharabra, now a property of Oberoi Hotels, has been residence to Lord Kitchener as well as Lord Ripon during the British Raj. Pankaj Mishra is a famous writer/poet who lives in Mashobra. At 3 km from Mashobra is Carignano, a beautiful picnic spot that was a villa of Chevalier Federico Peliti, an Italian photographer in India from the times of Queen Victoria, who named it in honor of his native town Carignano near Turin in Italy. The villa was transformed to a weekend resort in 1920 and is also referred to in one of the novels by Anita Desai.
23 km away from Shimla, at 2044 m this has a thick cedar forest, picnic grounds and a nine-hole par 68 Golf course that is regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. In the repeat nine there are four additional greens and different tees, which increase the yardage in the second round. This was designed by the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon and he was so enchanted by the spot that he often camped here for days on end communicating with Viceregal Lodge by means of a heliograph. He even named his daughter after the place.
The Naldehra of today is a full-fledged golf and leisure destination that offers comprehensive facilities like quality accommodation and food through Himachal Tourism Hotel Golf Glade. Equipment and instructors are available at the Golf Club and it is possible to play by paying a daily green fee.
Narkanda Hill Station
The beautiful Narkanda hill station is situated at an altitude of around 2700 meters and offers a stunning view of the lofty ranges of Himalayas. Narkanda hill station is at a distance of 60 kilometers from Shimla. It is an ideal getaway for people who seek to relax in an undisturbed and tranquil location, far away from the bustling city life. The place is famous for its apple and peach plantations. The dense forests are always successful in attracting tourists who enjoy each and every moment walking in the dense thickets of the slopes. The Narkanda hill resort near Simla should be visited in case you are visiting Shimla.
The best time to visit Narkanda is during the winters. You are recommended to carry a good stock of woolen clothes as it can get really cold high up in the hills. Narkanda has its own ski resort and is a hit among tourists who come to visit this place. The ski resort was started in the year 1980 and has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, it is one of the most well-known ski resorts in India.
There are many places near Narkanda that are worth the visit. Situated at a height of 2000 feet above Shimla is the Hattu peak. It can be reached in an hour by trekking. You can also visit the Hattu Mata temple that is located over here. The Hattu peak is famous for its skiing activities and hiking and is teaming with adventure seekers during winters when it snows, making the place look like a white wonderland.
Along the River Pabbar, 104 km from Shimla, is the temple dedicated to Durga and Shiva. The gods are said to have fought a pitched battle at this spot. Famous for ancient temple of Mata Hateswari in the midst of paddy fields on the right bank of the Pabber river.
Hattu Peak is situated at 3,300 m height. Rising above forests of spruce, the Hattu Peak is a vantage point with spectacular views. (8 km). The pretty orchard country of Thanedar and Kotgarh – beautiful in spring – are not far away. Khadrala and Beghi with their dense forests and Kumarsain with an interesting wooden palace are also within easy reach of Narkanda.
Kotgarh lies at around 82 kms from Shimla and is the apple heartland of Himachal. Today Kotgarh continues to be one of the most intensive apple growing areas in the country with acres of orchards lining the slopes of this untouched dreamland. The view of the Sutlej River during the day and the enchanting lights of this beautiful valley at night are a photographer`s delight.
One of the biggest commercial centers of Shimla, Rampur town is located at a distance of around 135 kilometers from Shimla. It is one of the most important market and business centers of Shimla. Rampur used to be the capital city of the Bushahr Empire during the 18th century in India. Located near Shimla, Rampur falls along the ancient trade route to Afghanistan, Ladakh, China and Tibet. It is located on the banks of the mighty river Sutlej. The tradition of Rampur is still pulsating as ever and one feels completely rejuvenated on visiting this place.
The main attraction of Rampur is the Lavi Fair, which is supposed to be one of the biggest fairs of North India. This fair is held every year during the second week of November. The fair is quite popular among the people in Shimla and is held for three days. The fair is abuzz with life and activities as it is a major crowd puller. The fair is commercial in nature as tradesmen and craftsmen come from all over Shimla to buy, sell and exchange articles like dry fruits, shawls, blankets, crop produce, handicraft items, fruits, etc. Some people even trade in livestock like sheep, goats, cows and horses.
The place is one of the best shopping hubs and one can get just about any exotic item over here. You can pick up handicraft items like wooden carvings and clay sculptures. The most popular items are the handspun woolen shawls and rugs that are warm even in the coldest weather. Rampur is famous for its handspun blankets that are popularly known “Rampuri Chaddar” (Chaddar is Hindi for blanket). The blankets are known for their softness and durability and tourists make it a point to buy atleast one from here.
The beautiful Sarahan city is located on the Shimla – Kinnaur border. It is situated at an altitude of 2165 meters. One of the most beautiful places to visit in India, Sarahan valley near Simla is the work of a perfectionist. The right amount of beauty mixed with serenity and tranquility, Sarahan looks like time spared this part of Shimla. The undulating valleys and snowy peaks that surround Sarahan are exquisitely beautiful. Sarahan has something to offer to everyone and you are sure to fall in love with the place when you come visiting.
The place is well-known for its ancient Bhimakali temple and it also serves as a base for numerous treks. The best season for going on treks is April to June and September to November. If you are looking for pure unadulterated fun and soak yourself in the beauty of nature, come to Sarahan and experience true bliss. The place is famous for its apple and peach orchards that are spread over miles of area. The small huts with thatched roofs give this valley the look of an untouched paradise. In short, the place is picture perfect.
The valley is filled with beautiful blooms of flowering plants and dense pine trees. The Himalayas provide the perfect backdrop of snow-clad lofty ranges surrounding the small beautiful valley in between. You are recommended to carry light woolens though weather remains pleasant during summers. However, the evenings may get chilly at times and it is best to carry a light jacket with yourself.
The famous Bhimakali Temple in Shimla is a very popular tourist attraction. Also known as Bheemakali Temple of Simla, this architectural wonder is one of the representatives of 51 Shakti Peeths. The unique thing about this temple is that the style of architecture used to build it is a unique amalgamation of both Hinduism and Buddhism. It is built of wood and is no less than an architectural masterpiece. Located near the temple are the palaces of the royal families of Shimla.
The temple has an interesting story behind it. It is said that long ago, there were many demons in the Himalayas who were proving to be a major distraction when the priests and saints used to meditate. They all prayed to the Gods above to send a powerful force to wipe the demons off. Hearing their pleas, the Gods decided to concentrate their powers on one point. A huge explosion took place and one could see a small girl child on that spot. This girl child grew up to be the force who destroyed all demons and was supposed to take repeated births to destroy any evil force on the face of the earth. The temple is dedicated to this great female power who was called Bhimakali.
Related Tour: Golden triangle with Shimla
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