By:Meetanjali Sood Kalra
During the months of summer the hills stations are the most sought after destinations for those who want to indulge in themselves and escape the tedious routine of daily life. The state has always been fascinating people from different geographical locations and a vacation to some of these places in Himachal could be an experience of lifetime for few.
Sarahan, the former summer capital of Bushahr kingdom is a perfect holiday spot as the nature has bestowed over it all its generosity. The village is very popular due to its alluring attractions and pleasing ambiance. The weather remains pleasant from the months of April to July. One can hire a taxi or jeep from Shimla to reach here. There are a number of lodging options around the village one of them being HPTDC Hotel or there are few small hotels with decent services and facilities.
The place is also known, as the gateway of Kinnaur and the major attraction of this village is the Bhimakali Temple, which was made by the rulers of Bushahr state and has a very unique architecture. The temple is a built in Indo-Tibetan style of architecture and has an influence of the Kushan dynasty. There are two similar looking buildings with in the temple premises and the kings are believed to reside in the temple itself before moving to Shanti Kung Palace, which is about 100 meters from here. The palace is generally not open for public but one can take a stroll in the open garden or orchard around the palace.
Apart from these a day could be planned for pheasantry where a number of local species of birds are breaded. This pheasantry is also an up hill trek, which may take about 1-2 hours. The pheasantry gives a pleasing view of the two prominent peaks the Gushu-Pushu and Shrikhand Mahadev.
For those, who want to enjoy beautiful surrounding and meditate, then Naldehra, is no less than a picture perfect hill station. It is about 22 kilometers from Shimla and was discovered by Lord Curzon, a British Viceroy in the year 1905. It is a place for leisure and recreation and the best time to come here is between the months of May and September but the most moderate climate here is between March and April.
There are some luxurious resorts; log huts and apartments to stay around Naldehra but again the options are limited. Some good hotels here are The Chalets, Tourism Log Huts and Hotel Golf Course. The most attractive feature of this small hill station is its 18-hole golf course, which is at an altitude of 2044 meters and is right in the middle of thickly forested mountain spur. It happens to be one of the oldest golf courses in India and was made under the supervision of Lord Curzon. Initially a 9-hole course was later expanded to 18-hole course and has a design similar to Scottish golf courses. It is possible to play on the course by taking a temporary membership and the equipment is also available on hire.
Apart from golf one can have leisurely walks around pine trees or otherwise one can enjoy the beauty of nature by just sitting or the families can have good quality time with each other admiring nature as the place remains green though out the year. Naldehra is the best example of the most magnificent view and is a treasuring memory of comfort and grandeur to astound any visitor. Other tourist spots around Naldehra are the Kogi Village and Fair Grounds but for those who want to meditate can go to the Nag Temple, a temple of snake god.
Another place that could be an ideal summer holiday destination is Narkanda, also called the Apple country of Himachal. The Hindustan-Tibet road happens to pass through this eternal snow-lined horticulture village. As one passes through the hill lock one can see nature at its best with inviting apple orchards, thick forests and charming hill folk. Narkanda sees many sporting activities during the tourist season. The place connects Shimla with Rampur and stretches up to Thanedhar, the prime apple belt of Himachal Pradesh. Tourists and visitors can select the best possible option to stay as per their needs and necessities. There are reasonably good hotels with all the basic facilities.
Hatu Peak, which is 8 kilometers from Narkanda, is famous for prehistoric temple of Hatu Mata and could be reached via road. Other attraction around Narkanda is Thanedhar that is considered to be the horticultural heartland of the state. The village has an international recognition and is the producer of some of the most delicious varieties of Red, Golden and Royal apples. The historical Mahamaya Temple at Kacheri is the most suitable place for meditation as it has the most calm atmosphere and scenic views of green surrounding all around. Having a variety of treks and sporting activities the name of Narkanda is enough to cheer the adrenaline seekers and is equally over-awe for every single person been here.