Often referred to as “Queen of Hill Station”, Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is one of the gorgeous hill stations in India and among the popular places to visit in Himachal. Shimla is an all-time favorite holiday destination for many travellers as this pristine hill town is blessed with exquisite architectural marvels, incredible landscape, and rejuvenating views of lofty Himalayas. With time Shimla has been extremely crowded, especially during the peak season. However, there are also several stunning offbeat places in and around Shimla for those who are looking for peace while visiting the hills. Take a look at these marvelous offbeat places, and include one or two in your next Shimla Tour.
About 25 km from Shimla, Naldehra is a picturesque hill station situated at an altitude of 2044 m above sea level. This is one of the least-explored hill stations in Himachal, and among the must-include offbeat places in Shimla tour packages. Naldehra is famous for its beautiful natural surroundings including lush green valleys and magnificent mountain peaks and freshwater springs. The main attraction here is the 18 holes golf course, which was built under the supervision of Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India in the early 1900s. Maintained and run by Himachal Tourism, it is a well-groomed golf course and perhaps one of the finest in India. The river water rafting in Chabba is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.
Also Read : Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh
Surrounded by lush green deodar forest, Koti – Kanasar is a little town situated near Shimla, must-include places in Himachal tour packages. It is an ideal spot for a picnic where one can spend some quality time with friends and family. Also, Kanasar is famous for maintaining very old deodar trees and is home to Asia’s biggest Deodar tree with a circumference of 6.35 m. Koti is home to multiple short hikes and a stroll across the thick Deodars and a sprawled jungle, spotting unique flora and fauna on your way is an amazing experience one can get at Koti-Kansasar, among the top places to visit in Shimla. One can also spot unique Himalayan birds like Steppe Eagle, Vultures, Western Tragopan, and Pheasants in the jungles of Koti.
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Shoja is a beautiful village situated at an altitude of 2368 m in the inner Seraj region just below Jalori Pass that marks the southern limit of the Kullu valley. Located close to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), this tiny hamlet remains relatively undisturbed as it is a little away from the popular tourist tracks leading to Shimla or Kullu. The place is an ideal retreat for those who want to relax and watch the lush green forests. The Sareolsar Lake, Raghupur Fort, Waterfall Point, Jalori Pass, and Tirthan Valley are the few attractions in Shoja, among the top places to visit in Kullu. Quite popular among backpackers and trekkers, the village offers some breathtaking views of the Tirthan valley below. June is the best time to visit when the iris flowers are in full bloom and the whole valley turns blue.
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The small hill town of Karsog is the only place that showcases the most impressive green landscape near Shimla. It is one of the best offbeat hill stations near Chandigarh, and among the most stunning unexplored places near Shimla. Surrounded by dense forests and apple orchards on all sides, it is an ideal place for those who want a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Make sure to bring back some fine quality apples to home while in Karsog, and don’t miss out on trekking to Dhamoon Peak, among the top places of trekking in Himachal.
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Located at an altitude of 2,313 m, Sarahan is a small town on the banks of the meandering Sutlej River in Himachal Pradesh. Once the summer capital of the rulers of Bushahr, this quaint hill town is fondly called the “Gateway to Kinnaur”. Sarahan is also home to the famous Bhimakali Temple, among the top places of pilgrimage in Himachal. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple is 800 years old and it is regarded as one of the 51 sacred Shakti peethas. Dotted with pine forests, apple orchards, gushing streams, slate-roofed houses, and terraced farms, Saharan is the base for numerous treks and also heaven for nature lovers.
Must Read : Breathtakingly Beautiful Valleys in Himachal
Situated ahead of Kufri, Cheog is a beautiful tiny hamlet located near Shimla at an altitude of 2086 meters. It is one of the most scenic unexplored places in Himachal, and among the best places to visit near Chandigarh. This picturesque hamlet is surrounded by apple orchards and lush green mountains. One can get a picturesque view of the hills and mountains from Cheog. Besides, the pleasant weather in summers and snowfall in winters makes it the perfect destination for those who want to spend some time amidst mother nature. While in Cheog, visitors can go for picnics, hikes and also, surely try horse riding to nearby viewpoints.
Also Read : Top Things to do in Kufri
About 77 km from Shimla, Kotgarh is a small town located on the old Hindustan-Tibet road in Himachal Pradesh. Regarded as the apple bowl of India, it is one of the offbeat destinations near Shimla, and among the top places to visit in Narkanda. Kotgarh is the site where Satyanand Stokes, an American missionary first sowed the apple seeds and started the apple cultivation revolution in Himachal Pradesh. The place is also known for apple wine, local fairs, and Pahari cuisine. During summer, the place is open for several adventure activities such as paragliding, camping, trekking, and rafting.
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