The trendy hill station of Shimla is one of the most sought after tourist destinations owing to a unique colonial era (summer capital of Britishers), trekking options, lush green vegetation, and snow-capped Himalayan ranges. No matter how often you have visited this place, Shimla never ceases to charm you in a different way each time you are there. But for those who are tired of the dreary daily life in Shimla and crave for exploring something beyond the Mall Road, the Scandal Point, and other touristy attractions, we have a bunch of weekend trips from Shimla that promise some great adventures, spiritualism, and truck loads of nature-close moments. Choose from one of the following destinations, most of which are at an hour’s distance from Shimla for a relatively quiet stay to avoid the summer traffic of visitors.
The panoramic destination of Chail along with its hilly terrains and pristine landscapes, makes for a perfect weekend getaway near Shimla away from the maddening crowd of the city. Chail served as the former summer capital of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of the princely state of Patiala and is popularly known for housing the world’s highest cricket ground built in 1893. The ground is situated at height of 2445 meters and offers grand unsurpassed vistas of the Himalayan Mountains. It also houses a wildlife sanctuary where you can spot the Rhesus macaque, leopard, Indian muntjac, Crested porcupine, Himalayan black bear, and common langur, among other species. Don’t forget to indulge in some thrilling adventure activities in Chail like trekking and camping when you come here. You can also opt to stay in one of the several private hotels or relaxing cottages in around Chail and make the most of your weekend trip from Shimla.
Distance from Shimla: 54 kilometres
Best time to visit: April to October
Well known place for horse riding around the year, the picturesque town of Kufri is also a popular picnic spot near Shimla for skiing on snow-clad slopes, go-karting, yak rides, and other winter sports. This little hill station is also the place where most of the treks to Manali and Shimla commence from here. The place promises an adrenaline rush and makes for a popular weekend getaway for vacationers. Nature walks and trails through thick foliage and grooves make this place a great spot to get consumed by nature’s wanderlust. Take a leisurely walk through the vibrant bazaar or interact with the locals to know more about the place. Kufri Fun World, Himalayan National Park, and Mahasu Peak are some of the other places to visit in Kufri that attract the travelers from far and wide. This little hill station is a must-visit place for all those who are looking to reboot themselves from the distress of urban life.
Distance from Shimla: 14 kilometres
Best time to visit: December to February (for snowfall) and April to June
From a plethora of opulent Buddhist temples, religious sites, colourful streets and bazaars to holy temples, wildlife parks, breweries, and beautiful monasteries, this hilly paradise offers its visitors abundance of tourist places and adventure activities in Solan as one of the promising weekend trips from Shimla. If you happen to plan a visit in June, do not miss the Shoolini Devi Fair, when the temple is completely illuminated with lights and diyas and is crowded with traders, sweet sellers and shopkeepers from the neighbouring town.
Also don’t forget to take a bite of the nature-kissed juiciest tomatoes and mushrooms here, Solan is famed for them. In fact, extensive mushroom farming has even accorded the hill station the name ‘Mushroom Capital of India’. Solan, surrounded by high peaks, also serves as the perfect gateway to other hill stations like Kasauli and Chail.
Distance from Shimla: 46 kilometres
Best Time to Visit: March to November
This secluded piece of paradise is a must on your travel bucket list of places off the beaten track in Shimla. Located near the banks of the Uhl River, Barot boasts of some wonderful terraced fields, thick cedar forests, a wildlife sanctuary, biking trails, and a range of outdoor activities on offer for the tourist. One good thing about this place is that like most other tourist places near Shimla, it is not that crowded, so you can peacefully revel in the serenity of nature.
You can club your trip to Barot along with a drive to the secluded village of Bir Biling, which is a haven for paragliding. While Bir is more of a trite Buddhist town having serene and pleasant monasteries and a huge stupa and known only amongst a host of travellers, the neighbouring town of Billing is the hotspot of paragliding in India. The famed town came to forefront when in 2015 it hosted the Paragliding World Cup by the Paragliding World Cup Association of France.
Distance from Shimla: 204 kilometres
Best time to visit: April to June and September to November
A weekend in this pleasant hamlet, amidst a spellbinding view of the woody deciduous forests of Pine and Spruce, green meadows, and Himalayan snow peaks, would be a complete delight in the lap of nature. The small village of Fagu offers rare views of bright-coloured valleys and picturesque countryside landscape with fruit orchids and terraced gardens. This romantic escapade spells magic and one of those lesser known spots you have been wanting to stop your car at. Take a walk through the deciduous forest of the area or spend hours observing the apple orchards, flower fields, and the snow-clad peaks.
