Outdoor Activities

Drive: Kufri

Kufri at an altitude of 2600 m. is famous for its skiing, horse rides up to the Mahasu temple and a small zoo. Kufri is famous for yak rides and also makes an interesting picnic spot, though the environment can be chaotic sometimes.
Distance from the lodge: 3 Kms.

Drive: Chail

Chail is known for its highest cricket pitch in the world. Built on three hills, the former capital of the Maharajah of Patiala, it is a charming tourist spot and an ideal place for picnics. One can also embark on this drive on the return journey after visiting the lodge: Shimla → Kufri → Chail → Sadhupul → Kandaghat → Chandigarh.
Distance from the lodge: 30 Kms.

Drive: Naldehra

This is India’s oldest Nine-hole golf course, originally called Naldeo and is twelve kilometers from the hotel. It was laid out by Lord Curzon, a British Viceroy. The temple of Mahunag is a kilometer away from the golf course and Naldehra also hosts the annual Sippi Fair in June.
Distance from the lodge: 14 Kms.

Drive: Narkanda

On the National highway, the Hindustan Tibet Road Narkanda lies at an altitude of 2700 m. It offers a panoramic view of the Inner Himalayas; and 7 Kms. from Narkanda is the Hatu Peak, at a height of 3300 m. The drive into this countryside is scenic, relaxing and the ascent to Hatu is yet again in the cover of thick enriched forest of Cedars, Oaks, Spruce fir with the wild flowers and ferns spread across the route. There is an option of hiking from Narkanda if one chooses. The view at the top is soul searching which increases the experience of visiting the temple there. One can also visit the Apple country, the heartland from where the apple was introduced and has now spread in the entire state of Himachal - a village called Kotgarh. April is usually the month for Apple & Cherry blossoms, the sweet scent of which is stimulating to the senses.
Distance from the lodge: 50 Kms.

Drive: Hatkoti

At an altitude of 1100 m. this is the ancient temple of Hatkoti. It is situated on the banks of the river Pabbar and is dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva.
Distance from the lodge: 90 Kms

Drive: Jhakoo Hill

This is Shimla town’s highest peak and a vantage point for Shimla’s famous views. The hill is at an altitude of 2400 m. and is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is an ideal place for a walk, meet up with the naughty, playful lords of this region.
Distance from the lodge: 14 Kms.

Drive: The Viceregal Lodge

Built during the viceroyalty of Lord Dufferin in 1884 to 1888, it is a splendid example of Victorian architecture. A guided tour is on offer in the lower ranks of the building whereas the outdoors has spacious gardens spread over many acres, which make this place a charming spot for picnics. The building now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and is a five-storied building, with a fully computerized library accessible only by fellow researchers.
Distance from the lodge: 15 Kms.

Walk: The Himachal State Museum

A thirty-minute walk from the Viceregal Lodge the museum was started in 1974, the museum has a rich collection of ancient historical sculptures and paintings of Himachal Pradesh.
Distance from the lodge: 15 Kms. Visiting hours: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm & Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

Walk: The Christ Church: The landmark of Shimla Town

Parking the vehicle at the lift one can visit the sights of Shimla town mentioned hereafter. Situated on the famous ‘Mall Road’ & the wide open ‘The Ridge’ which in itself is a water storage tank since the British times the corner stone for the church was laid down in 1844. Prison labour was used to level down the site selected. The consecration ceremony was done in Jan. 1857 and was taken over by the government in 1856 and throughout the fifties and the sixties various improvements were carried out e.g. erection of the clock tower, extension of the aisles, provision of a new roof and the construction of the porch 1873.

The organ that was finally placed in the church was bought by Messrs. Organ and Smith of Brighton 1899, for Rs.23000. Rs. 89000 was the total cost for the construction of the church. Lord and Lady Minto presented the Lectern bible. The fresco work surrounding the windows was done by Lockwood Kipling and carried out under his supervision by the pupils of the Mayo college of Arts, Lahore.

