Have you ever considered planning a trip in a way that allows you to explore much more beyond the usual tourist attractions and an itinerary that will engage and mesmerize you? There are a wide variety of things that one can plan when it comes to travelling to North India and targeting a few niche experiences which lie relatively unexplored is a great way to travel. Kothkai is a town in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh with close to 40 villages in it and is exceptionally famous for its apple production. Around 22 lakh boxes of apples come from this area and yet the region lies unexplored and untouched by frequent tourists and adventure enthusiasts who often make their way to the hilly terrains and mountains.
We tell you how to approach the villages and how to make the most of your trip to Himachal Pradesh. If you are planning to travel to Shimla, make sure that you book the resort in advance. The village of Kiari which is a picturesque area that is situated a top a hill in the Kothkai block is a land that brings the most revenue. This quaint town is a region that is truly unexplored and a place where one can relax, enjoy the peace and bask in solitude. Not only are the secluded valleys and the forests extremely calming, they are also areas that are unusual. While most people often head to Shimla and head out to view the tourist attractions, this is a trip that will have you coming back home with a different perspective, having met newer people, seen a different way of life and experienced their life. The villages of Kothkai are at a distance of 1.5 hours from the Club Mahindra Mashobra resort and all you need to do is rent a car and head out for a day trip. This is a rare sighting and these villages house people who are warm and welcoming. The place stands at an altitude of 1800 metres high, and literally means the palace of the king that is on a cliff.
Here are a few things that one can consider doing while in Kothkai for a day-
• Visit the Kothkai Palace or the Forest
Constructed by King Rana Saab, the palace is a structure that rests on an old mountain cliff. With splendid views of River Giri Ganga, the palace has a typical Tibetan style architecture and a pagoda style roof. Having built on an escalated stance, the architecture of the palace is legendary and speaks volumes about the artisans who built it. You can always head here first and spend an hour in the palace. The palace is only 9kms from Mashobra and will be closer to the resort than the village of Kothkai itself. Also, have a look at other places to visit near Mashobra in Shimla during family vacation.
• Wander Around in the Apple Orchards
The entire area is known for their apple production and taking a walk or just ambling along with your family in these orchards should be on the cards when you travel to Kothkai. If you visit during the peak season, you will not just get to wander around the orchards but also be able to witness the dozens of apples that cling to the trees. You will have to ensure that permission has been duly taken from the owners before you pay the orchards a visit. Once you are done walking around the orchard, head to the Neraghatri area for a beautiful lunch.
• Picnic Lunch at Neraghati
The Neraghati is a popular spot where panoramic views are plenty. Surrounded by these orchards and hills, this is heaven for photographers. The area is filled with beautiful spots where one can sit down with the family, unpack a nice lunch that you can request the Club Mahindra staff to pack for you and enjoy the delicious food amidst this breath-taking landscape.
The drive back to the Mashobra resort will be a little short of 2 hours and you can also pay a visit to the Lankra Veer Temple in Kothkai if you wish to. The loud chanting in this tranquil and serene surrounding area will arouse your spiritual side. Head back to the resort by early evening and indulge in a relaxing massage or a spa. You can even take a dip in the pool and follow it up by a rich, luxurious dinner prepared by our chefs. And if you are not done with spectacular views yet, visit Fagu, a tiny village along the India and Tibet border, for some of the most enchanting views of the mountains and the valleys. Fagu is much loved by nature lovers for its picture postcard views and pristine natural beauty.