Nature walks in Shimla: Hiking

Why do we go hiking?

Hiking is a recreational activity where we walk because we want to, not because we have to. The journey is more important than the destination.  Shimla is a hikers paradise and is best seen by walking and all major points the ridge the mall etc are covered on foot only. As the temperatures are pleasant and the natural scenes outstanding complete with cool air the environment drives you to walk in Shimla to enjoy its beauty.

Hiking is a great way to explore nature. Hiking win Shimla will bring you back to nature.

From Scandal Point to the Former Vice regal Lodge

A round trip will cover approximately six kilometers along level stretches and slopes. From Scandal Point on the mall, this walk goes to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, the former Viceregal Lodge.

With twists and turns, the route is across the non-shopping areas of the mall; and this walk is designed to include as many of the interesting site that lie along or just off the track.

The following places will come en-route

Start: Scandal Point, General Post Office (GPO), St. Andrew’s Church, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Bantony, Kali Bari Temple, Railway Board Building, Gorton Castle, The Vidhan Sabha , Chaura Maidan, The Cecil hotel,  State Museum, AIR Shimla,  Viceregal Lodge (now, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study), and while comming back State Bank Of India heritage building  ,St. Michael’s Cathedral, telegraph Office.

The Glen and Annandale Walks

The Glen Walk

From Scandal Point to the Glen which is a narrow valley through which a stream flows. This is more of a nature trail that goes to one of Shimla’s most popular picnic sport. This walk covers about seven to eight kilometers from Scandal Point. Plan for three hours or longer. On the way see the trees, the little stream, the birds, and perhaps some deer and butterflies while we are at it.

The Annandale Walk

This passes through thick deodar woods to reach a large open glade. The walk towards Annandale is largely downhill and all uphill on the return. From Scandal Point on the mall, this cover a distance of six seven kilometers. Plan for three hours or more. The routs may also be dovetailed with the Glen Walk, which will then take a total of around five hours or more and will cover eight to twelve kilometers.

Trip to Jakho temple

Jakho (Jakhoo, Jakhu) is the hill that dominates Shimla and is topped by the temple dedicated to lord Hanuman. The walk starts from the Ridge to the Hanuman temple and back. The total walk route covers a little over five kilometers. Plan for two hours or more. The views from the top are excellent. This is also the highest peak in Shimla.

A short walk through Shimla’s Lower Bazaar.

The Lower Bazaar runs roughly parallel to the Mall. This walk starts at the deputy commissioners office and winds up at the Sher-e-Punjab restaurant end.  Depending on the time you take to dissect the shops, sample the wares, jostle and be jostled, the walking time is just about half an hour. The distance is barely a kilometers and a half.

Look for the architecture, the shops, the Ganj and the the tunnel

From Boileauganj to the temple of Kamna Devi

This petite and beautiful temple is dedicated to Kamna Devi. It is on top of the Prospect Hill. A 15 minute climb from  Prospect Hill is another favorite walk in Shimla and vantage point with breath-taking views. Boileauganj is on the western part of Shimla beyond Indian Institute of advance studies.

From Scandal Point to Chadwick Falls and back through Summer Hill after a glimpse of Potters’ Hill.

Chadwick Falls – which everyone includes, is his or her itinerary but never gets around to visiting – lie in the western edges of Shimla, as dose potters Hill. This is a long walk and if you intend using your legs all the way from Scandal Point and back, plan for five to six hours. You will cover between twelve to fifteen kilometers along slopes and level stretches. The last leg of two Kilometers or so is along a narrow path in a forest.

Highlights Built heritage up to the former Viceregal Lodge, Summer Hill, The woods and views, Chadwick Falls, Potters’ Hill, Summer Hill Railway Station, Boileauganj (if included), Prospect Hill And the temple of Kamna Devi (if included)

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