Jageshwar Dham - Almora

Complex of over 500 ancient temples, precisely nestled in fairytale surroundings....

Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

Being one of the oldest cities on this earth, Istanbul is a delight to history lovers...

Malana

A place which has been lying forbidden and disconnected from the mainland. Malana still follows their culture and traditions...

Temples at Batesara

Around 350 temples are estimated to have existed here. Excavation work is ongoing to restore temples of a lost era.

Mitawali

The Ancient Temple which inspired the design of Indian Parliament House.

Dharamsala

Synonymous with tranquil environment, spirituality, great food and Teachings of LORD BUDDHA. Find out true meaning of life at Dharamsala...

August 1, 2017

Happy Move - Save our Heritage, An initiative by Hyundai Motor India...

"We owe this Earth to our future generations"
The most visible landmarks of this Earth are the heritage monuments. We might have inherited these monuments in a fragile state, but it is our duty to make it better for coming generations.
Country like India which is going full throttle on the development road; there is need to stop a while, look around and think about the values and culture we need to carry along with. In our quest to move into future, we should not forget our roots, our past and our glorious heritage. In absence of proper maintenance, most of jewels of our heritage are lying in dilapidated condition. Small awareness and small efforts by everyone can make a big difference in preserving these symbols of cultural expressions and evolution.
One of such initiative, “Happy Move – Save our Heritage” has been taken by Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) to spread awareness about preserving the heritage.

11th July 2017, Inauguration of 3rd phase of Happy Move was the time to join hands at Humayun Tomb for spreading awareness and sensitizing people towards preserving our heritage.

It was a heartwarming occasion seeing 125 Youth Volunteers; 100 from South Korea and 25 from India joining hands for this noble cause. People from diverse cultures formed a team to undertake activities like cleaning the premises, gardening, planting saplings and painting the infrastructure.

Language and cultural differences simply did not matter as everyone was busy in playing his/her part in beautifying the premises.




While interacting with Hyundai officials and media persons about this initiative, came across Isa Khan Tomb in the premises, which is under restoration by ASI. Check out the restoration work on right hand side pillars and walls..

A glance is enough to emphasize the importance of preserving our heritage.

This unique awareness drive is being conducted by Hyundai in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the 4 heritage sites of Purana Qila, Qutb Minar, Humayun Tomb and Red Fort.
The volunteers of this program will also connect with school children with a number of innovative activities for development of school facilities and also to raise the awareness in school children about our heritage.
After all everyone likes to enjoy neat and clean heritage sites to feel proud in the culture of our country. Being invited to be a part of this event, it was a moment of realisation that even small steps are sufficient to make a difference. Likewise; disposing the waste at designated place, not walking at the grass lawns and following the mentioned rules will ensure everyone can enjoy the experience of visiting the heritage places. 
Thanks and Kudos to Hyundai for such an initiative, New Thinking making way for New Possibilities in preserving rich heritage of India…

Other appreciable initiatives by Hyundai India:
Currently in the 19th year of Happy Move; Till date over 3000 global youth volunteers from Hyundai Motor Company have helped in improving lives of people in over 65 villages around Chennai, by:
·        Creating sanitation facilities for over 500 families 
·        Providing school infrastructure to help 180 schools and over 90,000 students. 
# - Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) is wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea. HMIL is the largest passenger car exporter and second largest car manufacturer in India. HMIL’s state of art manufacturing plant is located near Chennai


July 1, 2017

Jageshwar Dham - Abode of Lord Shiva...

While the Sun has already started the return journey behind the hills, however our wandering souls with high spirits were craving to reach the divine land of Jageshwar. With every passing second, our mind was painting a different caricature for Jageshwar Dham. The fresh air was getting fresher and crispier with every turn.

After 40 minutes of drive from the Lakhudiyar Cave paintings shelter, the joyous moment arrived when we entered in to the Jageshwar valley around 5:30 PM in the evening. Staff at KMVN guest house advised us to first attend the evening prayer; check-in formalities can be carried our afterwards.