Walk: The Gaiety Theater

In the heart of the Mall road, the building stands renovated now, however this five storied building was originally in May 1887. Loosely Gothic in style, its architect was same as Vice Regal Lodge – Henry Irwin. Plays are still enacted in the theater and some of those have acted in this theater includes Rudyard Kipling, founder of the boy scout movement, R. Badan Powell, artist Amrita Shergil, the famous singer K. L. Saighal is regarded to have given his first public performance on the Gaiety’s stage.

Walk: Cathedral of Saint Michaels and Joseph

The church at the lower bazaar was the first place of Catholic worship in Shimla. The site initially was the abode of an ‘old dispensary’. In 1850 the site was purchased for Rs. 1500 and a further Rs 2900 was spent upon it construction. Subsequently the representatives of the church decided to built a better, bigger and a more accessible church. For that Gorton Castle was bought for Rs 40,000. However at that time The Viceroy, Marquis of Ripon, asked for the site to be given up for government purpose. The clergyman handed over the site for the same amount as he had paid. The viceroy was so happy that he named that site, ‘Ripon Place’. In 1885 the church was finally constructed for Rs. 80000, Lord Ripon being the primary subscriber. Over the high altar is a stained glass window, the central figures of which are a group of crucifixion. On the gallery at the end of the church may be seen a copy of Guido Reni’s famous painting of St. Michaels conquering Satan. The original copy is in Rome.

The Mahasu Ridge Line: Skirting the Shimla Water Catchment sanctuary and the Oberoi Wildflower Hall, nature on this one hour trail oozes a sense of soothing on the times that once were. Within the walk one is able to enjoy a carpet of wild strawberries; the waterfall like sound that echoes amongst the Cedars; a host of wild ferns; wild flowers to match every season; and maybe even come across a barking deer or two. This is one for the senses…
(Duration of Walk: 1 Hr. Grading: Easy)

 

The Cedar-Oak Vintage Trail: The trail initially follows from the lodge through the tarmac to the nearby Helipad: a hillock with a 360- degree striking view. This vantage point provides a grand view of the reserved forest mushrooming all over and one is furthermore able to glimpse parts of the Shimla town and the National Highway(22) leading to our village coupled with the Grand view of the closer by mountains and the Himalayan ranges. From the helipad, one blissfully leaves behind the sound of vehicles, the mob of clicking tourists and experiences the sounds of nature as you descend down on the trail which used to be in part the ‘Old Hindustan Tibet Trail’. The trail still remains a passage for the local villagers as a shorter access route (avoiding the highway) along with their herds on occasions. Visit the School for the blind, and start the loop around on this trail that remains untouched and is bountiful; where one finds nature in abundance and one is able to relax the senses and enjoy the sweet chirpings of wild birds, savor the wild flowers, the swaying Cedars, the rustling Oaks and some old colonial houses that mark the way. The walk provides you with a taste of the old village life, a peep at the times gone by and plenty of time to wonder away… until you reach the Presidential Retreat and return →Cedar Hill lodge again.
(Duration of Walk: 2 Hrs. Grading: Easy)

 

The Cedar Sanctuary Trail: Fondly called Cedar Mountain this is the Century old ‘Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary’ and encloses the Cedar Hill Lodge to its three sides. The duration spent in the forest ranges from an hour to three depending upon the temperament of the hikers that tread in this forest. A Cedar Sanctuary, this pristine undisturbed forest provides a home for a host of wildlife such as the Himalayan: Barking Deer, Leopard, Black Bear, Goral, Jackal, the yellow-throated Martin. In the lower belts of the forest and many areas around one can spot a host of birdlife toiling away such as the Himalayan: Woodpecker, Barbet, the colourful Minivets, Barbets, Cheer, Kokla and Khaleej Phesants. The forest also hosts a rich abundance of Himalayan flora and one can find self by spending the entire day exploring, taking to the sounds of nature and savoring the richness of the forest.
(Duration of Walk: 2 Hrs. Grading: Medium)

 

