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Monday, 22 April 2013

Naldhera and Mall Road

The third day of our trip we decided to visit Naldhera and cover the Mall Road in Shimla in leisure. Naldhera is only 10 km from Mashobra village, which was our base. We decided to not attempt the climb from the road to the peak on our own. We took the mules - one for each of us - along with the guide to take us around the points of interest at Naldhera. First stop was at a clearing in the pine forest where several films have been shot. The climb along the winding path along the side of the mountain was at times scary. A slip would send us 100s of meters down the slope! The guides skillfully directed the mules and we reached hole 7 of the golf course there. The golf course is said to be the highest located in Asia, at about 2200 metres.

After taking some snaps of the golf course, we continued up to the top spot of the peak. From the top of the peak we had a view of Sutlej flowing deep in the valley, probably around 1 - 1.5 k.m. below the spot. We also had a grand view of the Himalayas including the India-China border. Evergreen pine forests and some mountains with different other vegetation, depending on whether it was leeward or windward side slopes were also a grand treat to watch. The climb down by the mule was a little more scary as we were worried that the mules will start to trot and get out of control. Again the guides skillfully maneuvered the animals and helped us reach the road. Another kilometer on the road and we were back at the starting point.

After this adventure, we decided to relax at Mashobra for an hour before heading out to Shimla for the Mall road visit. This time we took the "Lift" to the Mall road and had a slow visit around the shops in the area. After spending a couple of hours, we had our lunch and then continued with shopping at HPMC outlet for Himachal's yummy stuff. We could not get enough of the cleanliness of the city or the orderly behaviour and friendly nature of the people. Tourism is bound to thrive in such a city.

Some of the things that struck us at Shimla are as below. Narrow roads leave very little space for parking. Still people manage to park in areas where it will not cause any inconvenience to others. If city folks park 8 cars in a stretch, we found that in Shimla, in same space, they have managed to park 10 to 12 cars! Innovative constructions for parking cars were also found aplenty. Extensions from the road with minor construction held one car or two. Even a small mistake of pressing the accelerator instead of the brake would take the car hurtling down the side of the mountain - still they have managed to create and use such spaces.

Various buildings seem to flout all norms of construction. Match box like arrangement of buildings after buildings seem to raise a question about the law of the land. At the same time, one can notice that everything is not concentrated into the city. There are enough roads leading all over the place and the houses, buildings, etc., are spread out around the whole area. A view of the whole area at night shows dots of lights all over the mountains and spread out. Most of these places are well connected by road as well & those are decently maintained.

With everything going smoothly in this time of year, we wonder how it will be during peak time. It is likely that it will be much crowded. When asked about parking and driving problems, the folks said that it was not a problem. We don't want to test it - but with the positive approach and good attitude of the people, it may well be true.

Incredible India - Jai Hind.

1 comment:

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