If you’ve been feeling wound up and want to go out in nature but don’t have the time to go on a long multi-day trek, then you can choose one of the easy treks and walks that abound in and around Shimla town. It is said that Shimla is best enjoyed by walking; read on to know why.
Going on long trekking expeditions is great fun but you can’t do it very often because of the amount of time required. Sometimes all you need is a little excursion to refresh the mind and charge up for the coming week. There are many great places in and around Shimla to do such short and easy treks that everyone can enjoy. Some of these will take a few hours while some are only a few minutes long but add a picnic or some time to sit and contemplate and you’ve got a cool revitalizing trek.
Let’s look at 5 such treks that you can take up on a boring Sunday.
5. Trek to Dhanu Devta Temples
The three temples of Dhanu Devta are old and architecturally unique temples in Shimla. Sadly they are a neglected piece of heritage located on the southern slopes of Shimla, below the town.
You can start this trek from Mall road and head down from High Court, passing through Bemloe.
When you reach the cart road, head down to the Central Potato Research Institute to reach cemetery at the Shimla Bypass road.
From there head further downhill to the village of Kalyana, where you’ll find the upper temple of Dhanu Devta. As you head further downhill you’ll reach the middle temple and then the lower temple of Dhanu Devta which is also the prettiest. This is also a good place to have a picnic.
The return journey can be made on the same track or you can head up to the village of Kaloa and reach Khalini. This trek is not very well known but a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
4. Trek to Kamna Devi Temple
Kamna Devi temple is situated on top of Prospect Hill, one of the seven hills of Shimla. It is just a 20 minute walk from Boileauganj.
To make it even more interesting you can start your walk from The Mall and walk to the Viceregal Lodge of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.
Continue to walk on the path that veers off towards the left just a few meters before the main gates of IIAS.
This road will take you to Boileauganj bazaar.
From there, you can climb up to the top of Prospect Hill. This is an interesting and an easy little trek that anyone can enjoy.
3. Trek to Chadwick Falls
If you want to get away from civilization and into the green forests, you should try the Chadwick Falls trek.
From the main gates of IIAS you head on the road that leads on to the right towards the HP University Campus. This road goes all around the hill to Summer Hill but you need to take the bifurcation at Sangti. This road is unpaved but broad. Follow this winding road till you reach a signboard for Chadwick Falls.
From there a narrow trail leads into the forest. As you start walking on this trail you’ll be able to hear the sound of the waterfall and leave behind the noise of the road. Chadwick Falls is a good place to have a picnic but the amount of plastic garbage that has been brought over with the water might depress you a little. You can find a good spot to sit and enjoy in the forest. Like the rain shelter’s roof.
2. Trek to Jakhoo Temple
Jakhoo is the highest hill in Shimla and also the original temple that existed before the town of Shimla was thought up by heat stricken Englishmen.
You can start the walk from Ridge and a board tells you that if you can complete the climb in less than 30 minutes, you are reasonably fit.
Don’t rush just to make the time as the climb is pretty steep.
Be careful of the monkeys of Jakhoo as they have a habit of snatching any loose items and hold them till the ransom of Prasad is paid.
Keep all mobiles, cameras, glasses etc. in a bag. You can also get wooden sticks on rent that can be used as a climbing aid and to keep the monkeys away.
If you are a local and this little trek is too common for you, try some of the other routes through Sanjauli and Navbahar to make things interesting.
1. Trek to Tara Devi
Of course the best one day trek in Shimla, that comes the closest to real trekking experience, is the Tara Devi trek.
You have to take a bus or train to Tara Devi from Shimla and then walk about 4 km uphill along a meandering forest path.
The trek is easy and most people should be able to do it at a leisurely pace. A whole day’s picnic and retreat can be planned for Tara Devi. Of course if you are in a hurry or don’t fancy the workout, you can also drive all the way to the top. If you take the train, it will add to the experience.
If you think I missed something, please add it in comments.