About 55km from Shimla, Barog is often looked upon as a picturesque stop on the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge rail route. But surrounded by forests and oak, this can be a pleasant hideaway. The Solan Brewery, now converted to a distillery, has been around since 1855. If you happen to be there in June, do not miss the Shoolini Devi Fair held in Solan, 8km away.
If the British would not have snatched away Shimla from Maharaj Bhupinder Singh of Patiala state, we would have never had Chail. The Maharaja chose Chail as his summer retreat. It has the world’s highest cricket ground (2250 m, built in 1893). Although the town has rather lost its quaint charm, HPTDC’s Palace Hotel, carved out of the former palace, has managed to retain the greenery around it. There are several private hotels in around Chail.
About 90km away from Shimla, Chindi is surrounded by apple orchards and overlooks the Karsog valley. There are several old temples in the area – Mamleshwar Mahadev, Aledi Mahadev, Nag Dhamooni, Palinag, etc. The more energetic can hike to Shikari Devi peak.
About 50km from Shimla, Darlaghat is more of a satellite to Solan. Visit the fort in Arki (the former capital of the state of Baghal) for the murals done in the Pahari style of painting. A 7km walk will lead you to the Lutroo Mahadev temple. Take a taxi up to the Chanawog village and then walk up another four km to reach the Harsingh Tibba, for a bird’s eye view of Shimla and the Sutlej river valley.
About 22km from Shimla, this tiny village, on the Hindustan Tibet Road, offers a great view of the Himalayan snow peaks. Take a walk in the countryside, through orchards and meadows. You can trek or drive to Kufri, which has a mini zoo and a nature park.
About 73km from Shimla, Kasauli is also well-connected with Chandigarh (about 65km away). The natural beauty of the place make this a pleasant destination. You can enjoy the many cafes and small restaurants that have sprung up to cater mainly to the several boarding schools in and around Kasauli (led by the famous Lawrence School of Sanawar). Take a walk along the countryside or explore the upper and lower malls or go sightseeing (the Christ Church and the Baptist Church, Monkey Point, etc.).
About 27km from Shimla, this is a pocket-friendly hill station where nature is your only companion. It can be reached from the Kandaghat station of the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge train.
With Shimla, the popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh, getting crowded day by day, why not escape to some of the lesser known satellite destinations for a quiet holiday? Here is our list of top 10 destinations around Shimla.
About 22km from Shimla, Naldehra is known for its beautiful glades. The hamlet takes its name from the Nag temple here. The nine-hole golf course is said to be country’s oldest. Lord Curzon was so captivated by the beauty of this place, that he kept his daughter Alexandra’s middle name as Naldehra. One can visit the sulphur springs of Tattapani.
About 75km from Shimla, on the Hindustan-Tibet Road, it is overlooked by the Himalayan snow peaks and surrounded by forests and apple orchards. Skiers flock here in winter. But for the rest of the year, it is a quiet place. The old Mahamaya temple is about 7km away. The more energetic can hike to the top of the Hatu peak, named after the Hatu Mata temple located here.
About 80km from Shimla, it is the base camp for climbers ascending the Churdhar Mountain in the Sirmour valley.