We didn’t know about the gem of a place called Naldehra in Shimla until our latest Shimla and Manali trip . We came to know about Naldehra when our cab driver decided to take us here one fine morning during our trip.
Naldehra trek is located amidst dense deodar and pine forests. It is a hiking trek that extends amidst vast stretches of green forest. The whole area is lush green and fresh which makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely hike followed by a picnic. At one end, there also a small stream of water at Naldehra which turns wider somewhere down the line. While horses are available for trekking, one can go by foot as well. Many tourists visit this place for picnic amongst the woods. As a cherry on top of the cake, the trail is one of easiest to trek. In fact, it is so easy, it doesn’t even feel like a trek. It rather feels like more of a leisurely walk. If not for the occassional rain, the trail would be quiet dry and easy to navigate.
How we landed here
On our first day in Shimla, we were wondering where to head first, when our enthusiastic cab drivers suggested we go here and have a leisurely trek instead of hopping from one site to another in hurry. This absolutely resonated with our style of travel, so, we decided to take their suggestion. We started post breakfast from our homestay, little chillie. Since we had decided for a slow day, we started slow as well. Post a leisurely breakfast, we spent some time on the roof of our homestay, absorbing the warmth of the sun and snapping some family photos. Post that, we reached the starting point of Naldehra trek by 10:30 in the morning.
The starting point of Naldehra trek
The starting point of the trek is a peaceful location with amazing views of mountains beyond the valleys. There is a restaurant cum cafe at one side along with restroom and refreshment facility. While, on the other side of the trek is lined up with a few small stalls selling tea, coffee, snacks and soft drinks. Our family decided to warm themselves up with a cup of tea each at this stall before starting the trek. There were a few horses present near the stalls, which were available to hire for the trek in case someone didn’t or couldn’t walk. We decided to take their service for my in-laws. Since, they are both having knee ailments and couldn’t have walked the incline for long. Happily, they hopped over the horses while the rest of us decided to walk along the trail.
And then the trek starts
Post tea, we all started the trek. Although, the path was a little muddy as a result of unexpected rain the night before. So, we had to be little careful. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the trek it’s almost a cemented pathway, broken at times, so, not such a big deal.
We started slowly walking through the trek, watching our steps. There are fences on the side of the trekking path (perhaps to help keep the horses and mules on their track) . Beyond the fences is vast stretch of green fields and deodar forests. At one point, the fence had an opening for trekkers to actually leave the trek and venture into the greenery beyond. We took this opportunity to rest for a while, as well as to click some beautiful memorable pictures. However, once you lay down to rest on the soft grass, with the beautiful warm sun overhead, you will feel not to get up for long. I wish I had carried a bed-spead or blanket to lay over here and gaze the chirping birds for a while!! After some time, we decided to proceed further.
Into the wide Naldehra grounds
However, eventually we decided to leave the green fields and once back get on our trekking path. Soon, we started walking again. And soon enough, the path widened and we reached a vast spread of deodar and teak plantation. It would have been past 11:30 on the clock by now. The sun was almost overhead, but the warmth was pleasant enough. We soaked in the sun rays that were reaching us, filtered through the tall trees. Further down, there was a big stretch of green patch where people were having picnic in groups. There are quiet some monkeys on the trees here, awaiting to snatch some food from the tourist. Unaware of this fact, we opened a pack of biscuits for our baby and in no time a monkey came and snatched it away! (We managed to save a couple for her though 😀 ).
The golf course
There is a narrow stream of water running at the end of the mountain, which, as per the guide, gets broader further down the line somewhere. Also, at the other end of the slope, we can see a vast stretch of famous Naldehra golf course, visible through the pine and deodar trees. We stayed here for some time, and waited for everyone from our group to arrive. Then we decided to head back the same path we had come here, to reach the starting point. It took a little lesser time to trek down the slopes and reach back to the starting point.
Back to the starting point
By the time we reached the starting point, it was already lunch time. We decided to have lunch at the cafe cum restaurant (Cafe-Tee-Off, a HTPDC outlet) near there. The place was almost empty, we got a large table besides the windows, with unobstructed sunshine and great view of the valley and mountain ranges beyond. The food was ok, but the site beyond the window more than made up for it. There was beautiful sunshine coming from the window. And, we soaked as much of it as we could while having our lunch.
We had our lunch and lots of chit chat , followed by some relaxing time on the huge verandah of the hotel, before we headed to the next stop, the infamous mall road 🙂
Tips for visiting here:
- Wear Comfortable shoes because you will need to do a lot of walking
- If you are with children or elderly who may need assistance, you can hire horses from the starting point of the trip.
- Have some snacks and tea from the local stalls near the starting point, before you embark on the trail.
- Refrain from carrying food items and be alert about your electronics while on the trail as there are many monkeys around.
- Avoid rainy days as the trail might get muddy immediately after a rain and will not be suitable to walk
- Reach here by 10am and take your time to have a leisurely walk. It will not be too cold at this time and will be mostly free of mist so you can get stunning view of the surroundings
- You can take help of a guide who will explain to you the significance of the place.