The gods were generous when they gave Sarahan its setting. Located halfway up a high mountain side, the road to Sarahan winds past flowering jacaranda trees that give way to stately pines. Dozens of small streams rush past with waters of sparkling snow-melt. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate-roofed houses, compose pictures of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan, a mane of deodar trees rides the slopes and higher still, encircling the Bashal Peak, are trees of smooth birch and a variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. This sparsely populated tract is steeped in ancient legends and here is the famous Bhimakali temple – regarded as one of the fifty-one sacred ‘Shaktipeeths’. The temple’s unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a resplendent example of what is loosely called the ‘Indo-Tibetan Style’. Deep down in the valley, flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snowclad Shrikhand peak.
Sarahan is the base for numerous treks and is the gateway to Kinnaur. It is a place of pilgrimage, a haven for nature lovers and the temple complex attracts a variety of admirers. Here is a place that offers an out of the ordinary travel experience.
Naldehra – a nine-hole course set among the rolling hills – is the oldest in India and close to Shimla. There is a beautiful temple dedicated to Mahuna. In summer, colourful fairs are held there.
Nalagarh is the gateway to Himachal Pradesh in North India, 300 km north of Delhi and 60 km from Chandigarh. The Fort is located on a hillock at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas affording a panoramic view of the Shivalik Hills beyond the Sirsa river.
Known for its winter sports, Kufri, in the State of Himachal Pradesh is 16 kms away from Shimla. It is at a height of 2501M. The town with its pretty walks and rest houses on a hill is a beautiful scenic spot.
The remote rugged border district of Kinnaur has three tall mountain ranges running across it. The Sutlej and its tributaries slice through valleys and gorges of varying dimensions. Kinnaur offers marvellous opportunities for trekking and hiking. Ancient Buddhist monasteries with frescoes on their walls and wood carved temples dot the district.
Kasauli is a small hill station which offersome magnificent vistas. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by a stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled hourses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.
Situated in the foothills of the Western Himalayas , Kalka is the starting point of the fascinating hill railway that goes up to Shimla. Kalka is known for the narrow-gauge Himalayan Train. The little train winds up the picturesque route over high arched bridges, dramatic loops and through tunnels.
There are nine different flames within the Jwalamukhi temple and each signifies something different. It is said that centuries ago, a cowherd saw the flames for the first time and Raja Bhumi Chandra, the ruler of the area had the original temple built. The Mughal emperor Akbar installed a gold parasol and Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the dome gilded. Just above the Devi’s temple is the shrine of Bab Gorakhnath and across the courtyard is her ‘bed-chamber’.