Fagu is home to a few newly opened holiday resorts and is an excellent spot for trekkers, botanists, photographers, and nature enthusiasts who come to explore the beautiful countryside of Shimla. It is advised to plan your trip in the spring and early summers when the small cliffs and deep valleys are dotted with apple orchards and blossoming flower fields. Fagu will not fail to surprise you with its absolute splendour, charm, and serenity. It is one of the secluded retreats you must include in your next Shimla trip.
Distance from Shimla: 22 kilometres on the Hindustan Tibet road
Best time to visit: April to June and October to December
Looking for yet another picnic spot near Shimla? Head to Tattapani, the land of hot water spring, which is known to have religious significance and makes for a memorable holiday weekend trip from Shimla. Relax, immerse, and soak yourself with peace and happiness after visiting this place or take a holy dip to wash off your sins and achieve absolution and sheer bliss. The hot sulfur springs near the bank of river Sutlej are believed to have medicinal properties, offering relief from acute body aches and fatigue. While you are there, don’t forget to walk up and pay homage at the Shiva Caves, which are less than a 10 minutes’ drive from Tattapani.
Distance from Shimla: 56 kilometres
Best time to visit: April to June
While planning your weekend trips from Shimla, you should definitely not miss this offbeat destination. The windless little Himalayan town is packed with dense apple orchards and surrounded with thick jungles of pine and Oak trees, overlooking the Karsog Valley. Only a handful of people know about it, but the place has several old temples and display of traditional craftsmanship can be seen in the colourful bazaars and street shops. The prominent temples worth visiting are Mamleshwara Mahadev, Kamakshya Mata, Mahunag Ardhnarishwara, and Aledi Mahadev. In order to beat the hustles and din of everyday life, and spend some quality time with your loved ones, planning a trip to this place will not disappoint you a bit.
Visit here during the apple blossom season and you will be awe-struck. Green meadows, gentle flowing mountain streams, shepherds, and their flock and trails all are waiting for you to be discovered. Chindi certainly calls for a weekend stay and the good part is, there are a bunch of good options and guest houses to choose from.
Distance from Shimla: 87 kilometres
Best time to visit: April to June
One of the most enchanting places near Shimla, Tirthan Valley truly presents nature in its raw form. Surrounded by numerous hikes and nature walks, this beautiful valley is situated beside the Tirthan River and should definitely feature in your Shimla trip. Tirthan valley is an amazing place to relax in the lap of Mother Nature, sans the touristy-rush and high-end commercialization. Spring and early summers is supposed to be the best time to visit this hill station, when the beauty amplifies manifold with blooming flowers and fruit laden orchards that look stunning along the swift flowing water of the Tirthan River.
Also, pay a visit to the Great Himalayan National Park where you can experience a wide range of adventure activities like hiking, camping, trekking, fishing, and paragliding. You can also opt for day hikes in the bridle paths of the park or choose to stroll in the village or woods around it. Overall, it’s a perfect place to spend some refreshing time with your family.
Distance from Shimla: 171 kilometres
Best time to visit: March to May and October to November
This wildlife sanctuary houses a variety of species of animals like leopard, Black bear, Wild boars, Red jungle fowls, and barking deer among others. You can also spot some rare migratory birds while driving around the picturesque ghats and bike trails. Enjoy a quick bite at one of the many road side small eateries serving samosa, chole kulche, and Maggie. Darlaghat is also famed for the superior quality of limestone found here and also houses a prominent cement factory.
Drive your way through the nice peaceful village Arkhi, 13 kilometres from Darlaghat, which served as the former capital of the princely state of Baghal. Once there, you can visit the temple of Lutroo Mahadev or the majestic fort to admire the fine art and murals adorned in the Pahari style of painting, and to get a panoramic view of the Shimla Valley and the adjoining Satluj Basin.
Distance from Shimla: 48 kilometres
Best time to visit: October to April
Looking for offbeat weekend trips from Shimla? We have put together a list of getaways that make for great picnic spots near Shimla that offer a great deal of adventure, serenity, and rejuvenation. So pack your bags and get ready for your Himalayan adventure!
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