Shali Tibba (H.P) 360 Degree Mountain – photojourney by Sahil Sain

SHALI TIBBA (H.P)
A stand-alone peak in Shimla with 360-degree views
  • The Shali top has a temple dedicated to Bhima Kali, a goddess, who is highly revered by locals.
  • Devotees flock to the top regularly, especially during Navratri.
  • The temple has been constructed with wood and stones, typical of rural Himalayan architecture. 
  • A trail to the temple was constructed in 1936 by the Raja of Faridkot. The same trail exists today and is in a good shape.
 
 
The Shali Tibba is a peak that is hard to miss. It towers over the district of Shimla, right behind the Mashobra ridge. Despite its conspicuousness, however, the peak does not attract as much attention as it deserves. Shali Tibba, at an altitude of 9,423 feet, is surrounded by Shimla, Mashobra, Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda. This stand-alone peak provides a magnificent vantage point for a panoramic 360 degree view of Himachal Pradesh.
The road leading to the base camp, Khatnol Village, winds through a quiet and beautiful valley of blue pine and cedar forest. Away from the hustle of Shimla, the trek to Shali Top is beautiful, short and easy and can be completed in a single day. It is an ideal weekend trek in Shimla.
 
 
History:
The Shali top has a temple dedicated to Bhima Kali, a goddess, who is highly revered by locals. Devotees flock to the top regularly, especially during Navratri. The temple has been constructed with wood and stones, typical of rural Himalayan architecture. A trail to the temple was constructed in 1936 by the Raja of Faridkot. The same trail exists today and is in a good shape.
TREK:
The Shali Tibba is a peak that is hard to miss. It towers over the district of Shimla, right behind the Mashobra ridge. Despite its conspicuousness, however, the peak does not attract as much attention as it deserves. Shali Tibba, at an altitude of 9,423 feet, is surrounded by Shimla, Mashobra, Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda. This stand-alone peak provides a magnificent vantage point for a panoramic 360 degree view of Himachal Pradesh.
The road leading to the base camp, Khatnol Village, winds through a quiet and beautiful valley of blue pine and cedar forest. Away from the hustle of Shimla, the trek to Shali Top is beautiful, short and easy and can be completed in a single day. It is an ideal weekend trek in Shimla.
A TREK TO SHALI-TIBBA:
 
The cloud-dipping valley beyond Mashobra, Shimla is one good option for the trekkers to explore. The peak of Shali Tibba happens to be one of the highest peaks of the region and most trekkers prefer to start their trek from Mashobra that is about 40 minutes drive from Shimla but the actual trek starts from Khatnol. The best possible route to reach Kathnol that is 48 kilometres from Shimla is via Dhali, Mashobra, Baldiyan and Sahol. The one-day trek to Shali-Tibba could be an experience of lifetime for any backpacker
 
The trail normally remains closed during peak winter months and the best time to explore the place are between the months of December-January, March-April and September-November. As one starts walking uphill from Kharnol and venture into the forest one would come across dense pine trees and thick pastures on both sides of the road. The journey becomes more exploring as one descends deeper into the dry vegetation. The uphill trek would normally take about 3-4 hours, which is a stretch of six kilometers but the downhill trek takes lesser time. The valley is so deep that one normally prefers to walk in silence as nothing but chirping of himalayan birds is audible. If one is lucky one might have an encounter with a bear or a porcupine. Not many people but just a few locals who stay near the temple, or some trekkers will be met on the way. Other interesting points on the trekking route could be visited with little help and guidance of the locals but otherwise also it is advisable to ask for directions along the route. It is better to carry good amount of food and water as afternoon temperatures can make one dehydrated.
 
After finishing the entire forest trek one reaches the Hindu temple, which is dedicated to Maa Bhimakali and is also the last and the most prominent point on the cliff. There are just very few people who stay near the temple but people from the surrounding areas frequently visit here to pray to the mother goddess  The peak gives a chance to see 360 degrees view of Shimla and some parts of Narkanda. The entire valley from top of the cliff is seen to dominate the entire region. The cold winds on top of the peak make it freezing even during peak afternoons. The wooden architecture of the temple is very simple and ancient and the roof is covered with slates. Being an ancienttemple it has a mythological importance so the villagers always have some tales to share about the place andthe temple.
 
The valley is so deep and thick that it gives a good opportunity to capturethe very simple lifestyle of the inhabitants and picturesque beauty of hanging clouds dipped into the valley. The entire view from the hilltop is so magnificent and breath taking that this paradise with its snow coveredpeaks will compel one to come again and again. There is a dak bungalow for the tourist right next to the temple which is not too expensive so that also gives a good option to spend a night here and enjoy the over night bone chilling winds of this charismatic and beautiful hill. The entire journey can be completed in one day but overnight camping with tents and bonfire can make the trek more interesting but then one must also have some good arrangement of tents and woolens as the temperature normally fluctuates after sunset making the nights colder. One can either plan to come downto Khatnol the same day after spending some time on the hill top which would normally take about two hours or otherwise another day could be planned to go towards Chhota Shali- Tibba which is also an ultimate location for sight seeing, picnic, camping and  photography.
 
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