We could feel the divine ambience as soon as we entered the sacred premises of Jageshwar temples. There were around 15-20 devotees in the temple and almost everyone greeted us with smile. Very soon the prayers started with buzzing of the sacred bells and we were immersed in the holy chants. It was around 6:30 PM when the prayers stopped and we returned to our senses. However, by this time the town had already started planning for a good night as most of the shops were closed and streets were totally deserted. 
Simple, yet delicious food at our night halt was the last item on the day’s itinerary.
This is a place which gets up for work with first ray of sunlight and calls it a day with the receding sun. Next morning, we were again on the way to the Jageshwar Dham and were pleasantly surprised by friendly gestures of the locales. Little we knew that we will make friends with almost everyone in this place during our stay of just 3 nights. Hospitality of the hills had just started to unfold.

As soon as we started moving our feet a splendid world of amazing temples was there to be explored. There are around 500 temples spread across the hills surrounding the Jageshwar Dham. Jageshwar Dham is the 8th Jyotirlinga; known as Nagesh Jyotirlinga, out of the Twelve Jyotirlinga and has immense devotional significance.

Located 36 km northeast of Almora, the main complex in this temple city consists of 124 large and small stone temples, from 9th - 13th century. It was the time to pray and seek blessings of the God almighty in these beautifully carved temples.

The main temple at Jageshwar Dham is 'Jageshwar Mahadev', dedicated to the Child Shiva. Once upon a time, Lord Shiva arrived here to meditate, as soon as news spread about Lord Shiva, the womenfolk of the village gathered around to see Lord Shiva. However, the captivating mystic form of Lord Shiva angered the menfolk. Realising this, Lord Shiva turned into a child and since then he is worshipped here as Bal (Child) Jageshwar.

The temple has two armed guardians at the door, Nandi and Skandi. This is a west facing temple of Shiva. Here, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Nagesh Jageshwar. The Shivlinga deity is divided into two parts, larger one being Lord Shiva and the smaller one is the Goddess Parvati. There is also an Akhand Jyoti, an everlasting flame which burns continuously in the temple. The Chand Kings Deepchand and Tripalchand stand behind the Shivlinga in praying posture.

Sri Mahamritunjaya Mahadev: The Mahamrityunjay temple is the largest and oldest temple in the complex. This temple is east facing and opposite Jageshwar Mahadev temple. Lord Shiva is worshipped as the saviour from death - महामृत्युंजय. The unique deity, Shivlinga has an eye shaped opening. All the pilgrims recite together the all-powerful Mahamritunjaya Mantra (महामृत्युंजय मंत्र) and create a heavenly ambience at the temple.

Mahamrityunjay Mantra:
ह्रौं जूं सः भूर्भुवः स्वः त्र्यम्बकम् यजामहे सुगन्धिम् पुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारूकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मा मृतात् भूर्भुवः स्वरों जूं सः ह्रौं ।।
Om Hruang Jung Sah Bhurbhuvah Swah Trayambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pustiwardhanam | Urwarukmivbandhanaan Mrityormoksheey mamritat Bhurbhuvah Swaraung Jung Sah Hraung Om |
Recite the Mahamrityunjay mantra for self-realisation and freedom from all kinds of evil effects, sudden death, illness and negativity.

Locales told us that Adi Shankaracharya also visited Jageshwar and restored many of the temples before moving ahead for Patal Bhubaneshwar and Kedarnath. Most of the temples at Jageshwar has stone diety Shivalinga in the centre, surrounded by sculptures of various Gods/ Goddesses. Visit to Jageshwar is considered equally pious as the sacred Chardham Yatra. Lets walk through the amazing world of temples.

Tandavkeshwar Mahadev: Angry Lord Shiva in the most devastating form of dance, Tandav dance…

Pushti Devi or Pushti Bhagawati Maa: The temple of Goddess Lakshmi. The temple enshrines the full statue of Goddesses and is worshipped as Goddess of blessings and grace. This temple is situated in the Jageshwar main premises.

