A shoutout to all the city dwellers out there who cannot wait to head back to the hills, we have found a hidden gem for you in Himachal Pradesh. Chharabra, a small village in the district of Shimla, is the perfect destination for a post-COVID-19 rebound vacation. Thanks to its sparse population, here you can drop your worries about social distancing and explore freely. By Chandrani Pal

 

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What To See?

Chharabra is a densely forested village, outlined with lush green pine trees that form a part of the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary and the Catchment area. The Sutlej River drifts slowly from one side of the village while the Yamuna river sways on the other–both being main sources of water supply in Shimla. The village is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.

The Kalyani helipad in Chharabra offers a picturesque view of the Himalayas. The village also houses The Retreat Building and the Hemkunj, which are the official summer residences of the President of India, and the Governor of Punjab, respectively. Moreover, the Wildflower Hall at Chharabra, which is now private property, used to be Lord Ripon’s favourite retreat, during the 1800s.

Stay

A stay at The Oberoi Wildflower Hall, Shimlathe former residence of Lord Kitchener, erstwhile Commander in Chief of the British army–offers experiences, such as alfresco dining areas with mountain views, healing spa therapies amidst nature, outdoor sports, and much more.

 

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Things to do

When here, you can go for a six- to eight-hour-long Colonial Heritage Tour, to witness the architectural marvels of this village and indulge in rich tales from its glorious past. You can also go on mountain biking trips in the Himalayas. The hotel offers private dinner at the Gazebo with panoramic views of the surrounding area. Fitness enthusiasts can even indulge in private yoga sessions tailor-made by experts as per individual needs.

Getting There

The place lies at a distance of approximately one hour from Shimla airport and four hours from Chandigarh International Airport. You can also take a train to Shimla railway station, from where it takes approximately 30 minutes, or plan an eight-hour-long road trip from the national capital.

Related: Here’s Why Shimla Will Always Remain The Queen Of Hill Stations In India