With the summer rolling in, plan a fun weekend getaway into the hills. Chandigarh has the advantage of being close to a number of hill stations, the ideal place to be in the summer heat. By not spending too much time on the road, you can focus on enjoying a relaxed weekend away from the city. Here are seven things to do in the hills at stations that are less than 130 kilometers from Chandigarh: Ride the cable car at Parwanoo Distance from Chandigarh: 30 kilometers Timber trail at Parwanoo offers a cable car ride across a 3.6 km ropeway. A resort greets you on the hilltop on the other side. A fun and mesmerizing journey, it is an experience worth having at least once in your life. Other attractions: • Trekking: Well known for its apple and peach orchards, Parwanoo is a great place for trekking. • The Gurkha Fort: A wonderful tourist attraction, believed to have been built by the Gurkha Army Chief Singh to fight against the British army. • Sheetla Mata Temple and the Shri Balaji Temple
Boat at the Tikkar Lake in Morni Hills Distance from Chandigarh: 42 kilometers Morni Hills is well known for its two lakes, Tikkar Lake and Chota Tikkar Lake, divided by a small hill. Locals believe a secret channel link the two, and consider the lakes holy. Other attractions: • Beautiful views and flora in the area. • An old 12th century temple lies not far from the lake. • An Adventure Park with fun activities.
Ride the Toy Train to Shimla Distance from Chandigarh: Kalka-28.4 kilometers; Shimla- 128 kilometers The toy train from Kalka to Shimla, known as the summer capital of India during the British Raj, is a five hour train ride on a 2 feet 6 inch narrow gauge railway. It was built in 1898 to connect Shimla with the rest of the Indian rail system. The line has 864 bridges, 919 curves and passes through 102 tunnels. It runs at a speed no more than 25 kilometers per hour. The railway was declared a heritage by the Himachal Pradesh government in 2007 and in 2008 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other mountain railways of India. Other attractions: Once at Shimla, you must visit: • Christ Church: the second oldest church in North India. It is designed in the typical Elizabeth style and has beautiful fine stained glass windows. The church contains a great collection of books and ancient scriptures. • Mall Road: the main street in Shimla, the ban of automobiles in this area make it great for walking and strolling around in. Shops and show rooms have opened up here along with a number of restaurants and cafes. • Temples: Jakhoo Temple, Kalibari Temple, and Tara Devi Temple • The Ridge: the large open space, located in the heart of shimla is the hub of all cultural activities of the area. It is situated along the Mall Road and connects different sites of Shimla. • The Glen, a forest reserve area, is a famous picnic spot amidst the pine and deodar trees.
Visit the haunted tunnel at Barog Distance from Chandigarh: 59.7 kilometers The train tunnel at Barog is considered to be one of the most haunted places in India. Colonel Barog, an engineer responsible for the construction of the longest tunnel from Shimla in 1903, started construction from either side of the tunnels. However, an error in his calculations meant that the tunnels never met, and he was charged a fine by the British officials for wasting government money. He was soon to go into depression and commit suicide. Legend says that his soul still haunts the tunnel. This tunnel, with the story, has become a well sought tourist spot. Other attractions: • Camping and photography at the Choor Chandni Peak • The Barog railway station, where once the royals would stop to eat their meal on their way to Shimla.
Picnic in Kasauli Distance from Chandigarh: 58.8 kilometers Kasauli, the calm and quiet colonial looking town is well known for its beautiful landscape and calm environment among the pine forests and is an ideal place to be at in the summer. There are many spots ideal for picnics, overlooking the hills and the Sutlej river. Other attractions: • Sanawar Nature Camp: The camp offers activities such as horse riding, trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, shooting, archery, yoga and Burma Bridge crossing. • Shopping at the Mall road and Tibetan market. • British era churches and temples
See the Fort at Nalagarh Distance from Chandigarh: 47.9 kilometers Set in the valley amidst the Shivaliks, the Nalagarh Fort was constructed in the Kingdom of Raja Bikram Chand in 1421. It has undergone restoration and has now been converted into a heritage resort. The Fort boasts of well manicured gardens and a lovely view of the city below as well as the Sirsa River. The fort has both Mughal and Indian styles of architecture. Other attractions: • Forts: The Chamba Fort and The Ramgarh Fort
Camp at Shoghi Distance from Chandigarh: 101.3 kilometers Shoghi has the ideal terrain for both, nature walks as well as heavy trekking. If you are looking for some hiking and trekking, Shoghi is a good option. You are free to either camp independently or with the various hotels and resorts around that provide camping facilities. This area is well known for its bird watching as it is home to birds such as the spot winged tit, blue magpie, Byth’s reed warbler, brown fronted woodpecker and the black headed jay. Other attractions: • Temples: Tara Devi Temple, Hanuman Temple and the Kali Temple.