Neelkanth Temple: Lord Shiva when drank the poison to save the world, got blue throat (Neelkanth, नीलकण्ठ) due to poison...

Adjacent to the main temple complex is the temple dedicated to Kuber, God of Wealth:

While walking around, we observed that many people from Gujarat are coming to Jageshwar for worship here, even the temple priests told that many people come from Gujarat for seeking blessings of Lord Shiva. While talking to locales got to know about the resemblance between Kumaoni language and Gujarati language. Strange fact for the regions separated by more than 1200 km.
Caretaker at Archaeological museum told about followers of Lakulish Shaivism who got settled around Jageshwar. Lakulish Shaivism originated in Gujarat. According to Linga Purana, Lakulish is 28th Avatar of Lord Shiva and the last one. Meaning of Lakulish (लकुलीश): लगुड (staff) or लकुट (Stick/ mace) + ईश (lord) = the lord with a staff or mace or club or stick. Lakulish temple in premises...

Close look at the carving on the top of the temple dome…

The meaning of Lakulish, also connected us with the Dandeshwar temple (largest temple in Jageshwar), where Lord Shiva stays with a staff and protects the region.

Read more about DandeshwarTemple
The more we were knowing the more we wanted to explore this place. Legend is associated with this place and locales believe that Lord Shiva, in form of a man with a wooden stick in his hand will come to protect this place.

Temples are spread everywhere in tis holy place, be it roads or bridge. All the temples are worshipped and due sanctity has been maintained for every temple.

The temples at Jageshwar appear to be very ancient and there is no definite information on construction of these temples. As per Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), these temples were constructed post Gupta period, from the 8th century (early Katyuri Dynasty) to the 18th century (Chand Dynasty). Seeing the temples, it looks like they were constructed more than 1000 years. Subsequent dynasties/ kings continued renovation and maintenance because of which these temples appear in good shape till date.

The Jageshwar Monsoon Festival which is held every year between 15th July to 15th August and the annual Maha Shivratri festival, which takes place during spring season are two important events in the Kumaon itinerary. Maha Shivratri is one of the major festivals and is celebrated all over India. By this time evening was approaching and Lord Shiva directed me to take some pictures from the top. While searching a location, the locales guided me to a place from where I was able to click...

Small water streams, hills covered with thick deodar forests and foot over walk ways leave visitors mesmerized with the splendour of this place. We kept on walking whole day in these woods and surprisingly did not felt tired at all, divine charm of the Gods and mind free from worries of cosmetic world was doing wonders.

Small market outside the temple has few souvenirs’ shops and a couple of small eateries as well. However, the menu at eateries will contain the items which are available that day, not your choice. The same we experienced in KMVN guest house as well, while enjoying the freshly prepared vegetables.

Dedication and devotion of local people have kept this place sacred and pious. Hats off to the locales. No doubt Uttarakhand is truly God’s Land (Dev Bhoomi). Nearby to Jageshwar are the amazing temples of Jhanker Sam (6 Km.) and Vridh Jageshwar (3 km. by foot/ 16 km. by road) worth visiting.

Keep travelling Guys…



June 21, 2017

8 Great Day Hikes in the City of Atlanta...

Georgia is a place of astounding natural beauty, and boasts many amazing hiking trails less than two hours outside of Atlanta, such as the Appalachian Trail and the breathtaking waterfalls at Panther Creek. However, for Atlanta residents reluctant to leave the city too far behind, it may come as a surprise to know that many incredible places can be found close to the urban hub of Atlanta. Along the perimeter of the city, you can find a number of magnificent hiking trails that are perfect for the casual day tripper.

Murphy Chandler Park Trail
Hiking is a fantastic family activity, and most kids love getting out in the great outdoors and exploring nature’s playground. However, long hikes combined with high elevations can turn a pleasant family outing into an afternoon of bored and tired kids whining to go home. Fortunately, close to the center of Atlanta, there are many family-friendly trails short enough for young children to enjoy but still full of interesting scenery and places for adventurous kids to explore.
One such trail can be found in the urban oasis, Murphy Chandler Park, just north of the city of Atlanta. Within the 100-acres of forest is a short 2-mile trail that follows the banks of the lake. The kids can enjoy the wildlife that inhabits the lake, and the trail is also dog-friendly, so you can bring along the family pooch. This is also a great trail for runners because there is very little elevation.

