Himachal is the Holy Grail location for every trekking enthusiast over the world. The options here are just innumerable. Shimla the capital city also provides some remarkable options to adventure seekers. Be it the trail to Shali Tibba, Tara Devi temple or the Churdhar peak they all offer an off the beaten track experience of a lifetime.
At a towering altitude of 12,000 ft is the Churdhar peak in the Sirmor district. This is the highest point of the outer Himalayas. This doubles also as a significant pilgrimage destination for many pious Hindus with the region being dotted with shrines and temples. Lord Shirgul and Butheswar Maharaj being the principle deities worshipped here. Atop the Churdhar peak is the giant statue of Lord Shiva visible from miles down the plain. History has it that from this very peak the Surveyor general of India George Everest in 1834 made many astronomical observations of the Great Himalayas.
The trek to this glorious peak is filled with rugged terrains, Thick forest covers, charming villages and rambling small brooks. In summers this trek is relatively easier compared to monsoon season or the thick snow of the winters. There are two main routes to approach. One can either go from Nohradhar which would be a trek of nearly 20 kilometers or the Sarhaan Village route near Chaupal which takes less time but the route is very steep and jagged.
Nohradhar being the more popular choice can be reached from Chandigarh in just 3-4 hours with a brief stop at Solan or Rajgarh for replenishment on the way. The weather is pleasant during the daytime. The initial few kilometers of the Trek from Nohradhar is fairly easy till Teesri with breath taking view of the valley and peaks around. In between the two points one can catch up on their breath or supplies at the Jamnala. Moving ahead on the trail we come across thick forest foliage which offers a relaxing walk while appreciating the diverse flora and fauna of the landscape. One can spot rare birds or even get a glimpse of the endangered musk deer if lucky. On the way one can also interact with local habitants working in the orchards or grazing their cattle’s or near small Gujjar villages which spring up from time to time along the way. We can also find few local temples and shrines en route nestled at hilltops. After reaching Teesri which is the trail’s midway the weather starts getting much cooler with higher altitude and the path gets rocky and mildly steep. Finally after tackling this rugged and rocky terrain the journey is completed after reaching the Churdhar peak top.
The entire trail duration is almost of 5 to 6 hours for any experienced trekker one way. The journey instills a sense of thrill and achievement post successful completion. The reward is the mesmerizing view of the Himalayan range from the highest point of the area feeling a bit like George Everest himself surveying what the future has in its store ahead.