Looking for a peaceful alternative to Shimla? Head to the quaint village of Mashobra, located only 15km from Shimla.
So last week took me to the Shimla region again (my second trip in the previous 2 months). I was commencing a self-planned, solo camping trip across a few places in Himachal with my newly invested 20 thousand Rupee tree-hanging/flying tent.
Also See: A quick youtube video of my Flying Tent
But as I reached Shimla, the weather turned unfavorable. It was the second week of November, and winter, at 2000m above sea level in the Himalayas had already begun. Where winter, with good camping gear – including a -15 degree Celsius sleeping bag, as I had it – is not a problem, if it’s raining and you’re on a motorcycle, it, perhaps, is A BIG PROBLEM. And that’s exactly was the scenario.
As I reached Shimla, it started pouring. And in no time, I was wet and cold, and feeling hopeless. Where I knew that I cannot camp on my own that night, I, at least, decided to book a campsite and not a hotel room and stick to the original plan – of camping throughout the trip!
Camping At Mashobra Greens
So yea, with a grumpy face and an agitated mind, I started looking for a place online and came across this name called Mashobra Greens. I already had a little introduction to the town of Mashobra and how it could be a much better location for a person like me than the crowded Shimla, and Mashobra Greens, in Mashobra, felt like an assuring place to stay. So in no time, I booked a tent with them and headed my way to Mashobra.
Located about 12km, Mashobra Greens offers Swiss Tents and Mudhouses in the luxury segment (at least that’s what their website says). Where the establishment was pretty nice and the staff was great, I particularly enjoyed the setting that it offered – ‘right in the middle of nowhere’ kind!
It was certainly a place that made up to me for bad weather.
From inside my tent, the mighty Pir Panjal looked mightiest at a distance…
But as I came outside of the tent the Pir Panjal was no longer the highlight but the surrounding deodar forest!
I was told that the place also offers activities like Flying Fox, night trekking, rappelling, and walking the Burma bridge, among others, but for an intrepid like me, they held no charm.
Mashobra Over Shimla
Now that we have started it, let’s discuss how Mashobra can be a better alternative for those staying in Shimla – at least for nature lovers.
Despite located at a slightly lower altitude than Shimla, Mashobra remains a few degrees cooler throughout the year, and that is because of its rich forest land. Where Shimla is crowded and bustling, Mashobra is greener, amble and surrounded by a dense deodar forest. Other than Dodar, you will find Oak, Rhododendron, and Pine trees.
Numerous colorful thatched and cone-shaped roofs peeking amidst snow-peaked mountains moreover make the entire area look no less heavenly.
And then there is easy transportation option between the two. From Shimla, Mashobra is less than 15km away, and frequent buses and shared cabs make it literally no hassle to get to Mashobra. To give you an idea, one can even book an Ola between Shimla and Mashobra, and it’s that easy, the transportation between Shimla and Mashobra is.
What To See And Do In Mashobra
Other than camping, Mashobra is a great place for trekking and some adventure activities like rappelling, river-rafting, zip-lining, and quad-biking. Nature lovers can find their own trail, hike and try birdwatching.
There’s a tiny bazaar (kind of a Mall Road) as well in Mashobra for keen shoppers with general utility stores, food stalls and souvenir shops, but since you have the most impressive Mall Road (of Shimla’s) just about 15km from Mashibra, there’s no point in shopping in Mashobra. Having said that, a few places of interest in Mashobra can be:
- The Presidential Retreat (built in 1850, this was the original property for the Viceroy of India)
- Reserve Forest Sanctuary (for bird lovers to spot the rare Himalayan eagles, pheasants, partridges, and chukars).
- Wild Flower Hall (currently functioning as a heritage hotel, this was the residence of Lord Kitchener as well as Lord Ripon during the British Raj).
Where those are some regular suggestions for those who prefer a busy holiday, Mashobra, as a place is basically meant for slow travellers – for those who like to relax, unwind and just be!
Have you been to Mashobra? How would you compare Mashobra with Shimla?