Doll’s Head Trail
For a unique hiking experience, you can’t go past the Doll’s Head Trail located in Constitution Lakes Park without trying it out. Part art installation, part scenic stroll, this short loop in the middle of the multitude of crisscrossing trails in the park offers hikers an alternative to the forest, wildlife, and wetlands.
The trail is scattered with displays of artfully arranged found objects, such as decorative tiles, TVs, and toys, including the dolls’ heads that give the trail its name. Stretching only 1.6 miles, the Doll’s Head trail makes an imaginative detour through the lakes. Remember to take your camera to capture the combination of Atlanta’s creative culture and breathtaking scenery.

Cascade Springs Natural Preserve
Believe it or not, there is a waterfall located only 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta. Not only is there a majestic waterfall at the end of this 1.9-mile trail, but the trail is also scattered with remnants of Civil War history.
Beginning with the ruins of defensive lines dug by troops during the battle of Utoy Creek, the trail meets a historic springhouse and ends with the spectacular waterfall. The trail is both paved and unpaved, and contains bridges and boardwalks, making for an interesting but not too strenuous hike.

Sweetwater Creek State Park Red Trail
Many of the hiking trails surrounding Atlanta are steeped in Civil War history. One beautiful example of well-preserved Civil War ruins can be found on the trail through Sweetwater Creek State Park.
The historical ruins of the New Manchester Mill lay on the banks of a turbulent creek located along the Red Trail. The trail leads you along sandy shores and over boulders and rocky outcrops, finishing with some of the most breathtaking views of the Sweetwater Creek valley below.
The Red Trail is only one of many spectacular trails found in Sweetwater Creek Park. The Red Trail stretches a modest 2.3-miles, so be sure to check out some of the other trails on your day trip.

East Palisades Trail
Of all the trails along the Chattahoochee River (and there are many!), the East Palisades trail is one of the most beautiful and is one of the most popular trails frequented by day trippers both to and from metro Atlanta.
The trail departs from the Indian trailhead and follows the wide, rushing Chattahoochee river, through lush bamboo forests and up towering bluffs. It’s easy to see why the trail is so popular with kayakers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers of all kinds, as it offers the best scenery Atlanta has to offer.

Golden Branch Loop
While you’re exploring the trails in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, you might try the Golden Branch Loop. The 3.3-mile loop is located between Sandy Springs and Roswell and is a less frequently traveled trail. 
The serene banks of the lake and river are home to a variety of wildlife, including geese, heron, turtles, and deer. Its short distance makes it a great trail for beginner hikers, but seasoned hikers will still find it interesting due to its rollercoaster of elevations. So, if you’re moving to Atlanta and want to take up hiking and explore the local area, the Golden Branch Loop is a great place to start.

Arabia Mountain Boardwalk Trail
Another popular hiking area close to Atlanta’s metro area is the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. The preserve is home to numerous twisting and interconnected hiking, running, and cycling trails but, arguably, the most popular and most scenic is the Boardwalk Trail. 
The Boardwalk Trail is accessible from the Arabia Mountain Nature Center and stretches 5.1 miles along unpaved forest floor and exposed rock. The trail ascends through an enchanting pine forest, past the glassy lake. You will have to keep an eye out for a small stream trickling over open rock surfaces, which can get very slippery at times.
The Boardwalk Trail eventually connects to the Mountain Top Trail, which ends with 360-degree views of the stunning surrounding landscape.

Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park
The trails traversing Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park have a number of various elevations, distances, and terrains, making it a fantastic day trip for hikers of all levels of fitness and interest. However, the main attraction along these trails isn’t the magnificent scenery, but the exceptionally preserved Civil War battlefield. Throughout the trails, you can see mounds of earth, Civil War weaponry, and monuments dedicated to Civil War history and the role that the area played in the Battle of Kennesaw.
The Red Mountain Loop trail is a favorite among hikers. It will take you up to the summit of Mount Kennesaw, then lead you to Fort McBride and Confederate earthworks on the descent. The track is full of surprising rocky patches and entrancing sunlit forest canopies. You can then either follow the same trail back or choose one of the connected trails for your return journey.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, or simply curious about the beauty surrounding Atlanta’s metro area, you can find a trail to suit your interests.

Olivia is the content manager for Atlanta Peach Movers (www.atlpeachmovers.com). When she’s not writing, you can find her running through Buckhead with her rescue pup, Bo.


June 3, 2017

Lake Rewalsar...

We started at 8:00 AM from Shimla and took the way to Kullu via Mandi. The objective was to visit Lake Rewalsar, 140 km. from Shimla. Lake Rewalsar (locally called as Tso Pema/ Lotus Lake) along with statue of Padmasambhava (popular as Guru Rinpoche in Tibet) is one of the most popular symbols in Himachal Pradesh tourism advertisements. Surrounded and hidden in rugged mountains this sacred lake is 23 km. from town of Mandi.
It was from this place Indian teacher Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche in Tibet) left for Tibet to spread Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet. Annoyed by fondness of his daughter for long haired Padmasambhava, legend says that the king of Mandi, Vihardhara tried to burn alive the sage Padmasambhava, to prevent his daughter Mandarava running off with him. It is believed that the charred corpse of Padmasambhava liquefied into water forming Lake Rewalsar. The spirit of Padmasambhava is said to still reside in the islands of floating reed since then. Statue of Lord Padmasambhava defines the skyline of Lake Rewalsar.

The lake is surrounded by a three temples, three monasteries and one gurudwara represents the meeting point of all faiths. Most acclaimed being the temple dedicated to Sage Lomash. It is believed that once Sage Lomash got a visual to perform meditation here, which he followed. Pleased by his meditation Goddess Parvati had blessed Sage Lomash to be immortal and travel around the world with speed as per his heart. Thereafter Gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesha and Sun have been staying forever at this place.

Rewalsar is also popularly called as Trisangam, त्रिसंगम (unification of Three Holy Communities) and displays a perfect example of fabric of great Indian culture. One can enjoy some authentic Tibetan food here in the eateries.
Lake Rewalsar is one of the perfect offbeat places to relax and unwind yourself. Check out video for Lake Rewalsar: https://youtu.be/6_jgTSht6OU


After a few spiritual moments at Lake Rewalsar the caravan of this vagabond again started to Kullu.
Lakes in Himachal Pradesh are situated in some of the most picturesque natural surroundings. Another lake worth mention is Renuka Lake, biggest lake in Himachal Pradesh.

Keep travelling Guys...



May 1, 2017

Wonderlands around Shimla...

The mountains, when covered with dense forests may look similar, but something is surely in the air. When it comes to driving nothing beats the romance of snaking in the hills around Shimla. Is something actually in the air of Shimla and surrounding places or it is just the unparalleled beauty of this heavenly region...?
Outskirts of Shimla are the places which separates visitors from explorers. If you ask people if they have visited Chail, Kufri, Mashobra and Naldehra; there is good chance to hear that most of the people would have ended on Kufri only. These four locations can be covered in a day if you start from Shimla before the first ray of the sunlight. Though you may also enjoy a night stay of perfect solitude at Chail or at Naldehra.
To explore these out of the world spots where blanket of Pine and Deodar trees grace the landscapes, this eternal vagabond started his early morning drive to Chail (51 km. from Shimla) to get an authentic morning mystic feel of the valleys. Till Kufri (20 Km. from Shimla) you will find many visitors. Once you will move ahead from Kufri, its only nature and yourself, enjoy the symphony of birds chirping, whistling of tree leaves and your camera clicks.

On this road you will get recurring thoughts of leaving the cosmetic world and reclaim the life lost in maddening cities. Submerged in these divine thoughts we reached the end of road at the Kali Mata temple, 6 km. from Chail town.