The Suburban Mashobra Valley Hike: The hike takes you into the rapidly changing rural countryside surrounding Cedar Hill and the Shimla town. The walk demands fitness to a degree and can be undertaken in three hours on a constant, relaxing pace. The trail begins with a sudden loopy descend from our village Charrabra to Mashobra that continues halfway on —and one constantly finds the self focused on his footing in these stony narrow pathways. The Shali Peak stands steadfast to the front displaying the tricks of altitude that the Himalayan landscape has to offer until it disappears only to emerge as the ascent begins. All along every village crossed ( Seepur, Shali, Deothi & Mulkoti) is marked with old temples representing their cultural and architectural heritage with a wealth of folklore and hospitality and the occasional smiles to greet you along. From Mulkoti – some rest and a picnic enjoyed – one then begins his hour long gradual ascent back to the Mashobra village. Here, one can utilize his vehicle to take the twenty-minute drive to the lodge or continue the ascent for an added half-hour through the constant shelter of Cedars and Oaks back to Cedar lodge, the village Chharabra. This entire trail is seeped in nature’s bounty with a whiff of the modern times to come. And though every traveler takes back soulfully his memories, one thing stands: the wonder that is these Himalayas; these mountains that stand dutifully diligent, preserving the folklore, a way of life, and the millions of years of evolution that now lays gloriously spread out just for you.
(Duration of Walk: 3 Hrs. Grading: Medium)

 

Hike to the Mashobra Valley & Back: The entire valley as seen from Cedar Hill below can be covered in this 4-5 Hrs. challenging hiking trail. This trail is an extension to ‘The Suburban Mashobra Valley Hike’: ( Seepur, Shali, Deothi & Mulkoti) and it further continues on to the villages of ( Kanda, Ghorna and Kotidhar). From Kotidhar, one then begins a steep climb back to the highway where not far the Cedar Hill stands. A handful of apple orchards, some wood and slate houses, tumbling tiny streams, old but renovated temples, bustling new schools, terraced fields of assorted vegetables: corn, wheat and potatoes; and glimpses of the famed cannabis mark the route during the hike in this valley.
(Duration of Walk: 3-5 Hrs. Grading: Difficult)

 

The Shali-Tibba Excursion: A full day activity, the Shali Peak, dedicated to Goddess Kali has all the elements harmonized for a perfect outing. This habitually mist engulfed Peak is the local highest peak in the vicinity of Chharabra and Shimla. On a clear day, the peak offers a breathtaking view of the entire Himalayan ranges as seen from the Cedar Hill. One enjoys the picturesque drive crossing Mashobra, then Baldeha, leading to a dirt track in part towards the ever beautiful the village Gulshaini and then a steady ascent on a bumpy road to the village of Khatnol. From here one starts the three hour ascent to the Shali Peak. We presume, as one would see Cedar Hill as a tiny dot in the landscape it would excite our guests having been at two hilltops separated by nothing but by empty space. After a frantic session of the digital eye and a well deserved rest & picnic, and the blessings of the Goddess Kali one begins the quick descent back to the village. By sunset you are on your way back driving to the Cedar Hill Lodge. We presume again from experience this is one trip that tends to relive, liven up the mind.
(Duration of Walk: 4 Hrs. Grading: Medium)

 

Mount Hatu Peak: On the National highway, the Hindustan Tibet Road, 50 Kms. from Cedar Hill Lodge lies Narkanda which is at an altitude of 2700 m. It offers a panoramic view of the Inner Himalayas; and 7 Kms. from Narkanda is the Hatu Peak, at a height of 3300 m. The drive into this countryside is scenic, relaxing and the ascent to Hatu is yet again in the cover of thick enriched forest of Cedars, Oaks, Spruce fir with the wild flowers and ferns spread across the route. There is an option of hiking from Narkanda if one chooses. The view at the top is soul searching which increases the experience of visiting the temple there. One can also visit the Apple country, the heartland from where the apple was introduced and has now spread in the entire state of Himachal - a village called Kotgarh. April is usually the month for Apple & Cherry blossoms, the sweet scent of which is stimulating to the senses.
(Duration of Walk: 2 Hrs. Grading: Easy)