The call of the mountains is simply too good to resist, especially during summers, when the scorching heat terrorizes the plains. Shimla Manali tour packages offer an amazing combination of the modern life and the charm of the mountains.
Shimla is one of the most popular hillside tourist hotspots in India and has been a favourite hill-station for both locals and foreigners for many years now. It was developed primarily during the days of the British Raj. Today, Shimla witnesses hundreds and thousands of tourists every year. It’s not just the capital of Himachal Pradesh, it also serves as the hub of commerce and tourism of the Himalayan state.
But this can make Shimla a not-so-pleasant experience for the offbeat adventurer. If you like to step away from the bustling crowds, explore the unknown and spend time in the lap of nature, Shimla is definitely not the place for you. However, this doesn’t mean you should write off Shimla Manali tour packages altogether. There are quite a few places near Shimla that would take you away from the commotion of the Himachal capital, and provide you with an immersive, offbeat experience! Read on to find out about a few of them!
Located at a distance of 45 km. from Shimla, Chail is one of the few hill-stations that are almost on par with Shimla in terms of commercial development. And yet, Chail sees far smaller crowds than Shimla, and its lush greenery and panoramic mountain views would make any offbeat adventurer swoon! Whether it’s an idyllic romantic vacation you want, or some scenic hiking trails, Chail can satisfy both urges. Till the late-19th Century, Chail was nothing more than a sleepy village. But Bhupinder Singh, the then-Maharaja of Patiala, decided to develop Chail as much as Shimla, and the hill-station has not looked back since. Apart from being home to tons of natural beauty, Chail is also known for the Chail Cricket Ground, Chail Palace, and the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary. The Chail Palace has been converted into a posh luxury hotel, while the cricket ground holds the record for being the world’s most high-altitude cricket arena! The wildlife sanctuary is the ideal destination for nature lovers, and is home to many animals like the common langur (monkey), the Himalayan black deer, and wild boar.
A distance of 72 km. separates Shimla from the small hill-station of Kasauli. Like Shimla, Kasauli too was predominantly developed under British occupation, albeit as a cantonment town, and still houses several landmarks from the British Raj era. Baptist Church and Christ Church are two prominent examples of the classic Gothic architectural style. But what really stands out in Kasauli is its gorgeous displays of nature at its finest! Dense forests and distant views of towering snow-capped peaks make Kasauli a haven for nature lovers. Its wide variety of flora and fauna too, has the capacity to captivate. The yearlong pleasant climate makes Kasauli a great all-year round mountain destination. You can do your fair share of shopping here too, with the Lower and Upper Mall intersection being lined with a vast array of commercial establishments.
Kufri is barely 20 km. from Shimla, and is probably one of the nearest offbeat destinations from the Himachal capital. Kufri dates back to the early 19th century, when it was founded by the British. Most of its reputation as an offbeat tourist destination has come in recent years though. Kufri is a hot favourite among skiers, and its annual winter sports festival makes the worldwide skiing community sit up and take notice! A trip to Kufri without skiing would leave the trip incomplete, and it is surely one of the must-have experiences on Shimla Manali tour packages. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Himalayan Nature Park too, which is located quite close to the hill-station. Known for its variety of fauna, it is the perfect place to spot Himalayan wildlife in action. Chail, Kufri and Shimla are collectively regarded as Himachal Pradesh’s ‘Golden Triangle’, a reference to India’s most popular tourist circuit, the Golden Triangle, which includes Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.
Only 13 km. separate Mashobra from Shimla. The hill-station is situated on the Hindustan-Tibet Road, a road of historic significance, and is famous for its oak and pine forests and stunning views of various Himalayan peaks. At an altitude of 7,040 ft., the hill-station has managed to retain its old-world charm, and acts as a base for several treks to remote, unexplored areas. Boating and horse-riding are also quite popular activities. Mashobra’s abundant natural beauty includes varieties of both flora and fauna, with its apple orchards being famous all over Himachal Pradesh. The town serves as a two-week summer retreat for the Indian president each year too. Mashobra gets quite cold in the winter months, and a summer visit is advised.
With such a dazzling array of destinations in its vicinity, a trip to Shimla is recommended not just to the casual tourists, but also to offbeat explorers and adventurers!