Praying to almighty for such a beautiful outing:

From Kali Mata temple, one can enjoy a magnificent 360-degree view of the surroundings. You, yourself and the unspoilt nature…

One can also enjoy a royal stay at Chail Palace. While returning from Chail, the first spot at Kufri is the zoological park, Himalayan Nature Park.

Kids will surely have a great time in company with Deer, Black Bear, Tibetan Wolf, Leopard, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Monal and lot of birds.

Horse riding in the mountains is one of the most favourite activity. Horse ride at Kufri will take you to the top most point in Kufri. Negotiate for a return journey and include Mahasu Peak in the itinerary. Most of the horse operators will try to give a miss to Mahasu Peak.

During the horse ride to Mahasu Peak, striking terrace farming is worth mentioning…

Try to get closer to these beautiful mountains, even the tress are too gorgeous...

Mahasu Peak is the highest point in Kufri. On a clear lucky day, you may enjoy snow covered Badrinath and Kedarnath ranges from Mahasu Peak.

There is also a small temple at the top, from where you can pray to the almighty Goddess and continue clicking breath taking views of the surroundings:

In winters this place is covered with snow. Coming back from Kufri a right turn will take you to Fagu village, from here one more beautiful view of the surroundings...

Going further ahead on the road to Fagu, you will reach New Kufri to indulge in some adventure sports.
In the way to Naldehra, we came across a spot where all the vehicles were taking a halt. The spot had a thick green blanket on the mountains. It was so green that the name of the spot is actually “Green Valley”. A view worth cherishing and life time memoirs...

It was late afternoon when we reached at Naldehra (26 km. from Shimla). Evening sunlight peeking from the trees make a perfect itinerary for a romantic walk in the woods. Major attraction at Naldehra is the swanky golf course, which is one of the oldest golf courses in India.

From the drop point one can either take a horse ride or can enjoy a relaxing cozy walk, surrounded by tall pine trees. With such panoramic settings, no surprise Naldehra is also one of the most preferred spot for film shootings. No one has stopped you from running around the trees and singing a song for your beloved and feel like a film star in these woodlands...
You need not be a member of this legendary golf course in order to enjoy its beauty. Also there is a small temple dedicated to Snake God (नाग देवता) Mahunag temple on the golf course premises. Every Sunday lot of devotees come here to worship the deity and a huge fair is held every year on occasion of Makar Sankranti.

There is a passage road which divides this golf course into 2 parts and also serves as a passage to nearby villagers for their daily commuting to other side of Naldehra. Lucky are the people of that village who are entitled for such a daily walk/ ride from this wonderland.
Sorry in my excitement for Naldehra, forgot to mention about the exquisite Mashobra valley, which is in the way to Naldehra when coming from Shimla. Have a look…

With delightful memories of the day and a delicious diner at Mall, our schedule for next morning was to drive to Kullu and then to Manali via sacred Lake Rewalsar.
Keep on travelling and keep on exploring, after all “Life is a Journey, not a destination” ...



April 1, 2017

Mesmerized in Shimla

Some of the places are fortunate to be blessed with all-time pleasant weather and unmatched natural beauty. For such spots you need not plan, just pack your bags and go. Located at a distance of 350 km. from Delhi, Shimla is one such destination. No doubt Shimla is always a preferred attraction in Himachal Pradesh for  tourists from every part of the world. 

Snow-covered peaks and picturesque valleys make Shimla a popular choice for a weekend getaway from Delhi. Excellent road condition from Delhi will ensure a fun filled driving till Shimla. But there is a better option, take a night train from Delhi to Kalka and then enjoy the legendary toy train ride from Kalka to Shimla. If you can afford a little extra time, trust me to take the toy train. Lovely stations and amazing natural settings will bring out your camera much earlier than expected. Start with the lovely Toy train, running on the ancient narrow gauge rails...


