Potters Hill – Eco-friendly camping in pure wilderness

dust trails - Potters Hill, Shimla

As a Himachal Pradesh University Student, viagra buy I was always a maligner and often shirked to the nearby Potters Hill. Little known to the local populace, situated amidst the Van Vihar area of Summer Hill, it was a surprise to discover a 100 acres eco-friendly resort that hosted camps throughout the year. Camp Potters Hill, as it is known is a perfect gateway for those seeking seclusion, fun and closeness to wild life and nature.

Potters Hill, Shimla
Potters Hill, Shimla

The entire hillock is a cover of temperate forests that comes under the protected catchment area. Except for the camp site, you will find no other settlement on the hill side. Long Forest trails and dusty footpaths that stretch for kilometres is the only constant in the region.

Road to potters hill
Road to potters hill

More than 10 years ago, the Potter Hill Eco Development Society (PHEDS) set by the Government of Himachal Pradesh had established a catchment protection for the hill. Thankfully, it still remains protected within a fenced enclosure, attracting adventure lovers to come, camp here, but leave the place in its own quaint.

Since PHED could not further development in the region, they leased the site to a private party for boosting eco tourism. Hence was born Camp Potters Hill.

Potters Hill, Shimla3
Potters Hill, Shimla

The Camp is an eco-friendly resort with about 11 cottages and 8 luxury tents set right in the middle of the forest. Visiting tourists can enjoy several activities at the camp, including, outdoor games like air gun shooting, badminton, cricket, treasure hunt, village Darshan, rope walks, rock climbing and more. One can also enjoy indoor games like carom, chess and scrabble.

Day treks around the region can be fun. The hillock is home to plenty of birds like pheasants, koels, blue magpies, khaliz and many other migratory birds. There are special Machans at the camp site for bird watching. A leopard too has been spotted in the region and is thought to be a boon in times when the town is witnessing a disappearing population of the big cat.

Macchan for bird watching - Potters Hill, Shimla
Macchan for bird watching – Potters Hill, Shimla

Flocked with small villages all around the hillock, especially on the mountains facing the opposite side are something to marvel. Lively as they are, sometimes one can hear distant folk music playing for a marriage, or herds of animals grazing on distant grasslands. The dusty roads bring you to number of quiet fields and remote pastures, with the occasional presence of villagers smoking and resting while on their way back home.

On asking locals around about the origin of the name of Potters Hills, they will tell you that once upon a time there was a small pond (the pond still exists near the boy’s hostel of Himachal Pradesh university) within the lush green environments of the hillock, where potters from all adjoining village used to gather to prepare earthen pots of different shapes and sizes. This is where the place derives its name from.

For years now there is not a hint that the art of pottery ever flourished in the region.

After the long walks and hikes during the day, a bonfire and barbeque at night is perfectly refreshing. You get good food and a cosy bed in the tents, where sleep after the hard labor day is sure to be sweet.  

bonfire and barbeque - Potters Hill, Shimla
Bonfire and barbeque – Potters Hill, Shimla

Only 7 km from the main city centre, you can easily come here on your car or hire a taxi. If walking is your thing, take a bus till Summer Hill and a walk of about 1.5 km will take you to your destination. You’ll cross the campus of Himachal Pradesh University, its boy’s hostel, a small cricket field, and also a small museum too.

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