Mashobra and the area surrounding it, is a hiker’s haven. Folks who explore the region on foot, brave forbidden terrains and unforgiving weather at times, to experience the area like no others possibly could. Most hikers are rewarded with views that seem like photos ripped out of a storybook. The terrain at times includes dirt trails and steep mountainsides, all of which, is worth every moment spent out there. While traipsing through Mashobra, you’ll come across many unmarked hiking trails, mostly leading to small hamlets. The weather runs a gamut, too — ranging from dry & warm to cold fronts with freezing temperatures, snow and rain. Plan your gear accordingly!
We’ve listed out some of our favourites below. Happy hiking!
Mashobra Shali Tibba
Shali Tibba (2867 m) is the highest peak in the vicinity of Mashobra and is hard to miss. It is a magnificent isolated pinnacle with a Kali temple on the top. The ascent up to Shali traverses an ancient trail through dense pine forests and rolling alpine pastures. It is a steep and steady climb to the often mist enveloped peak. At a majestic 9,423 ft, the peak commands an unforgettable view of endless snow covered ranges along with the Sutlej valley and the densely forested hills of Shimla, Fagu, Kufri, Mashobra and Narkanda. For the avid photographer and nature lover, this trek offers the experience of a lifetime. This stand-alone peak provides a magnificent vantage point for a panoramic 360 degree view of Himachal Pradesh. Away from the busy streets of Shimla, the trek to Shali Top is beautiful, short & easy and can be completed in a single day. It is an ideal weekend trek in Shimla.
Ideally, you would drive till Khatnol Village (1850 m)–the base of the trek, via Baldhea along a fascinating dirt track to Gulshaini (3 km), a tiny hamlet (1250 m) situated at the base of the peak. From Gulshaini it is a steady climb along a rough road till Khatnol, an isolated village perched amidst rolling fields. This could take 90 min or thereabouts. The Khatnol Rest House is the perfect place to get some well-deserved rest and chai. From Khatnol to the top of the peak is a 9 km climb. The landscape changes dramatically as one follows the ancient trail towards the peak. It is a three-hour climb at a leisurely pace with ample time to stand and gaze at the surrounding magnificence and the imposing peak ahead. The final climb is a tough one and is amply rewarded by the breathtaking view from atop. It is a must to visit the historic temple. For, the legend goes that one’s wishes come true here. Like most descents, this one too is surprisingly quick!
MASHOBRA to THAILA is 8 kms of steep descent through dense forests and picturesque glades till Thaila located on the banks of the Nauti River at the bottom of the valley.
The hilltop village of Charabra is dotted with small houses and a grand view of the Himalayas, stretching from Kullu to Kinnaur. A favorite with old timers, Charabara also houses, The Retreat–the President’s Summer Abode. The hike begins from Charabara and ascends to the helipad located on an adjacent hillock. The initial path till the helipad is along a tarmac road that winds past the Punjab Raj Bhavan, a vestige from the days when Shimla was also the summer capital of Punjab. From the helipad, that commands a 360-degree view of Shimla and the Himalayan ranges, a footpath penetrates the surrounding forests and descends on to the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, completed in 1853 by enterprising British engineers as an access route to Tibet. A short stroll along this ancient road, lined by apple orchards on one side, culminates at a school for handicapped children, a landmark from where the loop back towards the car begins. Here, in season, one can indulge in a frenzied apple-picking session that the various apple trees growing wild all around the school offer.
This hike would walk you from Mashobra to Sipur. This is a pine forest walk with a descent to the village of Sipur. Walk further to Kanda village and end it at Dak Bungalow which was built by the British in the Raj era. You can continue the walk upto Kufri visiting the Indira Tourist Park where one gets to see the natural flora and fauna of the place. A pick up can be organised for your return to Mashobra.
The K Hike through forests and glades
The trek starts at Potters Hill. From here, you descend through resplendent Oak and Rhododendron groves to Chadwick Falls, a waterfall trundling over a cliff in the Summer Hill gorge. A level walk from the falls and a stride across a ridge at the village of Sanog starts the sharp descent to the tiny hamlet of Chamoh, an ancient village situated amidst picturesque terraced fields at the beginning of the Glen valley. Here you would meet the Glen rivulet and trace it upstream through some enchanting forests and breathtakingly beautiful glades, the silence only being punctuated by the constant chattering of the stream or the calls of the plethora of bird-life found here. The enchanting beauty of Glen entices one to halt and savour a well-deserved picnic hamper accompanied by some fantastic bird sightings. After a break, you could start the ascent back. A short uphill climb from this “little valley of paradise” connects to the Annandale road ascending to The Cecil where one can be picked-up by vehicle to be driven back to Mashobra.