The lovely Barog station mark, named after Colonel Barog, British engineer who was in charge of boring tunnels in Kalka-Shimla railway…

Once you land in Shimla, first spot to explore is the Mall Road. The Mall Road at Shimla is the most visited, most searched and perhaps the most blogged spot in India. Mall is a hub of social life and has amazing variety of cuisine from every part of the world, no doubt party never stops here.

When it comes to shopping, Mall ranks prominent besides any other fashion street of the world. The location of Mall in the twists and turns of the mountains also provide an ideal venue for a leisurely romantic walk too.

What separates Shimla from other hill stations is splendid colonial structures, old-world cottages and numerous options for charming walks. Likewise, one of the oldest churches in India, Christ Church is at the Mall...

and adjacent to the church is the State Library and a view point to check beautiful nearby landscpaes...
 
The Gaiety Theatre on the Mall is an imitation of an old British theatre and also serves as a centre of cultural activities. Other spots are State Museum on the Mall.

One can use the passenger lift from the Cart Road to reach the Mall, vehicles are not allowed on the Mall Road. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood-crafts and souvenirs. 

There is also a spot at Mall by the name Scandal point, from where you can click awesome views of the lavish natural wealth spread on the mountains.

However, there is a story attached with the Scandal point - Maharaja of Patiala and the daughter of then Viceroy were madly in love with each other and both have eloped together from this point. As a result of this daring act, Maharaja of Patiala was forbidden to enter Shimla again. To retaliate Maharaja of Patiala made Chail his summer capital to much envy of British.


Have to move on from Mall now as there other attractions in Shimla; Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, housed in the former Viceregal Lodge building: With old English architecture and attractive lawns, this is one of the most historically significant attraction in Shimla. Located at the Observatory Hill, Viceregal Lodge was built in 1888. The entry in the institute is by ticket. Viceregal Lodge was the summer residence of British Viceroy and the entire sub-continent was administered from here, usually from April to October each year.

If you are driving yourself, please check about the route from local traffic police as some of the roads have been made one way and some of the roads are closed for certain time in order to manage traffic.
After this splendid experience at Viceregal Lodge, it was the time to pray at JAKHOO Temple. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Jakhoo temple is situated at the highest peak in the town. Get ready to shake hands with lot of monkeys in the premises. However, don’t worry monkeys will not trouble you at all and will accept anything you will offer to them. Start praying as soon as you step inside the temple, with sacred verses of Hanuman Chalisa painted on the walk way.

The main Jakhoo temple premise...

Also the temple has world’s highest 200 ft. high statue of Lord Hanuman. The temple has connection with days of Lord Ram. It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was going to Himalayas to bring the Sanjeevani herb for curing Laxman, he stopped at this place to know about the Sanjeevani herb from sage Yaksh. Due to weight of Lord Hanuman, top of the hill had got flattened and half of the hill went inside the earth. Subsequently a temple was built around the place where feet of Lord Hanuman were spotted.
Narrow approach road to the hill is a path where can relish the luxury of enjoyable walks and can have beautiful view of Shimla from here.


There is another temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Sankat Mochan Temple. It is situated towards the outer side of Shimla on way to Kalka. It was dark when we reached this temple, however the illuminated temple at night did not disappointed us. Poor people can have free food on every Sundays.

Continue further for around 11 km. towards Kalka Highways to reach Tara Devi temple. This is 250 years old temple and it is believed that Goddess Tara arrived here from West Bengal in order to protect this place.

Located on a hill top, Tara Devi Temple provides some excellent views of the countryside. Other than mystic peace, one can enjoy 100% clean fresh air.

Vow, every step and every lane is worth lifelong memories. To be honest I feel jealous about people who have got a chance to reside in this heaven. Now I understand why Shimla is so much sought after vacation spot, despite increasing population and traffic; charm of this place is still intact.
Shimla is surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. After city tour, it was the time to get ready for next day trip to surrounding locations like Chail, Kufri, Mashobra and Naldehra to check deodar/ pine forests’ covered ranges, valleys with whispering water streams and swaying fields. Please keep one spare day for exploring outskirts of Shimla, before you leave for Manali.
Keep traveling Guys...