Tranquil Mashobra – Getaway from Shimla

Posted on April 9, 2017 by

Home to two presidential retreats, Mashobra is a small town in Shimla and while the architecture of the building of presidential retreat attracts many tourists, the president himself is helpless to its charm.

Known for its beautiful hills and trees, this small suburb fills you with the rustic beauty as you find your way exploring undiscovered hills and treks. The sun-kissed mountains and views of royal summer houses give you a certain delight. How wonderful is it to look upon a wooden house among the hills and even if you are an admirer of architecture, the damage done to these hills in the name of ‘development’ will be inevitably visible even to you.

I reached Mashobra during night time by bus from Shimla and then stayed at Tranquil Countryside Homes to get the gypsy feel. It is surrounded by forests giving you a great view. Moreover, there is a bonfire during an evening and the food is delicious.

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Mashobra has a history with the British. It was built by Lord Mountbatten and Lady Edwina during the British Raj and even today no person can deny the beauty of The Wildflower Hall at Chharabra. Yet personally, I would rather look at the majestic charm nature has to offer than the usual tourist spots. As I took a climb through Mashobra valley, I came across several regional trees and even crossed Hamlets. Among it all lay, a ‘sacred grove’ whose magnificence had been undisturbed by the cruelty of time.

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Mashobra also houses a temple of deity Seep at Deothi.  The deity’s persona is believed to be merged with that of Lord Shiva and there is an urban legend regarding the temple. It is believed that the temple was first in Nehra but the deity talked through its followers and conveyed that there will be a march of ants who would circle a mound and that is the place where he shall reside. Such instance occurred and that is the reason behind the temple’s current location. Hearing the story by a local gave me goose bumps and belief in his tale. The temple wasn’t the only thing that caught my interest as there was also a room for folk musicians nearby.

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While I was engulfed by such cultural heritage of these small hamlets, the natural magnificence of this valley also did not evade me. I visited the summerhouses and Presidential retreat and other such spots in Mashobra mainly just to satisfy my curiosity. I stopped at Krishna Bakery a few kilometres ahead of Wildflower Hall because I could not resist those delicious baked goods. The cream rolls and pastries that I tried were just perfect.

As I tried to absorb all the charisma from the place, I decided to capture some shots which might not be as glamorous as being in that moment but would still do the necessary job to refresh my memories of the place once I looked upon it. But after the views from the valley, every time I tried to click a picture of the mountain or just the simplicity of this suburb, the ugliness of brick houses caught the lens. No, I do not wish to say that they were ugly in the literal sense but to me, they looked ugly as they defaced the natural charm of the place.

To me, a naked mountain with nothing but grass and trees would woo me more than one with a cement house built on it. Years ago when I had visited Mashobra as a child, I was mesmerized not just by the valley and this teacup shaped town but also the wooden houses that blended right in with the feel of the place. I would look out the window and the placed felt like a true retreat from the city. But unfortunately, now the city has crept up and disturbed the calm of the place.

You can still find certain untouched beauties and small areas where you can sip your tea in peace and let the surroundings do wonders to your soul.

Walk upon Jakhu Hill to see the breathtaking picturesque views or plan a picnic at Annandale.

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