Popularly called the “Queen of Hill Stations,” Shimla is truly a wonderland – as nature is in abundance here and this mystical place has always something or the other to offer to everyone. Shimla is much more beyond Mall Road, the Ridge, and other popular places in its vicinity.

There are many hidden gems around Shimla that only locals are aware of. If you want to experience a whole new Shimla, consider visiting these lesser-known areas during your next visit.

Surrounded by panoramic valleys and picturesque sights, the hidden gems of Shimla will never cease to amaze you with their alluring charm.

Without further ado, let’s get to know these amazing offbeat locations that you must visit when travelling to Shimla.

1. Naldehra

Naldehra is only 25 kilometers from the main town. This place has a thick deodar forest cover and natural charm. Since it lies away from a crowded town, Naldehra is best to enjoy some peaceful time with yourself, your family, or friends. Originally, it was discovered by Lord Curzon, who was in awe of Naldehra’s beauty.

The main attraction of this hotspot is an 18-hole Himalayan golf course situated amidst the deodar jungle. If you are not into golf, consider visiting Craignano Nature Park.

These places are not at all crowded and rich in natural beauty. Want to enjoy your vacation away from the crowd? Consider booking a hotel or homestay in Naldehra, or plan a day trip to explore this place. You won’t regret it.

2. Narkanda

Want to immerse your soul into the misty clouds and gorgeous mountainous surroundings? Narkanda is the place for you. This charming destination is about 65 km from the main town of Shimla. There are breathtaking views all around and beautiful remote places in its vicinity. Out of all, these two our favourites:

Baghi (about 15 km from Narkanda) is a tiny but beautiful village near Narkanda. The place is surrounded by apple orchards and a thick cover of deodar forests. No matter when you plan a visit to this place, beautiful views await you all year round.

Another gorgeous hidden gem is Kotgarh (15 km from Narkanda) is a small and beautiful horticulture town of Himachal. Located around 8,000 feet above sea level, this stunning township receives heavy snow during winters.

You can go for a walk to apple and cherry orchards or consider getting lost in the tranquillity of deodar forests. If you are outdoorsy, you can choose to trek to Hatu Peak – a beautiful vantage point at 11,000 feet offering sweeping views of the entire apple valley.

The peak is about a two-hour hike from the basecamp – Tikkar. Once you are at Hatu Peak, give a slight push to your endurance and wall downhill for about 15 minutes through high and dense deodar forests to reach Jaw Bag – an open meadow on the ridge rimmed by dense forests. You can enjoy views of the mighty Himalayas covered in snow from here.

3. Kotkhai

At an altitude of 5,774 feet, Kotkhai (approx. 57 km from Shimla) is another lesser-known gem of Shimla. It is an eye-pleasing region with many forested rails and scenic sites.

There are many key attractions in Kotkhai, such as:

  • Kotkhai fort
  • Giri Ganga
  • Rana Palace of Khaneti
  • Sainj Durbar (Palace)
  • Kupar Peak
You can explore these places while enjoying the scenic views of apple orchards.

4. Khadrala

Khadrala village (around 106 km away from Shimla town) lies in the rurality of Rohru tehsil of Shimla. This place has historic value, as it lies on the old Hindustan-Tibet road.

Plus, Khadrala is upper Shimla’s oldest region where trading started first. Khadrala got into the limelight after former PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited somewhere in 1954 along with his daughter Indira Gandhi.

Even today, this place has got a magnificent charm. This region is very popular among hikers. Apart from breathtaking views, this place offers a glimpse into Pahadi tradition and culture.

5. Kharapathar

Kharapathar (about 74.6 km from Shimla) is a small town in the lesser Himalayas. It takes around three hours from Shimla town to reach this place. The gorgeous township, nestled at an altitude of 8,770 feet, has lush green forests and apple orchards on all sides. Adventure seekers as well as nature lovers adore this place.

Other nearest attractions you cannot afford to miss while in Kharapathar are Kupar Peak, Giri Ganga, Jubbal Palace, and Hatkoti Temple.

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