In Naldehra you can either play golf, or enjoy walking on the forested slopes, or just relax. It is a quintessentially off-the-map hill retreat where the best activity you can do is commune with the nature. Walking on its wooded hills with company of only birds, and a few monkeys, is a truly rejuvenating experience. The more you exert, the more fresh air you inhale. And if you still yearn for exploring something, you can walk up to a few Hindu temples dotted about in the village. For stay options, you have very limited choices here. There is one luxury resort, and a few budget retreats. Away from the hustle and bustle of Shimla, Naldehra is one of the finest unexplored hill stations in Himachal Pradesh.
Attractions and Activities in Naldehra:
In 1905, Lord Curzon transformed the scenic glade of Naldehra into a nine-hole golf course. Situated at a height of 6706 ft, this golf course is amongst the highest and oldest golf courses of India. The glade is situated amidst sloping meadows which are ringed by deodar and pine trees. This game here is more challenging due to the slopes and inclines. Himachal Tourism manages this golf course, and equipment can be rented from HPTDC’s Hotel Golf Glade.
More often than not, offbeat hill retreats offer abundant opportunities for rambling around on the hills. And in Naldehra, it is an invigorating experience to climb up and down the forested slopes. Covered with tall deodars and blue pines, the slopes around Naldehra are ideal for enjoying quiet walks. While walking around you are going to come across street-sellers selling fruits, who could also rustle up a bowl of noodles for you. And if you are conscious of hygiene, you can pack your own food (and beverage) and look for a right place to spread your picnic. On your walks, you’ll find a few places from where you can get glimpses of snow-capped Himalayan peaks. But for the most part they are hindered by the Shaily Peak and its counterparts.
If you love trekking, Naldehra wouldn’t disappoint you. Go to Mashobra for setting out on a gentle trek to Craignano. Named after an Italian Countess, this place was a summer retreat. It is surrounded by forests, orchards, and gardens full of multi-coloured flowers. And if you are yearning for a longer trek, set your eyes on Shaily Peak. To reach there, you’ve got to drive to Khatnol village from where you can commence your hike. The climb is about 8 km long and you need to be well-stocked on water and food. If you start around 8 or 9 am, you can expect to come down by afternoon.
Places to Visit in Naldehra
Tattapani is a picturesque village situated along the bank of river Sutlej. It is about an hour’s drive from Naldehra and was popular for its hot springs. But now springs are not the attraction due to the construction of the dam. Yet you can enjoy the excursion from Naldehra as the drive is as beautiful as Tattapani itself. En route you can stop at Suni Village, 8 km before Tattapani, for river rafting. The waters here are gentle, don’t expect any rapids. So, you can comfortably enjoy rafting with your family; adventure-seekers wouldn’t find it attractive.
Set amidst the Naldehra Golf Course, this old temple is dedicated to the serpent god Anant Shesha who is also called Mahunag. As per the mythology, Lord Vishnu had rested on Anant Shesha. During festivities, this temple gets flooded with locals. On other days it is rather peaceful. On one of your rambles, you can stop here for a few moments.
When to Visit Naldehra?
The most ideal time to visit Naldehra is from March to June and from October to February. However, the months of December, January, and February are pretty cold (expect sub-zero temperatures), so you’ve got to plan accordingly. The months of July, August, and September receive major portion of the annual rainfall.
How to Reach Naldehra?
Road: Naldehra is 25 km north of Shimla and 373 km north of Delhi.
Rail: The nearest narrow-gauge station is at Shimla from where you can board the ‘Toy Train’ to Kalka. The nearest broad-gauge station is at Kalka, 110 km southwest, in the state of Haryana.
Air: While the nearest airport is at Jubbarhatti near Shimla, it is seldom operational for passenger flights. Chandigarh, 145 km southwest, has good connections with major cities of India.