We took a nice long walk that morning exploring roads that lead onto smaller roads, going up windy bendy paths to sometimes end up where we started from. We passed cottages that form part of the hotel we were staying at. At times you come to a spot on your path from where you see just valleys and hills for miles around.
After breakfast , we checked out of the Chail Palace and began our drive to Shimla. Time has wrought many changes in this old favourite holiday destination and the erstwhile Indian capital of the British conquerors. If you are looking for peace and quiet, this is not the place for you. Yet the bustling town holds much by way of historical import and some architectural structures are not worth missing when you are visiting the area. It would be a good idea to stay in the outskirts and take a day or two to look around.
On the way to Shimla, we’d decided to visit the zoo at Kufri. But it was closed that day and we made our way past scores of holiday-makers sitting aloft ponies that were to take them to a temple further uphill. We arrived at our room and as we were yet to have lunch, we headed towards the Mall.
The Mall, along with the Ridge, is popular for its shops and restaurants. It also has some old structures like the Gaiety Theatre, the Town Hall and the Library. The Christ Church on the Ridge is the second oldest church in North India. Vehicle entry is restricted in this area. So one has to walk along those steep sloping roads.
After lunch at Baljee’s, we walked to the Kali temple. Then we began our drive up to Jaku Hanuman temple. This temple boasts of a giant Hanuman statue that stands at 108 feet and can be seen from the Mall and most other places in Shimla. A diversion on the road led us onto narrow roads that were inconvenient when there was oncoming traffic. This was followed by a steep climb a flight of steps. The temple complex was definitely worth a dekko and the Hanuman statue is spectacular.
That evening, hubby and I went for a walk taking a steep path that led up to the main road. This part of town isn’t particularly suitable for that kind of walking and unless there is an absolute need for one to walk, it is avoidable. It was twilight by the time we returned and with no street lights to brighten up the paths, we tread carefully till we reached the room.
Note : Beware of monkeys in areas like these. We were warned not to make eye contact or carry anything in plastic packets.