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Wrapped in snow

Meenakshi Gupta lists out some of the best places in the lap of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh to savour winter in all its glory
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 19:15 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2021, 19:15 IST

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An imagination of tall pine trees, with snow-capped mountains in the background, horse rides, a carpet of pure green grass with dewdrops, an ancient temple with regional music playing in the background is all for real. Every sip of my cuppa was cherished a little more than usual in those misty mornings, with chirping birds and the magnificent Himalayan range in that 3 degrees temperature.

Shimla has got all the vibes for a perfect holiday in all seasons but winters are exceptionally beautiful. The whole of Shimla is adorned with star-studded Christmas trees, colourful lighting and tourists from all over the world in their vibrant winter clothing making the whole atmosphere even more effervescent. If you are looking beyond Shimla, Narkanda, Naldera and Tattapani, are the best options.

Narkanda: The land of snow,
skiing & apples

Driving through steep twists and turns with a mesmerising view of snow-clad mountains, step farming with snow all over, villagers in their local attire heading towards or coming back from work, kids in their winter school uniform with their backpacks going to school, and local Himachali women out shopping for their daily needs has an altogether different feel. The streets are full of small kiosks of green and red apples, cherries, jams and juices from the locally grown fruits.

Just about 2 hours’ drive from Shimla, Narkanda is famous for Hatu Peak and is slowly gaining popularity for its winter sports activities more specifically for skiing. Though the peak was closed, it didn’t deter our spirits as we made the best of winter sports in knee-deep snow. Winter sports activities were introduced by the Himachal Government in 1980 and they conduct skiing courses too. Even equipment like snow boots, ski, waterproof jackets and lowers etc., are available on hire with service providers at a nominal cost.

Naldera: A golf course, temples
& scenic landscapes

If you have dreamt of a perfect landscape painting with a breath-taking view of snow-capped mountains, sun rays passing through tall deodar trees, a golf course and a horse ride, Naldera is the place for you. There is no reason why one should miss Naldera if you are keen on spending time with yourself soaking up nature. The calm and quiet small town of Naldera offers you nature at its best. It is indeed a paradise for nature and photography lovers. The erstwhile British Viceroy Lord Curzon, who discovered Naldera, was so charmed by nature in this small town of Himachal Pradesh, that he decided to build a huge golf course here. Today, this 18-hole Naldera Golf Course is one of the finest and renowned golf courses in India and is also a major tourist attraction.

If you are looking for some adventure, pony rides or just a walk in the forest of tall deodar trees then you must visit Shaily Peak. A little bit of adrenaline rush, this short, but steep hike will mesmerise you with its splendour.

Visit the ancient Mahakali Temple situated on the banks of Lake Mahakali dedicated to Hindu Goddess Mahakali to admire the architecture of the time, especially the intricate carvings on the wooden doors and miniature lions outside the temple. A soothing walk in the pristine, calm and soulful surroundings where you hear the birds chirping and the ringing of temple bells is a must.

A trip to the Regional Horticultural Research Station is also a must. Started in 1953, the centre focuses on temperate fruits like apples, pears, plums and several exotic ornamental plants. It is the largest germplasm centre for apples, pears and cherries in India. This station has played a crucial role in Himachal Pradesh being called the Apple State of India. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayas from this point.

Tattapani

Tattapani, known for its natural hot water springs and river rafting, has astoundingly beautiful views.

An overwhelming picturesque sight of River Sutlej will leave you in awe for a very long time.

It is believed that people take a dip in the holy hot water spring to get relief from joint pains and skin diseases.

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Published 09 January 2021, 19:11 IST

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